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  • Does the company retain earnings?
  • Are retained earnings increasing?
  • Does the company consistently achieve high returns on capital?


  • Does the company have a durable moat?
  • What are the moat sources?
  • Do customers have to keep buying the product or service?
  • How is the company culture?
  • Is the company obsessed with customer satisfaction?
  • Quality of customer service?
  • Quality of company in employee, vendor and customer eyes?
  • Does the company occupy the economic high ground?
  • Does the company satisfy basic human needs of its customers?

Competitive Analysis

  • Is the company in a boring, no-growth industry?
  • Does the company rely on innovation?
  • Is the company cyclical?
  • How did the company’s finances behave during financial crisis and recessions?
  • How is the competitive landscape?
  • Who are the competitors? Read their financial reports.
  • How are the competitors performing?
  • Can the company charge premium prices?
  • Is the company the market leader?
  • Does the company have the best sales force in the industry?
  • Are companies in the same industry generally profitable?
  • Does the company have a very long operating history? 100 years?

Growth Prospects

  • Will the company be much larger 10 years from now (destination analysis)?
  • Does the company have plenty of room to grow?
  • What are the value drivers?
  • What’s the current size compared to total addressable market?
  • Sources, quality and sustainability of growth?
  • Where in the business cycle is the company?
  • How is the company growing? Increasing sales of existing product, repeat customers, new products, acquisitions?
  • Does the company have a track record for successful pivoting, expansion, entering new markets?
  • Do customers need to keep buying the product?
  • Can the company spin off businesses and unlock value?

Management Quality

  • Is the company run by capable management with a great track record?
  • Management integrity?
  • Does management keep promises and deliver on what they stated they would do?
  • Founder CEO?
  • Does management have a high percentage of shares?
  • Is management incentivization aligned with shareholder interest?

Capital Allocation

  • Does the company buy back its own shares?
  • Does the company acquire other businesses?
  • Does the company pay dividends?
  • How does the company create shareholder value?

Personal Analysis Capability

  • Is the company’s business within my circle of competence?
  • Do I have personal experience with the product or service?
  • Is the annual report short?
  • Is the business model simple and easy to understand?
  • Is the reporting simple, or complex and convoluted?

Bear Case – What Could Go Wrong?

  • Regulatory risk?
  • Delisting risk?
  • Lawsuits?
  • Future obsolescence?
  • Cheaper substitute product/service?


  • Are the earnings predictable?
  • Time series and cross-sectional analysis
  • Vertical and horizontal analysis
  • Is P/E suitable for valuation?
  • Does the company derive a big part of its value from intangibles that get expensed instead of recorded on the balance sheet?
  • Are P/E, P/FCF, and P/S lower compared to previous years?
  • Do I need Excel to figure out whether the current share price is very cheap, or is it pretty obvious?
  • Did a negative event result in a temporary price drop, but the long-term business outlook isn’t affected?

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