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Advice for my first research report?

Hi guys, I currently am a CFA level 2 Candidate with experience in consulting. 

I am very keen on getting into Equity Research. So I thought of learning by perhaps attempting to write research reports on my own. This could even look good in my job applications.

Now I know as a beginner and a retail investor, I have access to very limited resources but wish to make the most use of these. 

I would be really grateful if anyone could help me with the following two queries I have.

  1. Firstly, I am quite familiar with financial modelling but I have only done it for private companies after in-depth discussion with their management. Calculating the intrinsic value of the stocks I wish to cover through forecasting would be a different ball game altogether for a retail investor like me with limited resources. Has anyone been on the same boat as me? Or anyone who would like to give me any sort of tips regarding the same?
  2. I am trying to read as much as possible on the companies I wish to cover but is there any other place I can get authentic information regarding the companies apart from the documents they publish themselves?

Thanks!

Automate your Excel models with the industry's most accurate financial, market and economic data.

Figure out what expectations are in the stock price. Then work backwards to see if you think meeting those expectations are likely based on base rates and your adjustments to those base rates. After all that, put a price target on the stock of 120% of the current value, call it overweight, and get management access

To further what rawraw is saying, I think once you do those things and IF you find you are reaching the same conclusion as the consensus, try and think VERY hard about where you can improve or change your research to have a thesis that’s different from what everyone else is already saying. 

Perfect example is Tesla ahead of their Q1 2013 earnings report. The street was projecting X to be their EPS number, however, I thought they were improperly evaluating the unit sales price for the model S for that quarter considering most people who were buying them at the time were not just only adding a few thousand dollars in options but rather north of 10k in options on average to the vehicle. Turns out, the latter was true and my differing view from consensus had value. 

That’s just one example but you can apply it to many companies across many industries. Goodluck!

Thank you so much guys, will take all that into consideration :)