No. of Recommendations: 4
where do the stocks from the curated list from which the study stocks will be pulled come from? Will they in general be stocks from Fool Universe, or stocks from broad market in general, perhaps fool recs in some service, perhaps not?

Ah, at the moment that's my little secret! Since this is a public board, I don't think it's fair to just pull TMF recs from the premium services. I'm sure some of the companies we look at will also be TMF recs, but that's not a requirement.

But, it's also not just the broad market: the list is curated. I'm not ready yet to say how, though.

delving into all the company reports is skill I hope to develop

If you find them too intimidating, then maybe try the conference calls instead. I haven't gotten to ITG's yet, but they typically have a nice balance of management perspective and probing analyst questions, and there usually isn't a ton of financial talk other than maybe a couple paragraphs from the CFO going over various financial stats for the quarter -- and you can just skim or even skip those if you want.

But the annual report does contain more than just financials, so as you grow more comfortable I'd definitely encourage you to at least look at one. The very beginning will actually be an overview of the business. You can always just skip anything that looks like financials or that seems confusing: Rome wasn't built in a day!

I think annual reports are one of those things, though, that look really intimidating at first, but -- financial analysis aside -- actually aren't too bad once you spend some time with them.

By the way, for anybody who wants to get some basic knowledge of how to read the financial statements, there's a really easy book called Warren Buffet and the Interpretation of Financial Statements that provides a very gentle introduction to the different kinds of statements you'll see (Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement) and what the various items on it actually mean in plain english. What I especially like about the book is that it also talks about what those items might imply for the business (as Buffet would perhaps interpret it). It's a very quick, easy, and informative read. It's not going to turn you into a financial expert, but it'll at least make the financials a bit less foreign.

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