Excel and Efficiency
When I was reading every investment book I could get my hands on, I spent a fair amount of time on a website devoted to Phil Town’s investing book, Rule #1. In it, he had a series of calculations that, when met, told him a stock was a buy.
It was a play on value investing and the way Warren Buffett picks stocks, but grabbing all the data from the different financial sites and doing the math was time consuming. And of course very few companies met all the criteria so it was a lot of work with very little payoff.
Anyway, someone on this forum decided to create a spreadsheet that did all the work. And I mean ALL the work.
All you had to do was make sure you had an Internet connection, type in a symbol, and hit enter.
A wonderful thing started to happen: numbers started flowing into all of the various tabs along the bottom. Charts started to form. Cells began to change color. Disease and famine were obliterated.
And on the last tab there was a number that told you what this stock’s true price was (according to his system), and whether or not it was a buy.
It literally took me an hour to do this for each company, and Excel had done it in a few seconds.
Of course, someone with a lot of knowledge and skill had set this spreadsheet up, but I was amazed at how many hours of time this document could save me.
And this was Excel! A piece of software I dreaded using because I thought all it could do was create boring charts that boring people used in their boring presentations.
I had underestimated this piece of software and I started to see why it was so expensive.
My latest run-in with Excel at work showed me how valuable this program can be…all you need is a little bit of knowledge, some patience, and it can take you pretty far.
Microsoft Excel: I salute you.