What Lies Beneath


Skip the analyst conference calls. Turn off CNBC. If you want to be a savvy investor, curl up with a 10-Q instead. Such is the advice of veteran financial journalist Michelle Leder in Financial Fine Print: Uncovering a Company's True Value. She doesn't expect you to read all 300 pages of a company's financial statement or try to comprehend complex derivatives. The most crucial section is the footnotes, where many companies bury bad news. An attentive reader can spot the red flags: inflated growth assumptions for pension assets, a subsidiary controlled by a son-in-law, lots of synthetic leases. Then get your...

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