The global crisis, caused by the CODIV-19 virus, has plunged stock markets all over the world; the sp500 performed a rally that began in 2009 with an increase of approximately + 400%, before the pandemic spread. Then the thud, a very rapid and inexorable descent in which many stocks have lost from -30% to -80%.

Below is the graph of the SP500 you can see the unstoppable rise trend from 2009 onwards until the drowdown due to the coronavirus:

A certain scenario ideal for creating a shares portfolio; this is a sector, however, where one cannot improvise, one must study and document oneself before buying shares in a company.

Those who invest in stocks in the American market will have to evaluate a number of things:

  • if you are not an American, you may be subject to double taxation
  • if you are not an American, you take on the risk of exchange: the reference currency is the dollar, so you will have to change it in dollars before investing.

It is undeniable that the overseas stock market offers opportunities and growth not comparable to the European indices.

After having an idea of โ€‹โ€‹how to read a company balance sheet, it is necessary to proceed in a systematic way by reviewing the actions of our interest, analyzing a series of indices and parameters and considering a series of aspects, in order to be able to create an ordered list where to insert the results of our analysis, and then choose what to invest on.

I will start by listing the online tools that I find useful for finding information on stocks:


it is useful to use multiple sites for verification purposes to be able to compare the data, they can also offer different reading perspectives and the information can be organized differently.

Very convenient, in my view,, which presents all the information on a single page, is suitable for having a good overview.

Other sites of interest to find financial news are, is a useful tool for understanding the meaning of indices and financial parameters.

I suggest creating a table in excel where you can collect the salient data of your research.

The actions that should be taken, in my view, are:

  • Look at the 6-month chart (and at 5 years to get an idea of โ€‹โ€‹the medium-long term trend)
  • Then read the company profile to better frame it (the yahoo finance profile card)
  • Then analyze the statistics and consider the different parameters / indices made available by the specialized sites (ROI, ROE, EBITDA, R / E etc …) (see the article … where the meaning of these is described in detail indices)

If during the analysis we notice something strange (with finviz the data are very comfortable to consult, they are on one page and with colors that highlight their criticalities with red, with black if the value is neutral and in blue if the data is very positive) let’s read:

  • the news
  • analyst opinions
  • so let’s analyze the balance sheet (look quarter after quarter from right to left and check if the totals increase)
  • we also read the income statement (we always check if we have an increase from right to left)
  • We verify which institutions hold the shares
  • We verify that dividend percentages detach the security (always prefer securities that detach dividends with a view to cashflow).

Other guidelines that should be respected in the creation of the portfolio are differentiation (but not too much, otherwise we will reduce profits by flattening them).

In theory, a good portfolio should differentiate between stocks, bonds and others and the shares should cover from 15% to 50% of the portfolio, depending on the type of the portfolio: conservative – aggressive.

It would be better if one stock represent at most 2 – 5% of the entire portfolio.

The qualifications should cover different and unrelated sectors (for example, banking, transport, technology, catering, energy, communications etc …).

In my opinion, the securities should detach dividends of at least 3%, preferably if they are part of the aristocrats dividends or dividend king, that is, a group of shares that respectively have always detached dividends in the last 25, 50 years respectively).

With this article I wanted to formalize a search method, a sort of check list that can be applied whenever a stock is taken into consideration, providing a series of online tools useful for the purpose.

Happy searching! ๐Ÿ™‚