This isn’t to say that FCF, itself, is not without problems. If a company refuses to replace aging equipment, free cash flow can be overstated. Of course, once the equipment is replaced, cash flow may take a violent dive. This, by itself, is a red flag indicating potential danger.
Limit the fundamentals – the Paper Poker Game. The psyche of investors behind Supply and Demand is expressed in price, beyond fundamentals alone. Investors sold off fundamentally sound stocks, after the unfortunate 9-11 incident and it was repeated with the financial pandemic of 2008, going into 2009. Benjamin F. King: Market and Industry Factors; Journal of Business, January 1966: ” Of a stock’s move . 20% is peculiar to the one stock.” A fundamental Analyst fusses with paper (Balance Sheet, Income Statement & Cash flow Statement), only to explain 20% of price behavior. As valid as all the FA work is, would you gamble against the house armed with only 20% of the odds with paperwork done by Analysts?
Make sure your financial statements are put together correctly – balance sheet balances, cash flow ties in with the balance sheet and the income statement. This is a skill just like fixing your car. If you don’t know how to do it, do bluff – hire someone to build the statements for you. This does not have to be an expensive accountant or consultant. You can probably find a local MBA finance student who can do it for you as long as you provide the appropriate numbers.
It’s also important to see how the company uses that cash. Digging into the cash flow examples to find out where the money’s going can shed light on management’s strategy and give you additional insight into the company’s future. Is it building aggressively for the future by opening new stores or building new manufacturing facilities? Is it buying other firms, paying off debt, building up cash reserves, buying back stock, or paying dividends?
He or she will be able to walk you through the various options. As with a financial planner, ask them how they’re compensated to keep them honest with the advice they’re giving you.
If you only have staff and not team, you’re working for your staff for free! Staffs are simply reactive people on your payroll that you need to continuously ensure that they do their work, especially when you’re not around. Team are those that work as though they’re working for their own company. You need to build winning teams or you’d end up with losing money.
The best way to implement this rule is to make it automatic. Have 10% of your take-home pay pulled from your paycheck and deposited into a separate bank account. If your employer doesn’t allow you to do this, simply set up a transfer between your main account and your “ten percent” account equal to ten percent of your paycheck.