Author(s): Tim Steer
When companies suffer a dramatic or catastrophic drop in their share price, it is the investors who lose their shirts and employees their jobs. But often, a company's published accounts offer clues to impending disaster, providing you know where to look - and take the trouble to do so. Through the forensic examination of more than twenty recent share price collapses, Tim Steer - a former fund manager and one of the few who highlighted the warning signs at Carillion years before it came unstuck - reveals how companies hide or disguise worrying facts about the robustness of their business. He looks at the themes that underlie the ways companies obscure the truth and he stresses that in an assessment of a company's accounts, investors should always bear in mind that the only fact is cash; everything else - profit, assets, etc. - is a matter of opinion or judgement and therefore vulnerable to being stretched, sometimes beyond belief. Full of invaluable lessons for investors, the book concludes with some trenchant observations on what is wrong in the worlds of investment, audit and financial regulation, and what changes should be considered.