Balance Sheet Liabilities Impact Of Operating Leases Moving To Balance Sheet
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For most of these kinds of items a company will book their value at whatever was paid for it. While items that depreciate like computers are usually de-valued over a period of time that piece of land will likely appreciate over time and the current value may not be reflected on the balance sheet. This can make the company more valuable than it appears (some value investors refer to these as "asset plays"). For financial companies a ton of assumptions are made on the balance sheet. The actual value of a loan is very difficult to calculate due to variable interest rates risk of default risk of early payment etc. Take that reality and multiply it by the millions of loans a large bank has outstanding and you begin to see why investing in banks is such a difficult and risky endeavor. However since the Magic Formula throws out financial stocks we won t discuss that in much detail here. One other thing to be generally aware of is that both assets and liabilities are categorized as either "current" or "long-term".
The purpose of the balance sheet. The balance sheet s purpose is to provide a detailed listing of the company s assets and liabilities. It is not unlike a personal credit report. If you think about your own financial net worth you probably have a number of assets such as a home a vehicle a stock portfolio cash in a savings account and so forth. You also likely have a list of liabilities or debts such as a mortgage a car loan electric or telephone bills that have not yet been paid etc. This concept is directly analogous to a company and the balance sheet lists out all of these. Like the income statement an investor needs to be aware of the potential accounting assumptions made for the balance sheet. Obviously some line items are unambiguous. For example the worth of cash in the bank is a pretty straightforward value. However the worth of a 5 year old computer or an undeveloped piece of land are less concrete.
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Before the disaster the only thing that had any importance was whether a potential buyer of anything could afford to make the payments on whatever he was buying assuming he made 120% of his stated income. The most outrageous symptom was that people would take appreciating home equity and borrow against it to buy depreciating assets and consumer goods. They overbooked their budgets and now they have gutted their balance sheet. The resulting loss of home values is the disaster we have now where people have either a zero or minus Net Worth. The other aspect is that we are now wiser. For the good of our society and our financial infrastructure we had better be. Going forward we must pay attention to our Balance Sheets and recognize that is where the gold is.