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New Feature Announcement: The User Manuals

- By James Li

As we ring in March 2017, we are pleased to announce a new feature on GuruFocus, the User Manuals. Like cooking recipes, these user manuals give detailed instructions on how to use our most popular features on the website.

Throughout the past few years, GuruFocus introduced several new features for our Premium and Premium Plus members, including customized series in Interactive Charts, custom filters and screeners, backtesting, the DCF Fair Value Calculator, personalized guru lists, the All-in-one Guru Screener and backtesting, My Portfolios, GuruFocus in Excel and the Application Programming Interface (API). This article will briefly discuss each of the above features and give links to the respective user manuals.

Interactive Charts

As discussed in a previous article, the Interactive Charts feature allows you to generate visual diagrams that graph the trendline of the data. You can also create Peter Lynch charts, price-sales valuation charts and other customized charts to find good value opportunities. For example, consider the Peter Lynch Chart (Figure 1) and price-sales valuation chart (Figure 2) for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT).


Figure 1


Figure 2

As illustrated in Figure 1, Wal-Mart trades slightly above its Peter Lynch earnings line. Although this suggests Wal-Mart is slightly overvalued, the price-earnings ratio usually gives inaccurate results for cyclical companies as Peter Lynch observed during his investing career. The price-sales ratio, on the other hand, gives more accurate valuations as companies' profit margins tend to revert to the mean over time. Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) measures the total market valuation using the P/S ratio for the entire market, i.e., the ratio of the Wilshire 5000 full-cap index to the U.S. gross domestic product.

While Wal-Mart is slightly overvalued based on its Peter Lynch chart, the discount store is moderately undervalued based on its price-sales valuation chart as Figure 2 illustrates. This suggests Wal-Mart has good value potential in the short term despite having declining operating margins.

For more information on constructing detailed visuals, please consult the Interactive Charts User Manual.

Discounted Cash Flow Calculator

Like Interactive Charts, which identify the "entry points" (times to buy) and the "exit points" (time to sell) for a company stock, the Discounted Cash Flow Calculator determines if the company is trading above or below its intrinsic value based on the following parameters: earnings per share, the 10-year EPS with nonrecurring items growth rate, the terminal growth rate, the number of terminal growth years and the discount rate. Figure 3 shows a sample DCF Calculator page for Apple Inc. (AAPL).

Figure 3

Please consult the DCF user manual for details on how to use our fair value calculator and how to interpret the fair value results.

Personalized Guru List / Aggregated Portfolio

Our company focuses on the actions of investment gurus, hence the name GuruFocus. You can view stock ideas from well-known investors like Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio), Carl Icahn (Trades, Portfolio), George Soros (Trades, Portfolio) and David Tepper (Trades, Portfolio) on our Latest Guru Stocks and Real-time Stock Trades Web pages.

One powerful feature of guru stock ideas is the Aggregated Portfolio of Gurus. After you generate a personalized list of gurus, you can track the combined portfolio to see which companies have high guru ownership. We constructed two models based on the aggregated portfolio of Premium gurus, the Most Weighted Portfolio and the Most Broadly Held Portfolio. These two model portfolios have outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 index benchmark in at least seven of the past 10 years.

We also offer stock ideas from insiders, which include C-level employees and directors. For example, you can view insider cluster buys, guru and insider double buys and triple buys. For more information on how to get stock ideas, please consult our user manual on guru stock ideas.

All-in One Guru Screener

One of our most popular features, the All-in-One Guru Screener allows you to screen for company stocks that meet select criteria. As discussed in the user manual, the Screener offers over 150 predefined filters and the ability to create customized filters. Unlike other value screeners, the All-in-One Screener allows you to save custom screens and backtest the test portfolio against the benchmarks.

My Portfolios

We have several user-friendly features on our website, including the My Portfolios feature that allows you to track the daily performance of your portfolio against the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average benchmark. You can also set email alerts when stocks in your portfolio reach a target price, price-earnings ratio, etc. or a daily update report.

During the past few weeks, GuruFocus launched a new, user-friendly home page that contains snapshots of each of your portfolios in the left column. To access an individual portfolio, click on the "View/Edit Portfolio" button in the lower-right corner of the desired portfolio. Please consult the My Portfolios user manual for detailed instructions on how to set up portfolios and email alerts.

GuruFocus Excel Add-in and API

We also have features for our Excel and advanced programming members, the Excel Add-in and the Application Programming Interface (API). These features allow you to retrieve data from our database and construct personalized templates. The Excel Add-in offers an eclectic variety of features, including the new user-defined GURUF function that allows you to retrieve the data more efficiently. For complete details on our advanced Excel and API features, please consult the Excel / API user manual.

Some closing comments

Most of the above features, including customized Interactive Chart series, value screeners, portfolio performances, Excel Add-in and API, require a GuruFocus Premium membership. Please refer to the membership levels page to compare which features are available to Premium and Premium Plus members. If you are not a member, we invite you to a free seven-day trial.

Disclosure: The author has no positions in the stocks mentioned.

This article first appeared on GuruFocus.