As a craftsman, it is essential to have the right tool for every situation. The same is true as an investor and entrepreneur; the right tool can make all the difference.
A few years ago, I was looking for a tool that could make my life easier when analysing stocks. After some time, I came across Finbox through Dillon Jacobs the founder of Vintage Value Investing. First of all, a big thank you to Dillon for your advice!
I took a close look at Finbox because I wanted to use it only if it would effectively aid me in my stock selection and thus offer real added value.
In this article, I’m going to explain why Finbox has made it to my recommended tools and why I would not want to do without it in my stock analysis.
What is Finbox?
Finbox is a portfolio management and analysis platform specifically for value investors. The platform focuses on quantitative and fundamental analysis using classic tools implemented with intuitive and straightforward designs. It is also based on advanced machine learning algorithms that do all the sophisticated work of presentation and optimisation.
The platform also creates fair and objective ratings of companies and updates more than a hundred thousand models per day. Technically, the wealth of analytical tools is a value investor's dream. Finbox's premium API allows developers and analysts to integrate data into their own algorithms and models.
The Tel Aviv-based company's co-founders Andy Pai, Brian Dentino and Matt Hogan, who bring expertise from their time together in investment banking, emphasise that they have invested a lot of time and effort in developing the tools and platform functionalities.
The result is valuation models, analysis tools, templates; scenarios and data collections that help clients quickly determine the intrinsic value of stocks and make the right choice. Or in short: Finbox! [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and affiliate for Finbox.]
Finbox has developed into a holistic tool in the recent years, which not only covers more than 100,000 companies worldwide with a fairly flexible pricing model, but also delivers very extensive functionality.
Finbox's Ideas section is efficient for generating fresh stock ideas based on what popular investors have in their portfolios. Although not a standalone concept from Finbox, the platform allows you to conveniently search portfolios via the search bar. And it offers curated portfolios by high-dividend stocks in a particular sub-sector.
However, the user interface makes Finbox shine once you have selected a portfolio. The platform makes it effortless to instantly download the latest reports. At the same time, it provides an instant tabular overview of the stocks in a portfolio, which can be categorised according to various important criteria.
Another essential component of Finbox is the stock screener; while it is not a unique selling point, it is finely executed.
This feature provides a wealth of important, valuation-based data that can be included as filters. All of these can be conveniently searched for ease of access.
For enhancement, a statistics panel is available for each metric. It displays a chart of how that specific metric is measured across all major sectors. It allows you to gain reasonable ideas about where a filter value should be appropriately placed.
The Stock Screener screen not only displays the stocks that match your filter criteria, but provides an instant analysis of their performance through a histogram of analysts' projections. Specifically, these are stocks and their standard performance in relation to the S&P 500.
There may be similar screeners in other tools, but Finbox does an excellent job of presenting the results. It then shows them in a clear, contemporary and easy to view layout.
If you look more deeply into other specific stocks, you can take full advantage of Finbox's analysis features. You get full access to a complete charting gallery that includes all the important parameters. In addition, you can use simple slider charts to compare the fundamentals of your selected stocks with those of their peers in the division. It can also be used for the market as a whole.
This allows you to see how Finbox's models plot the stock's future performance returns against those shown by Wall Street analysts.
This function allows you to create your watch list. In this section, an investor can manage shares from a current portfolio via the "Ideas" menu bar. Or he can define his collection.
Investors can also get inspiration from the "most viewed" links in the sidebar of the platform. If you have subscribed to the premium version of Finbox, you can use the "Ideas" portfolios to collect data and use other available features.
I must say that it is splendid to have all the data in one tool. Finbox shows all current financial statements of the companies as well as those of the past years. Furthermore, you can access all 10-K/10-Q and 8-K documents directly via a link and call them up online on EDGAR.
As already indicated in the overview above, there are a whole range of templates that you can use directly in Excel or Google Sheets and adapt as you wish.
Of course, it is in the nature of things that every single calculation in the templates is automated in some way. In concrete terms, this means that key assumptions are derived on the basis of historical averages, for example. This also applies to key figures that do not actually exist in typical annual financial statements.
For example, to determine owner earnings or earnings power (there is also a template for this), the maintenance CapEx is needed as a key input variable. This is determined in the corresponding Finbox template as the median of the historical investments, which can sometimes be roughly correct, but sometimes also completely misleading.
Even if the templates are very helpful as a starting point, you should always check the assumptions and ideally replace them with your own view. I think that is what the templates are for in the end.
Key Performance Indicators
Finbox essentially has a metric for each data point, which can be accessed directly via Excel or searched for in the so-called Data Centre.
The list of metrics is quite long and divided into different categories and subcategories, such as Valuation, Financials - Balance Sheet, Dividends, Forecast etc.
In addition, there is a spreadsheet add-on for MS Excel and for Google Sheets. All key figures, templates, screeners, watch lists, etc. can be transferred to a spreadsheet with one click.
So basically you always have the choice between the online analysis and the downloading to Excel. For certain actions, such as screening, the watch list and, if necessary, a sector analysis, the view in the web app or in the browser is probably more suitable. You might prefer to use the valuation tools and templates in Excel or Google Sheets.
The Finbox documentation states that the raw data is provided by Standard & Poors. This means that the data basis is presumably identical to that of Capital IQ, S&P's professional financial tool.
The customer service is also excellent from my point of view (although I must honestly say that I have only used the customer service once so far). What I have noticed, however, is that they respond very quickly and answer questions in detail.
With all the features built into Finbox, you certainly have many advantages to benefit from. The main feature that sets Finbox apart from other platforms is its direct focus on fundamental analysis.
The ideas of stock screening and portfolio are not entirely new, but they do provide better insights into the fair value of stocks. These are based on financial models and essential company data compared to other screeners.
In addition, the platform's FNBX feature and intrinsic value calculator are key. They are essential for investors who need help in building their financial models. This feature is not only simple with live updates of the data, but it also provides precise instructions on how to use the data on the website, turning it into a customised financial model.
The sheer amount of data presented to the user can be quite overwhelming. For beginners who only need basic stock data, Finbox can be a little overwhelming. Another small drawback would be that Finbox is currently only available in English and not in other languages. From my point of view, however, this is not a barrier to not using this simple and ingenious tool.
Apart from that, Finbox has no major limitations. It has a wide range of excellent features and benefits for its users. Finbox is a convenient platform that is simple yet efficient, making it ideal for traders and investors.
Finbox Pricing Options
Finbox comes with three pricing plans designed to make getting started quick and easy.
The Finbox Starter Plan is free with registration and allows unlimited financial models, stock screens and watch lists. The Starter Plan offers spreadsheet add-ons, charts and API with around 5,000 data points per day. The data explorer is also available for a limited selection of stocks.
Paid plans start at $25/month and can be tested with a free trial first. The plans are as follows:
- Starter – $25/month
- Starter Plus – $39/month
- Professional – $199/month
Annual and quarterly plans can be purchased at a discounted rate (up to 60% off), which is definitely worthwhile if you plan to use the platform regularly.
Final Thoughts about Finbox
Finbox is a comprehensive financial tool that offers the investor a whole range of functionalities, including a complete linking of the online tools with Excel / Google Sheets. From idea generation (keyword Guru Portfolios and Screener), to the creation of flexible watch lists, to valuation in Excel or Google Sheets, basically everything is included.
Finbox receives the raw data from Standard & Poors. Therefore, the database should be roughly equivalent to that of Capital IQ, S&P's professional finance tool. During my company analyses of the coverage of the data, the high quality of the data was once again confirmed. In fact, not only the financial statements themselves, but also the tables of the notes and in one case even figures from the continuous text of the annual report were included in the database.
With the help of various templates provided by Finbox, it is quite easy to follow the logic of attributing the data and create a robust and flexible financial model.
I would recommend you to try Finbox if you have not yet found a satisfactory solution for your needs. So far, I have not come across a better and more flexible tool in terms of price-performance ratio.
Affiliate Disclaimer: I (Alexander Kelm) am a compensated advisor and affiliate for Finbox.
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