To use a Master Chart, you need to provide at least two pieces of information: the company and metric you want to see. Because, you know, Master Chart is all about visualizing the data, so we need to know what data to display.
The company part is the easy one; you can type a few first letters of its name or the ticker of a stock you want to see. It's as simple as that.
The metric field is tricky because you need to know what you are looking for. The most common financial data that our clients are looking for are, for example, Revenues (historical and estimated), EPS, Margin, Cash from Operations, Return on Assets and Return on Invested Capital, Ohlson and Altman Scores, P/E and P/S ratios, Upside and Price Targets, etc.
Soon you'll be able to find here the full list with descriptions of almost all metrics (aka financial indicators) that we have available.
Type a few first letters of what you are looking for and choose the correct metric. You can add many different metrics here.
Let's say we want to see Revenue TTM and Revenue Estimates for Microsoft Corp.
This is the basic view. What can we do here to customize it even further?
- We can switch the time horizon to predefined periods, like six months, YTD (Year to Date), or 20 years. We can also select the maximum range available for this particular company and/or metric or click on the calendar icon and narrow the data range to exact dates. By clicking the dotted menu at the end, we can display US recession periods on the chart or clear all the settings.
- Two options here: first is to save the settings to the cloud, so you can load them later without the need to type all the metrics and companies again. The second option is to share (aka export) the chart so that you can download it as a PNG file or as a public link you can send someone or embed it on your website or e-mail. Try it out for yourself!
- You can change the scale of your chart here. This is a big deal because sometimes you might be tricked by what you see due to a wrong scale applied. The rule of thumb is to use a linear scale (lin) whenever data on the chart is displayed in percentage values (for example, Debt to Assets ratio, margin, or upside) but use a logarithmic scale whenever data is shown in non-percentage values (for example, total debt or price target – both displayed in dollars). Two other options are percentage (good for comparing the same metric between different companies) and percent off high (po), which is useful when trying to figure out how significant the current drawdown is from the top compared to the history (you can use it to check indicators like stock price itself or price target revisions or EPS/Revenue estimates). As far as we could, we've already made selecting the correct scale as automatic as possible. For example, if you add Debt to Assets metric, you'll see a linear scale since that value is displayed in percentage terms. But, if you add the Stock Price metric, we will switch your scale to logarithmic. More on the different scales here.
- For every metric, you can add another data series to easily understand what's happening. Click on the three dots and choose one of the moving medians, min/max, or horizontal channels. Super-useful is the ability to see the median of the particular metric for main competitors. In that way, you can better understand if, for example, 30% of your company's debt is too high. Comparing this value to a peer group is crucial in evaluating what you are looking at. Just click the three dots and toy with it a bit to understand these tools.
Moving through different metrics
When you add multiple metrics simultaneously, the chart becomes challenging to analyze because of the chaos caused by overlapping data. You can always turn the particular metrics on and off by clicking the checkbox next to them, but it seems like a lot of clicking. The grouping function allows you to... group a few metrics together.
You would like to see some indicators only in groups anyway. Imagine Revenue Estimates for the Next Year. It doesn't make much sense to check this metric alone unless you can compare it to Estimates for the Current and/or 2 Years Ahead. The context is necessary here. So, you can bundle together all of these metrics by simply dragging them one by one on each other. The result looks like this:
You can create many different groups, of course, and then you can click on the checkbox to turn on or off the whole group at once.
Another protip: switch the metrics by pressing the "J" or "K" buttons on your keyboard. If you have more than one company added to the list, you can cycle between them by pressing the left/right arrow buttons. That makes sailing through many companies or indicators super easy and ultra-fast.
Whole workflow on Master Chart (video) – available soon!