Guide: Getting Started

Guides, by Kurt Kowitz, Chief Geek


Posted on January 1st, 2012


Step-by-step instructions on getting started with Manifest Investing.

Welcome to Manifest Investing

This guide will help you get started at Manifest Investing. We’ll also offer tips on adding and managing dashboards, creating stocksearches and cover other tools available at Manifest Investing.

As for our system requirements, all you need is a modern browser.

What to expect

In this guide, you’ll learn how to navigate the site, adding dashboards, stocksearches, studies and forum posts.

If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, feel free to contact our support staff or join one of our free online training webinars. Now let’s get started.

Navigating the Site: Home

Click on the Logo to return to index page.

Our home page offers links to current issues of Expected Returns, recent Forum topics and is also where some key features and resources reside.

You’ll find links to the current issue of Expected Returns on the home page along with an icon link to the pdf version of the current newsletter.

At the top of the sidebar, you’ll find the MIPAR and Sweet Spot box. We calculate the median projected annual return (MIPAR) for all stocks that we cover daily. MIPAR and the “sweet spot” are continuously updated and displayed. Click on either question mark in the MIPAR box for a legend that describes the ranges and color coding for MIPAR.

Also on the sidebar, you’ll find our collection of published dashboard favorites and reminders on upcoming events, both online and on location.

Publications: Articles

The articles archive includes all articles, with links to articles from the monthly newsletter, Expected Returns by column and a list of featured articles.

The list gives the original date of publication along with a short abstract to give you some idea of the subject covered.

Publications: Issues

On the Issues page, you’ll find an archive of over six years of past issues of Expected Returns, the monthly newsletter. The current roster of columns in the newsletter is:

Cover Story: A featured topic of long-term investing interest.

Solomon’s Select: A detailed discussion of the investing potential for a specific company each month that looks attractive for further study based on the projected return and quality rating at the time of selection.

Fund Feature: Our demonstration model portfolio (Hoard vs. Herd) combined with screening results for funds worthy of further study based on the unique MANIFEST methodology and forward-looking emphasis.

Sweet 16: Monthly screening results intended to deliver ideas for potential stock studies.

Tin Cup: A monthly status report and detail of decisions made for our long-term model portfolio.

Research: Stocks

Equity Analysis Guides are the backbone for all tools and resources at Manifest Investing.

The default list of potentially interesting studies on the Stocks page is generated based on our rankings based on the return forecast (PAR) in combination with quality ratings. This list is continuously changing to reflect shifting opportunities.

You can also scan specific industries and “drill down” within sectors to search for the best-of-the-best within specific sub-industries.

To find a specific company covered by Manifest Investing, on the sidebar, enter a ticker symbol, using SYK for Stryker for example, and click on Search. You can also search by company name.

You’ll get a one page summary of all factors embedded in the Projected Annual Return (PAR) and Quality Rating. The return forecast is based on projections using a constant five-year time horizon.

The date of the most recent update for the fundamentals is shown and the price is the most recent closing price. Additionally, a snapshot view of the sub-industry (or peer group) for a company is one click away.

Remember that the growth, profitability and valuation forecasts are influenced by Value Line projections and “reconciled” versus the analyst consensus. Most investors find the building block assumptions useful as “second opinions” or sanity checks while performing their own stock studies.

Research: Funds

The Manifest methodology is unique because of its forward-looking emphasis. The projected returns for the individual holdings of funds are analyzed and used to compile a projected return for a universe of funds. In that spirit, our emphasis in the study of funds is on where the fund seems to be headed rather than where it’s been.

The default list on the Funds page includes all funds covered by Manifest Investing. We add Funds by subscriber request and you can either post on the Forum or contact us to request additions.

To find a specific fund covered by Manifest Investing, on the sidebar, enter a ticker symbol or part of the fund name and click on Search. You can also simply select one from the list by clicking on the ticker symbol.

You’ll get a one page summary of the fund including holdings covered by Manifest Investing. The quality and return forecast are based on the holdings and projections use a constant five-year time horizon.

StockSearch

Manifest offers a simply, yet powerful StockSearch. A few basic instructions are provided on the sidebar along with criteria examples.

To save your search for later use, simply add a Name before you start adding criteria or submit the search. Your saved search criteria will then be available on the Home page sidebar and the StockSearch sidebar.

The dropdowns at the top of the search allow you to restrict results to specific industries or sectors. You can hold the CTRL key or Apple key to select multiple Sectors or Industries.

The instructions, while basic, cover how screening works at Manifest Investing. You can use any of the criteria listed on the page to limit your results, however, using only a few at the same time will likely produce better results.

Further reading: Guide: StockSearch

Dashboards

Manifest Dashboards are a display of a portfolio that focuses attention on a few key design attributes that are important for portfolio management.

The Manifest approach to long-term investing depends on speedy assessments of our portfolios known as dashboards. A quick glance at any dashboard can tell us whether we’re on course with our expectations using projected annual return, overall quality or sales growth.

It’s quick and easy to get started. From My Dashboards, click on “add dashboards”, adding a name for your portfolio and entering the tickers and shares held. You can also add cash held, make the dashboard public for other users, or add advanced options like a benchmark value for all holdings.

Next, we monitor the key elements: portfolio projected return, quality and forecasted sales growth. Portfolio-centered decision-making becomes a reality. We simply observe what our portfolios need.

Are the projected returns sufficient and consistent with your time horizon and risk tolerance? How’s the overall quality?

The underlying fundamentals are continuously updated, making sure your dashboards deliver a powerful resource for staying on track.

Equity Analysis Guides and Stock Study Libraries

As we continue the development of new resources at Manifest Investing, the latest addition is an online Equity Analysis Guide (EAGLE). You can create your own set of studies by clicking on ‘Research > MyStudies’ on the top navigation bar.

We’ve added this as an audit capability where personal/group studies can be gauged versus the consensus-driven estimates used for dashboards.

To start a new study, add a ticker symbol on the right sidebar and click ‘Go’ to continue.

Fields with green triangles in the corners can be edited. Click on any of them, change the value and hit enter to submit and the form will update, highlighting fields that have updated based on the change.

You can update the price or reset the data by using links on the sidebar.

Fields are populated by importing things like 12-month trailing sales results from public data and combined with the default conditions derived from our analysis of consensus estimates and trend analysis.

Forum

The Manifest Forum provides a community you can depend on to help you become a better and more successful investor.

Have a question? Lean on scores of like-minded investors on our Forum and see what they think. It’s the perfect place for asking questions and sharing information.

To start a topic or new thread, click on one of the Boards linked on the Forum home page, then click Add Topic under the board name.

Add a title, and your question or comment in the text area and click Save Topic. Simple styling is supported and examples are shown on the sidebar.

You can also reply to any topic or post within a topic by clicking Reply or Reply to Thread.

You’ll discover that community members share a common purpose: To be supportive as we all strive to achieve better long-term results.

Events

Manifest Investing provides a series of monthly webinars. We’ll identify companies positioned for strong performance, explore portfolio design and management concepts and help you make the most out of Manifest Investing.

All of our upcoming events are posted on the Events page. Click on any event to find registration information.

Register for any online event and you’ll be notified via email before the event starts and provided a link to click on to join the webinar.

We also attend local and regional events throughout the year. Have a location you’d like us to visit? Let us know!

Help

There are a number of resources on the Help page. You can contact us by via email, phone or postal mail if you have any questions.

On the right sidebar, you’ll find links to our Glossary and User’s Guide, along with account specific links to Edit your account, or change your password if you’re signed in.

Account information can be viewed and edited by clicking on the Account dropdown at the top of any page when you are signed in, then clicking on My Account.

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Kurt Kowitz

Kurt keeps track of all things technical at Manifest Investing, likely answers your support requests and on occasion, adds new features to the web site when his home office isn't being invaded by his two boys, Charlie and Calvin.

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