In a Nutshell: Investing in the stock market is easier than ever, which also means it’s more important than ever for investors to make informed decisions. But SEC filings are dense and difficult to wade through, especially for average investors who don’t work in the finance industry. Last10K.com solves this problem by making publicly traded company filings available in a digestible format that highlights the most relevant information. Last10K.com users can choose from a free option that provides access to annual and quarterly reports, or premium options that deliver more in-depth analysis and valuable information. Investors can depend on Last10K.com to give them the context they need to make smart investment decisions, help them grow their money, and avoid relying on credit.
Investing in publicly traded companies — whether it’s through a smartphone app or a bank — has never been easier thanks to big advances in the fintech world in recent years. But one thing hasn’t changed — the decision on where to put your funds should not be taken lightly.
While the average stock market return is around 7% to 10% each year, there are plenty of companies that go belly up, even with the support of thousands of investors.
Investing involves a level of risk. You can see your money grow impressively over time or see it wither down to nothing. Having a nice investment portfolio eases financial pressures and helps individuals depend less on credit when they need access to funds. And investors can significantly mitigate their risk by conducting research and making informed decisions on the companies they are going to trust their funds with.
And hearing a hot tip from a family member or co-worker about an up-and-coming company does not count.
On the other hand, dredging through SEC filings and conducting independent research about each and every investment is not realistic for most potential investors.
Thankfully, Last10K.com makes researching companies simple and faster than ever while still being thorough.
“If you’re looking for direction on your investments, then using Last10K.com can really pay off,” according to the company. “Our site is designed to be more familiar to individual investors and uses a more standard method of navigation to harvest the wealth of information found in SEC Filings but is still powerful enough and used by financial professionals.”
Of course, being able to access information that leads to smart investments can also reduce dependence on credit.
We spoke with Last10K.com Co-Founder Amar Kota about the company and how it works as a valuable research tool for investors.
Identifying the Need for Individuals to Have the Necessary Information to Make Investment Decisions
“It’s unfortunate that a lot of investors — individual and institutional — they’re not aware that this wealth of information exists in these (SEC) reports,” Kota said. “Granted they’re lengthy reports but we do what we can to make them easy to read.”
“It’s a big undertaking to educate investors — especially the ones who are just interested in a quick buck,” he said. “This is really about fundamental value investing and really getting to understand the company and seeing what their long-term trajectory is.”
Because the information is audited by the SEC, it is often brutally honest, Kota said.
“They’re not just saying things for the sake of saying things,” he said. “There are actually facts in the reports. It’s a very reputable source for investors to really figure out the due diligence on a company.”
Easily Access Important Financial Data on Publicly Traded Companies
The other main objective after giving individuals access to publicly traded company data was to help them interpret and understand the data, Kota said.
“Let’s make it easy for them to actually read these reports — annual reports average about 100 pages,” the co-founder said. “We kind of slice and dice them up and put up our own navigation. People can click through individual parts without having to find them in that 100-page document.”
Kota provided a walk-through of the services available through Last10K.com.
“We do a few things. One is, we cover all publicly traded companies. And if they’re publicly traded they have a ticker symbol,” he said. “Sites like the SEC’s, they actually don’t cover all ticker symbols. So if there’s a stock or company you’re interested in, you type in the ticker symbol (and) it’s not always going to pull up on the SEC site, but it will on our site.”
Next, the website highlights what it deems to be the most valuable information for investors in between those major quarterly and annual filings, such as corporate news or material events, Kota said.
“There are actually hundreds of filings that companies can create but we focus on the most important ones,” he said. “There is a lot of mundane legal regulatory filings that just don’t pertain to individual investors. That’s why our site really focuses on the primary forms and news.”
Kota said that, within those annual and quarterly reports, he believes the management discussions and analysis sections are often the most relevant and interesting portions.
Of course, this year the COVID-19 pandemic has been a big topic of discussion within companies.
“The management discussions talk a lot about COVID and how it affects their business,” Kota said. “So it’s always interesting to see — not just looking at numbers — but reading word for word how they’re saying it’s impacting their business and what they’re doing about it.”
Many businesses have indeed been negatively impacted by the pandemic, but others have seen their stocks skyrocket in the wake of the worldwide event.
Last10K.com users can sort and arrange information in a wide variety of ways to suit their needs, Kota said. And they can compare news and reports to those from previous years.
Users Can Choose from Free or Premium Options
Last10K.com provides several ways for investors to use the website’s data, including free and premium options.
With the free option, users gain access to annual and quarterly reports, the latest corporate news, earning releases, and financial statements.
“We feel that we give a nice amount of information for free,” Kota said. “Any company is completely free to look up. Any of their filings are also completely free to look up.”
The premium tiers include access to many more features, including real-time notifications, an ad-free experience, company valuations, and stock screeners.
“The premium tiers are where we do our own analysis, comparing the current filing with, say, the previous filing,” Kota said. “We also provide Excel, Word, and PDF downloads, and users can export it for offline viewing or whatnot. It’s a lot of work in data crunching and mining, and everything else between that gets that data in that nice presentable format.”
Kota also discussed how Last10K.com keeps in touch with its users to understand what they look for from the company.
“We have a few kinds of feedback loops. The primary one is our online contact form,” he said. “We also have an email address and phone number as well where we receive feedback.”
He said that when new members sign up, Last10K.com replies from actual email addresses of real team members, rather than the generic no-reply emails that some companies use.
“They don’t actually have to go through a special form; they can literally just hit reply on the email and reach our team directly,” Kota said.
Kota said the Excel and PDF downloads were actually a result of hearing from users who wanted to be able to download and sort the data themselves.
Whether you’re interested in accessing the free data or the more in-depth analysis and features of the premium tiers, Last10K.com helps individual investors make informed investment decisions, grow their money, and rely less on credit.