Check the Fine Print

Physician's Money Digest, January31 2004, Volume 11, Issue 2

Financial Fine Print: Uncoveringa Company's True Value

Could investors in Enron haveavoided disaster by reading the fineprint in the firm's accounting statements?Since so many professionalswere fooled by Enron's wheeling anddealing, it's doubtful, but the hard truthis that investors who look to accountingfootnotes for information are morelikely to be baffled than enlightened.Help is at hand, however, in the form ofthe book , byfinancial writer Michelle Leder ($29.95;John Wiley & Sons; 2003). Leder deliversa daily dose of demystified Wall Streetaccounting jargon at Footnoted.org. Shealso unlocks the secrets of corporate10-Q and 10-K SEC filings, includinghow to ferret out signs of aggressiveaccounting and how to search for corporatereports through the SEC's ElectronicData Gathering, Analysis, and Retrievalsystem (www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml).