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Gradement overview

TL;DR - Gradement helps the investor by systematizing the fundamental analysis of public companies. We reduce all the complexities of accounting, and all the information noise that today floods investors, to a series of normalized and easy-to-use scores covering the most important aspects of every company's financials.

Courtyard of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange Courtyard of one of the first Stock Exchanges. Amsterdam, circa 1670.

Investing is not an easy task. Don't believe anyone who tells you that with a couple of courses and books you get to know everything you need to know to start investing. Investment is a complex discipline that still lacks a sound theoretical framework. Gradement helps you in this difficult task of investing by systematizing the fundamental analysis of companies.

There are three fundamental aspects of investing to be analyzed for each company: its profitability, solvency and price. Gradement automates the calculation of these three important variables using what we consider to be the best and state-of-the-art accounting analysis techniques available. All within the frameworks of Value Investing, mainly for calculating the price/free cash flow score and the Austrian School of Economics.

Example of the use of the scores

Despite all the complexity involved in the calculation of these scores, their use is extremely simple. All the resulting values have been normalized between 0 and 10.

For example, suppose a company with the following score values in these categories:

  • Firm profitability score = 8
  • Dynamic solvency score = 9
  • Price/free cash flow score = 2

This is a recurring pattern: very profitable and very solvent companies usually are very expensive. Everyone wants to have profitable and solvent companies in their portfolio, which increases their demand on the stock market and increases their market capitalization.

The best companies to invest in will be those that offer high score values in all these three categories. In bull markets you will find fewer of these companies to invest. In bear markets it will be easier to find them. Gradement offers you a screener tool to search for such companies.

The gmt-score

In order to facilitate the analysis, we calculate an overall gmt-score that unifies, in a single number, the value of these three fundamental scores of profitability, solvency and price. The value of this score has been calculated to be extremely conservative. It will only be greater than 7 if all the other scores of each of the other categories are above a certain threshold.

This way you can be sure that, by limiting your investment to high-value gmt-score stocks, you will be investing in great companies from an accounting/quantitative point of view.

Solvency

The risk of insolvency is perhaps the factor that most drastically, and suddenly, affects the quoted stock price. You can minimize the probability of investing in companies with insolvency risk by using our dynamic solvency score.

Using this score you can avoid investments in companies like, for example, China Evergrande Group, that entered into technical default in 2021, Eastman Kodak, that filed for bankruptcy in 2012, or General Motors, that filed for chapter 11 in 2009. Since June 2019 for Evergrande, 2009 for Kodak and 2008 for General Motors, our dynamic solvency score for these companies indicated a value of zero, long before it became public and evident their insolvency.

The other scores

In addition to the scores and overall grade described above, Gradement calculates twenty-one additional scores per company. These are modified versions of already existing state-of-the-art accounting analysis techniques in different categories, including:

  • The dynamic and static solvency scores are based on the works about solvency of Vicente García Martín and Manuel Fernández Gámez, both professors at Malaga University. They have developed one of the most comprehensive solvency analysis framework.

  • The valuation scores price/free cash flow, price/balance and price/free earnings are based on the value investing framework. They compare the quoted stock price with the company's free cash flows, balance structure and free earnings respectively.

  • The zone score calculations are based on the "Economic Freedom Index" published by the Heritage Foundation.

  • Many others covering all relevant aspects of the company from an investor's point of view.