Book review: The Investment Checklist

Today we want to take a look at one of the latest books that we have read, namely “The Investment Checklist; The Art of In-Depth Research” which is written by Michael Shearn. The book is around 330 pages long, well written in and quite easy to understand. As a rating we would suggest 4.5 of 5 stars.


The book has 11 chapters and deals with the systematization of the investment process. According to the author this systematization is necessary because of the fact that investors make the most mistakes when they rush into an investment idea without doing the proper work to understand the value of a business. The investor is betting in probabilities that certain assumptions will work out, instead of basing their investment decision on real analysis.
The key to be better investor is to truly understand the value of a business and where it creates its value  by answering questions about it.


The aim of the book is to make the research process which leads us to these insights manageable. The key to this lies in finding questions, some of which you might not be able to answer. These questions should help you understand the business as if you’re the business owner and help move you away from thinking of stocks as pieces of paper. This by the way, is totally in line with the thinking of Warren Buffett and his business owner concept.


The book is divided into 11 chapters, whereas the chapter 1 outlines a strategy finding research- and ideas. On of the key points in the research process of new ideas is to look in areas of the stock market where capital is scarce. Scarceness of capital creates less competition for assets, which decreases prices. Ask yourself, from which areas of the stock market are investors fleeing, and why? In most of these cases, investors automatically assume the worst-case scenario and tend to sell stocks first and ask questions later. But you have to check if the outlook and the sources of pessimism are temporary or permanent. As an example you can take a look at the utilities business in Germany.


Chapter 2 deals with the questions on how a business earns money. The author gives good advice; instead of over-investing in a process that yields less return, try to develop a deeper understanding of businesses you genuinely care about. Chapter 3 demonstrates the importance of understanding the business from the customer’s perspective rather than your own. Chapter 4 helps the reader to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a business. Chapter 7-9 help you to understand the motivations of a management team and how you can assess if it is working in the favor of the equity investor or its own. At the end of the book chapter 10 to 11 deals with the evaluation of growth and M&A. I think in the last 4 chapters is of the most value for me as a reader, because I was totally unaware of the fact how important the management of a company is for the future value creation. .




The book is a great read and very valuable. The main focus clearly lies on improving the system of the research process of the investor, furthermore the book shows you how you ask the right questions in terms of business practice and interviewing the management of a company. For this reason we highly recommend to read the book.

6 thoughts on “Book review: The Investment Checklist

  1. Emanuel Schiendorfer says:


    Vielen Dank für die vielen interessanten Blogbeiträge! Ich bin selbst Student und interessiere mich für Value Investing. Chapeau was ihr schon alles wisst und gelesen habt, da bin ich leider noch ein ganzes Stück weit entfernt 🙂 Das Buch klingt interessant und vielleicht kaufe es mir.

    Leider finde ich die Schrift auf dem Blog sehr schwer leserlich! Die Menuleiste auf der rechten Seite ist gut leserlich, aber der Haupttext nicht. Wäre toll, wenn ihr den verbessern könnt!

    Freundliche Grüsse aus der Schweiz

    • Felix Frenzel says:

      Hallo Emanuel,

      Danke für den Hinweis. Die Darstellung des Textes ist ein Auflösungsproblem, ich werde mich um eine andere Schriftart bemühen!

      Beste Grüße aus Bonn.

  2. Hi Nils, habe ich ein weiteres Buch, dass ich wirklich gern gelesen habe und weiter empfehlen würde: „The Outsiders“ von Thorndike. Einfach zu lesen und auf den Punkt. Sag Bescheid, was Du davon hälst.

    • Nils Herzing says:

      Hey Seb,
      vielen Dank für den Tip, über das Buch habe ich schon eine Review auf MMi’s Blog geschrieben, ich werde sie die Tage nochmal hier einstellen. “The Manual of Ideas” von Mihaljewic ist auch angekommen, ich werde drüber schrieben wenn ich durch bin.

      Liebe Grüße


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