Introducing A New Visual Way To Invest

When analyzing stocks we are constantly searching for new and innovative ways to gather information and gain insight into a potential buy. Typically, we scour through dozens of income statements and balance sheets while looking at historical charts and graphs all in an effort to make sense of the data collected. Wouldn’t it be nice to glean a lot about a company’s stock with just one quick look? Well, recently, I came across a new and interesting visual way to find investments that seems to do the trick. I’d like to introduce you to Simply Wall St.

 

The most interesting thing Simply Wall St. does is provide you a simple graphic they call a snowflake that highlights the income, value, overall health including debt, expected future performance and past performance going back five years of a particular stock.

 

Snowflakes_grid
 

The snowflake is based on 30 financial checks and its size, shape and color show how well the company is performing in a specific area. In this way you get an easy to understand financial snapshot based on the appearance of the snowflake. For example, look at the JNJ snowflake versus AMZN snowflake. This visual approach might be a good starting point when searching for undervalued dividend payers or perhaps top dividend payers.

 

Value_based_on_future_cashflow
 

Simply Wall St. does more than present company snapshots in their snowflake form. It also offers a pretty nifty portfolio management tool which makes it really easy for users to see their stock diversification, returns and it also helps find strengths and weaknesses in their investments. And for those interested in company reports, Simply Wall St. also provides all the pertinent ratios, DCF, analyst estimates, past earnings and even things like insider trading in a easy to understand infographic.

 

Portfolio_diversification
 

In all, I found Simply Wall St. easy and intuitive to use. While many stock research tools exist on and offline I liked the fast, visual manner stock data was presented. This makes screening for potential stocks easy and a good starting point for further research. I enjoyed sorting through a few of their preset screens for undervalued dividend stocks the most, as those are the types of companies I am interested in investing. Simply Wall St. definitely deserves a try in my opinion.

43 Comments

  1. It’s like reading a cartoon. Too much scrolling down to take in easily.

    1. Hi Max,

      Some have had that complaint about this method of information presentation. Still, it does provide a quick and easy visual overview as a starting point. It’s always interesting to see new investment apps and sites come up. Thank you for commenting.

      1. Hi RH,

        I agree with you on that point. Seeing stock information presented in this visual format makes assessing a potential investment quite easy. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Hey DivHut,

    It looks pretty cool. Adding my portfolio worked, but after adding 1 transaction, the system failed.
    It does not load my portfolio anymore. I’m not going to bother filing a bug report on that, because I agree on the scrolling part. Digging deeper into 1 company takes a lot of ‘scrolling power’.

    Thanks for the mention though, it is always good to have a variety of tools at your disposal.

    Best wishes, DfS

    1. Hey guys this is Adam from Simply Wall St.

      Thanks for trying out our app, sorry you didn’t like the scrolling! We wanted the analysis to be holistic, yet easy to understand and organized and that takes some space. The idea is to use the Snowflakes and the Grid view for a quick overview and go to the reports only if you find the company worth looking into.

      DfS: Sorry for the bug, we are still only in the Beta. Could you please send me info about what happened to feedback -at- simplywallst.com? We will fix it immediately 🙂

      1. Hi Adam,

        I hope these comments can help you improve your site and offerings. Thank you for giving me the chance to review it.

      2. Looks excellent! So much information. Thanks Adam and DivHut.

        1. Hi Jan,

          My pleasure. Always happy to introduce new methods for stock analysis.

    2. Hi DfS,

      Sorry you experienced a bug trying out this new method. I’m sure the people at Simply Wall St. are reading these comments and taking them to heart. I thought it was an interesting site to share. I did like using the screens but agree that it can be a bit tedious when comparing multiple stocks. Appreciate the comment.

  3. I’m always on the lookout for a cool new visualization tool to help my screening process.

    My first thought is: I love the concept behind the snowflake. It reminds me of a tree: green and full when healthy, but brown/red and shriveled when ill.

    My second thought is: lots. of. scrolling. (agree with D4S and Max on this one)

    There is a lot of activation energy when it comes to using new tools, but usually not enough time to spend figuring out which one is going to pay the largest returns.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi MMM,

      I happen to agree with you in your assessment. I also liked the easy to visualize ‘snowflake’ as to the health of a company but the ability to make meaningful comparisons between stocks wasn’t as simple. I am happy you had a chance to review the site and try it out. It’s always fun and interesting to try new stock analysis methods. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  4. This is a great tool, DH. I’ve been using it for a few months and the graphics really drive home some metrics that just running thru the numbers don’t seem to make standout. Good article!

    1. Hi Dividends,

      Glad to read that you have found the site useful for your needs. When I first saw the ‘snowflake’ visualization I thought it to be clever and a unique way to present the health of a company. Of course, the site still is in beta mode and I’m curious to see how else they improve upon it. Thank you for commenting.

  5. Keith,
    Very interesting. I personally like the graphic displays versus reading financial statements. Thank you for the heads-up!
    KeithX

    1. Hi KeithX,

      Always happy to share a new and interesting way to conduct stock research. It’s interesting to read the comments and hear how others like it or not. Thank you for taking a look.

  6. I really like visual overviews such as these, I find then really helpful at gaining a quick overview and finding things to research further. Thanks for the review,

    Cheers

    1. Hi M,

      Happy to hear that you find this new site useful for your investing needs. Visual overviews are great in my opinion as a starting point for doing further research. It’s a lot easier to decipher than staring at rows and rows of numbers. Thank you for commenting.

    1. Hi Tawcan,

      Sounds good. Doesn’t hurt to try a new investing research method. Happy to share it with you.

  7. Aren’t human beings terrible at circular spatial recognition? Therefore, I’d say it might be tough to make an actionable decision based on the snowflakes.

    However, what I really like about the tool is the drilldown capability for each of the sections. I think within those you get a very clean dashboard of all pertinent goings-on at the company.

    Very cool stuff.

    Eric

    1. Hi R29,

      Well, I wouldn’t make any actionable decisions based on the snowflakes alone. What I would do and have done is use the snowflakes as a starting point for further research on a specific stock. Just another interesting manner to look at the health of a specific company with one quick glance. As you stated, the site does give a pretty detailed look for many company specific metrics which is nice too. Thank you for checking it out.

  8. Looks like a colorful and interesting tool. As a graphic artist I like visual representations like this. The snowflake kind of reminds me of RPG games and character stats lol.

    1. Hi Liquid,

      Being a graphic artist I’m sure you can appreciate this type of stock information presentation. I liked the colors and shapes as a super fast and easy to understand way to judge the health of a company. Thank you for checking them out.

  9. Looks interesting, DH. I have not bumped into this before.

    I will sign up when I get the time and have a play around with it. I agree, such a visual way of analyzing stocks seems intriguing and rather attractive. Have to see how effective it is!

    Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    1. Hi DD,

      Curious to know your thoughts once you try them out. I kind of liked the snowflake visualization for looking at the general health of a stock. As I mentioned in other comments, I wouldn’t solely base a buying decision just by this method but I do think there’s value in using it as a starting point for further research of potential stocks to own. Thank you for commenting.

  10. Haven’t really checked it out yet, but it seems like a great concept. But it seems like this is better suited as a starting point rather than a be-all-end-all analysis.

    If it had a stock’s 10 year revenue, earnings, and dividend growth history, that would be fantastic. I always find myself scouring the Internet for that, and I’m not good at doing the calculations myself.

    Sincerely,
    ARB–Angry Retail Banker

    1. Hi ARB,

      That’s how I have been using it, as a starting point for looking at the health of a stock. I think it can be a great tool for starting a search for potential investments. Once I see something that interests me I go to my usual Morningstar or other tools provided by my online broker. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  11. Looks like a nice tool, DH! Definitely, visually helps a lot to see things as humans understand it naturally. Will try it out.

    1. Hi R2R,

      It’s a pretty unique way to display the health of a stock in one simple graphic. Curious to know how you like it. Thanks for the comment.

    1. Hi EL,

      Always happy to introduce new and innovative ways to assess potential stock picks. Thank you for commenting.

    1. Hi FFdividend,

      Always glad to share and introduce new methods for stock analysis. This snowflake method is certainly unique. Thanks for the comment.

    1. Hi DD,

      That’s why we blog. To share new investment ideas, themes and tools. Thank you for checking them out.

  12. What a cool find! Thanks very much for reviewing this, DH – I’ve signed up and have just spent a few minutes loading up my stocks. Think I’ll spend a bit more time plugging in some numbers and see what turns up, although it’s already thrown up some interesting info!

    I hope to use it to help me select stocks to buy (from my short list) since I seem to always have a bit of trouble choosing!

    1. Hi weenie,

      Glad you have found this new site useful. It’s always fun to try new research methods and see how it can help you become a better long term investor. I found this snowflake style to be very unique in presenting the health of a particular company. I have used their preset screens to look up undervalued dividend payers to see what names pop up. No doubt, this is a great starting point for doing further research. Thank you for commenting.

  13. Hey DivHut,

    Nice write up!!

    The Simply Wall St. tool looks very beneficial and useful. I just loved the feature that provide you a simple graphic they call a snowflake that highlights the income, value, overall health including debt, expected future performance and past performance. I will surely give it a try.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Hi TL,

      It’s definitely an interesting way to look at financial and stock data, that’s for sure. I use them every now and then to get a quick visual for a company I am considering buying. Thank you for commenting.

  14. Decent review!!

    The Simply Wall St. device looks exceptionally advantageous and valuable. I simply adored the component that give you a straightforward realistic they call a snowflake that highlights the wage, esteem, general wellbeing including obligation, expected future execution and past execution. I will definitely try it out.

    A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing ?

    1. Hi TL,

      It’s definitely an interesting way to portray a lot of financial data in one single form. I use their snowflakes as a quick overview before I do further research on a particular company. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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