The annual report is a (long, somewhat painful) document published once a year by every company listed on the stock market. It contains all an investor needs to know about the company’s performance during 1 fiscal year. On the whole, it’s more annoying to read than Trump’s latest speech on immigration, but it is full of essential information for investors. In it you’ll find primary accounting data, the balance sheet, along with other statements about the company’s mission, strategy, prospects and returns in the past year. They’re somewhat unavoidable for investors, but bear in mind that some annual reports are more fun to read than others. The annual reports from Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathway are famously more interesting than the rest. It usually includes a letter to the shareholders in which Buffett demonstrates great humility by discussing all the mistakes he made that year.
Financial statements summarize a company’s performance and financial position over a given period. There are three main financial statements: the balance sheet, the income statement and the cash flow statement. Read more