I'm giving away all of my bank investing secrets..

It might surprise you to find out that the most frequently visited page on this blog is a post I wrote in February 2013.  It was called A Banking Primer, where I gave a very high level summary of how to analyze a bank.  Almost four years later and that post still receives 30+ views a week.  It's safe to say that investors are interested in learning about banks.

Instead of putting together a series of posts that are hard to follow, I decided to do something different.  I decided to write a book on how to find, analyze, and invest in bank stocks.  This was a project I started shortly after my bank primer post that I finished recently.  The result is The Bank Investor's Handbook.

The Bank Investor's Handbook lays out a complete framework on how to approach bank stocks.  From finding potential investment candidates, to analyzing banks, valuing banks, and finally building a portfolio of bank stocks.

We set out to create the definitive guide to investing in bank stocks.  Most books on banking are as exciting as reading a dictionary.  This book is different.  It presents banks not as opaque entities best left to the experts, but instead as tangible companies that can be understood by anyone with familiarity with financial statements. 

This isn't a glossary of banking terms, or dense hard to understand charts and tables.  But rather a guide that walks you through a bank's financial statements.  You'll learn how to spot red flags, and how to identify a high quality bank.  You'll also learn different ways of valuing banks, as well as a comprehensive approach to analyzing them.  And we hope you'll be entertained too.

It won't do the work of finding, analyzing or investing for you, but it will give you the information and knowledge to start.

You can find the table of contents here.


  1. Congratulations on the book Nate. Can I ask how applicable the book is to analyse banks in Europe or elsewhere?

    1. Tom,

      Thanks. The book is US focused, but the general accounting concepts and analytical framework are applicable to banks worldwide. I would say 60-70% of the book is general bank analysis information, but examples are all from the US.


  2. Thanks Nate, on the way from AMZN

  3. Thanks Nate, I look forward to buying a copy.


  4. congrats, as a writer, I never get my hopes up if anyone will by my stuff, fiction or birds....no one reads.....this book, probably to useful for most people, they rather buy Bitcoin.....I decided to avoid writing business, although I keep writing for Seekingalpha, just never send in as think, don;t want to juice the market maybe I want to buy more. silence is golden

    Gosh, I live and breathe in this space, bought my first illiquid stock when I was 15. never been so perplexed as have been this week, one of my banks drops 20% on an open market sell of 5 shares, yes 5, another goes up 11% on an open market of 500 shares, trades of under 10 and 25K respectively, are people NUTS! Tuesday, a stock I went to an annual meeting in November, only non-insider there, only non insider that has been there since 1993, they announce record income, a bonus dividend, and say that someone has 100 shares wants to sell, two weeks later probably this person puts half of these out as open market drops price by 30% the drops 20% on a transaction of 10 on Monday....are people really this stupid?

    This market is SOOOO thin, so thin, no depth at all, worries the hell out of me on the rest of my stuff

    any how
    going to try to do 30 annual meetings this year and see which gives me the best free gift.....last one got a cool Olympic pin


    1. I can understand that. And like our host has pointed out at various times, finding such names can be difficult (though his other site definitely helps). I've found a few such names over time and did start buying in, though when only 100 shares trade hands every week or so, it is difficult to build a position. And after I started mentioning one in a few places, I saw the share price run up 35% in 10 months. It may have been due to the various law changes and general market run, but it may have also been due to putting a bit of light on it.

      30 meetings? That is pretty impressive. I'm aiming to hit 3 this year. Do you ask questions during the meeting? And have there been any interesting gifts or food? As I got a nifty pin from my last one as well as some mid to top shelf drinks and desserts out of it.

    2. Care to share the names of the banks you’re referring to in your post? The more exposure the more liquidity and higher share price. I’d love to take a look. My favorite banks atm are

      Deep value less than 50% of book, profitable,
      IBWC (micro cap)


      High growth teens level ROE, less than 2x price to book. 10 PE, booming local market (Washington state)


      What are your favorite banks atm?

    3. IG - The bank in question was IOFB (though after a recent 10% haircut, it isn't quite as rosy). Other than that, I've been looking at UNTN some (below NBV and profitable, but it is in an area with little population or income growth and it seems like mgmt has turned it into a bit of a bond fund).

    4. Huh, I swear that I had previously replied. But the one bank was IOFB (though it has taken a bit of a dip in value). Otherwise, I keep on circling UNTN, which is at less than 1xNBV, has decent earnings, but little growth and is in an area with little growth and low incomes (so it has sort of been coverted into a bond fund, with a number of investments on the books). I keep on wanting to buy MFGI, but every time I look at it, it seems to run up in price.

  5. Just ordered a copy of your book. I have been reading your blog for years and am excited about the opportunity to give back, and learn something in the process. Thanks for everything!!!

  6. Love the blog!
    Bought 2 paper copies of your book; if it's any good I'll give the 2nd one as a gift :P

  7. I've been waiting for this book! thank you!

  8. Hi Nate

    Love your book. I have read it twice so far. The book makes bank investing less arcane. Thanks!