Ask a Fool: What Is a Balance Sheet?

Worldwide Invest Better Day 9/25/2012

In the spirit of better investing and in celebration of the first Worldwide Invest Better Day coming up on Sept. 25, Motley Fool analysts will be answering user- and reader-submitted questions leading up to the big event. "Ask a Fool" anything, and we'll do our best to help you invest better.

A balance sheet is a type of financial statement that provides a point-in-time snapshot of a company's assets, liabilities, and equity. In the following video, Fool.com analyst Anand Chokkavelu goes over everything that investors need to know about balance sheets, including why they differ wildly across industries. For example, in banking and insurance, companies such as Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) and AIG (NYSE: AIG  ) may appear great for years in terms of earnings, but a balance sheet in disarray can spell out a very different picture. Check out  the video to learn more.

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Anand Chokkavelu has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of AIG and Citigroup Inc and has options on AIG. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend AIG. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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