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I was reading Aswath Damodaran’s blog about the dark side of numbers and began to look at the updated data sets that he provides for free on his data page site. If you do not know who Aswath Damodaran is, he is a professor of finance at the Stern school of business at NYU. He teaches classes on Corporate Finance and Valuation, and is pretty well known for his knowledge and studies on valuing businesses. As I started to dig into the data that is provided on his page, I was amazed.
First of all, you can visit his Stern school of business page and review a wealth of information including his lecture notes and examples. There is so much information available that is hard to provide examples, so I suggest that you visit his site and review everything available. You are bound to find a lot of interesting and useful stuff.
His Data Page site consists of information that he has pulled from various sources (Value Line, Bloomberg and CapitalIQ) and assembled into valuable spreadsheets that are freely downloadable. Again, there is so much information available that it is hard to quickly cover it all in a blog post, but I found the US equities spreadsheet very interesting as it provides a lot of data that can be hard to find in one location. Of particular interest was the cost of capital by industry sector. If you are an investor that performs DCF calculations, it is necessary to use accurate cost of capital numbers, and having a cost of capital broken down by industry is very useful.
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