Numerous difficulties lie before the writer of a book on any business subject. Particularly is this true in the field of investments, where many mooted points exist, and lack of standardization in many security issues still prevails. Every investment is an individual problem. Consequently to apply a standard form of analysis, and at the same time allow sufficient elasticity in treatment for the qualifications which must be constantly made in practice, places a large task upon the author. There is also no business subject in which one is forced to deal with the technical aspects of so many subjects. Some will doubtless criticize the present text, because of its large inclusions from the fields of corporation finance, accounting, law, banking, and engineering. Though every author would draw from all of these fields in varying degree, no author undertaking a complete analysis of investment securities would eliminate any one of them.
With so many complexities involved, the author may conceive his task too ambitiously and unconsciously sacrifice clearness and simplicity of plan which are so essential in the exposition of a large subject. In the attempt to be thorough and scientific, the author's treatment of the subject may be so complex that the expert alone can follow it. On the other hand, the author may be misled into a superficial treatment and fail to establish a foundation upon which the student may build in the future. Whether this book has succeeded in evading these dangers or not, the author has prepared it with the full realization of these difficulties.
An effort has been made to state the fundamentals of analysis of investment securities in such form that they will be understandable to an intelligent person who has not made a systematic study of investments.