A crucial concern of many investors is to obtain a large margin of safety when making an investment. It is well known that forecasting future earnings and interest rates is difficult, and estimates of these are often unreliable.
Sometimes earnings multiples are used to determine value, where cash flows are relatively stable and predictable.
Another complementary method is to interview employees, competitors, vendors and customers about a company. Often these people will know as much or more about a company than its management. The goal of this research should be to determine whether the company has good practices, and whether its management is honest.