The High Cost of Doing Business

In the following video, Fool contributor Matt Thalman discusses how the cost of doing business in certain industries can really cut a company's profits down to just a few percent of its total revenue. A company like Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) or United States Steel (NYSE: X  ) are two great examples of organizations that are at the mercy of an industry-wide commodity pricing system, which has reduced profit margins to nearly nothing over the past few years.

With low margins, the likelihood that a company can make it through another tough economic climate is very unlikely. So, as an investor, focusing on companies that have pricing power and strong double-digit profit margins will help ensure that the next recession doesn't send your portfolio into the dumps.

Tax increases that took effect at the beginning of 2013 affected nearly every American taxpayer. But with the right planning, you can take steps to take control of your taxes, and potentially even lower your tax bill. In our brand-new special report, "How You Can Fight Back Against Higher Taxes," the Motley Fool's tax experts run through what to watch out for in doing your tax planning this year. With its concrete advice on how to cut taxes for decades to come, you won't want to miss out. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.


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