Why Affymetrix Inc. Shares Popped

Is this meaningful? Or just another movement?

Jan 7, 2014 at 2:19PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of genetic testing instrument maker Affymetrix (NASDAQ:AFFX) climbed 11% today after its fourth-quarter sales outlook impressed Wall Street.

So what: The stock has rocketed over the past six month on optimism over stabilizing demand, and today's preliminary fourth-quarter report only reinforces those good vibes. In fact, Affymetrix's projected revenue represents about 8% growth over the year-ago period, suggesting that its competitive position is strengthening as well.  

Now what: Management now expects fourth-quarter revenue of roughly $91 million, which includes a one-time $5.3 million licensing payment from a diagnostic partner.

"In 2013 we executed effectively against our three phase strategic plan and we exited the year as a much stronger Company," said President and CEO Dr. Frank Witney. "Over the last 12 months we improved our business's performance, significantly reduced our senior debt and increased our overall cash balance."

Of course, with Affymetrix shares now up a whopping 130% since August and trading at a forward P/E of 60, much of that improvement might already be baked well into the valuation. 

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A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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