Will a European Recovery Boost Ford in 2014?

After years of declines, auto sales in Europe could rise this year. But that might not help Ford.

Jan 12, 2014 at 5:00PM


New models like the EcoSport SUV will help Ford gain ground in Europe this year. But the pressure to cut prices is still fierce, and that will make profits hard to find. Photo credit: Ford Motor Co.

After months and months of declines, analysts say that new-car sales in Europe could rise a bit this year.

That would be good news for both Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM). Both Detroit giants have worked hard to reverse billions in losses over the last few years, with turnaround plans that have cut costs and added new models to their respective European lineups.

Both Ford and GM have seen losses in Europe narrow recently, but profits still seem a long way off. Rising sales will help. But as Fool contributor John Rosevear points out in this video, another factor -- the need to offer steep discounts -- is likely to squeeze margins and keep profits away for a while longer.

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Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of Ford and General Motors. You can connect with him on Twitter at @jrosevearThe Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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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