Why Microsoft Gained Amid the Market's Carnage

While the broader market tanked hard, Microsoft held up well after putting up a solid quarter. Still, key questions remain about Microsoft's future.

Jan 24, 2014 at 9:00PM

Shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) rose today, after the company reported earnings last night. In particular, there were several signs that the company is making progress in its transition toward becoming primarily a devices-and-services company, as CEO Steve Ballmer had envisioned. Xbox One sales are at 3.9 million units sold, neck-and-neck with Sony's Playstation 4, and revenue from Microsoft's Surface tablet more than doubled sequentially, to $893 million.

However, the Surface has been a major trouble spot for Microsoft in the past, and still has a negative gross margin, even today. In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses Microsoft and its future with Evan Niu, CFA, our tech and telecom bureau chief. Evan takes a closer look at sales of the Surface, as well as the Windows Phone, and discusses how important each is to Microsoft's core business going forward. He also looks ahead to the company's future new CEO, and consumer anticipation for Windows 9.

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Erin Kennedy has no position in any stocks mentioned. Evan Niu, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. 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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