Elon Musk Has 99 Problems, but This Ain't One

One big problem that Tesla's Elon Musk doesn't have to worry about, but Ford certainly does.

Jan 28, 2014 at 8:32PM

In this video from Tuesday's MarketFoolery podcast, host Chris Hill and Motley Fool analysts Tim Hanson and Jason Moser sift through the headlines of the day to bring investors the real stories behind today's market moves.

At the end of 2006, Alan Mulally stepped up as CEO of Ford (NYSE:F) and was able to give the culture at the company a dramatic overhaul, reducing inefficiency across the board, by implementing a model he called One Ford. Today after the company released earnings, Jason still sees signs that the company's new model is driving returns, as he sees multiple signs of strength in the report. More broadly, however, Ford continues to struggle with issues related to auto manufacturers as a whole. Legacy costs are an enormous burden for the company, and the incredibly competitive industry is often forced to compete in price, rather than features, which ultimately hurts margins. Tim discusses a different approach to the automaker business model that he sees in Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), which never had to deal with the auto unions and isn't burdened by legacy costs, and can maintain pricing power and compete in brand strength and unique offerings instead, in a way that the traditional automakers struggle to do.

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Chris Hill, Jason Moser, and Tim Hanson have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Ford, General Motors, and Tesla Motors and owns shares of Ford and Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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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