Arcos Dorados Slumps on Overseas Fears as Best Buy Rebounds

Walt Disney pulls back with the Dow, which loses 149 points to cap off a lousy January.

Jan 31, 2014 at 6:02PM

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

The first month of 2014 brought some of the coldest winter weather we've seen in years; still not content with the misery it was causing, when the closing bell rang today, January went down as the worst month for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) since May 2012. The blue chip index is down more than 5.3% for the year. Wall Street again seized on emerging markets fears as the Dow slumped 149 points, or 0.9%, to end at 15,698. 

Pulling back 0.8%, Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) stock was in good company with its blue chip peers today, when 25 of the Dow's 30 components lost ground. The downtick is nothing to be worried about, especially considering the stock's outperformance yesterday and the market's overly bearish mood, in general, on Friday. A more immediate concern for Walt Disney is the pesky, Barry Diller-backed private company Aereo, which markets a service that picks up TV broadcast signals with tiny antennas. But tiny antennas aren't the problem; Aereo's business model is. The company doesn't pay a dime to the broadcasters of the content. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a suit brought against Aero by major broadcasters. It's a safe bet that Disney's rooting for the broadcasters in this battle.

Arcos Dorados Holdings (NYSE:ARCO), which is the world's single-largest McDonald's franchisee, saw shares slump 4.8% today. January hasn't treated Arcos Dorados shares well either: the stock is off 26.9% this month alone. A serious concern for investors going forward will be the health and stability of emerging markets, which have been quite turbulent since data showed China's manufacturing sector contracting last week. Arcos Dorados is hyperfocused on Latin America and the Caribbean, but if currencies in emerging markets all around the world continue weakening indiscriminately, Arcos Dorados could be in hot water.

Finally, shares of Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), which ended as some of the worst performers in the whole market on Thursday, suddenly bounced back today, tacking on 3.6% to close out the week. While Best Buy will be trimming 950 employees from its Canada locations, the big-box retailer hasn't announced plans to close any of its stores. While the company isn't exactly prospering right now, it's not in its death throes, either, and this year should be a fairly monumental one for the business as it adapts to an entirely reshaped competitive environment.

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John Divine has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.

The Motley Fool recommends McDonald's and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Arcos Dorados, McDonald's, and Walt Disney. 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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