The Case Against Investing Everything in Stocks

A Fool explains the merits of always keeping a little cash available in your portfolio.

Feb 2, 2014 at 11:45AM

Always keeping some cash available can be a great strategy for more experienced investors, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

How so? First, having cash can be a boon for those who spend time scouring the stock market for big opportunities since you'd need not sell a good position in order to "trade up," as it were. Second, a bounty of cash -- 10% or even 20% of your portfolio -- offers protection for those inevitable occasions when a stock you believe in fails to live up to your hopes, Tim says.

Of course, investing to avoid the worst-case scenario isn't ideal. Keeping excess cash on hand only makes sense if you plan to use it when the right opportunity arises, like when Tim opened a large position in Netflix LEAPS in May 2012. Today, he's considering a similar position in Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) as the gamer takes the hit Grand Theft Auto V to new platforms and turns the online version into a consistent profit producer.

It's a potentially huge opportunity. Reports have Take-Two's Rockstar subsidiary porting GTA V not only to the PC but also Sony's PS4 and Microsoft's Xbox One. Mixing in new downloadable content (DLC) and a continuously improving online experience could give a nitrous oxide boost to growth

Now it's your turn to weigh in. What's your strategy for investing in stocks? Do you prefer to be fully invested, or do you pick your spots? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know whether you would buy, sell, or short Take-Two Interactive stock at current prices.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Netflix at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Netflix and Take-Two Interactive and owns shares of Microsoft and Netflix. 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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