A Tip for Starbucks Investors

Why the Starbucks mobile app is paying off big for the company, for consumers, and even for the baristas.

Mar 13, 2014 at 5:10PM

Through Starbucks' (NASDAQ:SBUX) idea-generating website MyStarbucksIdea.com, customers are able to give the company suggestions for where it can make improvements, or what they would like to see in the future. The most frequently suggested change was allowing customers to tip their baristas directly through the mobile app, which a lot of customers have been using. Now, the company has announced that it has added this feature to the iPhone mobile app, allowing users to tip the barista $0.50, $1, or $2.

In this video, Motley Fool consumer goods analyst Mark Reeth sits down to talk Starbucks with host Mike Finarelli, and point to some of the ways that the company's mobile app is shaping the way consumers interact with the business. With 5 million transactions being made via the app every week, Starbucks is now seeing 11% of its transactions coming in through the mobile app. This will only continue to grow if Starbucks continues to keep a pulse on what consumers want.

Is Starbucks a buy today? Mark thinks so. Besides its successful mobile presence, he loves the company's innovation overall. As it pushes further internationally and explores new product categories, such as tea with its Teavana acquisition, or the integration of the La Boulange food items to try and become part of consumers' lunch routines, Mark sees the mobile app as just icing on the cake.

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Mark Reeth has no position in any stocks mentioned. Michael Finarelli has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of Starbucks. 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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