The Rare Retail Success Story

Finally, a retailer investors can stand behind.

Mar 13, 2014 at 8:40PM

In a rare bit of truly good news for a brick-and-mortar retailer, fourth-quarter profits for Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) came in higher than expected, with the company also increasing its dividend by 6%, sending shares upward. But with so many other retailers facing a serious threat from (NASDAQ:AMZN), what is Williams-Sonoma's secret to staying strong in today's difficult retail environment?

In this segment from Thursday's Investor Beat, host Chris Hill and Motley Fool analyst David Hanson discuss Williams-Sonoma's proactive efforts at becoming successful selling directly to consumers online, while other retailers sit back and let Amazon eat their lunch. They also touch on the other channels the company is tapping to remain a strong retailer today.

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Chris Hill has no position in any stocks mentioned. David Hanson has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Williams-Sonoma. 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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