A Fool Looks Back

Let's take a look back at the news that made waves.

Mar 15, 2014 at 10:45AM

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) can't say it surprised its customers with an increase for its Amazon Prime loyalty membership plan. The leading online retailer is pushing its annual membership up by $20 to $99 a year, but it had suggested in its most recent quarterly earnings call that the price could have gone even higher.

It would have been better if Amazon had timed this uptick to coincide with the addition of new features. At least then, customers would have associated the increase with enhanced benefits. Still, this is the first increase to Amazon Prime since its inception nine years ago. Can customers really complain about a 25% uptick after nine years, compared with what inflation has done to their cable bills, transportation costs, or even movie outings?

Some folks will throw in the towel, of course. If Amazon's premium shopping platform had total pricing elasticity, it would have raised its prices years ago. However, Amazon clearly believes it can push through this rate increase, which will kick in later this month for new members and for when existing members hit their anniversary renewals. It will also be interesting to see whether those who stick around will find themselves spending even more to justify the steeper cover charge.  

Briefly in the news
And now let's look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is finally getting ready to roll out its long-promised video ads. Facebook's Premium Video Ads won't be as annoying as initially feared. They won't automatically play with audio, as some had originally suggested, and the 15-second spots will also stop playing the moment someone scrolls past them. It's still a big gamble for Facebook, so Thursday's announcement that it was opening up the platform to select advertisers bears watching.
  • It's not just faulty ignition switches that may cutting off power at General Motors (NYSE:GM)Federal prosecutors are investigating GM's recent recall that involves 1.6 million cars to determine how long the automaker knew about the problem before acting on the information
  • Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) is running into some resistance in New Jersey as Gov. Chris Christie pushed through a regulatory change requiring all new cars to be sold through dealer franchises. The move effectively slams the brakes on Tesla's model, which sells directly to consumers. Expect both sides to keep firing away at one another in the coming weeks. 

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Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Facebook, General Motors, and Tesla Motors and owns shares of Amazon.com, Facebook, 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.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.

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