At Zynga Inc., Facebook Still Controls the Future

Fresh data from the company’s recently released 10-K annual report shows firm but loosening ties between the two companies.

Mar 17, 2014 at 11:00AM

Efforts by Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) to reduce its dependence on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) are taking hold, but not at the rate some investors might hope, Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains in the following video.

According to its latest 10-K filing, Zynga derived 69% of bookings and 75% of revenue from Facebook in 2013. Huge numbers, to be sure, but also down from 2012, when Zynga counted on the social network for 81% of bookings and 86% of revenue.

Impressed? Don't be, Tim says. The ratio is far higher than others who hope to take Zynga's place as a go-to for mobile gaming. Take Kabam, which recently acquired peer Phoenix Age and is aiming for as much as $650 million in 2014 revenue -- an 80% increase, according to TechCrunch.

Games hosted at Facebook and accounted for just 30% of revenue as of this writing. Candy Crush Saga maker King isn't as specific in its disclosures. Instead, the company identifies Facebook and app stores from Apple, Google, and as the source of the majority of its revenue.

Therein lies the problem for Zynga investors. Kabam, King, and others have already figured out how to distance themselves from Facebook while enjoying huge growth. Investors need Zynga to achieve the same soon, or risk watching the company get permanently left behind.

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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 Apple and Google 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 and owns shares of, Apple, Facebook, and Google. 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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