A Fool Looks Back

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

Mar 22, 2014 at 6:00AM

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) has always been a place to get cheap products, but now it wants to get even cheaper for diehard gamers. The world's largest retailer announced this week that it will begin accepting used video games as trade-ins that can be exchange for store credit. Later this year the discounter will begin selling the refurbished games at its stores.

This isn't welcome news for video-game developers and publishers. They don't cash in on a resale, and Wal-Mart's deal-seeking shoppers will encourage more gamers to buy secondhand wares. 

One stock that took Wal-Mart's announcement even harder than the publishers was GameStop (NYSE:GME). Selling used games and gear has become a lucrative business for the video game retailer, even though sales have been declining for the past two years. This obviously isn't going to be good news for GameStop, especially if Wal-Mart is aggressive in what it offers gamers on trade-ins and what it sells them for the second time around.

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

  • Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) can't seem to get its marquee concepts on tracks. The company posted another sharp decline in profitability as Olive Garden and Red Lobster suffered another slide in quarterly comps. Darden's already looking to unload Red Lobster, but that only means Olive Garden will have to carry more of the load until Darden's younger concepts grow to the point where they can move the needle.
  • FedEx (NYSE:FDX) didn't deliver the goods on either end of the income statement. The parcel delivery specialist posted quarterly results in which both revenue and earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations.  
  • Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) got a downgrade this week, from "buy" to "hold," from Deutsche Bank. The analyst is offering up a target range between $200 and $220

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Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends FedEx and Tesla Motors and owns shares of GameStop 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.

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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