Investor Beat: The End of the First Quarter -- How Did We Do?

As Q1 comes to a close, here's how it all shook out for investors. Plus, four stocks making big moves on Monday's market, and why our analysts are watching Microsoft and CBS Outdoor today.

Mar 31, 2014 at 7:50PM

The first quarter of 2014 officially wrapped up today, and though the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P were all up today, the quarter itself was the worst since the end of 2012. Are stocks finally pulling back enough for investors to find value on the market again?

On Monday's Investor Beat, host Chris Hill and Motley Fool analysts Jason Moser and Taylor Muckerman discuss the market's run-up over the past couple years and its banner year in 2013, compared with the first quarter of 2014. They also discuss some of the broader economic forces at work as the economy continues to recover, and Taylor highlights one sector benefiting from the current economic environment.

Then, the guys look at four stocks making moves on Monday's market. Shares of Panera Bread moved upward today, after the stock got an analyst upgrade from Wedbush. Delta Airlines stock is also on the rise, after announcing a partnership with Virgin Atlantic. Shares of General Motors fell today in advance of Congressional hearings later this week in the ongoing investigation into GM's faulty ignition switch, at which CEO Mary Barra is slated to testify. And a very bad day for Prana Biotechnology, with shares getting crushed after a failure in phase 2 trials for its treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

And finally, Jason and Taylor each look at one stock on their radar this week. Jason discusses Microsoft's ambitious hardware-focused plans and tells investors why he would much rather see the company continue to shift its focus toward the software side. Taylor looks at the newly IPO'd CBS Outdoor, spun off from its parent company CBS Corp. on Friday, and why he's interested in the billboard business.

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Chris Hill, Jason Moser, and Taylor Muckerman have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends General Motors and Panera Bread and owns shares of Microsoft and Panera Bread. 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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