Investor Beat: The Fed's Gift to the Market

The Fed gives the market a big boost today, but Toyota and Intuitive Surgical still take it on the chin. Plus, why this Fool analyst will be watching Markel this week, on today's Investor Beat.

Apr 9, 2014 at 5:16PM

What began as a good day on the market became a very good day indeed later in the afternoon, after the Federal Reserve released the minutes from its last meeting. The bottom line from those minutes: The Fed will be taking an open-ended approach to interest rates, which may stay low in the short term even if employment and inflation hit normal levels.

On Wednesday's Investor Beat, host Chris Hill and Motley Fool analyst Matt Argersinger discuss the move by the Fed, and why the market was so reassured by the news.

Then the guys look at two stocks that got hit on the market today. Intuitive Surgical was down today, after the company warned that its first-quarter revenue would be down by about 24%. Meanwhile, Toyota stock sold off a bit today, on the news that it was issuing a recall of 6.4 million vehicles worldwide. Chris and Matt discuss why this seemingly massive pullback in revenue for Intuitive Surgical may not be as bad as it seems long-term, and why Toyota's recall may be a case of bad timing.

And finally, Matt tells investors why Markel is a stock he's got his eye on at the moment. The stock continues to hit new all-time highs, having just broken the $600 mark for the first time. And with insurance stocks still being one of the few places left on the market to find undervalued stocks, and Markel still trading at less than 1.3 times book value, Matt still sees a lot of value with this stock.

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Chris Hill has no position in any stocks mentioned. Matthew Argersinger owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Markel. The Motley Fool recommends Berkshire Hathaway, Intuitive Surgical, and Markel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Intuitive Surgical, and Markel. 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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