Why I'm Investing in Robotics Today, and How It Could Be a Big Mistake

Could this macro play on the future of machine intelligence be a big mistake?

Apr 15, 2014 at 6:45PM

Google's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) acquisitions of several robotics companies have been making a lot of headlines recently, which has led to some incredible investor demand in this space. This is part of what catalyzed stocks such as Adept Technology (NASDAQ:ADEP) and iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) to jump 554% and 254%, respectively, over the past year. Are these the plays to make for investors looking to get in on a piece of this sector?

Adep Irbt Return
Chart courtesy of Bloomberg

In this video, Motley Fool industrials analyst Blake Bos tells investors what he's looking for when he considers investing in the robotics sector. While a number of the largest international players in the space are traded on international exchanges, where the fee structure wouldn't make sense for the amount Blake's looking to buy, one alternative that he suggests is the Robo-Stox Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NASDAQ:ROBO), giving diversified access to a number of companies in this space.

However, he also sees this move as potentially a big mistake. The investment isn't based on the strength or prospects of a particular company, but rather on the macro belief that advances in cloud computing and machine intelligence could eventually lead to adoption of the technology in new industries. Blake discusses the risk involved with making a macro-only play like this, and tells investors how big of a bite he's taking personally here.

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Blake Bos owns shares of Robo-Stox Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF. The Motley Fool recommends Google (A and C shares) and iRobot and owns shares of Google (A and C shares). 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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