With ‘Game of Thrones,’ HBO Seeks to Slay Cable’s Other Dragons

Time Warner’s pay channel picks up two more seasons of the fantasy drama, putting it on par with cable’s biggest names.

Apr 27, 2014 at 4:07AM

The war for Westeros will go on at least another two years. Earlier this month, HBO reupped Game of Thrones for two more seasons. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the implications in the following video.

Tim says it's an important move for Time Warner (NYSE:TWX). What The Walking Dead is for AMC Networks, Game of Thrones is for HBO. Viewership for season 4's first three episodes is up between 39% and 51%. And that's only counting those who watch with an HBO subscription.

The real numbers are likely much bigger than the 6 million-plus who tune in live, and may even rival the 15 million-plus The Walking Dead drew in its season 4 finale. Game of Thrones is TV's most pirated show, after all, and freeloaders may have helped crash HBO GO's streaming servers during the season 4 premiere. Executives didn't complain.

Nor did they blink when author George R.R. Martin -- upon whose A Song of Ice and Fire book series the show is based -- teased the possibility of a movie to wrap everything up. A movie that could easily cost $100 million or more to produce.

Tim says investors should expect Warner to keep paying the freight, especially now that Game of Thrones has joined the ranks of The Walking Dead and House of Cards as a must-watch franchise that's catapulted cable and streamed TV to new heights.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. How far do you expect HBO and Warner to take Game of Thrones? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Time Warner stock at current prices.

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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 Time Warner 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 AMC Networks. 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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