Think for a moment about the logical progression of retail: A century ago, we got most of our goods from local stores owned by people we called our neighbors.
But then, starting about 50 years ago, nationwide retailers -- led by Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) -- started to capitalize on the efficiency of scale and offer goods for far lower than mom-and-pops could. Indeed, shareholders in Wal-Mart have realized astounding returns since the company's IPO. And the company is still one of America's largest employers, with 2.2 million finding full-time employment at their local Wal-Mart.
But every giant can be disrupted, and that's what Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) has been doing to Wal-Mart, little by little, for over a decade. In addition to offering a more convenient way to purchase goods, Amazon has expanded well beyond the realm of retail to be a dominant player in areas like cloud computing, streaming movies, and e-readers/tablets.
But in just three months' time, a quarter of Amazon's market cap -- or roughly $45 billion -- has disappeared. Bears have legitimate concerns about the company moving forward. The Motley Fool's Brian Stoffel introduces investors to these broad concerns and what he thinks about them. Watch to see whether Brian thinks Amazon can continue to outpace traditional foes like Wal-Mart and if the stock is still worth holding on to.
Your cable company is scared, but you can get rich
You know cable's going away. But do you know how to profit? There's $2.2 trillion out there to be had. Currently, cable grabs a big piece of it. That won't last. And when cable falters, three companies are poised to benefit. Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple.