Visa and MasterCard's Big Advantage Over Credit Providers

Do the economics of Visa and MasterCard still make them a great long-term holding?

Jun 17, 2014 at 2:11PM

Shares of Visa and MasterCard are down and lagging the broader market so far in 2014. The payment processors are also lagging behind lenders like Discover and Capital One as those companies continue to benefit from an improving credit market.

Are these lenders poised to continue to running ahead of the volume-focused processors or do the economics of Visa and MasterCard still make them a better long-term holding?

In the following video, Motley Fool banking analyst David Hanson discusses one of Visa and MasterCard's biggest advantages and why the two companies are more "recession-proof" than credit card lenders.

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David Hanson owns shares of Capital One Financial (Warrant). The Motley Fool recommends MasterCard and Visa. The Motley Fool owns shares of Capital One Financial., Discover Financial Services, MasterCard, and Visa. 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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