Why TAL International Group, Inc. Stock Plunged Today

Is this meaningful or just another movement?

Jul 24, 2014 at 4:13PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of transport company TAL International Group (NYSE:TAL) fell as much as 10.6% today after reporting second-quarter earnings.

So what: Quarterly leasing revenue was up 3.2% to $144.7 million but net income was down 22% to $29.4 million, or $0.87 per share. On an adjusted basis, earnings were $0.95 per share but Wall Street analysts were expecting $164 million in revenue and earnings of $0.96 per share.  

To make matters worse for shares, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock from neutral to underperform and gave it a $45 price target.

Now what: Results may not have hit expectations, but they weren't far off, and shares are trading at just 10.6 times forward earnings estimates. That's not a bad price in a fairly stable business like transport that's seeing a slow uptick in demand. I wouldn't be a panic seller today, even if the market and analysts aren't a fan of the stock.

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Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Bank of America. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. 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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