For this Rule Breaker Investing podcast, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner once again climbs up onto the shoulders of giants with a "Great Quotes" episode. These five memorable bon mots offer him excellent entries into topics that Foolish investors ought to be considering.
Specifically, because May is Conscious Capitalism month, he focused on wise words that can apply to that evolving holistic business philosophy. His sources range from a Roman-era Greek Stoic to a boundary-breaking astronaut, and as usual, their memorable ideas apply in realms beyond the workaday world.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on May 16, 2018.
David Gardner: And welcome back to Rule Breaker Investing. It's Conscious Capitalism Month. The month of May, here -- May 2018 -- [is] Conscious Capitalism Month for Rule Breaker Investing. I hope you've been enjoying our podcasts and podcasts on top of podcasts this month because, in the first week, I interviewed Alexander McCobin and Raj Sisodia as part of the standard Wednesday podcast, but then we also presented you an extra with Ed Freeman, professor of business at Darden Business School, even though he, himself, had never taken a business course, which you kinda gotta love.
And then last week we had Five Winners in a Thinking World. We reviewed those stocks, saw how they did, and then we welcomed on Selim Bassoul, the CEO of Middleby Corporation. Middleby didn't have great earnings that week. I think the stock was down double-digit percentages the day the podcast came out, but he's in it for the long term. We are, too. It was funny timing, but I was honored to have Selim Bassoul join me on the podcast. And then we had three [Conscious Entrepreneurs] for you last week in another Rule Breaker extra.
Well, if you're sick of Rule Breaker extras, I have some good news for you. We won't have any this weekend. If, on the other hand, you've been enjoying extras [a little bit of extra RBI for your weekend], sorry. It will feel hollow this weekend, but nope. We're just going to go with this podcast this week. And it's one of my Great Quotes podcasts.
This is the eighth time -- this is the eighth entry -- in my Great Quotes Vol. X series. Loved the first seven. Started it a few years ago in 2015. This will be the eighth installment of that series and we're going to go with "All Conscious Capitalism" in celebration of Conscious Capitalism Month. That's where we're headed this particular week.
And as has been my wont and the tradition for this particular series, it will always be five quotes. I've lined up five great quotations, but I'm going to cheat a little bit, because there's a sixth one that won't fit the series that I want to just lead off with as a great challenge to your own thinking and maybe some inspiration for your week ahead.
And, in fact, this quote comes from a personal friend of mine. A friend to many in the Conscious Capitalism movement. His name was Jeff Klein. I'm using the past tense because unfortunately Jeff, four years ago this summer, died in his sleep. A really sad moment. He was in his late 50s.
He was an author of the award-winning book Working for Good: Making a Difference While Making a Living. He had a number of other books. He produced a lot of the events that leaders in the Conscious Capitalism movement have enjoyed together. He was an activator. A process facilitator. He was just an all-around catalyst for good.
So, Jeff Klein, you are missed, and I wanted to start off this podcast with a quote from Jeff. It kind of speaks for itself, but I might say a thing or two about it. Here it is. And I quote, "Wherever there is conflict, there is an opportunity for learning and growth." Love it.
You can think of all kinds of conflict in this world. You can think about conflicts between nations. Conflicts between people. Movements. Conflicts in your own soul. It doesn't take much time, at all, to find a conflict if you just start looking for one, but how wonderful is it when you and I frame it up as an opportunity [in Jeff's words] for learning and growth.
That is such a wonderful way to confront any conflict that you see around you. And I challenge you in the week ahead -- and I encourage you -- when you encounter a conflict in whatever context; immediately, if possible, reframe it in your mind as an opportunity for learning and growth. That is Foolish. That runs against the conventional wisdom and, Jeff Klein, thank you for your work and for that thought.
Great Quote No. 1: Now, we're going to go chronologically through time with these, so let's go back a few thousand years. Why not? Let's spend a little time with the Greeks. Let's specifically tap the Greek stoic philosopher Epictetus. Now, I have to admit I never did take classical Greek. I didn't really do that great a job studying philosophy. I recognize Epictetus. I could certainly spell it for you quite easily. But if you're like me, you may not exactly remember who Epictetus was, so before I give his quote, just a little bit of a Wikipedia backgrounder here.
Epictetus was born in the year 55 AD. He lived for 80 years -- 55 AD to 135 AD. He was born a slave at Hierapolis in Phrygia, which is present-day Turkey, and he lived in Rome until his banishment, when he went to Nicopolis in Northwestern Greece for the rest of his life. His teachings were written down and published by his pupil [as was so often the case back then]. In this case it was Arrian and those two books are his Discourses and his Enchiridion.
Epictetus taught that philosophy is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus [again, just finishing out, here, with Wikipedia], "all external events are beyond our control. We should accept calmly and dispassionately whatever happens." That doesn't feel fully Foolish to me, but then listen to this. "However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline." There's a quick backgrounder on Epictetus.
Here's the quote [a lot shorter than the bio]. And I quote, "No great thing is created suddenly." Love it. Of course, I love all these. Why would I even present great quotes on the Great Quotes series if I didn't love it and want to share it and share it out?
Let's think about it a little bit together. "No great thing is created suddenly." Well, the first thing I think about, when I think about that, is businesses, since that's what we talk a lot about with Rule Breaker Investing, and while there have been some early start-ups that gained great scale and rose to great prominence much quicker than at any other points in history [and I'm thinking of Alphabet, or I'm thinking of Facebook], the truth is that even those companies are 10+ years old, which isn't really that much in the grander scheme of time, but is still worth respecting. And of course, many great businesses [think of something like Starbucks or Walmart] were created over decades. There are businesses that have been created over centuries that still exist today, but no great thing is created suddenly.
Now, I think America is a great country. I think there are a lot of admirable things about our country. I say that somewhat chauvinistically; i.e., I am a fan of my own country, but I'm the first to say we have a lot of faults and you, whoever you are in your own country, I hope that you admire aspects of your own and could explain that to a foreigner about what's great about what you've got.
And when I think about America, it wasn't created suddenly. In some ways it came together awfully quickly in the 1770s, but people had been living for more than a hundred years in and around the mainland, and while the Revolution happened pretty quickly and then later the Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution; it all kind of came together in one era. It wasn't created suddenly, and I don't think wealth is created suddenly, either.
Back to our main focus of this podcast. I love this line from Brian Chesky. That's the CEO of Airbnb, who would be a better-known person and probably a little bit more celebrated if his company were public. You and I can't actually invest in shares of Airbnb unless we were part of the venture cap teams that have funded that massive enterprise.
But Brian Chesky recently described a conversation he'd gotten to have with Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett. He was a younger Brian Chesky back then. He's still a pretty young guy today, but he was more like a student getting a rare opportunity to have a meal with the two gentlemen.
And he said to Jeff Bezos, "Jeff, what's the best advice that Warren ever gave you?"
And Bezos said, "Well, I asked [this of Warren]. I said, 'Your investment thesis is so simple. You're the second richest guy in the world and it's so simple, why doesn't everyone just copy you?'" [A lot of people have tried to copy Amazon at different points over the course of time.] "Why doesn't everyone just copy you, Warren?"
And Buffett answered, "Because nobody wants to get rich slow."
And what a beautiful and profound point. It's really true in this day and age. In every day and age, get rich quick will always sound great, and there are a lot of schemes promoting the idea that that is possible. But the one thing that I think you and I know, as Foolish investors, is that we can, and we will, get rich, and by doing so slowly, that's the sure way to riches.
Everything else is speculation. The more you try to compact your time frame and hit it big, the much lower your odds, and the much higher the chance that you'll end up very disappointed [maybe even alienated], and that's sad because you had a chance to do what Warren Buffett does, and what we, here, at The Motley Fool do [and throw out as a halo effect of our efforts as many places around the globe as possible], and that is to get rich slow. To enjoy the markets' compounded returns, 10% or so on average, over time. Just do the math. 10% up over 10 years or 20 [years] or 50 [years] rolls up to a remarkable sum of money that you'd love to be on top of.
And, hey, what if you could beat that 10%? What if you were, maybe, a Rule Breaker, and you had a habit of outperforming that percentage over time? That's the way to get rich. And when I think [before we go on to our next quote] of a recent conversation I had with an Uber driver, I started talking about what I do at The Motley Fool.
He said, "Do you do crypto?"
And I said, "I'm interested in it. I think that it's a technology worth following."
And it became clear to me that he only really understood investing in terms of saving money to put it into cryptocurrencies.
Now, I'm not going to be here to bash cryptocurrencies. Again, I think the technology is interesting, and I did find out recently that for the last four or five months, the No. 1 searched term at Fool.com is "bitcoin." That's right. For several months now, the No. 1 most-searched term at Fool.com is bitcoin, so I understand there's a lot of interest, there, and I respect that.
But, I would always want anybody, whether he or she is an Uber driver, a student, or a student of the game of life of any age, to understand, first of all, that getting rich slowly [is] by being a part owner of stocks, of corporations [of understanding that you're actually owning a part of that company and you're owning a part of Facebook when you buy a share of Facebook] as opposed to speculative cryptocurrencies.
I think speculative cryptocurrencies can be great as a small, let's say 1-5% of your portfolio. You could even go higher than that if you're going with the safer, beefier ones and maybe not just investing in cryptocurrencies, but stocks of companies that are doing blockchain. Great! But I would always want anybody of any age to make sure that they understood the stock market and what it is. It's a farmer's market, except rather than getting fruits and vegetables, you're getting parts of public companies. I would want to make sure everybody understood that and realized that's where you want to have almost all your money. You want to keep saving and be inspired by better and better returns you'll get over time with compounding in the stock market.
Back to Epictetus. "No great thing is created suddenly," and more recently Warren Buffett, "Yeah, I get rich slow."
Now, I should mention where I [found] these quotes. Where did I find Epictetus's quote? Well, at the Conscious Capitalism Conference earlier this month in Dallas, Texas, there was an area with several clotheslines. And one of the clothespins on the top clothesline had an eight and a half by 11 piece of paper pinned to it, and it said, "Spark quotes: Quips and quotes to spark an idea, ignite your passion, and keep you stoked." And all of the other things hanging on these clotheslines were small cards with some of the quotes that I am reading to you. So, I'm swiping the Spark Quotes from this conference to share with you and here's No.2.
Great Quote No. 2 comes from Teddy Roosevelt. I'm a big T.R. fan. I know I'm speaking to a lot of others. I hope you've enjoyed Candice Millard's wonderful book, The River of Doubt, which tells the remarkable story of Teddy Roosevelt's voyage into South America trying to find the source of a mysterious and very dangerous river after he was president in his 50s. A remarkable story. Candice has been on this podcast. We talked a little bit about The River of Doubt. I'm looking forward to her next book, which will be about finding the source of the Nile. That's a few years hence, but excited about that.
Teddy Roosevelt -- here's what he said. "Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."
Now, I don't know what that spawns for you, but that spawns two thoughts for me. The first is that I want that for my life and I hope you want that for your life. I want that for your life. "Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."
It's often been pointed out that not all of America's workforce is highly engaged. My brother Tom has a fun way of putting this. He said, "If we're all in a canoe together paddling, and we have 10 of us, and we're each representing one-tenth of the American workforce, there are three people in the front paddling hard forward. 30% of America's workforce is engaged and excited and passionate about its work. The five people sitting behind them in the canoe are not paddling at all. They're just along for the ride. And then, unfortunately, there are one or two people in the back who are actively disengaged. That is, they're hostile to their own organization and, if you will, paddling backward."
Now, just imagine how much faster our canoes could move if all of us, or at least the majority of us, were paddling forward, and if you're visualizing at least five people paddling forward and nobody paddling backward, you're starting to see the kinds of companies that we invest in as Rule Breakers, because we're looking into the hearts of the companies of the stocks that we pick, and we're looking for places that people want to work and feel great about the work that [they're] doing.
So, thought No. 1 spawned by Theodore Roosevelt. I sure hope that's true of your work, and if it's not, I would encourage you to make whatever changes you can as rapidly as possible to get into a place where the work that you're doing is worth doing and you want to work hard at it because selfishly, I'm going to be a lot better off if that's true of you, just like you will of me, because we're co-creating value together and, in fact, we're paying taxes together. We're only paying taxes out of profits and salaries if we're employed. Everything is better, worldwide, when people have found the right work for them.
And then the second thought about that quote goes right back to the heart of Rule Breaker Investing. We're looking for companies that are doing important things in this world. The stocks that I'm picking -- the ones that we talk about in our five-stock samplers on this podcast -- if you're a stock market investor [and I sure hope you are], I hope some of these companies are in your portfolio. Think about what the work is worth doing and make sure your dollars are there.
Sometimes I've said, "Looking backward over the last 25 years are you able to say the big trends of my time -- the zeitgeists, the spirit of my age -- I had my money in those companies." Were you, let's say, 25 years ago invested in America Online, the decade that America came online? It was an amazing stock for quite a while there.
Or more recently as the whole world has shifted toward the internet, have you been invested in Netflix? And let's not even look backwards. How about going forwards? Do you think this is a company that's going to get bigger and add more and more value to the world over the next 20 years? I sure do think so. This should be true of as many of the companies as you look down your brokerage statement as possible. Ask, "Are they working hard at work worth doing?"
Genomics. Curing cancer. Making your home smarter. Artificial intelligence making the products and services around us better and better. Is this work worth doing and are you invested in it? I sure hope you are.
Great Quote No. 3: Another Spark Quote. This is from the, well, mostly 20th century, although Warren Bennis did live pretty decently in the 21st century. Writer and thinker about leadership. His book -- On [Becoming] a Leader -- if that's something that sounds good to you and you've not read it, I would highly suggest you take a look at Warren Bennis's thoughts for you on being a leader.
I'm not quite sure which of his writings [and] many books this quote came from, but here's the Spark Quote I pulled from Dallas. "Too many companies believe people are interchangeable. Truly gifted people never are. They have unique talents. Such people cannot be forced into roles they are not suited for, nor should they be. Effective leaders allow great people to do the work they were born to do."
I almost feel like I don't need to illustrate that one for you because it just says something so well and so truthfully. But, hey, this is a podcast. You've tuned in to hear me blabber a little bit every week, so here's a thought or two about what Warren Bennis [I almost said Warren Buffett], has for us when we think about truly gifted people.
Here's a term from economics, at least that's where I first found the word "fungible." You might know fungible [F-U-N-G-I-B-L-E]. I believe it's one of those terms we should all know, whether or not we took any econ courses. It just means when one thing can be replaced by another.
What's fungible out there? Well, I certainly agree with Mr. Bennis that people are among the least fungible resources I've gotten to know in our world so far. Everyone is different. Everyone has a different perspective and diversity, which is increasingly celebrated in this world.
I think the best way of thinking about diversity isn't so much that you need to have difference from one person to the next, but rather to recognize that each person is unique. That each person on your team comes from different places and different insights and in that sense, the greater the diversity of those places and insights, I think the stronger you, your team, and your company will be. It's to celebrate the uniqueness.
And so, people are not really interchangeable. We could say at a large company, "We're looking for a director of marketing." You might already have a hundred of them, but each one's different. The director of marketing at one company is probably quite different from the director of marketing at a different company. And even what marketing means -- one of those catch-all words that means too many things -- that is, itself, usually a uniquely different thing in each company.
And so, the more that we attempt to fit square pegs in round holes, the less successful we'll be. The more that we recognize each person's unique talent and what they can bring. What is your superhero power? What is her superhero power?
Some weeks ago, on this podcast, we did our most recent installment of company culture tips, and I introduced the catchphrase, "What's Your Motley?" That's something that we say, here, at The Motley Fool. And I said if there's one core value that any organization should feel free to steal -- just swipe flat out from The Motley Fool -- it's, "What's Your Motley?"
It's our way of asking anybody that we come across [your fellow employees, or a Motley Fool member that we're meeting at an event like FoolFest coming up later this month, or just somebody on the street, or if you're embarrassed in an elevator and have nothing else to say,] "What's Your Motley?" You're asking that person what is the value that they're bringing to our organization. What is your perspective? How can you enrich what we're doing? You already know our company values or purpose whatever your company is, but how can you add to it with something that's your own? That's uniquely your own. It makes me think, again, of Warren Bennis.
So, the best leader in you and the best leader in me probably is when we're being enabled to unleash our own personal superhero powers. Whatever we're best at. The unique talents that we bring. And one more thought about leadership. The job of leaders is to make sure that their people are getting put in those positions and getting those opportunities to shine.
Great Quote No. 4: All right, quote No. 4 and our final two quotes each involve the word "limits." A good word. Different views of limits. Quote No. 4. Now, this one comes from Mae Jemison. Now, I didn't, right off the top, recognize the name Mae Jemison. I bet a bunch of you will, but I'll make it clear very quickly who this is after I give her quote.
Mae said, "Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations. Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations."
Now, who's Mae Jemison you might be wondering? Well, she's an American engineer, a physician, and a NASA astronaut. In fact, on September 12th of 1992, she became the first African-American woman to travel in space aboard the space shuttle Endeavour.
Since then, having resigned from NASA in 1993, she's appeared on television several times. She was on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, for example. She's a dancer. She holds nine honorary doctorates in science, engineering, letters, and the humanities. Dr. Mae Jemison, today 61 years old, from Decatur, Alabama. "Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations."
Well, most of all, I think here, I'm not speaking to investors. I mean, I think it can be helpful for us as investors. It can be helpful to try to picture what things can become. For example, Intuitive Surgical, a wonderful company behind the da Vinci Surgical robot. When we first recommended that stock and got invested in it more than a decade ago, we [questioned whether] robotic surgery would catch on. The good news is it has. We were rewarded, there, but forget about the past. Let's look forward.
How about a company like 2U? A company that's bringing distance learning into the classrooms of some of the best universities today. Partnering with universities to reach more students than they would have otherwise. What might that become in time? Or what about MercadoLibre? How much higher could Latin American commerce go in the next 25 years? MercadoLibre, the leader. Or what about Twitter? What might Twitter become? I'm not quite sure 10 years from now. It will be fascinating to watch.
So, yes, it can be helpful not to limit your own imagination when you're thinking as an investor but here, I also think about how we talk to our kids. One of the things I always tried not to do was to limit my children, especially when talking to others. Do you have any friends who do this? They'll say something like this. "Yes, Anne is my smart child," and they'll say that right in front of Anne.
And, I mean, Anne [I'm looking at Anne Henry, one of our producers right now], is very smart. I'm not actually talking about Anne, but I'm thinking about Anne. It's awesome to have a child who's really talented or gifted. Or maybe tardy. "David is our tardy child." When parents talk about that in front of their kids, especially to other people with their kids, there, I think you start to limit them. It might not even be a bad thing. Maybe you're limiting them into being a great kid -- or the brilliant child is getting it -- but I think we're better off praising effort in our children rather than roping them into a cookie-cutter view of how they fit in within a family, or within their class, or within their generation.
So, never be limited by other people's limited imaginations, Dr. Mae Jemison said, and that's especially true [when you] think about you as a kid. When you were a kid was that true of you and how you were spoken to? It can be positive or negative, but it can be helpful to be conscious of this, both in how you were raised and how it may have affected you, but also, more importantly, how you talk going forward to people around you, especially younger members of new generations. So, never be limited by other people's limited imaginations.
All right, so our previous quote was about not allowing what we might call "false limits" to limit who and what you might be or become. This one is praising limits for a different reason. Here we go. This is from Roz Brewer, and I'll say a little bit more about her in a second.
Great Quote No. 5: "You can and should set your own limits and clearly articulate them. This takes courage, but it is also liberating and empowering, and often earns you new respect."
So, Dr. Mae Jemison telling us not to be limited by other people's limited imaginations, but Roz Brewer saying you can and should set your own limits and clearly articulate them. And I want to speak to both of those very briefly.
Many times, in the past, on Rule Breaker Investing, I have [I think "decried" might be a fair word], I have decried the lack of accountability within so much of the financial world, especially financial punditry. People on television constantly making new pronouncements about where the market's going, or where a certain stock is going up or down; and yet, nobody really keeping score.
I'm a big baseball fan. There's no financial punditry encyclopedia that I can consult and see how often this or that person is right or wrong. As a consequence, we have people constantly being quoted in the financial media and you really don't know if you're listening to Babe Ruth right now or Biff Johnson, a generic player who clearly wasn't as good at baseball as Babe Ruth.
Is it Babe Ruth or is it Biff Johnson? You can't tell because there's no scoring going on, and even if there were, there's no real reporting of that scoring. As a consequence, we're all living within a system where with no score being kept there's no self-correction happening. After all, when you start losing at anything and the results are being tabulated, you start to change your game and get better. And when you start winning, you start figuring out that you're winning and you can figure out why you're winning. Those are great things. Those are systems that are self-improving systems because systems that are self-improving have scoring going on and accountability.
Back to Roz Brewer. You can and should set your own limits; i.e., in my mind, score ourselves, whether we're talking about stock picking, or just personal predictions. Betting a friend. That's a good way to keep track of a prediction. Bet a friend ten bucks either way. You can and should set your own limits, and clearly articulate them. So, it takes guts, as she goes on to say. This takes courage, but it's also liberating and empowering and often earns you new respect.
I think about Motley Fool CAPS, an opportunity that you and I have to go online at caps.fool.com and thumb a stock up or down because you believe that stock may beat or lose to the market averages. You can pick your time frame. You can pick your stock. It's a great way to start scoring whether your instincts are good or not about a given company, industry, or the market overall. And it's something that I love about The Motley Fool -- that we have caps.fool.com -- and you and I can each hold ourselves accountable and see other people holding themselves accountable anytime they pick a stock, thumb up or thumb down, on CAPS.
Now Roz Brewer, I should mention in closing [if you don't recognize her] is an American businesswoman. She was the president and CEO of Sam's Club which is, of course, a division of Walmart Stores. Recently she moved companies. She's now the chief operating officer of a little global company you might recognize called Starbucks. In fact, she was the first woman and the first African-American to fill the role of a CEO at one of [the divisions] of Walmart Stores, and today Roz is the COO of Starbucks.
So, it takes courage -- doesn't it? -- but it also is liberating, empowering, and often earns you new respect, she says, and she's somebody who would understand that having earned the acclaim and respect that she has gained over the course of her business career.
You know, one thought in closing. I don't think we do a good enough job finding and celebrating great businesspeople. I think a lot of us recognize great athletes if we're sports fans, and there's a lot of acclaim and promotion behind great athletes.
I think a lot of us know the political leaders. You might like them, or you might not like them in your country or your neighborhood, but there's a lot of studying that we do of the politics of our country and history. History is often seen in political terms or military terms. A lot of memorizing of how this or that war started. Those are important things, and I certainly wouldn't want to skip that in my schoolboy learnings.
But I also believe there's a whole aspect of history and culture that is underplayed, both in academia and in popular culture; and that's just doing business really well. That's the great people that are behind the kinds of companies that we talk about, here, on Rule Breaker Investing, so I'm delighted to double underline the success of somebody like Roz Brewer, or to suggest, as I did recently to a friend who's an academic, "Hey, you know a great thing you could go into that doesn't seem like historians are going into nearly enough?" I said to this person, "corporate history."
I think in a country built on entrepreneurship, every schoolboy and schoolgirl should know the story of Apple Computer and how that came to be. Or Disney. Or Ford. Or any one of a number [Starbucks] of iconic American companies. Don't you think every school child should know five or 10 of these and be able to fairly easily [60 seconds] explain the history of this or that company and the people that are usually behind them?
I think that feels like an area of academia that is largely unexplored, so I'm putting out, right now, to future academics, that I think somebody should specialize on corporate histories, because you have a lot of blue sky around you without many people poking around, and I think that's some of the most exciting and interesting history that I've yet come across in my 52 years.
Well, thanks a lot for joining me this week on Rule Breaker Investing, where the aim is always to educate, to amuse, and to enrich. It was my pleasure to present these stolen quotes from the Spark Quotes section of the Conscious Capitalism Conference earlier this month.
In the couple of weeks ahead -- at the end of this month -- we, of course, have our mailbag. Next week I'll be doing a hodgepodge. In fact, it's a continuation of one of my series. It will be Volume II of Old, New, Borrowed, & Blue. I'm sure there will be a little bit of Conscious Capitalism theming there, but I don't want to lay it on too thick this month, either, so we'll keep it pretty motley. A hodgepodge. In the meantime, I hope you have a great week. Fool on!
As always, people on this program may have interest in the stocks they talk about, and The Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against, so don't buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear. Learn more about Rule Breaker Investing at RBI.Fool.com.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. David Gardner owns shares of GOOGL, GOOG, AMZN, AAPL, FB, F, ISRG, MELI, MIDD, NFLX, SBUX, and DIS. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends GOOGL, GOOG, AMZN, AAPL, FB, ISRG, MELI, MIDD, NFLX, SBUX, TWTR, and DIS. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on AAPL and short January 2020 $155 calls on AAPL. The Motley Fool recommends TWOU and F. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.