With midwinter behind us, it's time to start thinking of new beginnings: new investors, new questions, and a new Foolish index. That's right, it's a new mailbag for Rule Breaker Investing, with special guests David Kretzmann and Megan Brinsfield.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on Feb. 27, 2019.

David Gardner: How many adults raise their hand and say they own a stock? Outright? Actual shares of a single stock? How many kids can raise their hands to say they understand what a mutual fund is? We're going to talk about that. And about market cap, insider selling, earnings expectations, and capital gains, and what is the Fool Index. Sound like a grab bag to you? Maybe like a mailbag edition? You bet your britches! It's our February 2019 mailbag on this week's Rule Breaker Investing.


Welcome back to Rule Breaker Investing! Wow, this stock market has really been strong the first couple of months of this year. Given how bad the last three months of 2018 were, it's pretty deeply satisfying for me to see a lot of great companies, some of our favorite stocks in Rule Breakers and Stock Advisor have risen in excess of 40% in just the last two months. It's been a pretty spectacular comeback for the market. Of course, if, like me, you had higher highs last summer and you're still trying to get back there, then you can't pound your chest or anything. But I hope that you're enjoying some of the prosperity that we're seeing coming out of some of our Motley Fool stock recommendations for our members.

Now, it's the last week of the month of February, and it is our mailbag. For new listeners, please know that the last week of every month, I love to hear back from you. What did you hear over the course of this month of podcasts that we did for Rule Breaker Investing? In fact, the first week of this month, we did our Blast From the Past. I pulled five of my really cardinal points from past podcasts and put them back out there, especially for new listeners who may not have heard those things when I said them in 2015 or 2016. The week after, I interviewed a Minor League Baseball player who's also an excellent financial blogger, my new friend Benton Moss. I know many of you got to know Benton for the first time and have enjoyed him. Last week, we reviewed three separate five-stock samplers, picked one, two, and three years ago, respectively, on this podcast, five stocks at a time. We saw how we've done, how those stocks have done for us. 

That's the month that was for Rule Breaker Investing. Now it's the mailbag that will be. All right, how many do we have? Eight. Eight mailbag items this month. Let's get started!

The first two, I welcome them with one of my good friends here at The Motley Fool. Anybody who's listened to Motley Fool podcasts, like, for example, MarketFoolery, will instantly, I hope, recognize David Kretzmann's voice. David, say hello!

David Kretzmann: Hello! Thanks for having me, David!

Gardner: You bet. It's great to have you back on Rule Breaker Investing. Since I last had you on, life has changed a little bit for you here at the Fool, David. Do say!

Kretzmann: Yeah, I stepped into an exciting new role here at The Motley Fool. I still have to pinch myself. I became head of Motley Fool Asia, which for us includes Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and probably within the next year or so -- fingers crossed -- Motley Fool India. An incredible opportunity to work with our small but growing teams in each of those respective countries as we build up The Motley Fool in each of those markets, but then across Asia as a whole. Singapore has been more established for us. That business has been in operation for over five years now. The team is a little bit bigger there. In Hong Kong and Japan, still very much in start-up mode. India, not even out of the womb yet. [laughs] Still to be created. So much to learn about each of those markets, to learn and work with our teams there. Really excited for the opportunity!

Gardner: I think you're having fun, David, because I think I saw some pictures of you on Twitter spending about three weeks in Asia. Am I right? 

Kretzmann: Yeah! Touching into each of those countries. A week and a half in Singapore, a few days in Hong Kong, and then a few days to close it out with our small but growing team in Japan. No substitute for hands-on learning and that hands-on interaction with the team. The time zone separation from Washington, D.C., where we're taping this podcast today and our teams in Asia, it's a 13- or 14-hour difference. That's a lot of early morning or late-night Skype calls. So, being able to interact with the team in person was great, especially for kicking off the new role. A lot of exciting things to be coming out of Asia in the year ahead. You can touch base with me or our team on Twitter, because we'll definitely be keeping our Fools worldwide updated with our progress, bringing The Motley Fool and Foolishness to Asia.

Gardner: Does Foolishness work globally? Can you invest the way that we do and win in Singapore and win in Japan?

Kretzmann: Foolishness translates across borders. You certainly have to respect the unique dynamics of each market. Singapore, for example, compared to a lot of other countries actually has very limited what we call home bias. Singaporean investors, probably more so than just about any other country that The Motley Fool currently operates in, they're more willing to invest outside of their own home country. They're interested in broader Asia companies or U.S. companies or Australian companies. That's a really interesting opportunity for us at The Motley Fool to bring more of our global research and new research in Asia to our Singaporean members, compared with Hong Kong where only 3% of investors invest in anything other than Chinese or Hong Kong companies. There's a very strong home bias there. Then, you compare that to Japan, where the stock market there is still below where it was in the early '90s. The Nikkei local index there --

Gardner: Wow, I didn't realize that.

Kretzmann: Yeah, it's still lower than where it was three decades ago. The message of long-term, buy-and-hold for Japanese investors, at least when it comes to Japanese companies, maybe isn't quite as...

Gardner: Resonant?

Kretzmann: Yeah, not quite as resonant or as powerful of a punch as it is in most other developed economies around the world. But within Japan, there is a healthy interest, similar to Singapore, in U.S. stocks and other international stocks. In each of these markets that we're in throughout Asia, that message of buying individual great businesses, buy and hold for the long term, that will resonate, and that works regardless of the country that you're in. The focus does have to be a little bit different depending on the dynamics in each of those markets, which is part of the fun for our team. 

Gardner: I'm really glad we're bringing that cultural sensitivity because, in fact, every market is different. We can say "Asia." It sounds like a big thing here in the United States of America. It's also the most diverse continent imaginable on planet Earth, with maybe the only exception being Africa, just in terms of the sheer diversity. So, yeah, that's wild to think about, the Japanese long-term mentality. If you're an investor, to think that you haven't been rewarded if you were buying in the late 1990s. Now, if you were buying in 2005 or 2015, you're probably happy having been a patient, Foolish investor. But from that one point when the Nikkei hit that all-time high... I didn't realize it hasn't made it back.

Kretzmann: Yeah. Next time that Akihiro, our head entrepreneur of Motley Fool Japan, next time he's here at Motley Fool HQ, which will hopefully be sometime this year, we'll have to have him join the RBI podcast to talk more about the history of the Japanese stock market. I'd say, when you think about "bubbles" here that we've experienced largely in the U.S., but also worldwide, whether you're talking about cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or cannabis, and the media attention that comes with it, usually it fizzles out within 12 to 18 months. It captures the national attention --

Gardner: The hype cycle.

Kretzmann: The hype cycle. But with Japan, that bubble lasted for the better part of a decade. So if you're a bystander looking at the Japan bubble, it was increasingly hard to sit on the sidelines as you see that bubble grow after one, two, three, five, seven, nine years. It was hard as a bystander to continue to point at Japan and say, "Hey, it looks like something's off there," whether it's the valuations or the incredible hype that was going into Japanese stocks at that point. A lot of fascinating historical learnings that come with Japan. Akihiro and some of our local Fools there'll be able to speak to that far better than I. Maybe later this year, we can talk more about the history of the Japanese stock market.

Gardner: I would love to have him on the podcast!

Kretzmann: Awesome!

Gardner: Thank you, David! OK, Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 1. By the way, neither of these has anything to do with international investing, but these are topics that you and I both enjoy speaking about. Let's go to John Rustad's note. He said, "Recently, my sophomore daughter was in a class that had a business college featured speaker. To start the discussion, the professor asked the kids who owned any stocks. One hand was raised. It was mine." Now, I'm taking it that parents were hanging out in the classroom in the back. So, of all the people in the classroom, one hand goes up, and it is our dear correspondent, John Rustad. 

"The second question was who had a mutual fund. Again, one person, this time my daughter, raised her hand. The professor then started a discussion with her directly about what she owned and how she got started. Her answer was 'Nike' and 'my dad.' Later that evening, as we were sharing our collective days, my son responded with 'I cannot wait until I get to that class.' That was both a proud dad moment, but more so an eye-opener that there were not others with their hands up. It will continue to be my purpose to help educate my children and those I interact with frequently to encourage the journey of saving and investing. Thanks, John Rustad."

John, thank you! David, I just wanted to start with that for this week's mailbag because it remains pretty stark to me, how many people don't seem to be involved in the world that you and I are, where you're saving on a regular basis and investing. 

Kretzmann: Yeah, when it comes to the whole Foolish philosophy of saving on a regular basis and hopefully investing, at least in an index fund, but ideally in some individual stocks, it really is, unfortunately, still luck of the draw when you're introduced to that whole concept of saving and especially investing. For some people, like you and me, it comes through our families, whether it's a mother, father, grandparents, aunt, uncle. A lot of people are introduced to saving or investing through a family member or relative. And then, for some people, I'd say even a smaller minority, it's introduced maybe in a high school class by a teacher or an advisor, or maybe in a college class or extracurricular club. But, again, it really is luck of the draw. There's no uniform class that everyone takes. It's not a topic that's introduced at any sort of uniform time, either somewhere through our family or in society or in education. So, unfortunately, that's still the case. That's where I think we're trying to fill the gap in various ways with The Motley Fool, whether it's through podcasts or the articles on Fool.com, or certainly our services for people who are really ready to take that extra step. But, yeah, the story that John outlined there, it's a reflection of the reality that we're dealing with today.

Gardner: Yeah. And for a lot of people, it isn't that they don't have savings. I'm happy to say a lot of people do have savings. Now, there is a ton of credit card debt out there. The Motley Fool has, for 26 years, been preaching against that, gone right after that, and tried to make sure nobody is holding double-digit interest rate debt. That is going to be hard to overcome. We're trying to help you there. But for a lot of people, they have savings, but they don't know enough. That's what I take from John's story, and then we'll move on to mailbag item No. 2, is that it's not that people can't invest. In many cases, they just don't know. They're paralyzed. Or they don't even know that they're paralyzed. They didn't know it was a thing. They can't say what a mutual fund is. 

We're going to move on to mailbag item No. 2, where we're in fact going to take from our next correspondent a few questions that might have been discussed in that class and break them down. Something that I do on this podcast is, I like to speak to different levels of investing. Sometimes we're talking at a more advanced level, we're picking stocks and talking about net profit margin. But other times, we like to go right into the beginning. Let's go now to Leo Allard, who wrote, he's recently and proudly become a Fool.

Rule Breaker No. 2, Leo writes, "I downloaded the Robinhood app, made my very first investment by purchasing the Rule Breaker Investing service at $99." Well, I'm honored by that! You could have put that toward a stock, Mr. Allard, but you chose to invest with our service. I trust that'll be a good investment for you. In a lot of ways, we're trying to give some of the college-level learning to people. People pay a lot more than that for tuition at most schools. So, I hope that first $99 will be money well spent. 

He goes on to say, "I'm currently taking the steps necessary to get out of credit card debt, to build up an emergency fund, so I can begin in earnest to invest in stocks that are recommended by the service. By my reckoning, it'll take me at least a couple of years to do so, which is frustrating, but at the same time encouraging because I do see light at the end of this tunnel." 

Before we go on here, I just want to mention, I'm so happy to hear that you are drawn forward toward that light. Many people, the idea of having to try to get out of debt and then get your financial life in order over a two-year period, that sounds daunting. But, of course, every step needs to be taken one step at a time, every day, every week. It's about blocking and tackling and making those good decisions to get out of debt, Mr. Allard, and then get educated and invested so you can raise your hand and say -- and you already can -- I own a stock. I own one or more shares of a stock.

He goes on, David, he keeps hearing and reading to start investing straightaway. He's been setting aside $5 a week in his Robinhood brokerage account. When he has the money to purchase one of the recommend stocks, he jumps on it. He says, "My portfolio, don't laugh, " and we're never going to laugh, "my portfolio, don't laugh, consists currently of one share each of the following ticker symbols." There's BILI, which is Bilibili, which is a Rule Breaker Chinese company. That's up 14% for him. CWH, that's Camping World Holdings, up 15% for him. SKX, this is a David Kretzmann former pick.

Kretzmann: Yes, indeed!

Gardner: Up 37% for him, that's Skechers, the shoe company. GH, Guardant Health, up 14%. By the way, all of these are up. And, 2U, which is a wonderful Rule Breaking company that's bringing more people, through distance learning, into college classrooms. That's up 29%. So, he says, "Thank you for those recommendations, spectacular performance." One share of each of those stocks. 

He asks three basic questions. I want to tackle them quickly here. I want to define our terms and get through these. David, he goes on to say, he has some basic questions. The first is market capitalization. He says, "Is this what determines what size the company fits into funds? Like small-cap funds, mid-cap, large-cap? What does small-cap mean?" 

I'm going to answer this one. I'm going to give you the next one. There are various ways of thinking about the parameters of the size of different companies. What we use, and this is fairly standard in the industry, is small caps are companies that are worth $300 million up to $2 billion. That's the small-cap parameter. Next is the mid-cap parameter. These are companies from $2 billion to $10 billion, a nice round figure with an extra figure there to help you know that $10 billion is the cut-off between mid-cap companies and large-cap companies, which are above that. If you like, sometimes I talk mega-cap, and you could make that one over $50 billion or $100 billion. So that, Mr. Allard, is the basic nomenclature of how to think about market caps. Of course, we play a game show every three months on the show to talk more about market cap. 

Here's the next question he asked, David. "What are expectations? What does that mean, and who gives them?" For example, 2U announced quarterly earnings up $0.23 per share, which "beat expectations." Whose expectations, David?

Kretzmann: Typically this will be the expectations of analysts, typically from Wall Street or other institutions, analysts who are following the company. The analysts will usually -- the stereotype that we will often push forward here at the Fool is, they're just typing numbers into a spreadsheet for each quarter. On the conference calls, you'll often see analysts asking very particular questions for the next quarter or next two quarters.

Gardner: For that cell of their spreadsheet.

Kretzmann: Yes. "What's this subset of the expense line going to look like for the next quarter?" That's because they're just trying to plug it into their short-term quarterly or annual model to best gauge near-term expectations. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that. That's certainly not a game that we're playing here at the Fool. Here at the Fool, we're thinking more in broad strokes. Where will this company be three to five years from now? We're not necessarily so worried about where one expense line or revenue will be one quarter from now. That's just not an area where we're going to excel as individual investors or as individual Fools. 

Typically, when you hear a company beat expectations or met expectations or, heaven forbid, missed expectations, it's typically referring to the expectations of analysts who are covering the company.

Gardner: So-called Wall Street.

Kretzmann: Yeah, so-called Wall Street in the case here in the U.S. But expectations will also sometimes be delivered by the company itself. I'd say most companies have fallen into the trap of trying to please those near-term expectations. 

Gardner: And that term we use is guidance, usually. Companies offer guidance to the analysts, who then use that guidance to create their own "expectations."

Kretzmann: Exactly. There are a few companies which have notably basically said, "No, we're not going to give quarterly guidance or annual guidance." Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett is one such person/company that basically said, "No, that's not a game we're playing. We're focused on doing what's best for the business over the long term. We'll leave it up to the analysts who are following the company to do their best guesswork or analysis to project where they think the company will be. People can decide whether or not they want to follow those analysts."

As far as it goes, being a Foolish investor, I'd say you don't want to worry so much about near-term expectations or what Wall Street is expecting for a company in the short term. Like I said, as Fools, we're much more focused on the broad strokes of where a company will be three to five years from now, not one to two quarters from now. 

Gardner: All right, and the last one that he asks about -- I'm not going to read it, but I'm going to summarize. What he's doing in this account is, he's saving enough money in order to be able to buy a single share of a company and diversify the portfolio from there. But some companies have stocks at prices per share of, let's say, $25. Some companies have prices per share -- he mentioned MercadoLibre, which is closer to $375. David, how do you think a new investor should approach building that initial portfolio?

Kretzmann: I'd say if you're dealing with dollar amounts toward that level, if it's like $5 to $10 a week or month and you're looking to build a diversified portfolio of individual stocks, a lot more companies like Amazon and MercadoLibre or Booking Holdings, companies that we love and have recommended numerous times throughout our services at the Fool, they'll have share prices in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Buying one individual share of those companies can sometimes be insurmountable. You're talking about plowing your entire savings or investable assets into one share of one company, which certainly isn't what we're advocating here at the Fool.

Gardner: You bet!

Kretzmann: What I would encourage you to do is look at brokers that offer fractional shares. Unfortunately, Robinhood isn't one of them. I love Robinhood and I use Robinhood a lot as one of the accounts where I buy and hold stocks. There are some other brokers out there. You can just Google "brokers with fractional shares" or "brokers that support fractional shares." You'll see a few options pop up. 

One of them that we've talked about in the past is Stockpile. That's a company where you can invest as little as $5 in a single share of stock. I don't know if necessarily every publicly traded company is available on Stockpile, but certainly a lot of the companies that we've talked about here, and a lot of companies that are recommended in our services at the Fool, including Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers, would be available on Stockpile. That way, you can invest as little as $5 or $10 into one company. 

Gardner: And you're getting a fractional share. The stock may trade at, let's say, $100 a share. You're contributing $10, so you're going to get credited with one-tenth of a share. You don't have to worry about getting to a full share or 23 shares. You could go with 3.7 shares. It's just the same to Stockpile.

Kretzmann: Yeah, that's exactly it. When you're in the earlier stages of starting out, I think this is a really nice way to build a diversified portfolio of quality individual companies that we've recommended at the Fool. Rather than delaying an investment by weeks or months to buy a single share of one company, this way every week or every month, you can buy a fractional piece of a share, whether it's $10, $20, $30 of one company, and then the next month, you rinse and repeat with a different company. That way you get that diversification much more quickly. 

Gardner: Yeah, and with even percentages in each of the stocks that you hold. You're not overbalanced because you own one share of a $300 stock and another share of a $10 stock. 

Kretzmann: Yep. So, Stockpile, if you're in the earlier stages of your journey as an investor, that's a good place to consider.

Gardner: To close on this one, mailbag item No. 1 was all about how people don't know enough. So mailbag item No. 2, I had David Kretzmann in here to try to tackle some of these basic questions. Mr. Allard concluded his note by saying, "These were the most mysterious things to me at this moment." Mr. Allard, I hope we cleared up some of that mystery, not just for you but for anybody listening who's getting started investing. 

If it's like other things in life, the greater the island of knowledge, the longer the coastline of mystery. The more you learn, the more you start realizing there's even more to learn. That's part of the reason we love this subject. You just keep peeling back the layers of the onion. Anyway, thank you, sir, for writing in!

Thank you, David Kretzmann! In fact, David, don't go too far away, because I'm going to have you back at the very end, saving the best for last this week. 

All right, Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 3. This comes from Matt from New Jersey. Matt writes, "Hello. I've been listening to your podcast for almost three years." Thank you, Matt! "First off, I wanted to thank you for helping me get started in investing. I couldn't have done it without all your knowledge." I take that to be our collective knowledge because I know many different Fools contribute to Fool.com and services like Stock Advisor, etc. On behalf of our company, Matt, you're very welcome! He said, "Recently I became a subscriber to Motley Fool Stock Advisor. I've been following along with Tom's and David's picks and noticed an interesting trend at 01:00 PM every other Thursday when their new stock picks come out." That's right, when we email our subscribership the new picks. "The stock immediately jumps in price. Most recently, this happened with Nintendo, which is a recent selection in Motley Fool Stock Advisor.

"There doesn't seem to be any other reason that this happened other than that it was recommended under this service. With that in mind, I wanted to reach out to you guys to see, how do you handle these situations? Obviously, this is great for people who buy at exactly 01:00 PM, right as the stock is about to pop. But it almost feels unnatural that the stock is up for no reason. Something just doesn't feel right. Am I wrong to be feeling this way? Please help."

Well, first of all, Matt, thank you for writing in! Second, Motley Fool Stock Advisor is The Motley Fool's biggest service, and as far as we know, it's the largest stock advisory service of its kind in the world. So, because of the size and popularity of our service, yes, for years now, we've seen the stocks when we send out our new idea, our new pick, our new recommendation, we've seen those stocks move up a little bit right as we send it. I'm really happy to say we've never had a problem with them going up before we send it. We have good protocols in place so there's no front-running of any of The Motley Fool picks. I'm not sure you'll see that elsewhere in the world in every case. But we're very careful about that. 

Now, I want you to know right away that that we wish the pops didn't happen. It would be nice, if you get a buy announcement from The Motley Fool, to think that you could act on that and get the same price as when we sent it. However, due to popularity, and I guess just more demand than supply of the shares in the market in a given moment, the stocks can rise. I'm very aware of that. I'm typically trying to pick companies that are mid to large caps. That's been how I've done the work at Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers for years now. I do pay attention and I do not pick thinly traded stocks. We don't want to move the market. It's not helpful for our members to see stocks that we say, "Hey, we really like that stock at $22," and all of a sudden, it's $24.50 five minutes after we send it out. That rarely happens because The Motley Fool doesn't work in thinly traded stocks. However, even with something like Nintendo, which is a big company, because it's a foreign stock, it's a little bit thinner. So, yeah, Nintendo did jump up a little bit.

Please know that as an investor, it really shouldn't matter too much where the stock is five minutes after we send it or five hours, frankly. If you feel more comfortable, just count seven days off and buy a week later. Short-term price movements are pretty random. When we show you the cost bases that we have in Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers, we print it at the end of the day, so we're not printing pre-pop prices on our services. You're going to see us assume hours later what was the price then? That's where we're scoring ourselves. You can feel free to do the same thing. Please don't feel pressure about buying early. 

It's almost inevitable, given the success of our service and the size of our service that some people are going to immediately try to buy it and maybe sell it five seconds later. I really don't know. I don't work within microseconds, as some traders do, and I can imagine some institutions might be doing that. Sometimes I wonder how many financial advisors might be using a service like Motley Fool's Stock Advisor to help manage their clients' money. There probably is a fair amount of professional money moving in and around Motley Fool picks. But at least for you and for me, as people who are basically mom-and-pop investors, you and I don't need to sweat short-term pops. I would say, take 24 hours off, take a breather, research the stock more yourself. Decide, do you want to buy it? No need to play games that other people might be playing inside of seconds with high volume trading. I'm not even sure. 

I'm really happy to say, in conclusion, that I'm glad you asked the question. We certainly have always thought about it. I can tell you that the very first time I picked amazon.com, the stock popped back when we were an AOL site. Amazon jumped up the next morning after we recommended it. It's just part of the media. When somebody says something in the Heard on the Street column in the Wall Street Journal, or on Barron's over the weekend, or on CNBC some shows, stocks will move. But for us as Foolish investors, the short term just doesn't matter too much. I don't want you to be anxious. I want you to know, we're always doing our best, and we do think about that. So, thank you, Matt!

Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 4. This one comes from Zach Jesberger. Zach said, "Hi, David. I've been listening to RBI for around two years. I've recently completed my first year of Motley Fool membership with both Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers." Thanks, Zach! "So far, I've loved your services, advice, and general outlook on the market and the greater world. I'm happy to continue my second trip around the sun as a Motley Fool member." It's great to have you!

"One thing in particular that always stands out to me beginning with your podcast and followed up by your services is your optimistic Foolish attitude toward investing. I love the prospect of finding and buying shares of companies that have strong leadership and are well-positioned to innovate and shape the future for years to come. As a 26-year-old investor, I'm looking forward to the prospect of holding and growing with some of these companies for the next 20-plus years. A few of my favorite recommendations that I hold dear include Square, Okta, and Shopify due to their disruptive nature and how they've become integral to the modern business and consumer worlds." 

I agree with you, Zach. I really like how you phrased that, that you're looking forward to growing along with those companies. We are all constantly growing. We should be. We should be growing in our knowledge of the world and our interest in making the world better and being inspired by great companies like Shopify doing remarkable things, watching Amazon grow up over 25 years, or Starbucks or Netflix, Apple. That's part of the fun of life for me. I'm also a video gamer who loves to watch my characters level up, so that concept of leveling up and being part of it yourself as an investor and a person, along with the companies we're invested in, that's all tied up in really good stuff in my head, and maybe yours, too. 

Zach goes on to say, "This brings me to an issue I'd love to get your Foolish perspective on. What should we think when the leader, the CEO of a company, sells a portion of their stake in the company? Do you believe this can be an indicator that they're not confident in the future of the company? Or are there other factors at play? Is this an action that Fools should take note or be wary of? Or is it generally just a blip for committed investors? Thank you for any Foolish insights you provide here. I continue to form my own strategies and beliefs around investing."

Well, it's a great question, Zach! The first thing I want you to know is that insiders sell more often than they buy by far. Insiders often start, if they're a founder, with a lot of stock themselves. One of the first things their wealth managers will say is, "You've got all your money tied up in this company's stock. While it's really important, and you're the CEO of it, you really should diversify." So, almost every founder is a net seller of his or her stock throughout, generally, the rest of their lives. You should understand it's natural and normal to diversify. If you're a founder who owns, let's say, 25% of your company -- and there's some examples out there in the public markets, people like Elon Musk, for example -- it's natural to want to do other things in life, like, let's say, put kids through college or buy a second house or maybe, for Musk, another planet. The list goes on of all of the financial commitments we have. Really, their stock is used as a way to fund all the rest of the things they're doing. A lot of them have foundations, they start not-for-profits. There are a lot of drawdowns off of founder stock. So again, please know it's normal. 

Now, all that said, the one key info bit you need to know in each case is: what percentage of this stock did he or she, the founder, just sell of a company? Most of the time, you'll see it's a tiny percentage. Somebody like Reed Hastings, founder of Netflix, he is on a program trading thing -- or has been, anyways, or was for years -- where every two weeks or every month, he's selling off a little bit more. That might look bad, like he's constantly selling his stock, until you notice it's a tiny percentage of his overall holding. The key bit of info here is, how much, what percentage of somebody's stake is he or she selling? That's a matter of the public record. You can look that up. If you're a Motley Fool member, which you are, you can ask questions about it on our forums, on the discussion board for that stock. A lot of people will help you out and give you that info. 

The vast majority of all insider selling is just noise. It's understandable when you think about it from a human dynamic. I wouldn't get tripped up there or lose confidence, unless we saw somebody selling all of their stock all of a sudden at once. Then, we'd at least want to ask some questions or have some discussions about it. Zach, I hope that's helpful! Thanks!

All right, Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 5. I've got another guest star, Megan Brinsfield. Welcome!

Megan Brinsfield: Thanks, David!

Gardner: Welcome back to Rule Breaker Investing! Megan is one of our very talented wealth managers and financial planners here at The Motley Fool Wealth Management, a sister company to The Motley Fool. If I recall correctly, Megan, even though you and I don't technically work at the same company, so we don't see each other very often, one of your expertises is in the area of taxes. Am I right about that? 

Brinsfield: That is true.

Gardner: And it is that time of year, isn't it?

Brinsfield: Yes, unfortunately for many.

Gardner: [laughs] I have a question here from Scott Williams I wanted to read you and hear your perspective. He writes, "Hi, I'm a big fan of the podcast. I've been listening since day one. Thank you for all the great advice, making my day go by a little faster at work." You're welcome, Scott! "I've done very well with some of your recommendations and have sold some stocks with a large gain. I have held these stocks for over a year. My question is, if you sell a stock with a large capital gain in the beginning of the year like I did, are there any penalties for not paying anything to the taxman early? Can you just benefit off that gain until the following April? There's very little information online on this topic. I've never paid taxes early on capital gains in the past, but I've also never had such a very large gain in the past. Hoping to get your thoughts on this topic."

I think Scott was writing me, but really, Megan, I'm hoping to get your thoughts on this topic. 

Brinsfield: Thank you! We're tapping the collective. Congrats, Scott, on having that big capital gain! That's the first item of pride. Second, if you're searching online around what's required for tax payments, one of the search terms that I like to use is "estimated payments." That captures any income that's over and above your normal employment that's subject to withholding. The real answer to this question is maybe. It depends on exactly how large that gain was relative to the rest of his income. 

The IRS puts a threshold. They say, "If you think you're going to owe more than another $500 of tax on this income over the course of the year, then you need to be making these estimated payments." There are a couple of get-out-of-jail-free cards that you can use. One is if you paid at least as much in taxes this year as you did last year. Typically, if you're earning more and more every year, people aren't usually subject to making those estimated tax payments. 

Gardner: Right. If your salary was $77,000 last year, and you're up to $81,000 this year, and you don't have any big gains, there's nothing special you have to do with estimates. 

Brinsfield: That's correct. The idea is that your withholding is also increasing with that overall salary increase. The other get-out-of-jail-free card, or safe harbors, they call it, is if you pay in at least 90% of what you're going to owe this year. If you think about breaking down your overall income, is that gain accounting for more than 10% of your income this year? If so, go ahead and make an estimated payment right away.

Gardner: Let's give a quick numerical example. Let's say we have somebody who is making $100,000 a year. Megan, you're saying that if they have a capital gain above and beyond their salary, that is $10,000 or more, what does that mean for them? 

Brinsfield: That means they should submit an extra payment to the IRS and maybe also to their state, depending on what state they live in, that is approximately how much they would owe as a result of that extra income. So, you would take that $10,000 times your marginal tax rate, do some calculus, send in a check, and then you're good to go. 

Gardner: I know Megan's the first to say that even though she is a tax professional, that's not how this podcast functions. Mr. Williams, I hope that was helpful for you. Of course, for any question like that, we're not just speaking to whoever's writing, we're speaking to anybody, and making sure that you're thinking about these things. Do consult a tax professional directly for any help that anybody needs. I do think Google can be our friend often. Megan, do you use Google to find answers to some of the tax questions you're sometimes tasked with asking? 

Brinsfield: I do. I was actually just tasked with doing a survey for a professional tax research software. They're actually going to start incorporating Google Responses in their search platform. Well-respected platforms are incorporating Google search results as well.

Gardner: OK. And I know that certainly where we live matters, too -- not just which country but which state here in the United States. 

Brinsfield: Absolutely!

Gardner: All right, Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 6. Megan, still intercede here. I'd love to get your perspective on this. This is from Nicolae, who writes, "Dear David and Tom," that's my brother, Tom Gardner, "I just finished reading your Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens, which I thoroughly enjoyed while learning a lot at the same time. After reading the main section of the book, not the bonus section, I opened up a custodial account and used pretty much all my saved money to buy 20 shares of SPY, that's the S&P 500 ETF, 10 shares of Nike, which I now realize are way overpriced." Well, Nike got some bad news recently when a star basketball player broke his Nike shoe and hurt his knee in the most-watched college basketball game of the year. I don't know if you're referring to that or not, Nic. I don't follow Nike as well. But it's been a great company. "15 shares of KMI and 45 shares of ORHOF." 

This is a young man who's started -- in high school, I presume -- to build out his own stock portfolio. Now he says, "After reading the bonus section, I'm now much better informed on how to buy individual stocks. I work a good amount. I continue to bring in money, which I have no need for besides to invest." The great pleasures of being not yet a full adult is that you really can save a huge percentage of that money if you're disciplined. Good job, Nic! 

He said, "I plan on sitting on my shares for a very long time. My main question is, with that money I make, should I just buy more shares of SPY? Or should I look into more individual stocks to buy and build up a more rounded portfolio? Also, are there any other individual stocks you'd recommend for me to research?"

Of course, we're not going to issue direct recommendations of stocks on this podcast. We do through Motley Fool Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers. You might want to take a look at Stock Advisor, Nic. We do that on a regular basis. 

But, Megan, as you hear this very disciplined young man, who was inspired by our book, which we wrote years ago, written for teens, do you think he's on the right path to getting started as an investor? Do you have any pointers or anything else in mind as you hear his story?

Brinsfield: What really strikes me about Nic is that he is approaching investing in a very diversified way. For example, buying a broad-based S&P 500 index is potentially a great way to introduce oneself to investing and take part in the gains of the overall market rather than trying to one individual stock. 

That being said, it can be very educational to buy individual stocks. Pairing a broad-based index with some additional stock picks, whether that's through The Motley Fool services or other ideas that you generate, can be a great way to follow along with those companies and learn about investing. Sometimes, that learning involves getting kicked in the teeth a few times. It's better to do it when you're younger and have more of that time horizon to let those things play out.

Gardner: Very well put. Now, I continue to get kicked in the teeth on a regular basis as a Rule Breaker investor, so it could be a lifelong calling. Thank you, Megan! Let me just ask you before I let you go, when people are calling you through Motley Fool Wealth Management, what are the FAQs? What are you most frequently thinking about on behalf of our members? What might you call attention to for our listeners? 

Brinsfield: A lot of times, questions focus on two main areas. One is retirement planning. Someone coming from their working career and asking, "Do I have enough? When can I pull the plug on my working career?" Having an extra set of eyes on that is always really helpful. There are all sorts of online calculators and resources but getting a real person in there that can validate all of the things that you've been making assumptions about, and maybe even shed some light on things that you haven't considered, can really be helpful for folks. 

The second big area is around overall asset allocation. Looking at someone's portfolio and saying, "Oh, my gosh, did you realize you have 20% of your net worth tied up in one individual stock?" That's something that's really concerning for us and we want to make sure that people, if they continue down that path of being very concentrated, at least understand the risks associated with it.

Gardner: Done with intentionality, eyes wide open, as opposed to not noticing or not really understanding that well.

Brinsfield: Exactly!

Gardner: Thank you, Megan, for joining us once again on Rule Breaker Investing!

Brinsfield: Thank you!

Gardner: All right, Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 7! Now, to Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 7. While we don't have any poetry on this month's mailbag, one thing that consistently the mailbag does seem to bring us every month is some creativity from at least one of our Fools worldwide. Yes, we've had poetry sent into this podcast. We've had people develop websites or apps to mimic our Market Cap Game Show. You know who you are. We appreciate that. And we sometimes have inventions, typically inventions of thought, intangible new concepts. That's what I'm here to share with you next with this item from Eric Potter. Eric, I really appreciate this. Thank you for writing in.

He writes, "Dear David, before I share my complementary thought, I'd like to share a complimentary one." Anybody who recognizes the difference between those two words, using a little wordplay to kick off his note, in this case, can be pretty sure I'm going to share their item on a mailbag. So, good job, Eric! Let me start that again. 

"Before I share my complementary thought, I'd like to share a complimentary one. I thoroughly enjoy your podcast. I found the show two years ago, shortly after I'd begun directing my own retirement savings. At the time, I listened for the five-stock samplers. I wanted information to help me reallocate money out of my index funds. I wanted to beat the market with stocks I believed in, and I didn't much care about anything else. But since then, I've found that the most rewarding part of choosing my own stocks is not the greater returns, though that's been nice. But it has been my perspective shift, from seeing the world as a consumer to seeing it as an owner."

That's such a profound and important statement, Eric, and I'm delighted to hear you say that. I hope everybody can see themselves as owners of pieces of this world, not disconnected from it or as renters. We all do have ownership roles to play, and the stock market makes that really evident, especially people who embrace Foolish investing and conscious capitalism. I hear that some in what you're saying, so thank you for that. 

He goes on to say, "It has made my purchase decisions more meaningful. My seven-year-old thinks we're rich when I tell her we get a tiny fraction of every dollar people spend at our local Kroger supermarket. It's made me more aware of the world around me. I'm constantly looking for excellent products and services I can invest in.

"Similarly, I've found that the most rewarding episodes of Rule Breaker Investing have not been the stock-picking ones but rather the perspective-shifting ones. My favorite so far was your interview last summer with Priya Parker about her book The Art of Gathering. After hearing your interview, I immediately read her book, loved it, and have started buying copies as gifts." I've done the same thing, Eric. I'm really glad to hear that! Thank you!

"That's a long way of saying thank you for venturing out on thought-provoking topics, even if they don't relate immediately to investing decisions." I'll insert here, we're always going to do that on this show. That's just part of life for me. I'd get bored just talking about investing or just business the whole time. I love investing, I love business, and I love life! Part of what we do as we break the rules together is we think about all three of them. 

All right, continuing there, he said, "Even if they don't relate immediately to investing decisions, though they often do eventually. I think it was you who mentioned how Planet Fitness is practicing her idea," that's Priya Parker's idea, "of inclusive exclusion, that by publicly excluding the grunting gym rat, they're signaling to the newbie that he or she is welcome.

"Anyway, now for my complementary idea. I've been thinking about the Gardner-Kretzmann continuum. It's a nice measure of diversification but it fails to measure the length of a person's holdings." Briefly, I'll mention that the Gardner-Kretzmann, for new listeners, this is a ratio of how many stocks you own, how many different investments you have in your portfolio, to your age. For example, if you're 40 years old and you have only 20 stocks in your portfolio, then you have a 0.5 Gardner-Kretzmann continuum -- we picked that name for the fun of it, really -- ratio. Whereas if you're 20 years old and you have 40 stocks, which is closer to my friend David Kretzmann, who you heard from earlier, then you have a GKC of two. It's a simple mathematical ratio. In general, we'd like to see that be one. I happen to be 52 years old, I think I have about 55 stocks. I'm right about at one, and I like that. If you're 15 years old, go for 15 stocks, etc. 

Anyway, Eric goes on to say, "Since we care deeply about holding for the long term, I propose a new metric. My wife is a research scientist. They have an h-index, which is the number of papers you've published that have been cited the corresponding number of times." I'm sure some of you are familiar with the h-index. Google it if you're interested in learning more about it if you don't. But here comes Eric's Fool index. "I propose a Fool index, which would be the number of companies that you've owned for the corresponding number of years. For example, I'm a new single-stock investor. I have owned one company for at least two years and I've owned 25 companies for at least one year. That means my score is still just one. I would need to have owned two companies for at least two years for my score to go up to two, and that won't happen until June." So, if you've held 10 different stocks for 10 years or more, then your Fool index, Eric Potter's creation, would be 10. 

"Had I conceived of this metric sooner, it might have kept me from selling my Facebook shares in disgust last month. Had I not done that, my Fool index would already be two, and my IRA would be worth a couple of hundred dollars more. Thank you again for your wonderful show. I look forward to many more great episodes!"

Well, Eric, thank you! You just helped make this a great episode of the show. I love your Fool index. I'm not going to immediately adopt it because it's your creation. I think you should rename it the Potter index because that's your idea, drawing off of your wife's research work and the index that they use in that field. I think that's a great concept. Perhaps we'll have opportunity to talk more of the Potter index in future shows or years. It's a great idea! For all of us as aspirational Foolish investors, which I am, too, we're all aspirational Foolish investors of whatever age and experience, I think that index of how many stocks have you held for the corresponding number of years, is very capital Foolish.

Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 8. I've welcomed back my friend David Kretzmann. David, welcome back!

Kretzmann: Good to be back! It's been a long time!

Gardner: I probably would have done this in a different order if I'd really thought through this podcast. But as you know, I'm the program director for this podcast. It's kind of slapdash. I'm putting it together. Rick Engdahl, my producer, sends me a few dozen pages of people writing in, and I kind of just put it all together in the morning, and then we do it in the afternoon. And sometimes I screw up the order. I actually am glad that we're closing with this, David, but I feel like I haven't made the best use of your time today, and I apologize for that.

Kretzmann: Hey, no worries at all. It's always a pleasure to be involved, regardless of the timing!

Gardner: Thank you very much! Well, you and I talked a little bit about this. The reason I wanted to have you here, two reasons. First is, you know, kind of, who's writing in. You can offer a brief reflection or story there. But also, I really want your perspective on what Martin Triggs has written in this month. Here it comes.

"Dear David and Rule Breaker Investing team, thank you for mentioning me on the last mailbag." Martin had written in asking, since we do anything goes on the show sometimes, would we ever do karaoke? [laughs] He said, "I look forward to hearing you all sing sometime. Maybe Kenny Rogers' song The Gambler, which seems an appropriate money-oriented tune. Maybe last week's guest," this was written a week or two ago, "Benton Moss," our baseball player, "can provide the guitars," because Benton is a talented musician. 

Anyway, he said, "I have listened to every Rule Breaker Investing podcast, often several times." I am deeply honored by that! I hope it's been worth your time. Thank you very much for doing that! He said, "The one I think is most important is the podcast you did after the tragic shooting of members of Congress during a baseball practice. This horrific event was captured well by one of the victims, Congressman Steve Scalise, in his recent book on that event Back in the Game."

Let me just pause to mention that, yes, we did an extra podcast this week. We still did our regular Wednesday podcast, but given that those events had happened in our hometown of Alexandria, Virginia, a few of us felt a need to say something. So I entitled that podcast We Have Met the Enemy. If anybody would like to go back and listen to what Martin Triggs honors me by saying it's the most important podcast I've ever done, you can go back and listen, just Google "We Have Met the Enemy Rule Breaker Investing," I think you'll find it. Anyway, thank you, Martin!

You go on to say, "Such an event like this, a deranged gunman shooting at elected democratic political leaders, is totally senseless and evil. I applaud you for taking the responsible action to condemn this as totally unacceptable and to try to restore some calm and reason into this terrible unraveling of social order. Thank you for doing that. I'm sure it had a wide positive effect." Well, we, of course, had a very small role to play. I remember Chris Hill did a wonderful podcast as well that week. It obviously really struck home for us because it was right here in Alexandria, Virginia, just minutes away from Fool HQ. 

Martin goes on. David, you know that Martin is writing from... 

Kretzmann: Japan.

Gardner: That's correct. This is where I wanted to welcome you in. You had a meetup in Japan recently. 

Kretzmann: Yes. To close out my trip across Asia, we had a member event in Tokyo, Japan. We probably had 20, 25 members and some contractors and our full-time Fools as well. A nice Foolish gathering on a Friday evening at a bar in Tokyo. One of the attendees was a man named Jason, who is a longtime fan of the Fool. He's from Canada. He subscribes to multiple services across several of our countries. 

Gardner: Thank you, Jason!

Kretzmann: He's a listener as well. He mentioned, "Hey, I know Martin. He hosts an investing meetup not necessarily attached to the Fool, but an investing meetup in Tokyo on a somewhat regular basis."

Gardner: It's like an investment club. 

Kretzmann: Exactly. He said, "He's a diehard fan of the Fool, and he speaks very highly of the Fool. And, by the way, he wrote in on the most recent mailbag edition of Rule Breaker Investing."

So, Jason and I, we had a selfie. We had a great conversation. He sent a follow-up note saying, "Hey, could you let David know that I know Martin and I'm a huge fan of the show?"

Gardner: Oh, that's great!

Kretzmann: So, giving a shout-out to Jason and to Martin this week on RBI podcast. 

Gardner: Yeah, thank you very much! You know what's cool about this is? Every mailbag item that I've presented for years now on this podcast has a real human being behind it. Part of the fun of some of our jobs -- and David, I think you're having more fun than I am -- is that we don't just read them on a podcast and do our best to reply. We get out there in the world. People like you, David, go halfway across the world and get to actually shake hands with Jason, who's Martin's friend, so I can share some backstories we have with an item like this.

Anyway, I want to go on, then I'd love to hear your perspective on what Martin goes on to say. He goes on to say, "I would love to be an American and to live in America, but due to circumstances, I can't. There is no country like it, and people who live there are enormously privileged. America is the exception, not the rule. I remember when I first read about Warren Buffett. The first time I came across his name, it was in a Canadian newspaper around 1996. He said something very odd to a question on life and how to succeed. His response was to be, first of all, extremely thankful of being able to live in America. That in itself was a major advantage compared to many other countries in the world."

I want to insert here, this is being written, I think, by a Canadian. So it's kind of you to say that, Martin. I think we here in America, I hope we do feel very privileged, we also know that we have lots of flaws and there are lots of other great countries out there. That's part of the reason I love it when David gets to go see countries like Singapore, which are remarkable countries on their own. So, this is not a chauvinistic statement on my behalf that I'm reading what this Canadian-born, I'm thinking Japanese expat is saying, is thinking. 

He goes on to say, "It was hard for me to understand that at the time. But as I've come to learn more about America, business, and its amazing achievements, especially in comparison to most other countries, I've come to appreciate just how lucky Americans really are. Mr. Buffett knows this well and never tires of his enthusiastic support and hope for America. I've been alarmed recently about the rise of socialism and its popularity. This poses a great danger and threat to America. I think you need to do a podcast and feature someone to help defend capitalism and take on socialism and its falsities. Concluding, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz has been surprised at this backlash against success, claiming that to become a billionaire is something good, it's part of the American dream."

Martin goes on more from there, but we don't have full time to read it all. But, David, I want to say one thing about that, then I want you to say one thing about that, and then this one's done. 

Kretzmann: Sounds good!

Gardner: I want to say, and this one's shooting from the hip, if you're watching this on YouTube, since now all of our podcasts are on our Motley Fool YouTube channel, you'll see that I'm just looking at you, not having prepared this. I want to say that what think is great about America is its ability to evolve and adapt. I think capitalism has lifted not just America, but it's elevated humanity worldwide for centuries. Somebody like Steven Pinker knows that as well as anybody, just looking at the data. But I feel that very strongly, too. 

I also know that there's been a lot of bad capitalism practiced in the United States of America. I think people who don't like capitalism sometimes are reacting to things that represent capitalism at its worst. I believe that capitalism today as practiced in the United States of America is at its most beautiful and highest form yet. It's not perfect by any means. But part of the reason I'm on the board of Conscious Capitalism is because I believe when capitalism is practiced consciously, it is an unbeatable model. It's a really tough team to outscore. I think very few examples outside of capitalism can hold any light, anything close to what capitalism has done for America and for the world at large.

I'm pretty sure, Martin, you know that I believe that, and I'm pretty sure The Motley Fool exists to help people find the best capitalistic entities -- there are some bad ones, there are some great ones -- and watch those things grow and improve the world over time. And indeed, I think Howard Schultz as much as any American entrepreneur has added great quality of life improvements, and it really helped lift a whole industry. After all, Starbucks really popularized fair trade coffee. When I had Paul Rice on this podcast a few months ago, he knows how valuable Starbucks has been to the fair trade movement. 

Anyway, those are just a few thoughts. I don't know that I'm going to do a podcast in the way that Martin's asking. But if I did, it would just be about conscious capitalism. David, you're, I'm going to count, roughly, let's go with one generation younger than I am. I'm 52. You are... ?

Kretzmann: 26. 

Gardner: There we go!

Kretzmann: Nicely done!

Gardner: I always say every generation is about 25 years. So you are one generation earlier than I am. I'm curious what you think about what Martin's saying and some of the concern that younger people your age are leaning into socialism.

Kretzmann: Yeah, certainly, I think Martin's hitting on something there. A lot of people in my age group, for whatever reason, have some resentment toward wealth or toward capitalism. I think it's important for all of us, whether it's my generation or another generation, to take a step back and look at the big picture, which I think Steven Pinker's work especially demonstrates that a system of voluntary exchange -- and capitalism at its best is always voluntary. 

Gardner: I don't have to buy from you. 

Kretzmann: Yeah, it's all voluntary. There's ideally no coercion involved. Again, no system is perfect when you're talking about a way of organizing humans. All of us would prefer that it's voluntary, and that any exchange that we have as humans is mutually beneficial. Capitalism at its best, I think, moves us toward that direction. Steven Pinker's work has shown and demonstrated that capitalism as a system over the past, let's say, 200 years, particularly within the U.S. but increasingly, ideally, in some other countries, is generating so much prosperity, unlike anything we've ever seen before in the world.

Somewhat related to this, to tie it into Asia, and something that I've been learning about more as I learn about these different countries throughout Asia, if you go back to the 1950s after World War Two and you told someone that a product was made in Japan, people would typically scoff at that and think that, "Made in Japan? That's low quality. That's a bad thing for the world." Fast-forward to today. You say the same thing to people around today, "made in Japan." That's now connoted with quality. Right now, you say "made in China." 10 years ago, people would react to that the same way that people would react to "made in Japan." "It's cheap, it's low quality. Why would you do that? We should be making stuff in America." Things like that. But China increasingly is moving toward more specialized labor. The economy is developing. The price of labor in China, wages in China, are rising. So now, you're seeing a manufacturing shift from China to Vietnam, to Thailand, to Malaysia. And now, you have these economies starting to emerge and develop. 

I would say there's an element of pride in those economies as they develop, as they create more jobs. Granted, these are entry-level jobs. They don't necessarily require high skills. But it's a starting point. It represents building blocks for these economies and these countries to develop over time. It doesn't happen overnight.

Again, there are plenty of problems within each of these countries, including the U.S. But it's all a matter of progression toward a system that builds prosperity, that enables each person to bring out their very best. And I think a lot of that starts with the foundation of capitalism that has been built and evolved in the U.S. over the past couple of hundred years.

Gardner: Entrepreneurs who come up with a better idea, somehow get funding enough or bootstrap it themselves and create a product or service that other people want to buy, and all of a sudden, it turns into Apple after 30 years, or Netflix, companies that have added huge amounts of value and fun to the world. Or Ben and Jerry's. Ben and Jerry's has always made me happy. Most recently The Motley Fool, which now has a venture capital fund, we invested in UrbanStems, which, if you're in Washington, D.C., or New York City, gets you a lovely bouquet of flowers delivered by bicycle within two hours. 

In conclusion, it looks like the world's getting better to me. Most data show that it is continuously getting better since capitalism sprouted. I know that we have many motley opinions here at The Motley Fool. To conclude, we love a capitalism that rewards all stakeholders. Conscious Capitalism is about benefiting your employees and customers and partners and suppliers and the environment and your community and, oh, by the way, your shareholders, too. Part of the reason that The Motley Fool has a distinguished record of picking market-beating companies is because we look for the best.

Anyway, Martin, thank you very much for writing in! Perhaps we'll think more about this at some future point. Maybe I'll write an essay and present it at some point. I hope that these points are getting through. I know listeners of this podcast, I'm hoping, generally agree with these things, and you would feel comfortable challenging me in a mailbag if you think I'm missing something. I've taken such challenges before on this podcast. We do deeply love capitalism when well-practiced. I don't think there's a better model. It involves the voluntary actions of producers and consumers, entrepreneurs and fans, to create better products and services that are leveling up our world all the time. I grew up in a world where the only thing I could do when I called home was a collect call over a pay phone. It cost quite a lot to talk to my parents once a week. These days, we can Skype for free to anyone in the world, many of us. That's remarkably better! And that's just a silly example, 30 years later. That's what I'm seeing all the time with the great businesses that are coming along that we're recommending. 

Anyway, Martin, thank you very much! Thank you, Jason! Thank you, David!

Kretzmann: Thanks for having me!

Gardner: All right, thus it was for February, and thus it was for this mailbag. Thanks for sticking with us right to the Foolish end. Next week, it's Mental Tips, Tricks, and Life Hacks Volume 4. We do about one of these a year. If you have a great mental tip, a mental trick, or a life hack, there's still time to submit. I might feature you on next week's podcast. We are taping early. We're taping within about 24 hours of this podcast that you're listening to coming out. If you want to tweet us @RBIPodcast or drop us a note -- [email protected] is the email address -- we're going to need to get it from you by about noon this Thursday. Yep, that's right, February 28th. That's the afternoon that we're taping. If you've got some great stuff for me, I look forward to seeing it. I've already gotten some good ones. Frankly, I had already saved up five fun tips, tricks, and life hacks to share anyway. We might have an abundance of riches on next week's podcast. I sure hope we do. 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.

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