If it's the last week of the month, then it's time for Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner to speak directly to his listeners' concerns by responding to their questions and comments.
In this episode of the Rule Breaker Investing podcast, those queries range across the spectrum, covering subjects like whether investing in IPOs early is a good idea, whether it's possible to "miss the boat" on a good stock, what's wrong with penny stocks, and where legal marijuana stocks may fit in your values-based investing approach.
To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on April 24, 2019.
David Gardner: At The Motley Fool, we celebrate motley. I mean, of course we do! You know this, it's The Motley Fool. You know that motley is the name given to the garments worn by the jesters of yore, patchwork quilt-like garments, many-colored, signaling to the members of medieval courts that this, this motley-wearing person, male or female, this was the court jester. Motley. Well, the motliest, most ragtag podcast that I do every month is the mailbag podcast. The final Wednesday of every month, your questions, our best answer. It's anything goes. It's highly motley, here in Rule Breakerville. And sure enough, once again this month, we have wide-ranging topics from penny stocks to how to handle underperformance not in your portfolio, but in your business. Should we rename The Market Cap Game Show? Only on this week's Rule Breaker Investing.
Welcome back to Rule Breaker Investing! It's been a busy month, the month of April. We started April with Five Stocks for the Age of Miracles. That was my most recent five-stock sampler. That came out on April 3. Seven days later, it was time to talk about how to make your corporate culture, your company culture, for profit, not for profit, your workplace, how to make it more Foolish, how to break the rules. We shared some of what we do here at The Motley Fool, and we got some good questions back. We'll be covering some of those on this mailbag. Also last week, stock sampler reviews. If we're going to pick stocks every 10 weeks or so, we might as well check back a year, two, three years later and see how did they do? And what can we learn from that? I had a lot of fun reviewing two five-stock samplers last week with my friends, Brian Feroldi and Jim Mueller.
Well, that all brings us to the final Wednesday. That's right, hasn't April flown? This is the final Wednesday of April. Next Wednesday will be May 1. So here we are with your mailbag. And as always, as I mentioned at the top, a motley array of questions and conversations. I've lined up my guest stars once again. In fact, Bill Mann is going to be joining me very shortly.
But before we get to Bill, I also love to lead off with some hot takes from Twitter, some shorter takes. That's how we're going to start this episode.
First one comes from Nate Smith, who wrote, "@RBIPodcast, listened to an old grab bag where you mentioned two reasons you like Trex," that's the outdoor decking company, the composite decking company, Trex, both the name of the company and its ticker symbol, by the way. Nate goes on: "You left to key one out. You invest in stocks and hold your values. Well, Trex products are made from 95% recycled plastic. It's the only major marketable product derived from recycling one-use plastic bags." Well, that's a great thing to hear, Nate. I don't think I'd remember that myself. But isn't it wonderful? When you and I invest, truly our dollars are shaping the future, both as consumers and investors. So to think that our goal as investors is to profit off of the world being shaped by the dollars we're putting into these investments, we really are helping companies when we buy them whether as IPOs -- as we'll be talking about in a little bit -- or older companies like Trex that have been around for a while. You surely are shaping the future. It's nice to think, with conscious capitalism on my mind, as I'm going to a big conference in Phoenix, Arizona this week, it's great to think that when our dollars are well invested, we profit and the world benefits as well. There's a great quick example from Nate Smith, @Nate_1_Smith on Twitter about Trex.
Another hot take, this one comes from Erin Waterson. Thanks for writing, Erin! This is really nice! "Hi, I'm a subscriber to Rule Breakers and Stock Advisor for the past year. I wish I'd been a subscriber since the AOL days. I wanted to commend David on his genuineness, love of his family and other people, and the environment. Listening to David is refreshing in this current setting of drama and negativity. Thank you for sharing yourself and your talents." Thank you very much, Erin! That's very kind of you to write! I love hearing nice things. It really fuels me. I'm one of those people who does better with positive reinforcement than negative reinforcement. I don't think I would have been great in the Marines, for example. I like to get propped up by people. It helps me prop other things up. So, Erin, really nice of you to write in! If you ever want a free job at The Motley Fool -- no, I'm kidding. Maybe I'm kidding.
Alright, and the final hot take this month. This comes from Luke Joseph. "Hi, David. Just want to say thank you for answering my question on last month's mailbag. I usually listen to the podcast on double speed," says Luke. Oh, shame on you! Look, you're missing so much of the nuance of this podcast. No, no, I understand. Many people like to listen on faster speed. Admittedly, it is clearly a more efficient way to process podcasts, audiobooks, etc. But Luke goes on to say, he did slow it down, though, to regular speed when his question was answered, and he listened to it over and over again. Luke writes, "Not only did you guys answer the question perfectly, and assemble my requested Dream Team, I was amazed and amused that you actually named the podcast after my question, too. It really made my day." Well, for those who weren't around for this mailbag a month ago, Luke asked us to assemble a dream team to talk to biotech valuations, and why biotechnology companies so often look so expensively priced, and would you ever want to buy those stocks? Luke asked me to put together a dream team of a few of his and my favorite analysts speaking of biotech, and we did that. And you're right, Luke, we named the podcast after -- well, not exactly you, but in a sense, you; your suggestion. It shows, clearly, that we're very and we always have been -- for 26 years at The Motley Fool -- community driven. And that is the spirit of this mailbag every month. So, thank you, Luke!
Alright. Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 1. First up this month, Surinder Punjya. Dr. Punjya, thank you for your note! "David, I'm a big fan of financial literacy. I've been educating myself by reading books and also listening to the podcast. I'm reading the book 100 to 1 right now." I haven't read that myself. "Just finished reading 25 years' of Buffett annual letters." Dr. Punjya, I've also not done that myself. "I actually get excited each week and look forward to the daily and weekly podcasts, including Market Foolery, Industry Focus." These are all Motley Fool podcasts, thank you! "And, of course, Rule Breaker Investing." This is very kind! "You are my hero, thank you for your invaluable service that you provide.
"I wish I had joined 10 years ago. I did come across the service, but the name kept me away. I am such a fool." That does happen, by the way. The Motley Fool name doesn't exactly suggest Schwab-like, Vanguard-like trust to people. Some people think that we're just joking until they eventually look a second or third time, or a friend mentions it to them. Anyway, you say, "I finally took the plunge a little over a year ago. I'm glad I did. Glad to be a Fool. Can we have a commentary on IPOs? There's a flood of them coming each week. Fool on. Sincerely, Surinder."
Well, I guess I want to say three quick things about IPOs. The first is, I want to make sure that we're all clear on what an IPO is. IPO stands for the phrase "initial public offering." That's basically when companies that were previously private, started by an entrepreneur, probably venture capital backed or sometimes family money backed. The company gets big enough that it decides it wants to sell a portion of itself to the public at large through the New York Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ or another exchange, sell a portion of itself to you and me, armchair investors. And we can become part owners of that company, too. The company is born on the public markets. Day one, when a company IPOs -- yes, it's a verb, too. Doesn't really make that much sense, does it? Initial public offerings, day one, when it IPOs, that company has a ticker symbol, and it becomes a stock. And you and I can buy it. So No. 1, just wanted to define our term and make sure we're all clear on what an IPO is.
Point No. 2, none of us has to buy them. Not one of us ever has to buy an IPO. Rarely have I ever bought a stock within the first day, let alone month that that stock came public. I wouldn't say I've never done it. I'd have to search my memory. I've been investing for 34 years now as an individual investor since taking over my own account at age 18. I don't think that I've ever bought a company on the first day or two of it being traded. In part, that's because those companies tend to have their stocks, if they're good companies, zoom way up. There's a lot of intense interest, especially as Dr. Punjya is mentioning, in this time, where you're finding out about Zoom coming public and Lyft coming public and Uber, and Slack, I think, might come public here in 2019. And the list goes on of interesting companies -- Beyond Meat, I think, is going public in 2019. There are a lot of interesting companies that weren't going public in 2018, '17 or '16. There's a little bit of pent-up demand. For whatever reason, a lot of them are going public this year. There's news stories around them. Their stocks typically come out and zoom, just like Zoom's IPO did last week, the stock up 70% in one day.
But one of the reasons I don't typically buy them at IPO is because you and I don't get that 70% gain. You hear the news say the stock was up 70%. But what's actually happening there is, the company gaps up on the opening. It had an intended opening price. But from the first second of trading, buyers have bid it up. So, instead of a company -- I'm making this up -- coming public at $30, all of a sudden, the first trade will be at $42. And you'll hear, "Wow, that stock's up more than 30%!" Nobody profited as a public stock market investor from that. Only the people who owned the shares the day or week or three years before, the founders of the company and the venture capital investors. Only those people owned the stock at $30 or below that. Everybody else is starting to buy it at $42. And often, within six months, those stocks are back down to where they initially traded or lower than that, studies have shown. So point No. 2: you really don't have to buy any IPO.
In fact, here's a little mental exercise I like to go through, and I did this recently on the show -- I started to suggest, what are some other stocks you could buy instead of that IPO? I often can find companies that I like just as much, if not more, that are surer things, in my mind, then some of the new births that are occurring on the public markets. Not to say you shouldn't be excited about a great company like Uber or an interesting IPO like Beyond Meat. But it is to say, you and I don't have to buy them. We can do really well as investors without getting caught up in that IPO hype.
And then point No. 3: if you are interested in an IPO -- I mean, I love it when a cool new company that I'm interested in is born in the public markets. I was really fascinated by Match Group when it came public a few years ago. It's been one of our better stock picks. I would say this: consider just buying a small initial position. Then maybe add to that over time. You know that we like to add to our winners. We don't so-called double down on our losers as Rule Breaker investors, but consider that. You can toe-dip. You can start with a small position. And then, if you like how the company's developing, then maybe go from there.
Oh, my gosh, is it Bill Mann, the global director of small-cap research, in Fool studios?
Bill Mann: I snuck in. How are you, David?
Gardner: You didn't sneak in, Bill. That really understates it. We laid out a red carpet, we gave you free Starbucks.
Mann: That's true.
Gardner: It's an honor to have you! You were here just a few weeks ago. I have a mailbag item that was spawned by that. But before we get to that, Bill, I wanted to just ask you, any quick thoughts from you on IPOs?
Mann: I think a lot of people get very excited by them. Obviously, it's an event. But the thing that you have to recognize about investing is that once a company comes public, it's public until... you'd want to say forever, but until it goes private or whatever. There's plenty of time. One company that we all know and love is Pinterest. One thing that I like to point out, just thinking about Pinterest, for example, is that when it came public, it popped. Then the stock dropped a lot, because I think they struggled a little bit by virtue of now being in the light of having to report quarterly. Companies really change a little bit once they become public. Never feel like you're missing out on a public offering simply because you've missed the IPO.
Gardner: You know what's funny? Here's just a quick analogy, Bill. This is not taking a shot at Pinterest, a company I admire. It's just more the humor around IPOs. Are IPOs kind of like new cars? They're really shiny, and as soon as you drive them off the lot, seconds later, they're down 30% a lot of the time?
Mann: [laughs] A lot of the time, they are. You have to be pretty lucky for it not to drop at some point. The great news about most IPOs, or a lot of IPOs, is that they don't keep going down like your shiny new car. But...
Gardner: Fortunately Facebook did come back. I know there's a lot of Motley Fool money long-term riding on a company like that, where we waited for it to drop some and then bought.
Mann: That's right.
Gardner: Alright. Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 2. The ostensible reason that I had Bill in, but it's a pleasure to have him in anyway. No. 2, this one comes from John Rustad. He writes this. "Hi David and Bill Mann. Recently I heard Bill on a podcast mention he's a TD Ameritrade customer. Now, as a TD customer as well, I'd like to know how to get more free trades. Any ideas? When calling TD to ask for this, the answer provided is they offer more training and their customer service is better than competitors'. One way to get free trades is by the referral program. Not exactly sure I want to spend my time that way. It would seem I'm not the only one. I've heard many Fools talking about getting free trades." TD Ameritrade, Bill Mann?
Mann: Yes. The one thing that I would say -- and John has already done this -- is you have to ask. What you need to understand about brokerages at this point is that the trades themselves are commodities for them. They cost them nothing. So it really makes no sense -- in fact, I think within the next five years, most trades will actually be free. Brokers know this. They know this about themselves. They know this about their businesses. So when you call and ask, you can simply say, "I have made x number of trades. I've been with you for x number of years." Let's call it out, for me with Ameritrade, it'd be 25 years.
Gardner: Wow! Was it Ameritrade back then? It was just Ameritrade back then.
Mann: I was with Waterhouse.
Gardner: Waterhouse Securities was purchased by TD Bank, which then merges with Ameritrade some years later.
Mann: That's right! I was with Waterhouse.
Gardner: We had a lot of early advertisements -- since we were back in the day in the 1990s, you were with us, Bill -- from some of the early stage discount brokers. Do you remember Mr. Stock?
Mann: [laughs] Mr. Stock. I had not thought about Mr. Stock in... DayTech was another.
Gardner: Yep. That might even be part of Ameritrade.
Mann: I think it is.
Gardner: It all seems to have rolled up into just a few different companies.
Mann: I was Waterhouse, so I've been there a long time. You have to understand that they don't want you to go anywhere else because they make so much more money on you by virtue of your money and your assets being with them, through stock lending, through lots of other things, through just having those assets in-house. So they don't want you to go anywhere. Ask. Ask very nicely, but be clear on the fact that it would be quite easy for you to leave. Be nice about it. They want to say yes. They don't want you to leave. So, yeah, just keep asking, but be prepared to leave.
Gardner: It sounds like John was told things like, "Hey, referral program. That's the way you can get free trades. Let us know your buddy, and if your buddy joins, you can get free trades.
Mann: My buddy's got a brokerage account. I don't know about yours.
Gardner: So you suspect that's maybe an initial line that you'll be provided. But maybe if you keep pushing on a little bit -- like, I'm going to move my account to my buddy's --
Mann: Right! My buddy's happy with his brokerage. Just keep in mind that it costs them nothing to do trades for you. And I mean nothing. Nothing. Not virtually nothing. Nothing. Tell them that you'll do x number of trades in a year. We don't like doing a lot of trades, but if they're free, it's helpful. They still make money on the spreads between the buy and the ask when you buy and sell.
Gardner: Bill, what would get you to move your account? You and I are somewhere around the age of 50 now.
Mann: Somewhere around there.
Gardner: Very close to 50, Bill, if I recall. Just weeks ago.
Mann: [laughs] That's right.
Gardner: Could you see yourself moving your account in the next 25 years?
Mann: Sure. As with a lot of people, my children have their college accounts and those are different brokers.
Gardner: Spread it out.
Mann: A lot of people have their credit at multiple brokers. So, yeah, it would require some paperwork. But to save $400-$600 in trades over the course of the remainder of my shortening life, I would do that in a second.
Gardner: Are you saying, right now, on this podcast, to TD Ameritrade, if they don't offer you -- let's go with 100 free trades -- that you, Bill Mann, are going to move your account?
Mann: That's a bit much. I actually have made the call. They have come way down and have offered me quite a bit, so there's no real need to. I'm very happy at TD Ameritrade.
Gardner: Alright, good. Let me share one more mailbag item with you, Bill, get your quick input on this one. This comes from Kevin Marcotte. Kevin writes, "Hi, David. Love your podcast along with the many others from The Motley Fool, all helping entertain, educate me on daily commutes from work. I'm also a proud member of the Stock Advisor Canada service. Hope to continue as a member for a long time.
"As you guessed from the title," which was FOMO, basically, "my question for you this month is one that comes with some anxiety. About two weeks ago, I'd saved enough money, I was ready to purchase my latest stock, Disney. Life quickly got in the way. Time slipped by, all while my savings sat in cash waiting to be deployed. I had mixed emotions when I heard Disney's latest plans during its investor day about its details on its new Disney+ movie rental service. I was happy to see the stock soaring over 11% on the news. However, I felt very foolish for forgetting to purchase the stock earlier that week. Now I'm sitting here feeling like I missed out on the pop and the opportunity to purchase the stock has passed."
Mann: My simple question is this: would you have bought the stock in order to gain 11%? Is that your end goal? Maybe we should come up with a new acronym or a portmanteau. We'll call it ReBi, recency bias. Yes, the stock went up very quickly in the last two weeks on the heels of this announcement. I suspect that there will be challenges behind this announcement as they roll it out. I think you're going to get plenty of opportunities. But if Disney is the company that you wanted to own 11% ago, it's still the company that you want to own today.
Gardner: That is so well put! Kevin closes by saying, "Maybe I'll let the stock ride out the news a bit before ultimately buying anyway? Buy it right away, knowing I believe that long-term the company is going to beat the market. I realize this may be small in the long term." And I think with that line, he's showing, Bill, that he has the Foolish mentality ultimately. I love your concept of, would you have bought that stock just for that 11% gain? I don't think many of us would. I know all of us here at The Motley Fool focus on the businesses themselves, not the stock price movements. Always thinking about three-plus years. We wouldn't ever do it that way.
Mann: Absolutely not!
Gardner: So are you saying to Kevin, just go out and buy it now?
Mann: Here's what I would say. If you really do actually feel bad that the stock has moved, maybe especially if you've gone and gotten your free trades from your broker, buy a little bit. Get a stake in the ground. You can buy more over time. Don't worry about the fact that you have missed what's happened over the last two weeks. No more ReBi. Let's just get into the mindset of buying for the long term. You will be just fine. Disney is about as good a vehicle as you can get to get there.
Gardner: Thank you, Bill!
Mann: You're welcome, David! Thanks for having me!
Gardner: Alright, Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 4. This one comes from Anup Ayer. "Hi David and the RBI team. I do enjoy The Market Cap Game Show, but I can't help wondering if podcast listeners would be better served by the use of enterprise value instead of market cap as an indicator of company size. Doing so would help sensitize analysts and listeners to debt on the balance sheet."
Now, before I go on with this, I want to say that I have certainly considered this. I've thought about this from time to time. I'm very glad that Anup is raising this as a topic in this month's mailbag. And the reason that this is important, quick difference between market cap and enterprise value is that enterprise value is basically market cap accounting for whether there is cash or debt on the balance sheet. In fact, Anup Ayer goes on to illustrate this pretty well, but I just want everybody to know that ultimately, when you buy out a company or look at the price in the market cap, it is reflecting whether that company has a ton of debt or a ton of cash. So it is a factor worth considering.
Anyway, continuing on with this note, "Picking two examples from the recent show. AMERCO," which is the parent company of U-Haul, "at a market cap of $7 billion seems valued below Etsy, which has a market cap of $8 billion, until we take a closer look at the cash vs. debt position of these two companies. It turns out AMERCO carries a good bit of debt on its books, whereas Etsy's net cash overshadows its debts." The enterprise values ring in this way: AMERCO, instead of being a $7 billion market cap, it's more like a $10 billion enterprise value, while Etsy is about $1 billion less with its enterprise value. You go on to provide an example with Southwest Airlines, etc. "So how about the game show using enterprise value instead?"
Alright, two quick answers. The first one is, I have considered this and yet I have ultimately rejected this. Let me explain why. First off, The Market Cap Game Show has a lovely -- I'm even going to say a mellifluous -- ring to it. The Enterprise Value Game Show just sounds a little bit unfun to me. Further, enterprise value, Anup, is a little bit more complicated as a concept. Each time we did this, we'd have to explain the cash and the debt of the company. It would be as if, taking a fun game show like Jeopardy, you were starting to have some technicalities in how people answered, like they would have to specifically define some of the terms as they give the answer in order to get credit. It adds a layer of complication that I don't think fits the game show quite as well.
I also want to mention something else about enterprise value, which is a little counterintuitive, but fun to think about. When you buy a company, let's take AMERCO, which has a market cap of $7 billion, and you are assuming $3 billion of its debt, because that's the net debt for AMERCO, you are in fact, in a way, paying $10 billion. It sounds like it's worth more because it has a lot of debt. On the other hand, Etsy, which you mentioned had a market cap of $8 billion, because it has about a billion in cash, it makes it sound like it's worth less. Its enterprise value is only $7 billion because when you pay $8 billion for Etsy, you are assuming $1 billion of cash. So even though I think that enterprise value is the right term and the right concept, and I'd want anybody who knows market cap, if they want to go on from course 101 to the 102 level, you should definitely learn enterprise value. But in a funny way, it seems to pump up the values for companies that have huge amounts of debt, and lower the values for companies that have huge amounts of cash, which is a little counterintuitive to me, and in some ways sends the wrong message.
But forget about that sidelight. I just want to say No. 1, it's probably not quite as fun a game show with not quite as fun and name; No. 2, I'm absolutely glad that you raised that. I would want anybody who, as they get increasingly serious about investing and knowledgeable, I'd want anybody to go from market cap to know that the enterprise value is an even more important way of thinking about the value of a company.
But, you know what's great about market cap? You can take the price per share, and you can multiply it by the shares outstanding and get the market cap. It's a pretty good approximation. Anyway. Thank you very much, Anup Ayer!
Alright, and now to Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 5. Oh, is it Kara Chambers from The Motley Fool? Kara, welcome back!
Kara Chambers: Hello!
Gardner: A delight to have you! You were here a couple of weeks ago, we were just talking earlier in this podcast about our company culture tips. I think it was Volume V, sharing so much of what you and we have learned at The Motley Fool about how to make your workplace culture better. Kara, what was our theme of the most recent episode?
Chambers: We were breaking the traditional rules of HR.
Gardner: Absolutely! We've tried to do that whenever it makes sense here at The Motley Fool. And I'm sure we have more of that in our future as we continue to evolve, as every culture does. But yes, you and Lee Burbage, your compatriot, came in and just shared some new ways of thinking about how to do office culture.
Now, unsurprisingly, this spawned some good questions. I want to share this one from Davinder Mahajan. He writes, and very understandably so, "I'm sure that in spite of the effort to find good people to work for you at The Motley Fool, you get bad actors once in a while. Without performance review," because we talked about it, that's not a mandatory thing here at The Motley Fool, so naturally, Davinder wonders, "Without performance review showing that they're doing a poor job, how would you get rid of or discipline bad actors?"
We can certainly apply this to The Motley Fool. It's happened in the past, I'm sure it'll happen in the future. But also to anybody else working maybe in HR or making those kinds of decisions. Kara, let's take it right there. First of all, as I read Davinder's note, I'm thinking, how do you find out in the first place if someone's not doing well if you're not doing mandatory performance reviews?
Chambers: Sure, I get this question a lot. Without performance reviews, what you have to really double down on is making sure your managers know how to set expectations. You can help your future self by talking about that early on, even in the recruiting process. We have very high standards for performance here. That will help you. And then, we train up new managers in small groups of four. There's several topics, and one of them is this very conversation, of how to have tough conversations with your employees. We spend a lot of time coaching managers on looking for signals. Signals might be, if you're spending a lot more of your time than you expected trying to fix this problem. A term that I love is something called coaching the ghost. If you were sitting in the room talking about someone, and then you realize, you spend a lot of time talking about someone, you feel like you got some work done, but really, no one has actually talked to the person. It's very common human behavior. I like that name, coaching the ghost, coaching the person not in the room.
Gardner: So you find you're thinking about this person more than you should be. It's occupying more of your time, because presumably, things aren't working out. So it's a time suck.
Chambers: Yes. And what happens is, you realize you have spoken directly to that person less. The first thing we talk about is, well, have you talked to them? It's a funny early step but getting that conversation in early is one key. That's one area.
We also really try to approach this very compassionately. One of the first things we say is, if we see that there is a combination of lack of effort and lack of outcome, that's what we call the worry conversation. We specifically use the word worry, because we want to be compassionate. We say, "I'm worried about you." Again, if you heard us last time, we said assume everybody wants to do great work. So the first thing you do is, just check. Is something going on? Did they not know? Did they not know what the standards of performance were? Are they having a hard time personally? Getting that conversation out there in the most compassionate way will reduce that person from being defensive and make that conversation much easier for you. I think the thing I've learned in my career is, don't wait for these things to get big.
Gardner: I feel like, stage one is when you're detecting -- you're coaching the ghost a little bit, you find that there's a time suck. You're running now into stage two, which is, how you work with that, and that compassion, leading with compassion, and saying, "I'm worried." Let's say things continue not to work out, or things progress into a later stage of dysfunction.
Chambers: Well, one thing we do is, when we say lack of effort and lack of outcome, that's a worry conversation. But there's also another conversation that could come sooner, which is lack of outcome, but not from lack of effort. To me, that sounds like there's a skill gap. We call that the shift conversation. Like we said, maybe you're just in the wrong job. We have enough movement around our company to help people find a new project. Again, as long as there's Foolishness about it, we see the effort, we see an earnest desire to do good work, we try to take care of those with a job shift and some training.
But, again, when we've gone through the worry conversation and it still hasn't worked out, we try to be upfront with the person and compassionate, be really clear about outcomes. And then -- and this came from our past CFO -- being generous with severance. It sounds counterintuitive from a business perspective, but if you spend all your time as a manager wrapped up and worried about that person losing their job, and feeling like it has to be extreme, then you're less likely to pull the trigger.
Gardner: That's true.
Chambers: So, having a generous program is a good investment. It's something that was championed by our finance team, even before it was championed as much as it has been championed by our people team. A lot of people say, "I can't possibly afford that.' You're going to be saving yourself some money in the long run, is how we see it.
Gardner: Just give us the specifics of maybe what we do here at The Motley Fool -- or, I know you're out speaking at conferences about our culture, and maybe you're used to talking to a small business entrepreneur. What's a generous severance approach?
Chambers: Some companies would do one month for every year of service. That might be a generous severance approach.
Gardner: So I've been working in a company six years, things have changed, or I've changed, things aren't working out. So I have six months that you continue to pay me as I look for a new job?
Chambers: Right. Again, sounds extreme. But the idea of being able to let someone land on their feet and not feel like you're turning their life upside down will help you make that decision a lot faster, is what we've found.
Gardner: I know a lot of that thinking, Kara, it's about the manager who's being put in the position to say goodbye to somebody, somebody they may have trusted or personally hired, been really invested in, and things haven't worked out. So when all of a sudden, you can feel like having that final tough conversation, you're able to say, "Hey, good news! You've been here more than 10 years, so you have like a year to figure out where you're going," that makes it a lot easier for that matter manager.
Chambers: It does. So I would say that helps. The other thing that always helps is, when the person isn't surprised, because you've been having the conversations from the early days. I think that is the one thing. I think the harder one is where the person is caught off guard, and it's gotten to a really bad place where it's unfixable. All of you out there that may be avoiding a tough conversation, it's going to be way easier and less expensive on you now to have it.
Gardner: Mmm! Davinder, thank you for writing in! You asked, without performance review and showing that they're doing a poor job, bow do you get rid of them or discipline them? Kara, I think you really nailed that answer. Thank you for joining us on Rule Breaker Investing!
Chambers: Thank you!
Gardner: Alright, Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 6. I want to welcome Frank Thomas, director of investing intelligence here -- or Frank, as you say sometimes, just head math guy.
Frank Thomas: That works, too!
Gardner: [laughs] Welcome!
Thomas: Thanks for having me, David!
Gardner: A lot of questions this month coming from people who are keeping up with their own returns and calculating how they're doing. We have a particular problem that I think sometimes we create here at Rule Breaker Investing for members and listeners. That is that they'll buy a stock, which is good, and then that stock might go up. And then they might buy more of it because we say, add to your winners. That's our style. That creates a wonderful problem. People start looking at that, and they think, how do I account for that? What tool do I use to keep up with that? That's a little bit of the theme here, why I wanted to have you in, Frank.
Two questions. Let's start with a short one. This is from Anthony, whose screen name is BallroomBlitz. Anthony writes, "Hi, David. Great time listening and walking my dog Fusko as I dogpod." [laughs]. Alright. Anthony goes on, "When you reference your percentage gains vs. the market, do you include subsequent purchases?" Frank, how do you think about that? How do we account for that here at The Fool?
Thomas: Personally with my own portfolio, I track it in two different ways. First, I track individual lots or investments each time I buy a stock, so I can parse out the performance of different purchases. I can track if I'm I buying at the right valuation, or what have you.
Gardner: Right. For example, if you buy a stock at $40, you put it in right there, you mark the market against it, the S&P 500. Then, if you add to it at $67, on a separate line, maybe in a spreadsheet, or maybe a tool, I don't know if you have one you'll tell us about, you then have a separate one where you're also showing where the market was then, and you can see them both.
Thomas: Exactly. I track them side by side to parse out that detail that he was talking about specifically. And then also, I'll track the overall position using, the technical phrase is "cash in, cash out money-weighted return." You're literally tracking each individual purchase as a cash flow. A cash out would be investing in the market, each individual transaction, and then you get the overall output, the overall cash out at the end, which is the current price. Using both those perspective captures all the detail you could possibly need.
Gardner: Frank, are you doing this typically now? You are, of course, our director of investing intelligence. You probably have tools and resources here at The Fool. I sure hope you do, because we're a for profit company. Whereas, hey, I'm just an armchair investor, and that's really me, David Gardner. What do you, Frank Thomas, the fellow armchair investor, use? Do you use a spreadsheet? What tools do you use to track?
Thomas: I use Excel just like everybody else. Over my 10 years of investing, my portfolio tracker has become, at many times, much more complex, and then more recently, far more simplified, as my time has gotten more precious to me.
But spreadsheets are the simplest and best way to do it. Excel is obviously the go-to. Google Docs and Google Sheets has actually gotten a lot better. One thing that might be useful to a lot of retail investors is that you can now import stock data automatically from Google Finance --
Gardner: Into your Google Docs spreadsheet.
Thomas: Into your Google Docs spreadsheet, using Google Finance function.
Gardner: That's awesome! Thanks, Frank! Let's keep this as Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 6. Richard Marin also wrote in, kind of a similar story. He said, "Dear David, having been a Motley Fool member since 1998, subscribing to Hidden Gems, Rule Breakers, Stock Advisor for 13 years or so," he also has a question about tracking returns. "In the world of a stock picker, positions are added to, new stocks are selected, on occasion stocks are sold on random dates during the course of a calendar year. Calculating the overall performance of a portfolio against the broader index can be difficult, especially where weights in different positions vary significantly." Richard gives a little bit more about him. Then, Frank, I'd love to hear your perspective. He says, "For example, I execute a relatively modest number of trades during the course of a calendar year, between six and 10. But, I invest different values to new and existing positions, and I'm trying to diversify and balance my portfolio." He'd like some advice on a tool. Frank, am I hearing, it's Excel once again? Or is there anything else? Let's say somebody has a little bit more resources. Is there a higher-powered overall portfolio tracking tool that exists out there?
Thomas: There are, but the market tends to be bifurcated between things like Excel, and at the very, very, very high end --
Gardner: What hedge funds use.
Thomas: Basically, yeah. At The Fool here, we use a tool called Advent APX, which is what we use to power --
Thomas: Advent APX, by the company Advent. That's a really institutional grade product. Which, if you're a really, really, really, really passionate individual investor and also --
Gardner: [laughs] A hedge fund?
Thomas: -- a hedge fund, it might make sense for you. But I think Excel is probably the best tool for most people. In terms of the problem that he's talking about specifically, if you're just interested in tracking the overall performance of your portfolio, and you don't need as much granularity for individual positions, and you just want to wipe away the complexity, the best way to do it is going back to the basic kind of cash in cash out overall money weighted return. Instead of tracking individual transactions and all the dividends and everything like that, you just track how much you deposit into your account over time, then have the overall current market value of your portfolio at the end, and using Excel's wonderful XIIR function will get an overall return.
Gardner: That sounds pretty useful and pretty simple for most of us. I definitely use Excel some, but I'm by no means somebody who's excellent at Excel. But I think, Frank, you know much more about this stuff than I do. But both you and I as individual investors, who aren't buying Advent APX for ourselves, can use that method and see how we're doing. It causes you not to worry too much about individual cost bases or where you added because you're just looking at the cash in and cash out, as you mentioned.
Gardner: Thank you, Frank, for your perspective! Before you go, tell me a little bit about your work here. Fool IQ is a phrase that somebody like Richard, who's been a member for years, might recognize. But a lot of people haven't necessarily heard about Fool IQ. I want you to show off a little bit what you're working on here at The Fool, Frank.
Thomas: Fool IQ, the platform itself is an internal analyst research tracking platform. All of the analysts in our newsletters maintain Fool IQ portfolios, which are these hypothetical model portfolios of all the stocks they like and want to follow, that are weighted based on how much conviction they have in a given company. For instance, they look just like average portfolios, but they're hypothetical. They're used to power things like a lot of the screeners we have on The Fool's website. We use this to track the performance of our analysts' research that are in many ways away from the newsletters themselves.
Gardner: Right. You might be an analyst here at The Fool, and I may have picked a stock that you don't even agree with last month, potentially. You have your own ideas. So a fantasy portfolio -- while it may sound fantasy, it's very real, you're being tracked directly for your performance. In some ways, what we have done with Motley Fool Caps over the years, internally, that's what's happening here for every one of our analysts and investors.
Thomas: Exactly, exactly. We use that for helping develop their careers over time.
Gardner: That's wonderful! I think it also helps power our Motley Fool index, The Fool 100 Index.
Thomas: Yes. The Fool 100 Index is a combination of the top 150 highest conviction companies pulled out of Fool IQ and all of our newsletter recommendations from Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers.
Gardner: Frank, are you having fun doing the work you're doing here at The Fool?
Thomas: I have fun every single day!
Gardner: I sure hope you do! Thank you for joining us on Rule Breaker Investing!
Thomas: Thank you, David!
Gardner: Alright, our last three Rule Breaker mailbag items, No. 7, No. 8, and No. 9 this week. I want to welcome back my good friend David Kretzmann. David, welcome!
David Kretzmann: Good to be back, David! Thanks!
Gardner: David, what have you been doing most recently here at The Fool? What are you working on right now?
Kretzmann: Just trying to not be too distracted by Game of Thrones. Just watched the second episode last night. We're taping this on Monday, it aired last night. I'm really just trying to stay productive and not think too much about Game of Thrones.
Gardner: [laughs] And on behalf of Motley Fool Asia, I hope you're getting some good stuff done?
Kretzmann: We're getting some good stuff done.
Gardner: That's where you're working now. I know you've also done a lot of other things. We've worked together on Motley Fool Rule Breakers. You've done some for our marijuana service, etc. We're going to be covering all those things. You and I co-invented what may one day win the Nobel Prize for Economics: the Gardner-Kretzmann Continuum. We're going to speak to that as well.
Kretzmann: GKC, always good to have a return appearance. Good things happening with Asia, cannabis, and everything else in my world at The Fool.
Gardner: OK, good! Let's pick it up with No. 7. Then this one comes from Aaron Howard. "Hello. I'm Aaron Howard. I'm a full-time college student at Goldey-Beacom College so I have a limit to my finances and how much I can invest. I've recently taken an interest in investing. I've listened to some David Gardner podcasts, read a few articles on fool.com. I did research, read the article about which broker to use. I feel as if Ally is one of the best for my situation due to the no minimum and low fees portrayed." Good job doing your homework there, Aaron!
He says, "I would like to invest in both short-term and long-term stocks. Long-term as in a Roth IRA, but I'm also very interested in short-term quick return stocks with little returns on each before I start investing into long-term stocks. The most recent article I read on fool.com says to stay away from penny stocks. My issue is, I want to learn the market and the ins and outs, do my own trading. I feel penny stocks will give me a decent feel for the market with my given financial status. I know this sounds like a bad idea for a college student, but I have been a 4.0 student my whole life, and I feel as if I have the drive and adaptability to learn the patterns and ideas needed to succeed. Any help you can give would be much appreciated, Aaron Howard."
Kretzmann: Boy! Penny stocks are interesting territory. Most beginners will at least be intrigued by the idea of trading penny stocks, trying to find patterns in the chart, whether it's a yakking camel, or I don't know, whatever it is --
Gardner: It doesn't matter, because if the stock is at $0.37 a share, David, if it goes to $1.00, you've more than doubled your money, right? That is the mentality. I had that, too, when I was just starting out investing. Did you?
Kretzmann: Yeah. The idea is, if a stock is at $0.37, it's easier for a $0.37 stock to go to $1.00 than it is for a $37 stock to go to $100. In reality, that's not the case. What counts is the overall value of a company. Just because Amazon is at $1,800 a share or so as we tape this, it doesn't mean it's any less likely to go to $3,600. What counts is the overall total value of the company.
Gardner: Why don't we like penny stocks, typically?
Kretzmann: Typically, penny stocks are trading for pennies for a reason. You have to remember, behind every stock there is a company. With penny stocks, typically the companies aren't in that great of shape, if they're even selling a product or generating revenue. Oftentimes, they're losing a lot of money, they don't have much of a track record. A lot of shady stuff can be happening with penny stocks.
Gardner: It isn't to say that it always will. There are certainly some fine micro-cap companies and some fine micro-cap investors. But I do agree with you, David. When you're talking about a stock that you could double if it just went up from $0.37 to $0.74, and it's very thinly traded, it might be a promotional company that's hired somebody to market their stock for them. Then word gets out on the internet, "This one could go from $0.37 to $0.74!" Markets can move like that, and sometimes people take advantage, bad actors are in there taking advantage of that.
Kretzmann: Yeah, pump and dump schemes that are out there. People will front-run their email list or their members, buy up a lot of this stock, then heavily promote it to the public, even taking out advertising to promote this stock, send it out to their email list --
Gardner: And then be selling their shares to the people who are buying.
Kretzmann: Yeah. Inevitably, that will crash and burn. The track record with penny stocks are murky at best. I haven't found anyone who has a long-term track record of success when it comes to identifying patterns, any sort of meaningful success over the long run when it comes to penny stocks.
Gardner: We do talk a lot about market cap on this show. Somebody might be wondering, what's a penny stock? What's a micro-cap? What are the differences? For me, I'd make up that micro-caps are anything below $250 million of market cap, that or less. When you get down in Penny Stockville, I almost think that's its own separate asset class. I'd say sub $50 million at that point. Often, it's very thinly traded stocks. There aren't many shares.
But beyond what a penny stock or micro-cap is, David, for me, these are usually companies that aren't really impactful in the world at large. They're not really doing important things, are they, if their stock is all the way down there at $0.37 a share. I think we've done much better as investors ourselves, as Rule Breakers, finding the real impact players in the world at large. Those are usually the stocks you can hold for three-plus years.
Before we go on to Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 8, Aaron is talking about this concept of short-term investing. Let's pretend it's not even about penny stocks. Did you ever do that, trade in, trade out, alongside a longer-term approach to investing?
Kretzmann: I've definitely dabbled with that. I don't do it as much because again, it's hard to generate any sort of meaningful consistency with that type of strategy. I think as humans, we're susceptible to being overconfident. We think we're better than we really are.
Gardner: Do you think that's true of some of the Game of Thrones characters?
Kretzmann: Probably so, yeah.
Gardner: I think some of them definitely -- Cersei -- think that they're better than they really are.
Kretzmann: Yeah. Might come back to bite them in the next four episodes. [laughs] But, yeah, with short-term trading, any time prize and that's less than one year, you're really flipping a coin. Sometimes you'll get lucky, you will be right on the money, the stock will go up like you anticipated. But for the most part, I've found that I do far better the longer I extend my time horizon. Even if you're starting with smaller amounts as a student, like Aaron is, I think you're going to be far better off long-term if you don't dabble in the trading and focus more on what can you do to extend your time horizon, and find a great business that you think will be more relevant 10, 20 years from now. Buy as many of those types of companies as you can and just hold voraciously. I think you'll be a lot better off.
Gardner: We want to close by praising Aaron for even getting started investing, for his curiosity, for his 4.0, and for wanting to really lean into this subject. I think it's fine to act on an initial urge if you like to be a little shorter-term. I wouldn't put a lot of money in it. But some people enjoy their fun money at Las Vegas. You could do short-term trading stocks if you wanted, and maybe learn something about the market dynamics. But I think most of us, the earlier the day comes where we realize, "I'm in it for life as a long-term player," that's when our real returns start coming. So I would encourage you, Aaron, to think about that side of the equation far more than the short-term. Anyway, thank you for writing in!
Now let's move to a Gardner-Kretzmann Continuum element.
Gardner: Bob Hit has written in. He says, "Hi, I love the show, your services. You've helped me beat the market for several years. It's very liberating. The Gardner-Kretzmann Continuum is a neat concept." David, could you briefly explain the Gardner-Kretzmann Continuum one more time on the show?
Kretzmann: Sure! This is taking the number of stocks you own and divide it by your age. If you're 25 years old and you own 25 stocks, your Gardner-Kretzmann continuum score, or GKC score for short, would be 1. Typically, we recommend that people shoot for a GKC score of 1 or higher. Essentially, have the number of stocks in your portfolio match or exceed your age.
Gardner: Beautifully put! It's like you've done that before.
Kretzmann: We've rehearsed this over the past several months -- over the past year, even!
Gardner: [laughs] You particularly! You nailed that! Bob goes on, David, he says, "My wife and I both have IRAs. We have a joint brokerage account. Should we each strive to have a GKC of 1? Or should we count both of our ages? We're both 56, and I'm not sure we can adequately track 122 stocks. We currently have around 60 stocks and a few mutual funds. Thanks for all you do. Best regards, Bob Hit."
Your thoughts here on this enigma?
Kretzmann: I just love that Bob is asking this question! I don't think we've really thought through the implications of GKC.
Gardner: What's your instinct? I have an instinct here!
Kretzmann: Maybe split the difference. GKC + 50%.
Gardner: OK. The reason it's not just the G or the K is because we partnered. We talked this out. My own approach here, David, I think Bob's killing it right now. I would say, if you have a spouse or a partner, and you really feel like you're spouses and partners, like, you're one, which you're supposed to be when you unite your lives, I'd say that's one group, one portfolio. So, 60 over a 56 looks like a 1-plus GKC to me. But, you're right. You have a higher standard than I do generally think you have a higher GKC than I do as well.
Kretzmann: I think I do.
Gardner: So it's not surprising you might suggest a 90 over their average age is around the GKC that you'd like them to shoot for.
Kretzmann: It definitely depends on the partnership or the couple that you have. If both stock pickers and researching the stocks, obviously, that can inch a little bit higher. But otherwise, yeah, sticking toward that one score is a good way to go.
Gardner: Context is so important, isn't it? You're adding some important nuance in there at the end, which is why I have you on the show.
Kretzmann: That's why I'm here!
Gardner: Yeah, nuance. Which, by the way, has been a pretty bad stock pick of mine in Motley Fool Stock Advisor. That's a separate topic.
OK. Last one. Rule Breaker mailbag item No. 9. This comes from Paul Peck, writing from Selah Energy Partners. I found this pretty compelling. Let's have a fun discussion here. He writes, "David, please accept this in the spirit intended. I get it, the marijuana business seems to be a good bet right now. But the question I have for you, is are you really comfortable with pushing the pro-marijuana agenda when you're basically affecting young lives? There are many things to investing, and from a moral position, this should not be one of them that anyone with any moral compass should even consider in my opinion. Just as importantly, if I'm feeling this way, then there are thousands of others that you are alienating as well, due to the fact that you are pushing the drug business and to hell with what is right." Those are his words. "That's why I will not join your in 'club.' Over the last four years, I've traveled extensively to Denver, and the city that I once loved is now a place that I would now never consider moving to. The streets are littered with transients and young mounds of nonproductive flesh that do nothing for our society but sit on the sidewalk and smoke pot. And you encourage that pestilence in our society. I just don't get it. I hope you find your compass. Paul Peck, Selah Energy Partners."
Now, that said, David, I think he meant me. But since we're two David's and you've done some work in this area, too, I thought it'd be a fun conversation to have. So, David, what are some initial reactions that you have to that note?
Kretzmann: Well, I think whenever we're talking about socially responsible investing, really figuring out our compass as investors, there is going to be that element of subjectivity. Some people will stay away from alcohol, for instance. Does that mean you don't buy shares in Chipotle, which also sells alcohol, in addition to burritos and tacos? You can really extrapolate this in a whole bunch of different ways. So I think we have to recognize that there won't be one hard and fast rule that everyone agrees on when we're talking about social responsibility.
Gardner: That's such an important point. I just want to echo that, David, by saying, we believe that responsibly investing and investing Foolishly means that your money is following your beliefs. I would be the first to say that for Mr. Peck or his ilk, it makes no sense to invest in that area of the world. I personally have not invested in any marijuana companies. I have no problem, per se, with the legalization of marijuana. I think I've generally been pro that for years and years. It all goes back, I remember reading Stephen Jay Gould, the Harvard scientist, once wrote an article, it was either for the Atlantic or Harper's. It was called The War On [Some] Drugs. And he was pointing out that there's really not that much difference between what marijuana and alcohol does to our bodies. If you were to look at what they do to our societies, alcohol does far more damage globally than marijuana. It's not even close. I remember reading that as a young man, thinking, "He makes a really good point there." It is kind of arbitrary, how we decided this one is legal and that one's not. There's some social and historical background to this.
But in the end, I totally agree, David. Foolishly investing, you should put your money where your money is.
Kretzmann: Absolutely! When it comes to cannabis, I think you do have to recognize that even pre-legalization, it's not as if there wasn't cannabis in the streets or in society. I grew up in Northern California, the weed capital of California and the country, pre-legalization. It's not as if young people weren't getting their hands on marijuana, just as, just because the drinking limit is 21 doesn't mean you're not having 19-year-olds getting their hands on alcohol. Some of these things, you just can't necessarily limit. In general, I personally would prefer a non-criminalized substance. I would prefer cannabis be legalized and in the open rather than having a police state around cannabis.
Now, of course, there will be some give and take with that. I think as a society, we're still adjusting to, what does legalized cannabis look like? Colorado, California, some of these relatively earlier states to legalize the substance, they're the testing ground for, what is the right mix of policy and practice?
Gardner: To that end, David, I wanted to mention, I was just reading this, I think was in The Economist recently. With the recreational use of cannabis now legal in 10 states and the District of Columbia, and medical marijuana legal in 23 states, marijuana is on its way to becoming an $80 billion industry in the United States by the year 2030. That's according to estimates by Cowan Inc, the research firm. So there's no question in my mind, I think this is around for the rest of our lives. I think society is shifting here. Some people aren't going to like it, certainly. But if you're just looking at the reality of it, where it's already legal, and you know this far better than I do, David Kretzmann, some of the numbers. That's a pretty astonishing thing to think about, an $80 billion industry 10 years from now.
Kretzmann: Yeah. There is a lot of nuance within the industry. You have the recreational side, the classic eating an edible or smoking a joint, where you're really doing it for leisure or fun. You also have the medical side. That gets me the most excited. I don't personally use cannabis products.
Gardner: I never have myself. I don't have any interest, but I do like alcohol! I'll make it clear!
Kretzmann: [laughs] There you go, and that's a drug!
Gardner: It sure is!
Kretzmann: But, the medical implications. Last summer, you had the FDA unanimously approve Epidiolex, which was the first cannabis-based drug that treats a rare form of childhood epilepsy. Again, we're still in the very early stages of researching the plant, the substance, its potential uses. But I think there's far more upside for us as a society from legalizing it, from researching the plant, better understanding it. Similarly, we know the dangers of alcohol. People make their own decision when it comes to alcohol. They're taking responsibility, in most cases, for it. I think cannabis should be similar. But by all means, if you're not comfortable with cannabis or believe in the business, stay away as an investor.
Gardner: I agree. To close, that's why I appreciate being able to share that as our final mailbag item, and to have you in with your perspective, David. And I absolutely appreciate Mr. Peck taking the time to write us. It does take two to make a market. We all have different views about what's going to work, what's not, what should be allowed to work, what shouldn't be allowed to work. That's part of working together. I think what's great about the United States of America is, more than any country in the world, even though people talk about how divided we are, I think we're actually far more united by the idea that we should talk things out and try different things. Some states, it's legal; some states, it's not. There are lots of different approaches.
To bring it forward to a final point, Foolish investing is about making sure you put your money where your money is. Some of us think alcohol is great. Some of us think alcohol is horrible. Statistics shows all kinds of different things. Here's a funny stat: Denver, which Mr. Peck mentions at the end of the note, I was just reading, the U.S. News and World Report came out with the top-ranked U.S. cities. What was No. 2 on the list just a week ago, days after I read this email? Denver. So it seems like they're doing things pretty well. But, sounds like this is a gentleman who probably knows the city better than I do. He sees certain things. Sometimes we see what we're looking to see ahead of time.
For most of us, I think we do well uniting a combination of our own horse sense, our own instincts of what we want the world to look like, and invest that way toward a better future, but also use data and objective understanding that goes outside of our own opinion in order to try to reach our best ideas about not only how to invest, but how to run this country.
Anyway, David Kretzmann, thank you so much for your time today!
Kretzmann: Thanks for having me, as always!
Gardner: Alright, there you have it, another Rule Breaker mailbag started and finished. Thus, we say goodbye, bid adieu, to April 2019. I hope you've had a great month. Next month -- let's just talk about next week. Next week on the show, we're going to have Stock Stories Volume III. This is when I go back to, occasionally, it's an opportunity for me and some of my analysts to tell stories -- fun, interesting, illuminating stories around stocks. A lot of people talk about story stocks. We like to flip that phrase and tell stock stories. So I'll have some familiar and some new voices in next week to share short stories about a given stock here or there; a company you might be invested in or might be interested by. That's how we're going to kick open May.
Through May, I see we're going to be reviewing Five Winners in a Thinking World and see how that five-stock sampler has done. Five Winners in a Thinking World. A little bit later in the month, we're going to look at the future of sports. I'm going to have a visionary and to talk about the future of sports and sports business, and of course, a lot of other Foolishness to come.
In the meantime, as you hear this, I'm probably in Phoenix, Arizona, as I mentioned, the Conscious Capitalism conference. I'm looking forward to my board meeting there. Maybe I will be high-fiving or shaking hands with some of you if you're attending that conference. We'll be back in the saddle, ready for our regular May, starting next week. In the meantime, 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.