The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which editor and analyst Isaac Pino and consumer goods editor/analyst Austin Smith discuss topics across the investing world.

In today's edition, Isaac and Austin discuss an industry that increasingly plays a pivotal role in the broader economy: consulting services. These companies touch all aspects of the economy, but they often fail to provide returns to investors for several reasons. Find out whether investors should completely avoid these firms, or whether there are a few bright spots in an otherwise volatile industry.

Every now and again, we come across a stock that has us so excited we can hardly contain our investing enthusiasm. We've uncovered one such pick with so much promise that we've dubbed it: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." We've created a special free report for investors to uncover this soon-to-be rock star. The report highlights a company that is revolutionizing commerce in Latin America, and you can get instant access to the name of this company by clicking here to download it now.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.