In the closest incarnation of Hell on Wheels to date, Honda and Toyota have created vehicles catering to Generation Y, a demographic expected to account for more than half of the U.S. car market by 2020.
Gen Y consists of the over 75 million children of baby boomers, a group raised in an era of unprecedented affluence. They're used to getting what they want, so Japanese car makers are giving it to them. Honda's Element, nicknamed the rolling dorm room, features hosable rubber floors (ew, why?!), pimpin' seats that fold into a bed, and a removable glass roof. Toyota's cube-shaped Scion bbX -- geared toward the urban techno crowd -- rides low on the road and includes a powerful stereo.
While these new party boxes might leave parents nervous about the safety of their children and Americans concerned for the fate their country, one teen, speaking to MSNBC, assuages our fears: "I've seen the future, and it's tacky."
In today's Motley Fool Take:
- Stay-at-Home Stocks
- Discussion Board of the Day: Political Asylum
- The Cost of Retirement
- Quote of Note
- A Patent Killing
- Shameless Plug: Motley Fool Credit Center
- Quick Takes: J.P. Morgan Chase, Boeing, TXU Corp. , more
- And Finally...
The headlines aren't pretty these days. Between sniper attacks and the rumblings of war, if you're thinking twice before wishing your loved ones goodnight or looking over your shoulder as you pull into a gas station, you're not alone.
The stock market, of course, is not immune to the world around it. But while you've seen a good deal of money pour into defense contractors, such as Northrop Grumman
In many ways, the trend of folks staying at home hasn't had the same impact in all sectors. Think more people have pizza delivered to their door? Not quite. Last week, Papa John's
However, online transactions are on the rise -- though it's hard to pick out how much of those gains are a direct result of consumers clamoring for in-home safety and convenience. Analysts expect Amazon
But the couch-potato plays are offline, too. Assuming we want beer and chips as we ease into our trusty Barcaloungers, Anheuser-Busch
Have current events put you in a pensive mood? If you enjoy your debates heated yet provocative, join some of your fellow Fools in talking politics. All this and more -- in the Political Asylum discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
You've heard it all before: Don't go swimming for an hour after you've eaten. Cross that bridge when you come to it. You'll be able to live on 70% to 80% of your current income in retirement.
Unfortunately, we're qualified to address only the last adage (though if you can cross a bridge before you've come to it, we'd like to see pictures).
The "70% to 80%" rule of thumb is based on the assumption that many of your current expenses will go away in the golden years. For the most part, this is true. Once you kiss the boss goodbye, you'll no longer endure the following:
- Work-related expenses, such as commuting costs, professional wardrobe upkeep, and cubicle decor;
- Social Security taxes (15.3% of income for the self-employed, 7.65% for the other-employed);
- Contributions to retirement plans (it's time to stop the giving and start the taking);
- Mortgage payments, if your house will be paid off by the time you retire.
There are two other ways your expenses might decline. First, retirees tend to downsize. There's no need to keep up the four-bedroom house now that the kids are grown, for example, so some pensioners sell the big house and move to the Sag-A-Lot colony for mature nudists. Secondly, overall taxes might decrease. Only a portion of Social Security benefits are taxable -- if at all -- and income might be derived from long-term capital gains, which are taxed more gently than ordinary income.
Some studies support the 70% to 80% rule. The 2001 RETIRE Project report, conducted by Georgia State University, found that retirees would need 74% to 83% of their income to maintain the same lifestyle in retirement.
However, some retirees still require the same level of income in retirement as they enjoyed while they were working. How? It comes down to this: If you're not making money, you're spending money. You have to fill the free time somehow. New hobbies, trips to Europe, and gas-guzzling RVs cost money. Many participants in our Rule Your Retirement seminar conducted last summer said they planned on spending less in retirement, only to find themselves shelling out even more.
What will retirement cost for you? There's only one way to find out: Create a retirement budget. To get an idea of how much you'll pay in taxes, complete a sample return -- if you use an online service or software to prepare your taxes, this won't be so daunting. Once you know how much retirement will cost, make sure you're saving enough to pay for the hobbies, trips, and nudists.
"... Though the big auditing firms may long for a tail-wagging puppy to be chairman of the new accounting standards board, the American public wants and deserves a much-needed watchdog. John Biggs is an outstanding choice to fill that role -- knowledgeable, fair-minded, and investor-oriented." -- Warren Buffett, letter in today's Wall Street Journal
The victor is up 12% today, while the vanquished is down 40%... and that neatly sums up the incredible risks associated with drug makers and patent processes.
A federal judge has ruled that Andrx's
The Andrx situation is a good illustration of the uphill battles generic producers must fight. The first company to receive FDA approval to make a generic drug has 180 days of marketing exclusivity. Considering Prilosec generated $3.7 billion in U.S. sales last year, this would have been an extremely lucrative period for Andrx. Ready to make hay while the sun was shining, the company had already built a $100 million manufacturing plant and purchased $65 million in inventory -- much if it now worthless. This is a big deal for a company that made only $73 million in 2001.
Chairman Elliot Hahn says he's "exceedingly disappointed by the court's decision" and may appeal the ruling. There is also the possibility the company will sell its 180-day exclusivity rights to another drug maker.
Andrx rang in the New Year with high expectations and a $70 stock price. Now trading at $12, its investors know firsthand the cruel twists and turns of the patent process.
Credit can be your best friend or your worst enemy. And you know what they say.... Don't turn your back on your enemies. Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate. So it's time to address that big elephant in the closet -- your credit. We've got your back! Visit our new Motley Fool Credit Center, and learn how to make credit work for you.
The White House has dispatched a spin doctor to the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to The Washington Post: "Sending Anne Womack to the SEC is a clear signal that politics is the top priority for the Bush administration and [SEC chief] Harvey Pitt." The Post goes on to note that Womack "has no known expertise in financial markets" and points out that this is an eye-opening move, since the SEC is an independent agency. Pitt, meanwhile, claims that he recruited Womack.
Financial services giant J.P. Morgan Chase
Meanwhile, the sluggish post-Sept. 11 economy continues to take its toll on aviation. Boeing
The nation's fifth-largest utility company, TXU Corp.
When pharmaceutical companies run their new drugs through the required cycle of clinical trials, they often do so through Quintiles Transnational
Pilgrim's Pride has been humbled. The poultry processor is issuing the largest recall of meat in American history: 27.4 million pounds of cooked turkey and chicken products. The meat may be tainted with the extremely nasty listeria bacteria.
Today on Fool.com: Rick Munarriz gives Netflix four stars.... Matt Richey begins a four-part series on finding cash-generating, cash-rich small caps.... In Fool's School, explaining the ins and outs of stock options.... A Community member's analysis of Yahoo!... and the Post of the Day covers the link between GE seed and pesticide companies.
Bob Bobala, Robert Brokamp, Tom Jacobs, LouAnn Lofton, Bill Mann, Selena Maranjian, Rex Moore, Rick Munarriz, Matt Richey, Jackie Ross, Reggie Santiago, Dayana Yochim