Morgan Housel | The Motley Fool Investor: An update for real investors


NEW YORK >> One hundred forty-eight million eight hundred thousand and five Americans woke up and went to work Monday in what economists called a "remarkable, collective effort of people trying to improve their lives and take care of their families."

Analysts also confirmed that about 30 million U.S. companies were open for business, with widespread reports of an urge to innovate and keep up with competition.

"We tend to see this on Mondays," said John Peterson, a Goldman Sachs analyst. "People wake up, go to work, make money, pay their bills, save the rest and get on with life."

American businesses earned $4.62 billion of net income on Monday. Financial advisors, analysts and brokers collected $630 million in fees. The difference will accrue to investors' net worths over time, analysts said."Our outlook calls for the same thing on Tuesday, continuing into Wednesday," Peterson said. "People go to work. Businesses innovate and reinvest the profits, and it just cycles on from there."

About 5,000 workers were laid off on Monday, and more than 4,000 companies went out of business. But more than 13,000 workers were hired, and more than 5,000 new businesses were created. Technical analysts studying charts called it a "classic capitalism pattern" and expected it to continue.

Major attendance

Fifty-five million American kids went to school Monday, compounding the knowledge learned from all previous generations. Analysts confirmed that many of them will become doctors, engineers and scientists.

In San Francisco, 30-year-old Megan Johnson said the line at her local Chipotle was out the door and wrapped around the building, in what she described as "a pretty clear example of what happens when a company takes a simple product like a burrito and puts a little more effort into making it better than the competition."

By the end of the day, 1,604 patent applications had been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. "Most of those ideas won't go anywhere," said PTO analyst Greg Jones. "But a few will be huge. Ten, 20 years from now, a handful of patents filed on Monday will change the world. That's so cool to think about."

In Palo Alto, California, there were widespread reports of 19-year-old Stanford students tinkering with gadgets in their parents' basements. During a call with investors, Sean Rogan of Realistic Asset Management said he's confident a few of them are working on something that will change the world in ways we can't even fathom.

"We see this with every generation, frankly," he said. "Ten years from now, one of these kids is going to be the next Bill Gates. It makes me excited to be an investor."

U.S. oil fields pumped more than 9 million barrels of crude Monday, near the highest level since Richard Nixon was president. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg unanimously agreed that this was "pretty awesome."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost points on Monday. "Huh," Peterson said. "I hadn't heard."

Long-term investors finished Monday one day closer to their goals.

Analysts expect the news to be no different tomorrow.

This article is fake, but it shouldn't have to be.

A simple plan

A Financial Plan on an Index Card: Keeping It Simple

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

"The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history."

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:

• Work in a job that genuinely excites you when you wake up in the morning.

• Make sure your material aspirations grow slower that your income. It's the only way to accumulate wealth.

• Pay no attention to the Joneses. They're crying inside.

• Avoid debt even if you can afford it. It takes away options, which is your most valuable asset.

• Save enough of your income so you can retire at the age your dad started complaining about his back hurting. You won't want to work after that.

• Invest in a diverse portfolio of stocks with the intention of staying invested for decades.

• Dollar-cost average for your entire life and you won't care what the market's doing.

• Have enough cash to ensure you're never forced to sell stocks at inopportune times.

• When in doubt, choose the investment with the lowest fee.

• Check your brokerage account as infrequently as it takes to prevent rash decisions.

• Accept that the future will play out differently than you think it will.

Everything else is details.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions