Motley Fool
0
All posts from Motley Fool
Motley Fool in Motley Fool,

9 "Self-Evident" Foolish Truths

This week is the 120th Rule Breakers podcast, and as Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner looked back, he realized he's covered a whole lot of subjects in those shows. More to the point, with all those episodes behind him, there are some areas he may not have covered in detail in a while. So he's getting back to basics with a set of ideas he thinks any Foolish investor ought to take for granted -- because he's not taking it for granted that everyone knows them. 

A full transcript follows the video.

10 stocks we like better than Wal-Mart
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.* 

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Wal-Mart wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of October 9, 2017
The author(s) may have a position in any stocks mentioned.

 

This video was recorded on Oct. 11, 2017.

David Gardner: Welcome back to Rule Breaker Investing. I'm David Gardner, fresh from Charleston, South Carolina. I had a wonderful time with no doubt some of you who are listening to this because Motley Fool ONE members descended once again, en masse, to another destination that the very talented Emily Wallingsford here at The Motley Fool selected for us. Emily picks each of them. I understand our next one will be in San Francisco in February.

So that's a Motley Fool ONE event and I was down there with about 20 Fools. Some wonderful people like Robert Brokamp of Motley Fool Answers fame and my good friend Jeff Fischer. Andy Cross, our chief investment officer and, of course, various other forms of Motley talent. It really was a great team effort and if you were there, I hope you enjoyed it at least as much as I did.

I will say having not actually got into Charleston, South Carolina for Motley Fool ONE Charleston that I did enjoy Isle of Palms, South Carolina. [At] the Wild Dunes Resort where we [stayed] I played some golf and actually exceeded my very low expectations for my own game in a 9-hole FoolAm tournament. That was a lot of fun, too. I think I'm going to have cause to quote one of our members with whom I played golf, Bob [Andreesen], a little bit later in this podcast because he gave a great Yogi Berra-like one-liner that's going to fit in well with what we're doing this week.

So, what are we doing this week? Well, I want to go back and restate some of the Rule Breaker classic points, stories, basics for some of you who may be new. For those longtime listeners, after you do your 100th podcast, the older ones start dropping below the fold. They drop off of iTunes, etc. You can always find all of our podcasts at Podcasts.Fool.com. You can find every Rule Breaker Investing podcast there, though admittedly it's a long [scrolling] experience. You'll have to keep load, load, load, load more to go back more than two years, now, at Rule Breaker Investing podcasts.

So, given that we are, in some senses, losing "that material", I wanted to, in this 120th Rule Breaker Investing podcast [by my count, anyway, this is number 120], go back to some of those first 10 or so and [review some of] those points. And, in fact, I'd like your help with this effort, because this is part of a broader thing we're going to try here at Rule Breaker Investing, and that is to create a Starter Kit for new listeners.

A lot of podcasts you can just start in the middle. Now, not all of them. Something like Serial, the very popular NPR podcast you may not want to start in the middle of a season. It's kind of like starting in the middle of a season of a good Netflix series. But for a lot of other podcasts, let's say the newsy ones, you can pick up anywhere you like. But for Rule Breaker Investing, this is a strategy. This is an approach. It's kind of a thought framework, and I think it's really helpful for any new listener to have that in place as he or she begins listening to number 121 and number 122.

And so here's where I'm going to ask your help, and I'm going to mention this, this time, and next week, and the week after. If there is a particular Rule Breaker Investing podcast that is your favorite -- if you were creating, let's say, a 10-podcast Starter Kit for a friend of yours that you were trying to turn on to this -- which 10 podcasts, or stories, or points, going back over the work that we've done together do you think should be in that Rule Breakers Starter Kit? Because that's, in fact, exactly what we're looking to create; about eight to 10 past podcasts that can be strung together and picked up as a package by anybody who wants to get started with Rule Breaker Investing going forward.

So, to tie a bow around that, email us at RBI@Fool.com. My producer, Rick Engdahl; our fearless leader, Chris Hill; and all of us here at Rule Breakers would appreciate any effort that you have. If you can recall one of your favorite podcasts, or a classic point, or something that you think should be in that Starter Kit for your friend or family member in future, RBI@Fool.com and thank you in advance.

I'm going to call this podcast something like The Foolish Truths That I Hold to be Self-Evident [or] My Self-Evident Foolish Truths. I've got nine of them for you and they're ordered in their own informal framework that I hope will make sense. Nine things that I take for granted. I think you should, but I don't want to take for granted that you do take them for granted or know them for yourself to be self-evident. So here are my nine self-evident foolish truths.

Foolish Self-Evident Truth No. 1: No. 1 is about business. In fact, the first two are just about business. We're not even talking about investing yet. Point No. 1 is about how to do business right and finding businesses that do business right. And there are a lot of them and they are growing. I would say that we are living in an increasingly enlightened, capitalistic environment; not ever to say things are perfect or can't be improved.

In fact, one of the things I love about the time in which we are living is that things are pretty persistently improving; sometimes in fits and starts and sometimes we take a big step backwards. It's not true of all areas of the world, but the way that capitalism is practiced and taught today, it's far superior to what I inherited, anyway, when I came on this Earth about 51 years ago and maybe you, too.

And I guess apropos of that point I should mention that I'm taping this podcast last week. I taped this last Thursday because this week I am in Austin, Texas at the Conscious Capitalism Conference, and so point No. 1 is just quick, chapter and verse, Conscious Capitalism.

There are four principles that underline what I consider to be effective capitalism, and these are not my ideas. These were originally settled on by Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey and his friend, academic, and co-author Raj Sisodia. Both of them I have seen speak so beautifully and eloquently about how to do business right. They settled on these four principles. You can read their book, Conscious Capitalism, and learn more about them.

But quickly, No. 1 is that you're a purpose-driven organization. Now this works for-profit and not-for-profit, and I think a lot of us recognize that not-for-profits often do this very well. They have a strong sense of purpose. One of the things we've tried to do at The Motley Fool, that I think our employees appreciate, is we've tried to bring the heart of purpose from the not-for-profit world right into the entrepreneurial platform that is Motley Fool, Inc. So a strong sense of purpose. I'm not even saying we're doing it that well, but we're trying, and I hope that you're working for an organization [for-profit or not-for-profit, if you are working], that is also trying and it is purposeful. So purpose, purpose driven, is really a key part of Conscious Capitalism.

The second one, my favorite of the four, is Multi-stakeholder Orientation. I'm going to park that for a sec, because the third and fourth, quickly, are Conscious Leadership and Conscious Culture. So, basically, in so many words, [there are] servant leaders [people who give the better parking spaces to, let's say, the employees who get to the garage first]. They don't have their own pre-demarcated best parking spots in the garage or all the corner offices in the building. Or if they do, nevertheless, you'd say that person is a servant. He or she is here to serve me as a leader at my organization. So that's Servant Leadership and then Conscious Culture is just having a really strong sense of good corporate culture, which I've talked a lot about on this podcast in the past.

But now let me go back quickly to Multi-stakeholder Orientation. So, the way that capitalism started to veer away, I think, from its better, purer form probably happened around a hundred years ago when CEOs of Fortune 500 companies began saying that the purpose of this corporation is to "maximize shareholder value." And Milton Friedman, the very famous, and rightly so, academic [the economist mostly of the 20th century], Friedman made a big point of saying the purpose of a corporation is to maximize shareholder value.

But we at The Motley Fool, both in our own culture for our organization, but also when we're looking at others and stocks that we might pick, we love to find the corporate cultures that don't just take one stakeholder and try to maximize its value. At the heart of Conscious Capitalism you are not trying to maximize the value of your enterprise for any single group [shareholders]. You're not trying to maximize it for customers. You're not trying to maximize it just for your employees, and you're certainly not doing it just for the environment or other stakeholders that might be around you in your community.

What you're trying to do is create a win for all of them, and you start creating, I think, non-sustainable, sometimes ugly enterprises if you tip everything in favor of one of those groups and say, "That's all we're trying to do. We're trying to maximize the value for that stakeholder group." That's why we [and Mackey and Sisodia] call it Multi-stakeholder Orientation. A critical principle, really. A foundation for building a sound organization with the great structural integrity underneath it that's going to support its long-term prosperity.

So, that's point No. 1. It's a little bit of a mouthful, but I just wanted to make sure that you understood that I hold this truth to be self-evident; that Conscious Capitalism is a great way to do business, and many of the best businesses of our time do this. And, as an investor, I tend to sit up in my seat and take a harder look when I see companies operating in this manner.

Foolish Self-Evident Truth No. 2: I'll just call it by the watchword we often use which is "optionality." Principle No. 2 is basically that the best businesses are able to evolve. Why does that matter? Well, just like in biological evolution, changes in external circumstances happen and your organization needs to both be aware of those things and be adjusting itself to be relevant, and or successful, and or just survive into the next era by evolving. And one of the best ways that innovative companies manage to do this is often they have a second or third trick, and we call that, again, optionality. It means you have multiple possible futures.

The strongest business of our time, I think, is probably Alphabet. Looking across all of Alphabet's different businesses starting with Google -- and then looking across the globe and seeing all the different places that it is doing its Googly things -- that is incredibly strong and the optionality, there, is enviable. I hold that up even over something like Amazon or Apple, because I just believe that Alphabet is operating across more fronts and doing more interesting stuff than any other company in the world.

Now, very few organizations are going to be like that, and very few stocks that you and I will pick have that kind of resilience. As long as you understand the concept that just like in biological evolution it's going to be really important when external circumstances change -- the Ice Age hits -- it's going to be really important for companies to recognize that it's getting cold, let's say, and they need to stop doing this and start doing this other thing.

And the ones that can actually do that -- that have the leadership, that have the vision, that have the strength to actually be able to implement those changes [and permission from the markets, and customers, and partners to evolve] -- those are the companies that you and I want to own. So, points No. 1 and No. 2 are about businesses themselves, and now let's get into the market, point No. 3.

Foolish Self-Evident Truth No. 3: Principle No. 3 that I hold to be self-evident [I hope you do, too, because it's just straight data] is basically one year out of every three the stock market drops on average. Sometimes those years happen in a row, but often the average bear market, when it hits, is about 12 to 18 months. Significant bear markets -- where we would actually use that phrase as opposed to just a down year -- might sometimes bring those down years into a pair, even maybe three in a row, although very rarely anything like that. Even bad, long markets have some up years here and there.

The good news is that two years out of every three the stock market goes up. And so as I have been wont to say in the past, the only market timing I ever do ... I'm somebody who will never predict the stock market. I don't think I'd be good at it, I don't think anybody else is, and I don't think it's worth your time or much thought, frankly, because it's never going to be much more than a coin flip.

But that's why, as I was saying to some Motley Fool ONE members in Charleston a few days ago, whenever anybody asks me where the market's headed over the next year, I always say, "It's headed up. I think it's headed up." And I'll be the first to say it might drop. One year in three it does, but by simply saying I think it's headed up, I get it right two-thirds of the time which, if you look at your market timers you'll see I have an enviable track record with my market predictions. You can, too. Feel free to copy.

But now looking at the down side of market drops. Yeah, markets drop. One year in three it doesn't feel good to be an investor, so you have to be ready for that. We haven't had a down year of any real meaning over the last five, six, seven, eight years, so by no means am I predicting the market will go down. In fact, I think the market's going up in the next 12 months.

I don't know about you, but I can tell you at some point in the next few years, the market will drop and you need to be ready for that. You need to understand that that's how it works. It could be nasty. It could be rather mild. It might happen quickly. It might take a while. No matter what, always expect that the market can and will drop and you need to have, as part of your own resilience as an investor [which is going to be point No. 5, but we'll get there in a sec] to be able to recognize that's going to happen and not be freaked out about it, which leads me to point No. 4.

[...]

Foolish Self-Evident Truth No. 4: This is the lovely phrase the "Rowboat Syndrome," which I swiped from Jack Bogle as I've swiped many other great lines and stories from the Vanguard founder, the investing master, and great friend of The Fool. The rowboat syndrome.

I always say don't do this if you're driving. Raise your hand -- raise both hands -- if you know what the rowboat syndrome is and I'm guessing a minority of us have both hands up right now and nobody who's driving is doing this.

Here's the way I'll put it to paraphrase Jack a little bit. As we're paddling down the river of life as investors, which direction should we be looking? Do you want to be in a rowboat? Most of the rest of the world is, because when you paddle the rowboat you're looking backwards. So many market commentators and just our fellow humans -- forget about the stock market -- are fixated on that rearview mirror. They're just looking backward as "paddle, paddle, paddle" they go forwards through time down the river of life.

I've always said, "Toss away your rowboat and take a canoe," because when you take a canoe you're facing forward and you recognize that all that really matters is what comes next around that bend in the river as you "paddle, paddle, paddle" forward looking the right way. So, as an investor you're going to not spend too much time looking backward but ask where things are headed and getting your money aligned right there.

But I've also said, to close point No. 4, toss away your paddle and kick away that canoe because there's a much more efficient way for you to go down this breezy stream and that's with a sailboat. The beauty of the stock market, as anybody who's studied it knows, is that it tends to rise 8-11% or so annualized over long periods of time.

That is the wind at your back. What an absolutely awesome trip it is that you and I get to be on as investors [coming up is point No. 5 very shortly]. As investors, what a great trip to think that we can just sit there in the boat and let the wind push us forward, occasionally tack when needed, enjoy the sights, and have fun getting rich together as the winds push us forward.

In fact, when I think about the paddlers in their canoes, that feels a lot like trading to me. That feels a lot like day trading. A lot of effort and not nearly as much reward as just sitting there in our Foolish sailboat. Point No. 4.

Foolish Self-Evident Truth No. 5: The now much-hyped point No. 5 where I talked about how I was going to mention the word "investor." It's really not that remarkable a point, but it does introduce what I've called in the past my "dead arm initiative." Here it is.

You have permission to give me a dead arm -- if you're near me at an event or around Fool HQ -- if we ever meet and you ever hear me use this phrase [and please don't dead arm me now because I'm actually just demonstrating] "long-term investor." Or "long-term investing." You are allowed to give me a dead arm if you ever hear me say that because, as I was saying on Patrick O'Shaughnessy's podcast Invest Like the Best when I did it last month [which was so much fun], I've made this point many times over the years.

Investing, by its very nature, is long term. So, when you are saying that phrase that I won't use now, it's a tautology. It's a redundant restatement. And it even confuses some people, I think, because they think that there's other forms of investing beyond the long term, and there's not. The opposite of investing is trading. Trading, by its nature, is done short term.

There are two players in the market from my viewpoint. They are investors and traders. You know which one this podcast is about. I'm not here to denigrate trading. It can be fun for some people. It's a pastime for others. Some people do it very seriously, full-time, and they get paid a lot of money as traders on floors: bond traders, futures traders.

But for you and for me, anyway, if you're like me, you're a lazy bum who wants to do other things beyond staring at wiggles and waggles on charts, or looking at CNBC, or following the market all day, every day. I think there are just too many more interesting things in life, and so the good news is you, fellow Fool, can with me be an Investor.

The Latin root for the word invest is "investire." That means to put on the clothes of. To wear the clothes of. In my mental image, if you're a sports fan [I hope you'll get this] [and] you invest, you put on the jersey of your hometown team. You go to the stadium and you cheer them on. You love your team. You should love the companies you're invested in; the consciously capitalistic, I hope, enterprises that you're invested in doing good things in this world. Purpose driven. Managing for the long term. Resilient. Maybe with optionality, but you keep that hometown jersey on.

I was at the Vanderbilt-Kansas State football game a few weeks ago [visiting one of my kids at Vanderbilt] and I was reminded once again in an SEC football environment, for those who've been there, just how many people are wearing the shirt. It's not just true of college football, although very prominently this time of year it is. It's also true of soccer, hockey, and baseball. The list goes on. People wear the jerseys. Why don't we do that with our money?

Well, good news. Investors do. I hope you do. Rule Breaker Investing does. We put on the jerseys and we keep them on, even if sometimes we have a bad game or even a bad year. Again, your team is not always going to win every year, but if you've found a great team, stick with them. My baseball team, the Minnesota Twins, just got knocked out of the playoffs last week by the New York Yankees. The Yankees have made the playoffs 19 of the last 23 years.

[While appearing a little while ago on the WFAN show the FAN], Mike Francesa's show in New York City, I said, "Mike, that is a buy and hold. The Yankees are a great example for all of their fans of exactly how to treat your money and invest in the stock market. And Mike gets it because he's an investor.

So, now you know the Latin root, now you know what you're doing, and now you know the dead arm challenge, the dead arm initiative. You may dead arm me if you ever hear me say -- you know what I'm not going to say.

Now let's get away from just business and away from the markets, general investing, and let's go very specifically into our space, Rule Breaker Investing. Let's think about why it works, what wins in the markets, why it's so much fun, and what we're all about here at Rule Breakers.

Foolish Self-Evident Truth No. 6: We're Fools. Fools don't like wisdom. I don't like conventional wisdom. Well, I do like conventional wisdom when it works, and by the way, sometimes conventional wisdom works, and that's why it's become a convention. But many other times, especially as humans, sometimes we like to play tricks in our minds. We think that there's a certain way of thinking about something. Or maybe we were taught. Maybe we were taught how to think.

I was disturbed as I drove in this morning hearing The Economist audio edition what's happening in Turkey right now, which is that kids are no longer being taught biological evolution in that European Union nation. Their leader, Erdoğan, is pulling that learning from kids' textbooks. It's going to be hard to be a competitive, modern nation if you are not teaching kids how to think as best you can.

So, sometimes it's the stories we tell ourselves in our heads that starts to set up the conventional wisdom that then sometimes becomes conventional because other people start thinking the same thing, too; and what I would think of as suboptimal thoughts become shared. And that's what's so great about Foolishness, and that's why it's so much fun to break the rules.

I am a board gamer. That has become clear to anybody who has listened to this podcast any length of time that exceeds maybe two months or so, and as a board gamer I recognize that often the best approach to take to a good strategy board game is to look around, see what others are doing, see how they're all competing for the same resources or maybe in this area of the map or the game board; and by not doing what everybody else is doing, often you put yourself in a better position to win the game.

And I think the same thing is true of the game of business where new businesses pop up, trying things in different ways, breaking the rules of how things are done in their industries, and succeeding. Well, the best ones do. And I also think it's true of investing and investment strategies.

Part of what I love about Rule Breaker Investing is we're taking a highly contrary approach. None of it is taught in schools, other than maybe Fool School. A lot of it is self-learned and it continues to evolve as an approach and a strategy. It's very contrary, as I'll be mentioning shortly in another point, and that's part of the reason I think it works. So point No. 6 is just about the beauty of fighting against conventional wisdom, something that The Motley Fool has done across many fronts and contexts in our first 24 years on this planet.

Foolish Self-Evident Truth No. 7: This is a brief restatement of the Rule Breakers six traits -- the six things that I'm looking for in my favorite stocks. There will be a tendency or temptation for me to attempt to illustrate each one of them, here, but no. That results in far too long a podcast and good news, some of that material has already been done on this podcast and as you help us build the Rule Breakers Starter Kit, we'll probably pull from that. But let me just briefly restate the six traits, in order, that I look for when picking stocks.

  1. I love to find "top dogs and first movers in important emerging industries." If you're not the lead husky, the view never changes. I love to find the lead huskies, especially in emerging industries, technologies, and world changers.
  2. We're looking for "sustainable advantage" -- sustainable competitive advantage -- that can often be gained just through sheer business momentum by the big players. Facebook becomes unstoppable at a certain point within its industry. "Patent protection" helps a lot, especially for some of the medical companies that we invest in. "Visionary leadership" is a great form of sustainable advantage. We have Jeff Bezos, you don't. Try to beat us. Or just "inept competition." That's also a great way to find sustainable advantage. When all of the players in your industry aren't really serving customers [cable industry] and you enter with a new model, you can start to win over not just customers, but shareholders if you're Reed Hastings at Netflix, let's say, because you've got some inept competition. So, that's sustainable advantage.
  3. "Strong past price appreciation." Yes, very contrarily, we're looking for stocks that are doing very well. That may already well have doubled over the last six or 12 months. Most of the world, in my experience, I submit to you, is looking at the list of 52-week lows asking which one they want to buy. We're looking at 52-week highs.
  4. "Good management and smart backing." The value of visionary leadership is always underestimated by the markets. Smart backing [looking for which VCs, which venture capitalists are funding these enterprises]. Some VCs, just like some CEOs, are better than others, so keep an eye on that.
  5. I love to find companies with "strong consumer appeal that have a brand name." That know how to market well and speak well, truthfully and authentically to customers. Winningly. Often with some humor. Strong consumer appeal of great brands.
  6. Yes, the ultimate secret sauce of Rule Breaker Investing. We want to hear that our stocks are "overvalued" according to the financial media.

The more prominent the voice calling our stock the more overvalued, [often] the better it will be for us as investors because when you have those first five principles in place, to restate-top dog and first mover in an important emerging industry with a sustainable advantage, strong past price appreciation, good management, smart backing, strong consumer appeal, and somebody at Barron's or on Seeking Alpha [or sometimes an anonymous short seller] starts saying it's so overvalued.

I'm pretty sure I know which way things are going to go over the only term that counts which is, by definition for investors, the long term. It doesn't always work, which transitions me to No. 8. It doesn't always work, but when it does it works wonderfully.

Foolish Self-Evident Truth No. 8: Get ready to lose. Foolish Self-Evident Truth No. 8 is that you will lose and lose a lot as a Rule Breaker investor. I have a horrific statistic for you. Thanks for listening all the way through to this point in the podcast. I've got a special Easter egg stat for you, here, right now. I have now picked in Motley Fool Rule Breakers' history as many stocks that have lost 50% or more as my age. I am 51 and this week I now have my 51st [-50%] loser.

And I hate that. It's shameful. I don't like to think about it. People have followed my advice, I have followed my advice, and a lot of the time [not all of the time, and we'll get to that in a sec] but a lot of the time we lose, and we can lose dramatically. And you need to be ready for that if you're a Rule Breaker; otherwise you're not a Rule Breaker. You need to be willing to lose, and here's why.

Because even though I have 51 [-50%] losers in the 316 stocks that I have picked over the course of the 13-plus years of Rule Breakers -- 51 [-50%] losers -- good news. The 51st best stock that I've picked is Ellie Mae. I picked it five years ago this month and Ellie Mae is up 232%. The 51st best pick.

Can you hold both those stocks in your mind? Can you see that while you're going to eat it a lot, the value of winning far wipes out the cost of losing? This is such a critical psychological point. Psychologists tell us that the pain of loss is three times the joy of gain. Think about that. It hurts to lose far more than it feels good to win. That's just true of human psychology.

But look at the math that you and I just threw down together. A quick quiz. What is the pain of loss at its maximum for an investor? The answer is losing 100% on a stock market recommendation which I've still never done personally myself. Minus 100%.

What is the joy of gain by contrast for investors? The answer is that joy is unlimited. My four horsemen -- the four stocks in Motley Fool Stock Advisor that have gained 50X or more of their value -- any single one of those four horsemen itself wipes out pretty much all the losses of all of my [-50%] losers and then leaves profits on top of that.

So, just recognize that the math of investing directly reverses the psychology that all of us are bound to. The pain of loss may be three times the joy of gain for most contexts in life, but for you and me, for Rule Breakers investors, it's quite the opposite. A lot of people don't realize that and they live in fear of ever having a single stock that would lose 50% or more of its value.

Foolish Self-Evident Truth No. 9: This is the definition of a term that I've taken on as my own screen name. If you ever join us at Fool.com and come to our discussion boards in Rule Breakers or Stock Advisor, we each have screen names and my screen name is TMFSpiffyPop. I want to make sure that everybody still listening to me this week knows exactly what a spiffy-pop is.

Let's pretend that you paid $63.37 for a stock that you bought eight years ago. I don't know how many shares you bought, but it was a good buy. Good job. You bought at $63.37. And let's pretend that tomorrow that stock goes up $65 in one day. Maybe it's at $700 a share these days. And when it goes up $65 that's about a 10% gain for you which might sound like a pop. About at 10% people would [call it] a 10% pop.

But you and I now know that something even more impressive happened. You just got a spiffy-pop because you made more in a single day than the cost basis you paid way back then. You made $65 a share in one day and you only paid $63.37 for that stock in the first place. That is not just a pop ladies, gentlemen, and Fools. That is a spiffy-pop.

And I invented the concept for investors -- people who by definition act long term. We don't get a lot of rah-rah. We're not often invited on CNBC for our short-term market viewpoint. I wanted to have some kind of a concept. A rallying cry. A thing that could be a goal for any new investor that we could do together, and I'm really happy to say that here in 2017, across the Motley Fool services, I can now count 29 spiffy-pops that have already happened for our members this year.

And without bragging here, I should mention that once a stock does its 13th spiffy-pop -- it hits its baker's dozen -- once it happens for a 13th time for, let's say, Netflix, we stop counting. So I'm not including in my stat of 29 spiffy-pops across Motley Fool services this year the dozens and dozens that happened from Netflix, or Priceline, or Amazon.com, which when they make 1% moves these days generate spiffy-pops that are no longer interesting. That's why we call that 13th and final spiffy-pop for any stock the "forget-me pop" because we just don't pay attention anymore. It's boring.

So, now you know. By holding to, let's say, the 53rd minute of this week's podcast, now you know what a spiffy-pop is and what I think you should make a laudable goal that you surely will achieve if you just purpose toward the Foolish self-evident truths that I tried to lay down in front of you this week.

And that's it. Enough for this week. On next week's show I'm going to do something that a lot of you have asked for quite a long time. We're actually going to do a Rule Breaker Investing podcast on blockchain and bitcoin. I'm going to invite my friend and fellow analyst Aaron Bush in, and Aaron and I are going to do the first Rule Breaker Investing podcast on blockchain and bitcoin. You asked for it. I hope we deliver.

In the meantime, thanks for listening. Have a great week. 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.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors.  David Gardner owns shares of Alphabet (A and C shares), Amazon, Apple, Ellie Mae, Facebook, Netflix, and Priceline Group. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A and C shares), Amazon, Apple, Ellie Mae, Facebook, Netflix, and Priceline Group. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.