In this episode of Motley Fool Answers, Alison Southwick is joined by Motley Fool personal finance expert Robert Brokamp, and senior analyst Bill Mann to talk about asset allocation. Alison starts the show with tax fraud news and examines how the upcoming election could impact the stock market. Robert and Bill discuss optimal portfolio allocation strategies and some tools you can use.
To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.
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This video was recorded on October 20, 2020.
Alison Southwick: This is Motley Fool Answers. I'm Alison Southwick, joined as always by Robert get out the broat camp, Personal Finance Expert here at The Motley Fool. Hey, Bro, how are you doing?
Robert Brokamp: Good. Broat early and often, that's what I say.
Southwick: There you go. In this week's episode, we're joined by Bill Mann, Senior Analyst here at The Motley Fool. He's going to talk about asset allocation. So exciting. All that and more on this week's episode of Motley Fool Answers.
Brokamp: So, Alison, what's up?
Southwick: Well, Bro, for you I have two things; not one, not three, but two things. The first thing being, pobody's nerfect. About a month or so ago, I gave you a bit of the life story of Robert Smith, famed investor, philanthropist, and the wealthiest African-American. Thanks to Rick, over on Twitter, who brought it to my attention, it turns out Mr. Smith was less than honest on his taxes.
Brokamp: Oh, boy!
Southwick: Quite popular, everybody is doing it. Yeah. So, basically, Mr. Smith, according to the Financial Times, the Founder of Vista Equity Partners, had hidden $200 million from the taxman.
Brokamp: But who hasn't done that?
Southwick: I mean, if I could, I would. That's not true; I love paying taxes. So, yeah. And evaded some $43 million in taxes from about 2005 to 2014 and he admitted that in a settlement this week. But wait, you ask, how did he get off so easy? Why isn't he doing jail time like the guy who created Beanie Babies? Well, the announcement of his non-prosecution agreement on Thursday came as prosecutors brought tax charges against Robert Brockman, a Houston billionaire whose money launched Robert Smith's private equity career in 2000. Brockman denies the charges against him, but basically, they indicted Mr. Brockman in a $2 billion personal tax evasion case. It's the largest of its kind in U.S. history, and they said that Smith would face no charges for his scheming to evade taxes, in return he agreed to cooperate in this other case. I don't really understand it a lot, because anything that gets into corporate taxes, I just kind of get angry and frustrated.
Brokamp: [laughs] I can understand; I understand.
Southwick: And my angry plate is already pretty full. So, we're just going to move on from this story, we're not going to talk about Amazon, we're not going to talk about Trump, we're just going to move on.
No. 2, speaking of which, my angry plate, the election is right around the corner, and some of you may be wondering how it's going to impact the stock market, depending on who is elected and how drawn out of a process this could be. Well, the vast majority of investors, 93%, in fact, believe that the Presidential race will affect the stock market according to a recent survey from Hartford Funds, moreover 84% said they expect that it will impact their investing habits.
So, yes, it's possible we won't have a final answer for who our next President will be as swiftly as we're used to. It could drag on for weeks, months, I don't know. And what does the stock market hate, Bro?
Southwick: That's right, that's exactly what I have here. You got the answer right. So, I have good news for you, dear listeners, because you are long-term investors. And guess what, over the long term, nothing really matters. Well, at least in the stock market. Just ask Ben Carlson over at, A Wealth of Common Sense, and his post, Don't Mix Your Politics with Your Portfolio. He looked at market performance going back to Hoover to see how it performed based on who was in the Oval Office. So, to get to the conclusion quickly, and then we'll back it up, the long-term trend of the stock market has been up and to the right no matter who the President is, Carlson writes, and no President has been able to stop the market from falling either. So, when Trump got elected, there were pundits and investors galore predicting an enormous market crash, instead stocks rose steadily for most of his first term until the pandemic hit, and there've already been more than 130 new all-time highs on the S&P during Trump's tenure.
Carlson goes on, when Obama got elected, there were people predicting his radicalism is killing the Dow, instead stocks set off in 2009 on a bull market that lasted for the entirety of the decade, and there were nearly 130 new all-time highs on the S&P during Obama's tenure too. And then he goes on to include the stock chart; obviously, it's always hard to describe stock charts, but just imagine a bunch of red and blue striped pajamas and it's just all going up and to the right, as the stock market does want to do.
So, you may be wondering who had the biggest peak-to-trough drawdowns during their time as President? I don't know, how far back do you want to hear, Bro, I got all the way back to Hoover.
Brokamp: Hoover, that's right before and, sort of, during the Great Depression.
Southwick: Yeah, he had a rough go. It was 86.2%. He had definitely the worst. So, Donald Trump, his peak-to-trough downturn, 33.9%; Obama, 22.6%; George Bush, 51.9%; Bill Clinton, 19.3%. George H.W. Bush, 19.9%; and Ronald Reagan, 33.5%. So, I don't know, that's a lot of numbers, but whatever.
It's not just the presidency up for grabs, Congress could swing too. And here's where it gets, I mean, just like a little bit of nonsense. So, Carlson includes the average S&P 500 annual returns based on partisan control. So, on average, again, S&P 500 annual returns for a Democratic Senate and a Republican House and a Democratic President, 13.6%; Republican Senate, Democratic House, Republican President, 13.4%, yadda-da-da-da-da, and down from there.
So, anyway, what's it all mean? As Carlson writes, there are only two things I'm certain of when it comes to mixing politics with investing decisions. One, the stock market will go up and down no matter who the President is, and two, investing your money based on how you vote in November will not result in level-headed financial decisions. And that, Bro, is what's up.
Brokamp: Most financial experts recommend that investors diversify their portfolios to include other types of stocks, such as small caps, international stocks, and maybe even value stocks. However, diversifying beyond the S&P 500 has not been a winning strategy for most investors over the past several years. So, should investors just stick with the index or is there still a benefit to broadening your portfolio?
I can think of no Fool better to help us answer these questions than Bill Mann who has been at the company for 21 years, and I know, because we both started on the very same day way back in 1999. He also has contributed to various Fool services focusing on small caps, international stocks, as well as being the Lead Portfolio Manager of Motley Fool Funds for many years. He is now the Advisor of The Fool's Global Partners service, no doubt informed by his experience selling underwear in the Former Soviet Union back in the '90s. Bill Mann, welcome to Motley Fool Answers.
Bill Mann: [laughs] What a grim day that was when the two of us started, wasn't it? [laughs] Somewhere the universe tore just a little bit. Yeah, thank you for that introduction. How are you doing?
Brokamp: Just fine, how are you?
Mann: Not too bad. I'm a Summer person, so the fact that it's getting cooler out is not a happy thing for me. But beyond that, I'm excited to talk with you about three of my favorite subjects all wrapped up in stocks.
Brokamp: Yes, and it's exactly why we brought you on, because you have that long-term perspective and real-life experience of managing portfolios to provide some answers here, so ...
Mann: Yeah. And the underwear thing is true.
Brokamp: [laughs] It was right when the Soviet Union collapsed, right; am I remembering this correctly?
Mann: That's right. Thought they need some drawers, some bloomers.
Brokamp: [laughs] Did that work out, by the way, I mean, did you make money?
Mann: I didn't die. I wasn't -- [laughs] yeah, I'm back. No, it didn't work out. No, we weren't mafia-proof. That's what I learned when I was there. I'm not mafia-proof. I mean, I think I am now, but, yeah.
Brokamp: You're an honest guy, that's what you said.
Mann: An honest guy working in a place that was a little more Wild West than we were ready for. But, yeah, it was the best business education I could have ever got.
Brokamp: I'm sure. [laughs] All right. So, what we're going to do is go through each type of stock. I'm going to provide a little definition, a little historical returns, and then we'll get your opinion on it. And first off, we're going to talk about small caps. So, what exactly are small caps? While you know that large caps are the S&P 500, well, Standard & Poor's has an index for small caps, it's the S&P 600. To get in the S&P 600, you have to have an unadjusted market cap of between $600 million and $2.4 billion. These days the median market cap is about $1.1 billion, highest is $6.2 billion, lowest is $84 million, very small company there.
And now, when you look at the S&P 500, I could rattle off the top 10 holdings and you would know all those companies. The top holdings in the S&P 600, perhaps not so much. Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Simpson Manufacturing, Newgen, Exponent, Stamps.com -- that's probably one you all heard of. So, that's the S&P 600.
Historically, what are the returns on small caps? Well, for historical returns we're going to use one of my favorite websites, Portfolio Visualizer. It's something I recommend to everyone. You can play with all kinds of back-tested portfolios and even do some withdrawal rate stuff, and we all know how I love withdrawal rate information in retirement. So, looking since 1972, large caps have returned 10.3%; small caps, 11.4%. And you may think that one percentage point is not that big of a difference. If you invested $10,000 in 1972 in large caps, you'd have $1.2 million. $10,000 in small caps, $1.9 million. So, just earning that 1% more a year or so made you $700,000.
Mann: It can add up. As Father Guido Sarducci said, it can add up.
Brokamp: [laughs] Exactly. Okay. So, that's the longest term. Last 10 years, in particular, the last five years, not doing so well. Small caps actually underperforming large caps by almost 4% or 5% a year. So, Bill Mann, what's going on with small cap stocks?
Mann: I mean, small caps have actually performed rather well, but you are up against, right now, perhaps the best performance stretch you have ever seen in the markets with the largest component. And you can think about the companies, you can think about why the 25% of the S&P 500 right now is made up of Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, the FANG stocks basically, Google; [Alphabet] 25% of it. And these have very high capital returns and are almost unbelievably profitable. So, that's what you're up against. The magic about the S&P 500 or any index or any stock is that when you are evaluating it, you can only buy it from today, so you're talking about companies that are combined $5 trillion, almost $6 trillion in market cap, which -- just to set a little scale around it, it's bigger than China, that's bigger than the GDP of China, with those companies alone. It's a hard argument to make that they are going to continue to grow larger than the U.S. GDP over time, because eventually they would overtake GDP.
So, there is a natural logic that you would want to look toward the companies that are smaller, that are lower in valuation. And by that, I mean, both, in size and then also in the fact that the S&P 500 is, at this point, rather historically expensive in terms of return you should be able to expect. Now, the companies that I think are at the top of the S&P 500 are special, if you own them I would never recommend that you sell them just because some guy on a podcast says they're expensive, but they are, there is a lot expected of the largest of the large, the S&P 500. It is definitely not the case of small caps in the United States.
Brokamp: One theory you may have heard, or is talked about as for one reason why the small caps have lagged or will continue to lag, is that these days companies come public later in their lifecycle. So, you don't see as many companies coming public as $1 billion, $2 billion companies and then growing, rather they come to market when they're already large caps. Do you think that is true, and does that have any explanation or predictive power to the future returns of small caps?
Mann: I think that there's something else at play. If you think about what the most -- is that we have had a low number of IPOs in general from about 2014 to about 2019. 2020 has been different. 2020 there have been a ton of companies that have come public from tiny all the way up to really large. It wasn't that many companies that would come public really large. Uber was more of the exception than the rule. And Google was more of the exception than the rule.
But the other thing to keep in mind is that for the most part, and I'm going to go out, I'm going to make up a number, but it's roughly right, 470 of the S&P 505 companies were at one point small caps, right? They started as small caps and then grew, so that they couldn't be tracked as small caps anymore, right? And this is, and I've just gone down the list of them, this is a sensational set of companies. Apple was a small cap when it came public. Microsoft was a small cap when it came public, Amazon was tiny when it came public; it was a $200 million company. So, I think that that has more to do with it than the fact that a few companies are going public later on, the unicorns as we think of them, that's not that many in number. But not that many companies were going public during the mid-2010s.
Brokamp: Got you. So, bottom-line, Bill Mann, should investors have a dedicated allocation to small caps?
Mann: I don't really care that much about allocations. I think if you're thinking of the market as being bifurcated or trifurcated, that you might be making a foundational error, but I absolutely think that you should be looking at smaller companies for long-term returns. For one, they are the areas where there is the most promise. A $1.6 trillion company, I'm sorry, it's not going to double, it's not going to double in any real fast period of time, it may double long term, but the areas where there is the most promise, I think is in the small cap segment. And what you love -- think about what I just said -- what you love is a company that can no longer be measured as a small cap, if you can follow ...
Brokamp: Let me frame it this way. So, let's say someone has most of their money invested in their 401(k), where they cannot invest in individual stocks. One of their choices is the S&P 500 index fund, do you think it makes sense to invest money beyond the index fund and into the small cap fund?
Mann: Absolutely. I know you hated that answer, I'm sorry, I'm being very --
Brokamp: Oh, no, I love that answer, I love everything you do, Bill. [laughs]
Mann: [laughs] We're talking about allocations, don't say there's no such thing as allocations. What else are we going to talk about? No. Absolutely, absolutely you should be looking at, you know, and they are not as prevalent. I think one of the things actually has happened over the last decade is so much money has gone passively into the S&P 500, it's harder to do with smaller companies, not harder to do individually, there a ton of ETFs, there are a ton of funds that do it, it's harder to do it systemically, right, just because these companies are by definition smaller. But, yes, absolutely, if you have a healthy allocation, if you own -- again, let me repeat this so people understand -- if you own an S&P 500 index fund, let's say you own $10,000 of that, $500 of those $10000 is Apple, right? You've got plenty of Apple, so, of course, go and look elsewhere. You have an allocation even if you haven't gone out and specifically chosen that.
Brokamp: Got you. Perfect. Let's move on to international stocks. Now, as I said, I love Portfolio Visualizer, one drawback is it only has data back to 1986 for international stocks, so I'm going to give those numbers, but then give a little caveat. So, since 1986, S&P 500 has returned 10.6%; international stocks just 6.7%. So, you don't see a performance benefit there, and on top of it, international stocks are more volatile when measured by standard deviation. However, the caveat is there is data back to 1970, and if you include that data, they're about neck-and-neck, because the '70s international stocks did pretty well and the beginning of the '80s were really good for international stocks. That said, let's look over the last decade. S&P 500 has returned 13%, international just 4.2%.
Mann: What have they been doing?
Brokamp: [laughs] Not growing enough, that's what, not enough, that's what they've been doing.
Mann: Not growing enough.
Brokamp: Right. So, Bill Mann, what do you think, should people invest in international stocks?
Mann: Yeah. You know what I call international stocks, I call them stocks. I think there's a great misconception that when you invest internationally that you are taking on a lot more risk, the only additional risk that you're taking is currency risk. And so, I'm not asking you to go out and buy companies in Nigeria. And I'm not suggesting that you need to go and be incredibly enterprising/foolhardy, maybe those are on the different sides of the same coin. One thing to note about international markets is that in a lot of markets, the two largest components of the index are whatever the biggest banks are and natural resources companies. Those have not been areas, even in the United States, that have grown that much. The United States has the smallest component of any country in natural resources and banks combined. So, a lot of the outperformance of the U.S. over international, right away, is explained by the fact that our industry slate is different, right?
But it has not been the case in any year since 2010 that the U.S. has been the market that has performed the best. This year will be Denmark, so far, the Danes. Year 2019 it was Greece, I can't even believe it. 2018 it was Finland. 2017 it was Austria. Like, not a single year has the U.S. been the best performing market.
Brokamp: I remember back in the, I guess, the first decade of the 2000s when commodities did well and they did particularly well during the dot-com crash. So, there was this, sort of, rush to think about, well, maybe you should diversify your portfolio into commodities. The counterpoint was that, if you own an internationally diversified portfolio, you already have exposure to commodities, because of that point you made, and that also does explain why many international stocks have lagged, because commodities have just been horrible over the last decade.
Mann: [laughs] Horrible. I wish this were a visual podcast, because I would put up the thing that I have in front of me, but if anyone who's out there, if you want to see a beautiful representation of exactly what Robert is talking about, go and do a Google search for "The Callan Periodic Table of Investment Returns," and Callan does this thing where it says, OK, here's large cap U.S. equity, it's the segments and it does, it rank orders them. And during the 2000s large cap equity in the U.S. did relatively poorly for that exact reason that you said. At the moment now in the U.S. there's something -- did you guys ever talk about the Buffett Indicator?
Brokamp: I don't know if we have, I've definitely written about it, but go ahead do a quick summary ...
Mann: Okay. So, the Buffett Indicator is roughly what's the market cap of the market and what's the GDP of the country it's in ...
Brokamp: It's like a price-to-sales ratio for each country.
Mann: For each county. In some ways it's a very rough tool, because, obviously, in the U.S., you've got these companies and not all of their revenues come from the U.S. On a country-by-country basis, you know, it's not something that you want to look at with precision. But roughly, the U.S. is the most expensive developed market in the world. Our market cap of our market is larger than our GDP, which suggests that the only way that we're going to grow is if the GDP grows, which let's hope it does, or we sell a lot more internationally. We actually have negative expected returns using that rough tool. As a sharp tool, you wouldn't necessarily say that, but again, looking at the rough tool, Singapore, for example, has a 16%/year assumed growth rate in its stock market based on that. Spain has 15%. Hong Kong has 12%. And you could look and say, well, these are the problems with those markets, but ultimately, if these are developed markets, they're going to respond. They're going to respond to the fact that there are bargains available in the markets. That's just how it works. So, roughly, you can say that there is less opportunity in the United States' markets than there is in almost any other market in the world.
Brokamp: So, I think I know the answer, but I'll ask it to you. So, do you think that people should have a dedicated allocation to international stocks?
Mann: I think that if you are limiting yourself to American companies, you are limiting yourself to only 30% of the market by market cap, you're limiting yourself to 8% of the market by names of companies, of numbers of stocks, and that is in and of itself an enormous mistake. And we could talk for hours about companies that you can find outside of the United states that do not have comparable American companies, the opportunities outside of the U.S. are remarkable, and they haven't been recognized in the same way that the companies in the S&P 500 have been.
Brokamp: Got it. All right. Let's move on to value. And I saved value for last, because it's I would say the most, I wouldn't say controversial, but there's not as much agreement on it. If you look at, for example, a target-date mutual fund, they will all have small cap allocations, they will have international allocations, they may not have a value allocation. So, let's start by saying, what is value? And it's basically some definition or some measure by which some stocks are cheaper than the average or more expensive stocks. There are all kinds of ways to measure it. The historical, academic evidence, which first was done by Gene Fama and Kenneth French, was just using the book-to-market, but more modern ways or more recent ways to do it use other measures, for example, Morningstar uses several measures to measure value, price-to-earnings, dividend yield, price-to-sales and all that, but basically, we're talking cheaper stocks below average valuations.
So, what are the returns? Well, again, we're going to look at Portfolio Visualizer. Since 1972, as a reminder, the S&P 500, 10.3%. Portfolio Visualizer doesn't just do value, you have to break it up by market cap as well. Large cap value, 10.9%; mid-cap value, 12.4%; small cap value, 13.2%. $10,000 invested in small cap value stocks, by the end of September of this year would be worth $4.2 million. Unfortunately, the last decade, and particularly the last five years have just been horrible. The S&P 500 outperformed all types of value stocks by anywhere from 5% to 8% a year. So, Bill, what's going on with value stocks?
Mann: See the good news is, because we are talking about today, unfortunately it is in the past, right? We are trying to decide whether to invest today. And are we looking at a situation where those things might reverse themselves, that's as simple as that. Like, I am not investing. I have some good news and some bad news, because it means that I'm eight years older and eight years more decrepit, but I'm not investing in 2012 right now. If I did, if I was, I think I know what I'd be doing and it'd be a little different than the things that I have been.
Obviously, over this last decade, value investing in the U.S. has been left in the dust. And I think of value investing, just as you explained, like, you know, 10X earnings and below is cheap, 20X earnings and above is expensive. Those types of heuristics. I think that you're going to continue to see people who invest strictly on those factors. People who are value investors, the numerical value investors, they're not using a lot of judgement. They're just saying this is cheap because of the number, and this is expensive because of the number. I think they're going to continue to be left in the dust simply because of the changes in the U.S. economy, in particular, as we've moved into high return on capital from really, really efficient companies. I mean, we're in the midst of, you know, between the cloud and between 5G, it is a revolution for how business gets done. So, I think people who are strict numerical value investors, really risk being continued to be left in the dust.
Brokamp: There are lots of arguments about why value has trailed growth for a long time, but one, for me, I would say is the most compelling is that, if you tilt your portfolio toward value, you are going to be under-allocated toward tech and innovation, because the up-and-coming companies, the emerging technologies, they're never cheap, they're never cheap. So, in periods, like we have seen over the last several years where these types of companies are what rule the market, you're going to lag.
Mann: Yeah. The good news for value, as you would say, is if you are reaching for the higher quality companies, and let's just put a pin in them and say that these are higher quality companies, higher return on capital, higher profit, higher markets, more efficient, whatever. What I've noticed is that the narratives for these companies almost have no bounds. Like, you say, I think this company is going to do 20% growth for the next 10 years, and it reaches that valuation, you say, yeah, maybe it's going to 30% of growth over the next 10 years and it becomes easier and easier and easier to convince yourself of anything.
But if you think about what types of companies are in the value segment. Numerically, it's mostly regional banks. You cannot convince yourself that a regional bank is going to grow 30%/year for the next 10 years. It just doesn't exist. The good news -- and this is why I think that the segment deserves more attention than it gets, and you can buy ETFs that track value, domestic, small cap, you have ETFs for everything -- is that, those companies are not going to hurt you, they're not going to hurt you in the same way that the growth companies might hurt. You will be able to sleep at night. You know, there's a little bit of a cost, and that cost comes in, you're not going to have a company like Fastly, you know, that's gone up 800% this year as a stock, that's not going to be in the value segment ever. But at the same time, you're not going to see companies that are going to get obliterated simply because the market has assumed that they are more awesome than they are, even if they are pretty awesome.
Brokamp: So, bottom-line, should folks have a dedicated allocation to value stocks? And again, we're thinking in terms of an allocation thing. Obviously, it's always better to get a company when it's cheaper than when it's more expensive, but if you're looking at your 401(k), should you ignore that value fund or put a little bit of money in it?
Mann: This is a know thyself argument. If you are someone who is not willing to accept your overall portfolio dropping by 20%, if that is the kind of thing that will hurt you to the degree -- I mean, it's painful for all of us, but if that is something that's going to hurt you to the degree that you can't sleep at night, that you might panic and do something, then absolutely, this is a segment for you, absolutely. I don't think that the average investor, the average Foolish investor, who is much more comfortable with the knowledge that the stock market is going to go down at certain points, really has to go and buy small cap value companies. It is true that they have outperformed over the super long-term, and you can understand why, I just think that we are in a different environment going forward. And I hate the term "this time it's different" but it actually kind of is.
Brokamp: Got it. Well, thank you for all, for that. I did want to take advantage of you being on the show to answer three questions that we often get from our listeners. So, let's keep this lightning round, very quick answers.
Mann: You've met me, right, that's hard. What's your name? And I'd go on for six minutes. All right, all right.
Brokamp: [laughs] That's why I'm emphasizing the whole lightning round part. So, basically three fundamental questions that Motley Fool readers and listeners often ask. No. 1, how many stocks should someone own?
Mann: As many as you feel like you can cover. And I would say, you should know the companies that make up the top 50% of your portfolio. If you want to be a collector, that's great. Academia would tell you that the number is 30. I love owning companies and I don't care how many I have, but I would say probably no more than 20 should make up your top 50% of your portfolio and you should know them. The total number of companies isn't that relevant.
Brokamp: Is there a lower bound? What's the lowest number people should own?
Mann: Oh, I would say that the lowest number you should own would be about 15. But again, if you've got one stock that's 60% of your portfolio, it almost doesn't matter what else you own, right, you are entirely geared to that. The more important thing to me is that, in general, unless you happen to be, I don't know, the CEO or the Founder of a company, I wouldn't let a single company become more than 15% of your portfolio. I think that's more important to focus on than the number.
Brokamp: Got you. And that was actually my second question, so you answered it, no more than 15%.
Mann: Is that true, how is that for lighting? It's crackle, crackle, crackle. [laughs]
Brokamp: You anticipated the question. Perfect. All right. And then the third one is, how much should people have in the market versus keeping a little bit or a lot, whatever, on the side, in cash or bonds, although bonds are so boring these days?
Mann: Yeah. Bonds are the same as cash these days. And I really wonder where that's going to shake out, you always had that asset allocation that had a big slug of fixed income. Fixed income now is fixed at zero, basically. There's almost no variability that's really, truly available in terms of income in that segment. You know, to me, yes, you should always have some cash. I tend to pay myself every paycheck, so I put a little bit of money into the market every single time. And I've used that cash as a weapon, and I really think that it should be, at least, 8% to 10% of your overall stock portfolio. And most importantly, you should be adding to it all the time.
Brokamp: Got it. Well, thanks, Bill, it was great having you on the show.
Mann: It's so great to spend this time with you. I mean, we sit really close to each other in theory, but not these days.
Brokamp: No. And the office is still closed, I think we're talking about maybe opening in January, we'll see if that happens. Alison is giving a nod, no, that's not going to happen.
Mann: Yeah. Alison is not convinced. Yeah, I'm getting ready to go to New Orleans and we're going to work from there for a little bit.
Brokamp: Oh, nice.
Mann: Just a different four walls. We're going to drive down. Yeah, you know, we're not going for Mardi Gras or anything, we're just going to different four walls. So, yeah, I mean I do miss you guys.
Brokamp: Well, we miss you too. Hope to see you in-person, and thanks again for joining us on Motley Fool Answers.
Mann: Thanks so much for inviting me, it's always super-fun to come on and talk with you guys.
Southwick: Well, that's the show. It's taped thankfully by Heather Horton. Heather, thanks for stepping in for Rick today. It's still edited consistently by Rick Engdahl. Our email is Answers@Fool.com. For Robert Brokamp, I'm Alison Southwick, stay Foolish everybody.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Alison Southwick owns shares of Amazon. Bill Mann has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Robert Brokamp, CFP has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Apple, Fastly, Microsoft, Netflix, and Twitter. The Motley Fool recommends Stamps.com and Uber Technologies and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon, short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft, short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon, and long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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