Archive for Sunday, November 7, 2004

The Motley Fool

November 7, 2004


Last week's answer

I trace my roots back to 1985 and the Wire & Plastic Products company, which manufactured wire baskets in the United Kingdom. Today, based in London and New York, I'm one of the world's leading communications services groups, strong in advertising and public relations. The names under my umbrella include J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicom, MindShare, Hill and Knowlton, Landor, Burson Marsteller and Research International. I employ more than 60,000 people in 100-plus nations. My clients have included American Express, AT&T;, Colgate-Palmolive, Ford, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Nestlà , Pfizer, Philip Morris, and Unilever. Who am I?

(Answer: WPP Group)

Cars and funerals

In the fall of 1964, I moved to Tennessee, where the local credit union offered a special deal. I invested $2,000 for me and $2,000 for my wife in a special savings account -- that money would have bought a nice new car, with some dollars left over. Upon my death or my wife's, the $2,000 was to double and pay for a funeral. A few years ago, the credit union canceled the insurance plan. How much of a new car can I buy for $4,000? -- Richard Stanley, Collegedale, Tenn.

The Fool Responds: If you want to look into whether you were had, consider contacting your state's attorney general's office. It's surprising that the savings account didn't pay any interest or offer more protection. Instead of signing up, you might have just invested the $4,000 in stocks or elsewhere, figuring that the amount would grow over time and could be tapped for funeral expenses whenever they were needed. The average funeral today costs more than $4,000.

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