Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Motley Fool: Meta Platforms, an AI Stock

The entrance to Meta’s corporate headquarters is shown in Menlo Park, Calif., on Feb. 15, 2022.  (JIM WILSON/New York Times )
Motley Fool

Facebook parent Meta Platforms (Nasdaq: META) has been one of the best performing stocks on the market since the beginning of 2023. However, it dropped after the company posted strong first-quarter earnings (revenue up 27% year over year and net income up 117%) but warned of slower growth due to heavy investments in artificial intelligence, among other things.

The company has touted the company’s Meta AI technology, noting, “Thanks to our latest advances with Meta Llama 3, Meta AI is smarter, faster and more fun than ever before.” Given that nearly half of the world’s population uses a Meta product each month (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp), the company has relationships it can leverage as it seeks to build an audience, giving it a competitive advantage.

At its recent price, Meta seems likely to be a winner over the long term, as it still dominates social media advertising and has proven it’s capable of controlling spending when needed. It may be volatile over the coming months, though. However, for long-term investors, the current sell-off looks like a buying opportunity. (Randi Zuckerberg, a former Facebook director and spokesperson and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and has recommended Meta Platforms.)

Ask the Fool

Q. When should I start collecting my Social Security benefits – on time, early or later? –F.L., Paramus, New Jersey

A. Each of us has a “full retirement age” at which we can start collecting our full benefits – the ones to which we’re entitled based on our earnings history.

For those born in 1960 or later, it’s 67. But you can start collecting as early as age 62. If you do so, your benefit checks will be smaller, but you’ll receive many more of them in total. If you postpone starting to collect, your benefits will increase by about 8% for every year you wait beyond your full retirement age, up to age 70; delaying from 67 to 70 will result in benefits about 24% larger.

The system is actually designed to be a wash for those who live average-length lives, whether they start collecting early, on time or later. So think through your circumstances, considering how likely you are to live a relatively long or short life, and when you’ll really need the income. Coordinate with your spouse, too, if you’re married.

Social Security is likely to be critical to your future financial security, so read up on it and perhaps consult a financial adviser before deciding what to do. (You can find fee-only advisers at and For much more retirement advice, check out our “Rule Your Retirement” service at

Q. What’s a “block trade”? – W.V., Jackson, Wyoming

A. It’s a purchase or sale of a large number of securities, often made by an institutional investor such as a pension fund or hedge fund and privately negotiated. Typically, it will involve at least 10,000 shares of stock or $200,000 worth of bonds.

My dumbest investment

My most regrettable financial move was spending too much on a high-performance car. It was bad for my finances, but good for the soul. –E.M., online

The Fool responds: This will certainly seem like an ill-advised move to many of us. But in certain circumstances, it’s not so bad to buy an expensive car. For example, if you’re well into retirement with plenty of money beyond what you need to live on and you’ve always wanted a fancy car, you might just buy one. Or if you’re 30- or 40-something with a relatively high income and a sizable nest egg already, and this would be a rare splurge, it’s well worth considering.

But for most folks, it’s probably best avoided. For one thing, most vehicles will fall in value over time, whereas long-term investments in, say, the stock market are likely to grow in value. Think about how much you want to drop into something that will depreciate.

Remember, too, that luxury cars often cost more than average cars to insure, maintain and repair. An alternative to consider is opting for a fully loaded trim of a standard, nonluxury vehicle. It might cost you less overall while offering much of what you’re seeking.