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The Motley Fool Review: Unbiased Review of Investment Services

Review of Motley Fool Investments Service

Active investing in the stock market is a strategy for building long-term wealth that’s not often part of FIRE. Leif and most of the pioneers of FIRE have long advocated for passive approaches to investing since retail investors cannot beat the market.

However, many FIRE seekers actively invest a small part of their portfolio as ’play money,’ and I know a few people using the Motley Fool with success.

I was skeptical of the company, but I decided to review it after a few more people told me about their success using it. To my surprise, there are even studies I’ll share that corroborate outperformance.


Subscription Type
Primary Offering
Financial Advice

Established as a financial and investment advice company, The Motley Fool must be doing something right as they have 500,000 subscribers and quite a few reviews online.

While it started out as a stock recommendation newsletter they have evolved into a fund and active trader with a subscription model.

Key Takeaways

  • The Motley Fool offers services that support informed investment decision-making.
  • Stock Advisor is a subscription service known for stock recommendations.
  • Understanding the service’s value involves looking at benefits, risks, and performance.
  • The Motley Fool has actually outperformed the S&P since its inception based on academic 3rd party studies.

Overview of The Motley Fool

The Motley Fool is a large brand that was initially known as a financial publisher for investment advisory services. Founded by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool has significantly impacted individual investing since its inception.

Founders and History

Tom and David Gardner founded The Motley Fool in 1993 with the core mission of helping the world invest better. Initially, it started in an AOL.com chatroom, where the founders received significant attention.

This was set up in the early days of the Internet. Back then, AOL’s business model was time spent using the Internet, so AOL invested and helped the company get off the ground. Remember that this was a time when most people found out what happened in the markets in a newspaper the next day.

Over the past 30+ years, the company has grown into a global multimedia financial services powerhouse.

Its name was inspired by the court jesters of old, known as motley fools, who could speak the truth without repercussions. Over the past decade, the company has worked to transform from a marketing-heavy subscription product to a brand with more credibility while claiming to beat the S&P with its proprietary research in independent reviews.

Recently, they’ve moved into alternatives and have a venture fund for their members.

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Company Mission and Philosophy

The Motley Fool operates with a philosophy centered around providing individual investors with sound financial advice, stock recommendations, and investment insight.

With an ethos that balances humor with diligence, The Motley Fool promotes long-term investment and prides itself on its commitment to transparency and advocacy for the individual investor.

The Gardners have instilled a culture encouraging critical thinking and an evidence-based approach to stock analysis, which has earned them trust and influence in the financial world.

Motley Fool Services

Banner of Motley Fool services

Motley Fool offers a variety of investment services tailored to help individual investors make informed decisions. My review focuses on several key offerings from their suite of investment tools.

Stock Advisor

Stock Advisor is the flagship subscription service of Motley Fool where subscribers receive monthly stock picks.

Historically, stocks recommended by the Motley Fool Stock Advisor have performed well, with claims of beating the market averages. Subscribers also gain access to a wealth of investment resources and a community of fellow investors.

Rule Breakers

Motley Fool’s Rule Breakers service targets investors seeking high-growth stocks.

These are often companies poised to disrupt their industries, hence the name “rule breakers.” Subscribers receive two new stock recommendations each month, focusing on innovation and explosive growth potential.

Everlasting Portfolio

With the Everlasting Portfolio, members get a peek into the personal investment choices made by Motley Fool’s co-founders, Tom and David Gardner. The service operates more like an actively managed portfolio, sharing all buy and sell decisions in real time.

Real Estate Winners

Real Estate Winners aims to identify high-performing real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other real estate-related investment opportunities. The service provides subscribers with regular picks that intend to capitalize on long-term trends in the real estate market.

Membership Benefits

When joining the Motley Fool service, I find three central pillars that contribute to the overall positive experience and potential for investment success: Community Access, Exclusive Content, and Member Resources.

Community Access

Through membership, you can gain access to a vibrant investment community. This is a place where you can exchange ideas, seek advice, and discuss the latest market trends with fellow investors.

This collegial environment is not only supportive but also serves as a fertile ground for learning and growth.

Exclusive Content

I receive exclusive and timely stock recommendations; these picks are informed by deep analysis and rich, invaluable insights that can potentially enhance my investment decisions.

Moreover, Motley Fool’s stock picks are well-known for their performance, often surpassing broader market returns.

Member Resources

The Motley Fool offers an array of resources aimed at educating members like me. From investment tools to in-depth research reports, they can equip you with the knowledge to navigate the intricacies of the market.

These resources are designed to aid in the development of a diversified and robust investment portfolio.

Investment Performance Analysis

My analysis focuses on the specific results of the Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor service, comparing their performance to the S&P 500 and highlighting several standout investments.

Stock Recommendations Track Record

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor service boasts a record where 48% of its stock recommendations have outperformed the S&P 500 since the inception of the service in 2002.

According to my independent assessment, the stocks that beat the market did so by a wide margin, with top performers significantly leading the S&P 500.

S&P 500 Comparison

It is impressive that the Stock Advisor’s average winning stock has not only kept pace but has notably exceeded the S&P 500’s average return by a substantial percentage.

Their average return of 659% starkly contrasts with the S&P 500’s 151% average gain, a testament to the effectiveness of their stock recommendations.

Notable Investment Successes

I have identified remarkable successes among their recommendations, including stocks like Tesla, Amazon, and Netflix. These companies have become synonymous with industry-altering innovation and have rewarded investors with extraordinary returns far surpassing the general market trends and indices.

Stock Picking Strategy

stock pricing strategy banner from motley fool

In my analysis of Stock Advisor, my focus has been on the empirical results of their selections and the methodologies behind them.

Let’s take a closer look at how research and analysis are paramount in their strategy, the intricacies of their investment methodology, and why growth stocks are frequently spotlighted.

Research and Analysis Approach

For identifying promising investments, I rely heavily on thorough research and analysis.

This involves scrutinizing financial statements, management quality, and market trends, and ensuring an informed perspective for every stock pick. This in-depth analysis is also complemented by examining industry dynamics, from materials to energy sectors, to gauge future potential.

Investment Strategy Details

My investment strategy for play money that I actively invest in is focused on companies I am personally interested in and believe I understand.

Focus on Growth Stocks

As far as growth stocks are concerned, I concentrate on companies that demonstrate outstanding potential for revenue and earnings growth.

This is underpinned by a philosophy that these stocks, despite their higher volatility, offer the greatest opportunity for return in the long run. Selecting these stock picks with precision requires understanding forward-looking indicators within dynamic industries.

Subscription Options and Pricing

In my exploration of Motley Fool’s service offerings, I’ve identified clear-cut subscription models and their associated costs. These range from individual plans tailored to singular investment strategies to more comprehensive packages designed for the voracious financial enthusiast.

Individual Subscriptions

The Motley Fool Options service stands out as a robust educational tool for those looking to expand into options trading. It’s offered at a flat rate of $999 per year without the possibility of refunds. Fascinatingly, this option remains distinct and separate from The Motley Fool’s other services, emphasizing its specialized nature.

Bundled Packages

While individual subscriptions focus on specific areas, The Motley Fool also offers the Epic Bundle. This comprehensive package combines several of their services, including Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers.

It aims to provide a full suite of investment recommendations and insights, although the pricing details for the Epic Bundle are not always publicly disclosed and typically subject to change with promotions or exclusive offers.

Promotions and Discounts

Occasionally, I find that Motley Fool runs sales, potentially reducing the cost of subscriptions such as Options. Such instances see prices dip to around $899 per year, granting a rare opportunity for prospective subscribers to lock in a lower rate. However, these promotions are not a constant fixture and often require timely action to reap the benefits.


Subscription Type
Primary Offering
Financial Advice

Customer Experience

After Motley Fool started focusing on their brand perception and experience about five years ago they have significantly improved the customer experience. This includes their support services, user-generated reviews and feedback, and their marketing strategies, which can involve upselling.

Support Services

I found that contacting customer service can sometimes be challenging. As noted on Trustpilot, reaching support by phone, even as a premium member, may require patience.

The typical response time to a complaint often spans a couple of days, which can be a drawback for users needing quick assistance.

User Reviews and Feedback

When examining user reviews, I came across diverse feedback. A snapshot of opinions on Trustpilot reveals dissatisfaction regarding stock performances for some users.

Conversely, another testimonial suggests that following The Motley Fool’s buy recommendations can yield satisfactory results, sparing the need for daily market checks.

Upselling and Marketing Practices

The company’s marketing practices, specifically upselling, are evident through various offers and subscription plans.

The promotions can influence the perceived value of their services, as highlighted in a Wall Street Survivor review, which commends the Stock Advisor service. The review implies that such upsells are worth considering, especially for new subscribers.

Educational Resources

banner from motley fool mentioning the educational resources

In my examination of The Motley Fool, I’ve found their educational resources to be substantial, offering clear and insightful learning materials for both novice and experienced investors.

Newsletter Insights

The Motley Fool’s newsletters are a trove of valuable information providing thorough research and news on the stock market.

Each newsletter contains investment ideas backed by in-depth analysis, aiming to guide subscribers to make informed investment decisions. For instance, Stock Advisor, one of their flagship newsletters, has provided subscribers with picks that have excelled in the market, as addressed in Money Under 30.

Investment Guides

My review highlights that these guides sort through the complexity of investing by offering targeted advice and strategies. Investment guides by The Motley Fool are especially beneficial for those looking to deepen their market knowledge. They present a clear, overview of various sectors and investment tactics, equipping investors with the knowledge to spot trends and make educated moves.

Retirement Planning

Lastly, retirement guidance is an integral part of The Motley Fool’s offerings. They help investors plan their retirement through various services, combining investment principles with retirement strategies.

Whether it’s sorting through retirement accounts or providing market insights for long-term growth, their approach aims to simplify retirement planning and provide actionable advice for securing a more comfortable financial future, as detailed in the resources found at The Motley Fool’s retirement planning section.

Additional Investment Options

Before diving into the multitude of investment channels, it’s essential to understand that each option serves a distinct purpose in a diversified portfolio, catering to various levels of risk tolerance and investment timelines.

ETFs and Index Funds

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index funds are vehicles I often recommend for their diversification and simplicity.

ETFs, in particular, offer the flexibility of trading like stocks with the added benefit of tracking a broader index. For instance, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust provides exposure to 500 of the largest U.S. companies.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are a traditional staple in the world of investment, pooling money from many investors to purchase a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other securities.

Unlike ETFs, mutual funds are not traded on an exchange and are typically priced once at the end of each trading day.

Real Estate and Banking

Investing in real estate can offer a tangible asset that can provide rental income in addition to potential property value appreciation.

Banking products like savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) are commonly used for more conservative investment strategies, often providing a safeguard for parts of investors’ portfolios.

Investment Risks and Considerations

When considering investment services like those offered by The Motley Fool, it’s critical for me to understand not only the potential benefits but also the inherent risks involved in the stock market.

This includes fluctuating market conditions, the importance of a diversified portfolio, and the significance of adopting a long-term investment perspective.

Market Volatility

Market volatility refers to the frequency and magnitude of changes in the price of stocks. It is a measure of the risk that comes with the territory of investing in the stock market.

For example, while The Motley Fool has proven their mettle in the market, these selections are not immune to the normal ups and downs experienced by the stock market as a whole.

For instance, if a recommended stock plummets due to a market downturn, that’s volatility at play.

Diversification Strategy

Diversification is a strategy I use to spread investment risk across various asset types, industries, and geographic regions.

Instead of putting all my money into single stocks, I aim to build a portfolio that can withstand the shock of any single investment’s poor performance.

If one of my stocks underperforms, it ideally doesn’t tank my entire portfolio thanks to other investments softening the blow.


Subscription Type
Primary Offering
Financial Advice

Long-Term Investment Focus

A long-term investment focus is crucial to weathering the storms of market volatility. By staying committed to my investments over an extended period, I give my portfolio time to recover from short-term market downturns and benefit from the overall upward trend of the market.

Consistent with The Motley Fool’s philosophy, I recognize that a buy-and-hold strategy can be significantly effective.

This approach leans on the historical tendency of the market to increase in value over time, despite short-term fluctuations.

The Future of Investing

In navigating the shifts ahead, I recognize the impact of technology, the insights from Wall Street, and the evolution in financial services.

My focus is on leveraging these elements to stay ahead in investing news and I’ll get into a bit of detail about it below.

Technological Innovations

Technological advancements continue to revolutionize the way I invest.

With the advent of algorithmic trading, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain, the potential for enhanced data analysis and decision-making processes is massive. For instance, AI can empower you to analyze vast datasets to identify trends that were once imperceptible.

Wall Street Perspectives

The voices and analyses from Wall Street shape the way I perceive and forecast market movements. Wall Street’s adaptation to new regulations, coupled with its opinion on emerging market trends, directly influences my investment strategies.

Access to these perspectives through investing news is crucial as they often signal shifts in market dynamics.

The Changing Financial Landscape

The landscape of financial services is transitioning from traditional to digital, with a customer-centric approach at its core.

Services like mobile banking, digital wallets, and peer-to-peer lending platforms are reshaping my interactions with finances.

Furthermore, the increasing democratization of investing through apps and online platforms is empowering a broader spectrum of investors to partake in financial markets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tags mentioning the FAQs

In this section, I’ll cover some common inquiries potential subscribers might have regarding The Motley Fool’s services, focusing on the value, reliability, performance, customer feedback, comparative reviews, and any legal considerations.

Is Motley Fool worth the subscription cost?

While the answer may vary depending on individual investment goals and use of the service, Business Insider’s Motley Fool Stock Advisor 2024 Review suggests that many users find the service to provide actionable and valuable advice.

Can the Motley Fool be trusted for reliable investment advice?

Offering stock picks for over two decades, The Motley Fool has a reputation for providing reliable investment advice, although no advice can guarantee success, and it’s important to perform personal due diligence.

What has been the historical success rate of The Motley Fool’s stock picks?

The performance of The Motley Fool’s picks, according to reports like the Wall Street Survivor 2024 update, has often outperformed market benchmarks like the S&P 500.

Are there frequent complaints about The Motley Fool’s service from users?

As with any service, there are occasional complaints from users. However, specific details on the frequency of these complaints are not documented here.

How does The Motley Fool stack up in comparisons on trusted review platforms?

On trusted review platforms, The Motley Fool frequently receives positive ratings for its Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers services, though individual reviews can vary based on user expectations and market conditions.

Have there been any significant legal actions taken against The Motley Fool?

Significant legal actions taken against The Motley Fool are not common knowledge in the public domain, and details on such matters would typically be reported by major news outlets.

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