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The Motley Fool is a respected source of free and subscription-based investing and financial information. It offers a number of paid services you might consider.
The Motley Fool was founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner. Its self-proclaimed mission is “… to make the world smarter, happier and richer.” To this end, it offers investment guidance and information to investors via free market news and commentary on its sites, premium memberships, and members-only investing tools.
In this Motley Fool Stock Advisor review, we’ll look at what it offers so you can decide whether it fits your needs and might help you work toward your financial goals.
- 1 What is The Motley Fool?
- 2 How does the Motley Fool Stock Advisor work?
- 3 How much can you earn with The Motley Fool Stock Advisor?
- 4 The Motley Fool pros and cons
- 5 How to sign up for The Motley Fool Stock Advisor
- 6 FAQs
- 7 Other investing services to consider
- 8 Bottom line
What is The Motley Fool?
The Motley Fool is an investing and financial information service founded by the Gardner brothers in Alexandria, Virginia. Its site, Fool.com, offers a number of free articles in areas such as:
- Investing basics
- Stock market
- Personal finance
Besides the main Motley Fool site, The Ascent “provides personal finance product reviews related to credit cards, banking, brokerage firms, mortgages and personal loans.”
Millionacres is another site launched by The Motley Fool. This site focuses on real estate investment and provides insights on various aspects and types of real estate investing.
How does the Motley Fool Stock Advisor work?
Stock Advisor is the flagship premium investing advice service offered by The Motley Fool. The annual cost is $199 and the service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The site claims there are more than 1 million loyal members.
For this annual fee you receive:
- Two new Stock Advisor picks each month that represent their team’s latest stock recommendations.
- Best buys now, their 10 timely stock buys chosen from more than 300 stocks.
- Starter stocks, a list of stocks on which both new and experienced investors can build the foundation of their stock portfolio.
- Community and investing resources, subscribers have access to a wide range of investing resources and their investing community to help them become better investors.
Rule Breakers is another of the services and bundles available. This service provides picks for high-growth stocks that The Motley Fool’s analysts feel will be poised to be tomorrow’s market leaders. The cost is $299 annually. The site touts a return of 350% for the service compared with a return of 119% for the S&P 500 since the inception of Rule Breakers.
With a Rule Breakers subscription, you receive similar information and tips on investment strategies to what’s offered in the Stock Advisor subscription:
- Monthly stock picks: Two new stock picks each month that represent its team’s latest stock recommendations.
- Best buys now: Its 10 timely stock buys chosen from more than 200 stocks.
- Starter stocks: a list of stocks on which both new and experienced investors can build the foundation of their portfolio.
- Community and investing resources: subscribers have access to a wide range of investing resources as well as its investing community to help them become better investors.
There is also a Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers Bundle that costs $499 per year and offers both services to subscribers. The Rule Breakers team also offers several versions of this service that focus on a particular segment of the market at $1,999 annually each.
Lastly, Rule Breakers Platinum is a bundle of the various Rule Breakers services and costs $3,999 annually. It claims subscribers can save more than $8,000 annually versus buying each Rule Breakers service separately.
Beyond these services, the Motley Fool offers a great number of other premium subscription services:
- Everlasting Stocks is co-founder Tom Gardner’s new service from the same analyst team that has beaten the S&P 500 by four times over the past 17 years. The service includes members-only access to what it describes as a proprietary model portfolio allocation guidance tool. The annual membership fee for this service is $299.
- Epic Bundle offers subscriptions to the Motley Fool Stock Advisor service, Rule Breakers, and Everlasting Stocks for $499 annually.
- Rule Your Retirement offers comprehensive retirement guidance. The service includes several model portfolios, mutual fund and exchange-traded funds recommendations, Social Security tips and strategies to maximize your benefits, and coverage and analysis of critical topics related to retirement.
- One is a bundle of all of services in the Motley Fool Stock advisor program and costs $13,999 annually.
- Market Pass includes weekly recommendations from the Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers services. In addition, subscribers receive ideas and commentary from the Rule Your Retirement and Everlasting stock services. Subscribers receive an ultimate portfolio that is a blend of the best ideas from these other services, plus a number of special reports. The cost of the Market Pass bundle is $1,499 per year.
- Motley Fool Options offers what the service touts as options strategies that have had an 86% profitability rate for “one select group of Fools.” The service says it offers the potential to double your returns and offers options education to subscribers. The annual cost of the service is $999.
- Total Income provides income-producing investment ideas ranging from bonds funds to high yielding stocks. Subscribers also receive access to The Motley Fool Options service. The membership fee is $1,999 annually.
- Everlasting offers a variety of services focusing on different types of investments. Each individual version costs $1,999 annually. You can also get the Everlasting Boss Mode bundle, which groups all of the various Everlasting services for $4,999 per year.
- Real Estate Winners is designed to capture the benefits of real estate investing via publicly traded entities. The cost is $299 annually.
- Real Estate Trailblazers is a service that invests in four major real estate trends as identified by the Real Estate Trailblazers team. The cost of the service is $1,999 annually.
- Mogul is another real estate investing service described as “Your gateway to the $17 trillion commercial real estate world with our best advice and industry expertise.” The annual cost of Mogul is $2,999.
How much can you earn with The Motley Fool Stock Advisor?
The Motley Fool Stock Advisor program quotes a cumulative return of more than 500% since the inception of the service, compared with a cumulative return of the S&P 500 index of 133% over the same period.
Although it doesn’t offer individual returns on every investment recommendation, it’s highly likely there have been some that have lost money in the near term and/or over the longer term.
But there is no reason to not believe the overall return figures, if for no other reason than The Motley Fool offers an allied service called Motley Fool Wealth Management that is a registered investment advisor (RIA). Given the regulatory requirements surrounding being an RIA, it seems unlikely the returns for Stock Advisor are not what the company has been reporting.
However, it’s important to remember the returns reported for the service assume that a subscriber had invested in all stocks recommended. As a subscriber, you still pick which of the recommended stocks you will invest in. Your returns will likely vary from the composite returns reported by The Motley Fool team.
If you’re considering subscribing to Stock Advisor or to any other stock advisory service, it’s important to remember that past performance is no guarantee of future returns. This caution should also pertain to any other stock tips or investment services you might consider.
The Motley Fool pros and cons
- It offers a wide range of excellent free content, including podcasts, on the Motley Fool website and other sites it’s launched in recent years. This includes investing content but goes beyond that into other areas of retirement and financial planning.
- The Motley Fool does not appear to be influenced by any of the stocks or other firms mentioned on the site.
- The stock research staff of the company has a long and largely good track record.
- The company is in the business of selling subscriptions to Stock Advisor and other services. As a new member, you can expect sales pitches, including upselling to other services.
- Stock Advisor and its other subscription services are not financial advisors and they have no duty of care toward the subscribers. Although the company has an investment advisory subsidiary, this differs from Stock Advisor and other subscription services.
The Motley Fool stresses that they are long-term investors and this is certainly reflected in its stock picks. So if you are a day-trader or looking for a “quick score” on an investment recommendation, Stock Advisor is likely not for you.
If you are someone who invests in single stocks or who would like to but doesn’t have the time to research stocks with good potential, then Stock Advisor might be a good tool. Perhaps most of your portfolio is held in a group of index funds based on an asset allocation strategy devised by you or your financial advisor. The picks from a service like Stock Advisor can provide ideas to add some individual stock holdings to your portfolio.
For this reason, the service could be a better fit for someone who is a beginner to evaluating Wall Street or someone who is looking for new stock ideas.
How to sign up for The Motley Fool Stock Advisor
Signing up for Stock Advisor or any of The Fool’s premium services is pretty straightforward. It will ask for your name, address, email address and credit card. There is a toll-free number if you need assistance. It also indicates that your subscription will automatically renew after one year at whatever the going rate for the service is at that time.
Is the Motley Fool Stock Advisor worth the money?
Whether the Stock Advisor cost is worth it really depends. The $199 annual fee is not terribly expensive and if you use the service and purchase even one stock that does well, you potentially will have paid for the subscription cost many times over. There are no guarantees in investing, though, and no one can truly predict stock prices or the impact of market volatility. Finally, any subscription is only valuable if you actually use it.
Is The Motley Fool a good stock picker?
The overall track record of Motley Fool stock picks is quite impressive. But again, the past is not an indication of future results. If you are thinking of subscribing, it might make sense to track stated returns to see how they are faring from this point forward.
Other investing services to consider
Morningstar is a solid provider of investing information. Its service is different in that it provides ratings on individual stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and other investments. It is not a stock picking service like Stock Advisor. The free version of its site provides a lot of information, whereas the premium service offers even more information.
If you’re interested in a more hands-off approach to managing your portfolio, then you might consider checking out our list of the best robo-advisors. For new investors, these sorts of financial services can take a lot of the worry out of investing and give you time to learn.
The Motley Fool Stock Advisor is regarded by many as one of the best stock picking services. Whether this service is right for you and lives up to the hype when it comes to investing money will depend on your personal situation and objectives. While you’re deciding on your stock picking service, you may also want to evaluate your brokerage. For more information, check out our list of the best brokerage accounts.
Get $3-$300 in free stock
- Get $3-$300 in free stock when your account is approved*
- Invest in 1000s of stocks and ETFs with fractional shares—no account minimums
- Follow friends in a social feed and learn from a diverse community of investors
- * Free stock offer valid for U.S. residents 18+. Subject to account approval.