The Motley Fool Review (for 2020): Pick Winning Stocks

Investing
Updated: 4th Sep 2020
Written by Kim Pinnelli
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In this Article: A complete Motley Fool Review.

Have you always wished someone could just wave a magic wand and tell you how to pick winning stocks? Me too.

While I do not have a magic wand for you, I do have Motley Fool Stock Advisor. And let me tell you what, it’s just about as magical as it gets. This stock-picking service has an impeccable track record (more on that below), but in The Motley Fool’s words – they perform much better than the S&P 500.

Is this truth? Check it out in my Motley Fool Review below.

About the Motley Fool

First, here’s a little history on The Motley Fool. It started back in 1993 with brothers David and Tom Gardner creating an online stock-picking company. They quickly partnered with America Online and were successful, until the dot-com collapse of 2001.

Since then, they picked up the pieces and The Motley Fool has expanded their footing. They have two subscription-based offerings Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers, plus free news, videos, and other content to help investors.

The gist of the Motley Fool Stock Advisor program is to help investors choose premium stock picks not based on popularity or a current surge. They base their picks on extensive research and education – basically the founder’s expertise.

The Stock Advisors service is the ‘main’ offering and the one that has the richest history and success. This stock picking service is designed for serious investors who want to compound their net worth, and outperform the broader financial markets on an annual basis.

Pick Winning Stocks today with Motley Fool.

What is The Motley Fool?

The Motley Fool aims to help people achieve financial freedom with their free and paid content. They also have podcasts, a YouTube channel, books, a radio show, and newspaper columns. Their mission is to make the world happier by way of riches.

Readers can enjoy a multitude of free content written by a variety of writers and experts who constantly research not only on the market’s latest picks, but rather, on trends and ideas investors can use to achieve happiness through riches. You get multiple viewpoints, not just those of the founders.

But, what’s the main difference between their free and paid content?

The free content doesn’t include stock picks or official recommendations. You can determine an analyst’s viewpoint and make your own opinion, but the free content won’t include official Motley Fool stock picks.

The premium content contains various opinions on individual stocks. It provides a variety of investment strategies for you to read, digest, and choose among based on your beliefs, risk tolerance, and strategies. The content provided in the subscription-based models is all backed by The Motley Fool and it basically tells you ‘hey, invest in this’ if you’re willing to listen, of course.

Their free content is not backed by David and Tom and may even be an ‘alternate view’ or disagreement of what The Motley Fool states. But they welcome that differing opinion, as do many investors.

Motley Fool Stock Advisor Overview:

Motley Fool Review

Price:

As I said above, there is plenty of free content on The Motley Fool, but if you want stock picks and/or advice, the subscription models include:

  • Motley Fool Stock Advisor: $99 for the first year and $199 after that. This is their most popular and most successful service. It has attracted a legion of fans and die hard supporters.
  • Rule Breakers: $299 per year
  • Rule your Retirement: $149 per year

In this review, I’ll focus on the Motley Fool Stock Advisor program.

Key Features:

  • Monthly Stock Picks: The Stock Advisor provides 2 stock picks per month recommended by the founders.
  • Best Buys Right Now: Get advice on the best stocks to buy from over 300 stocks.
  • Starter Stock Picks: Learn how to set the right foundation when setting up your portfolio. This is great for beginners!
  • Investing Resources and Education: Get the latest insight on investing, market research, and other personal finance topics.
  • Research: Every pick provided in the subscription models has gone through extensive research. The founders share the research with you, including any opinions or commentary they have to share about the company, market, or other important factors. This should help you form your own opinion/thoughts and make your own decisions.

Motley Fool Stock Advisor Performance Results:

The Motley Fool states that to-date the Stock Advisor program earned a 493% return versus the 101% S&P 500 return.

Pros:

  • You don’t have to obsessively watch the market. You’ll receive the necessary and most up-to-date information from Motley Fool.
  • Most stocks historically outperform the market.
  • Get access to new investment strategies and styles with a large amount of educational materials provided.
  • Investors can create a ‘favorites list’ and The Motley Fool will send you alerts when it’s time to buy or sell it, or if there were large price changes.
  • You get access to a like-minded community with robust conversations about investing.

Cons:

  • You may feel pressured into ‘other sales’ with their upsell techniques and constant advertisements.
  • A sudden onslaught of The Motley Fool investors making the same move as suggested by the Stock Advisor can temporarily and artificially inflate the stock price.
  • There isn’t much in the way of tech analysis. If you are a technical trader, the fundamental analysis used may not help you.

Is Motley Fool Stock Advisor Worth It?

Most people that pay for the Stock Advisor program find it worth it. They like the stock picks, and most people make their money back and then some when investing in the Motley Fool’s picks. If you’re not going to follow the picks or at least do your own legwork, deciding if it’s right for you, it may not be worth it for you.

The way I look at it, though, you have 30 days to give it a try and at $99, it’s worth it. Try it for 30 days, if you like it, keep it going for a year. If at the end of the year you don’t make back your $99 plus a lot, then maybe rethink your strategy. If you do, though, you have answered your own question.

How Motley Fool Compares:

Here are two of The Motley Fool’s biggest competitors.

Zacks Investment Research

Whereas The Motley Fool focuses on stocks, Zacks focuses on mutual funds. Like The Motley Fool, they have plenty of free online research, but it’s information you can find anywhere. The premium service provides access to information on the hottest mutual funds out of 19,000! They rate them on a scale of 1 – 5 with 1 being the best. Zacks also includes a list of the top 5% stocks, a list of 50 stocks to focus on, and plenty of equity research.

Morning Star Premium Research

Morning Star is known for its fundamental approach and focuses on ETFs and mutual funds. A premium service gives you access to 150 viewpoints from different analysts. You can also screen your stock, mutual fund, and ETF picks. Morningstar also offers a portfolio analysis for your mutual fund portfolio.

Who Should Subscribe to The Motley Fool?

The Motley Fool is for a diverse set of investors:

  • Beginners – This goes without saying, right? Beginners need all the help they can get when it comes to investing in stocks. You’ll get a lot more insight and education than you’d get from any other free content out there.
  • Semi-active investors – If you trade often (but not day trade), you will get a lot of out of the service as you’ll continually learn about new stocks, major changes, and get new perspectives on investing.
  • Passive Investors – If you embrace the “buy and hold” philosophy then Motley Fool Stock Advisor has a lot to offer. Each year or month, you can add new Stocks to your portfolio. David and Tom are big believers in this strategy, which is why most investors are all long-term passive investors.

The Motley Fool Best Stock Picks:

As you can imagine, the brains behind The Motley Fool has picked some winning stocks. Here are a few of their top stock picks:

  • Amazon
  • Priceline
  • Microsoft
  • Costco
  • Gilead

Can you imagine getting in on these stocks in their earliest days? Motley Fool Stock Advisor subscribers did. Let’s just say they bankrolled off of these hot stock picks.

Motley Fool Community Forum:

Perhaps one of the most unique features The Motley Fool offers is its community forum. What better way to bounce ideas off others than with other investors in the same boat? You can talk about stock picks or discuss investment strategies. See what works and what doesn’t work for others and decide how it sits with your investment strategies.

While many online communities today are dead in the water, The Motley Fool community is surprisingly active today and is especially great for beginners trying to find their footing.

Motley Fool Review: Is the Motley Fool a SCAM or LEGIT?

This is something we all want to know. It seems at every turn, some company is asking us for money, begging us to join their ‘premium content’ and promising us the world. Is that the case with The Motley Fool?

This depends on your viewpoint. Is it legit? Absolutely. Is it a scam? Not really, unless you don’t get out of it what it’s meant to be. The Stock Advisor should help you set up a great portfolio. That’s it. You don’t need to give in to the numerous ads and push to join other programs. If you have a great portfolio, what else do you need? Do not give into the hype and you’ll come out just fine.

How to Cancel the Motley Fool Subscription:

The good news is that you can cancel The Motley Food subscription at any time. Even better news – if you cancel within the first 30 days, you get your money back.

Either way, to cancel you can email them or complete their online form. If you prefer to talk to someone on the phone, call 1-844-408-4263 Monday – Friday 9:30 – 4:00 PM ET.

Motley Fool Contact Information:

Contact The Motley Fool at any time view their online form or by calling (877) 629-2589 between 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday – Friday.

Wrapping Up: Motley Fool Review

The Motley Fool and Motley Fool Stock Advisor service is great for investors. Should you put your entire portfolio in their hands and only focus on their stock picks? I don’t think so and most others agree. But, if you’re looking for a stock picker with a great reputation, a proven track record, and plenty of support, then you’ve found it in the Stock Advisor.

Kim Pinnelli
Kim Pinnelli
Kim is a personal finance expert with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been freelance writing for 13 years for a number of large publications. Kim thoroughly enjoys helping people take charge of their personal finances.