Motley Fool Review: Is It Worth It?

Investing
Updated: 21st Jul 2021
Written by Kim Pinnelli
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Investing
August 13, 2020
Written by Kim Pinnelli

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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.

In fact, 574% better. Results speak for themselves.

Is this true? 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.

Motley Fool Stock Advisor Review

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.

How Does The Motley Fool Stock Advisor Work?

The Motley Fool is a subscription service that is easy to sign up for, use, and understand. These three traits are what make Motley Fool Stock Advisor worth every penny.

As a member, you get immediate access to the Motley Fool community. This is a vibrant group that is constantly bouncing ideas off of one another, sharing insight, and reviewing the monthly picks by Tom and David Gardner.

Additionally, each month, you will get new stock picks from the co-founders themselves. Each pick they recommend is rigorously reviewed, vetted, and meticulously curated.

It is important to note, that The Motley Fool is more than just a monthly stock picking service. They provide subscribers with robust educational resources, webinars, and interesting content.

Moreover, you can also review historical performance. Investing in the stock market is a long-term game, you will hit some homeruns, but you will also strike out. The Motley Fool is no different; however, they tend to produce far more winners than losers.

Today, The Motley Fool touts 1,000,000 subscribers, and also has overseas offices in Germany, Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Motley Fool Stock Advisor Review: Price, Performance, and Features

The Motley Fool is a monthly subscription that comes with numerous features and benefits. Let’s break down the price, review its performance results, and see what features we will get our hands on.

How Much Does the Motley Fool Cost?

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.
  • Rule Breakers: $299 per year
  • Rule your Retirement: $149 per year

In this review, I’ll focus on the Motley Fool Stock Advisor program. This is their most popular and successful service. It has attracted a legion of fans and die-hard supporters, who rely on Motley Fool analysis to shape their portfolios.

Motley Fool 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.
  • Instant Alerts: As a member, you can monitor your favorite stocks, set up rules, and receive instant alerts when there is significant price changes or a good buying opportunity.
  • Videos: The Motley Fool is more than just a monthly newsletter. It is a full-blown media company that produces enriching videos. These videos are educational and focus on key investment topics to help you stay sharp and to further your knowledge.
  • Podcasts: The Motley Fool also has numerous podcasts that focus on different niches. These podcasts tend to break down complex investment topics into plain English.
  • Live Customer Service: Members get access to around the clock customer service. Have a question? Feel free to ask their customer representatives.
  • Community Access: This is what I like the most about being a Motley Fool Subscriber. The message boards and community forum are a great place to pitch ideas, hear counter arguments, and share insight. The community is engaging, helpful, and all on the same team. Every member wants to see one another succeed.

Motley Fool Stock Advisor Performance Results

The Motley Fool states that to-date the Stock Advisor program earned a 565% return versus the 101% S&P 500 return.

Moreover, previous customers routinely thank The Motley Fool for helping them outperform the broader stock market. This is proof positive that The Motley Fool Stock Advisor walks the walk and continues to pick winning stocks.

That said, stock recommendations are never a guarantee. Ultimately, you have the final say whether you invest in a specific stock or not. It is important to do your own research and augment it with The Motley Fool analysis.

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
  • Tesla
  • Apple
  • Lemonade
  • The Walt Disney
  • NVIDIA

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.

>> Related: Best Financial Magazines

Motley Fool Review: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Great for Passive Investors: You don’t have to obsessively watch the market. You’ll receive the necessary and most up-to-date information from Motley Fool.
  • Traditionally Outperform the Market: Most stocks historically outperform the market. The Motley Fool sent out a “buy signal” for Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Tesla early.
  • Learn New Strategies: Get access to new investment strategies and styles with a large number of educational materials provided.
  • Create Tailored Lists: 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.
  • Motley Fool Community Access: You get access to a like-minded community with robust conversations about investing.
  • Affordable: While $100 – $200 may seem like a sizeable amount of money to pay each month, the price is affordable when compared to other options. Moreover, high-end stock market research that institutions and Hedge Funds use will run you $1,000+ and or are not available to the average investor.

Cons:

  • Upsales: You may feel pressured into ‘other sales’ with their up-sell techniques and constant advertisements.
  • The Motley Fool Effect: 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.
  • No Technical Analysis: There isn’t much in the way of tech analysis. If you are a technical trader, the fundamental analysis used may not help you.
  • Not Guaranteed to Make Money: The Motley Fool continues to outperform the stock market; however, their recommendations are not a guarantee. Ultimately, it is your decision whether you should invest in a stock or not.

How Does the Motley Fool Compare to Other Stock Picking Services?

Here is how the Motley Fool Stocks up to its competitors.

#1. MorningStar Premium Research

MorningStar 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.

>> Learn More: Morningstar Review

#2. Stock Rover vs. Motley Fool

Stock Rover is another stock picking service that excels at finding, evaluating, and comparing various investment opportunities. Currently, they offer three plans: Essentials, Premium, and Premium Plus.

Each plan comes with unique features and benefits; however, they all include detailed analysis of investment opportunities, recommendations, charts, real-time alerts, and portfolio management.

>> Learn More: Stock Rover Review

#3. Personal Capital vs. Motley Fool

Personal Capital is a financial technology company that pairs advanced algorithms and human advisors to help you manage and monitor your finances.

From one simple dashboard, you can track your spending habits, review your investment performance, and see what debt should be refinanced.

>> Learn More: Personal Capital Review

#4. 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.

>> Learn More: Zacks Review

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 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.

Motley Fool Review FAQs

Is the Motley Fool 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 Motley Fool Stock Advisor subscription will help you set up a great portfolio. That’s it. They will present you with robust research and winning stock picks, but ultimately, it is up to you to formulate your own opinion. 

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 in to the hype and you’ll come out just fine. Moreover, the Motley Fool has over 700,000k+ subscribers and 250+ employees. The Motley Fool isn’t some shady operation. They bring years of experience to the table and proven results. 

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.

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Is a Motley Fool Subscription Worth It? 

If you are looking for a stock picking service, then look no further.

A Motley Fool subscription is worth it if you want a team of seasoned pros to do the research for you, and recommend hand-picked stocks. Each stock pick is backed with data, deep research, analysis, and expert commentary. 

The Motley Fool will not pitch you some random, hole in the wall stock.

That said, investing in the stock market is risky, and is not a get rich quick scheme. David, Tom, and the team behind the Motley Fool name are classic buy-and-hold investors. This means they invest for the long-term and hold specific stocks for years.

All-in-all, we think a Motley Fool subscription is worth it – especially for new investors who want to build a strong portfolio and prepare for retirement.   

Am I Guaranteed to Make Money with the Motley Fool? 

No. The Motley Fool is not a guarantee that you will make money. Investing in stocks carries risk, and what you do with your money is ultimately up to you. However, results speak for themselves.

As of writing this article, Motley Fool Stock Advisor is up 574% on the year. Those who follow their recommendations tend to make money in stocks over the long run, but again, it is never a guarantee.

Some of their stock picks take off, while others drop. This is completely normal though for stocks, so do not be discouraged. 

What Stocks Does the Motley Fool Recommend? 

The Motley Fool recommends various stocks each month; however, there is one thing in common. They are almost all blue-chip stocks, which is great. The Motley Fool will not recommend penny stocks, options, index funds, or ETFs for you to invest in. 

How Do I Cancel 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.

How Do I Contact the Motley Fool?

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.

Is Motley Fool a ripoff?

The Motley Fool is not a ripoff; however, it is a service that you should commit a fair amount of time too. This isn’t a “let me subscribe for one month and be done.” The longer you stick around, the better your chances are of getting in a winning stock.

Those who cancelled before Motley Fool recommended Amazon or NIVIDA are certainly not happy right now. They missed out on 1,000%+ returns.

Bottom Line: Motley Fool Review

The Motley Fool and Motley Fool Stock Advisor services are 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.

More Resources:

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.