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One of the best-known names in market research, The Motley Fool is a well-established stock advisory service that offers industry-leading investment guidance to investors. The company has a lengthy track record of impressive returns and it shares its decades of experience with new traders through a handful of subscription packages.
But is Motley Fool all that it’s cracked up to be? Do Stock Advisor, Rule Breakers, and other subscriptions from the company provide the best investment advice?
In this Motley Fool review, we’ll investigate everything that the company has to offer, including its features, fees, pros, and cons. We’ll discuss each of the firm’s different subscription packages and clue you into the benefits that they offer to investors. That way, you can get the best stock picker service for your needs.
on The Motley Fool’s website
Quick Summary: The Motley Fool is a financial and investing advice company based in Alexandria, Virginia. The company offers a range of subscription-based services designed to help you achieve your financial goals.
Promotion: Get 60% new member discount (*Limited time offer)
What Is The Motley Fool?
The Motley Fool is a US-based company that provides investment advice to individual investors. The company was founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, though it has since grown into one of the most popular financial advisory services in the world.
These days, Motley Fool primarily provides financial advice through its many subscription services. Investors can sign up for these paid subscriptions to get access to new investment ideas and other educational content.
How Does The Motley Fool Work?
The Motley Fool is an investment idea and stock picking service that offers several subscriptions for investors to choose from. The company’s most popular paid subscriptions include:
- Stock Advisor: Motley Fool’s flagship stock picking service that’s designed for long-term investing.
- Rule Breakers: A stock picking service that focuses on high-growth businesses.
- Rule Your Retirement: Includes top mutual fund and ETF picks plus guidance on planning for retirement.
- Everlasting Stocks: This service is focused on picking stocks to buy and hold forever.
- Motley Fool Options: Another service offered by Motley Fool targeted to options traders to pick the best options strategies.
Additionally, The Motley Fool has a handful of free blogs that you can subscribe to, even without a paid subscription, such as:
- The Ascent: Reviews personal finance products and services.
- All Star Money: Shares top content from thousands of personal finance websites.
- Millionacres: Covers breaking news in the real estate investing world.
- Motley Fool Asset Management: A service offered by Motley Fool which features proprietary ETFs to build long term wealth.
- Motley Fool Wealth Management: Offering personalized portfolios to acheive an investor’s financial goals.
- Motley Fool Ventures: An early stage service offered by Motley Fool. It’s a technology-focused venture capital fund.
- Lakehouse Capital: A Sydney-based boutique fund manager focused on two concentrated, high conviction growth strategies.
- CAPS Stocks Ratings: This service pools resources from the community to help identify stock opportunities
To sign up for a paid Motley Fool subscription, you first need to head to The Motley Fool website and click the Premium Services button. From here, you can select the subscription plan that meets your needs.
After you pick the subscription that you want to sign up for, you’ll enter your personal information and credit card details. Once that’s done, you’ll be prompted to create a password so you can log in to the Motley Fool website and access all of the content that’s available for your subscription plan.
|Service||Stock picking services, investment newsletters and financial news|
|Pricing||$199/year (Stock Advisor), $299/month (Rule Breakers) and $299/month (Everlasting Stocks) and $99 (Rule Your Retirement)|
|Plans||Stock Advisor, Rule Breakers, Everlasting Stock, Rule Your Retirement and more|
|Promotion||Stock Advisor (60% Off 1st Year), Rule Breakers ($99 For 1 Year), Everlasting Stocks ($99 For 1 Year)|
|Best For||Investors looking for a solid stock picking service|
|Support||Phone (+1 877 629 2589) and Email ([email protected])|
Motley Fool Stock Advisor Features
Stock Advisor is The Motley Fool’s flagship stock picking service. It is one of the company’s longest-running subscription plans and it’s primarily marketed toward new investors or anyone that wants to reduce the amount of time they spend researching potential stock ideas. Here are some of the key features you can look forward to with Stock Advisor.
Two New Stock Picks Each Month
The primary benefit of Stock Advisor is that it gets you access to two new stock picks each month. These picks are curated for you by the Gardner brothers and their team of financial analysts. You’ll receive these stock picks in your inbox each month as soon as they’re released.
To pick their stocks, The Motley Fool tries to go beyond the beta when measuring a stock’s risk rating. As such, they have developed a 25-question test of true-false questions that lets the investor decide for themselves if a stock is risky or sound.
Some of the questions they have to review a stock’s past performance and risk profile include:
- Is the company profitable?
- Does the company have a “recognizable” brand name?
- Does the company face direct challenges from stronger competitors?
- Are top executives and key individuals invested in the company?
Every time the answer to one of these questions is “no”, the stock moves up the risk scale. The higher the stock is in the risk scale, the more “crushable” the stock is. Here is the risk scale:
|Number of “no” answers||Crushable Like a…|
Best Stock Buys Now
In addition to two new stock picks, Stock Advisor subscribers also get access to the firm’s Best Buys Now list. This list highlights 10 timely buys from a collection of over 300 top-performing stocks in the Stock Advisor model portfolio so you can diversify your assets with ease.
Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor provides a list of starter stocks. These stocks are considered solid performers in their field. They provide a good foundation for building a larger portfolio of high-growth securities over time through a Stock Advisor subscription.
Community & Investing Resources
As part of the Stock Advisor community, all subscribers get access to The Motley Fool’s online discussion boards where you can share investing tips and get advice from other traders. The Motley Fool also provides a slew of educational resources for all investors to enjoy.
Stock Advisor Performance
When Stock Advisor recommends stocks, The Motley Fool’s institutional account also invests in those securities. Since its inception in February 2002, Stock Advisor has seen returns of more than 329.8% (as of June 13, 2022) on its stock picks. During the same time frame, the S&P 500 has only had a 140% return on investment.
The following table shows the past performance of a few stocks picked by the team of analysts at The Motley Fool.
|Company Sector||Rec. Date||Market Cap||Return||S&P Return||vs. S&P|
|Healthcare||06/16/2022||$8.30B (Mid Cap)||+28.20%||+6.70%||+21.50%|
|Technology||06/02/2022||$24.23B (Large Cap)||+6.20%||-6.30%||+12.50%|
|Healthcare||02/17/2022||$74.82B (Large Cap)||+25.70%||-10.20%||+35.90%|
|Consumer Cyclical||05/05/2022||$763.94B (Large Cap)||-15.60%||-5.40%||-10.20%|
|Financial Services||03/03/2022||$3.47B (Mid Cap)||-72.70%||-9.90%||-62.80%|
|Technology||07/16/2020||$204.11B (Large Cap)||+35.60%||+25.30%||+10.40%|
Access to Previous Stock Picks
Regardless of when you subscribe to Stock Advisor, Motley Fool lets all account holders access the firm’s list of previous stock picks. This makes it easier for you to see what stocks were recommended in the past so you can start growing your portfolio right from the get-go.
Access to Videos and Podcasts
Motley Fool also produces a wide range of podcasts and educational videos for investors to enjoy. In addition to the freely available podcasts on the Motley Fool website, Stock Advisor subscribers also get access to exclusive webinars and podcasts that discuss the service’s latest stock picks and recommendations.
Favorites Watchlist and Instant Alerts
Stock Advisor subscribers have access to a Favorites Watchlist feature where they can favorite a particular stock recommendation and put it in their watchlist. You can keep track of as many stocks as you want which makes it super convenient. Once in your watchlist, you can also receive instant alerts when there are big moves in the stock — good for buying or selling opportunities.
The Stock Profiles feature allows Stock Advisor subscribers to find a lot of information such as financial data, news, charts, CAPS ratings, and much more. This is a very handy feature.
Live Video Discussions
At times, The Motley Fool founder, Tom Gardner holds live video sessions where subscribers get to learn how they make their stock picks. They allow Stock Advisor subscribers to asks questions and also Tom gets to share data and research with them. Subscribers also get access to Motley Fool Live, where they can watch interviews, market news and much more.
The Motley Fool is always on top of the news. So, you will not be missing out on the action of your favorite stocks with this feature.
Stock Advisor subscribers get access to simulator tools. Investors get to play around with this tool to find the best investment opportunity for them based on historical data and past performance.
Motley Fool Rule Breaker Features
Rule Breakers is a premium Motley Fool subscription that provides you with expert research on high-growth stocks. Much of what the service offers is similar to Stock Advisor, but it’s specifically tailored for investors that are okay with taking larger risks for access to potentially great rewards.
These are some of the main features of Rule Breakers that you can expect when you make an account. Read our full Motley Fool Rule Breakers review to learn more.
Two New Stock Picks Each Month
When you sign up for Rule Breakers, you get two new stock picks each month, just like with Stock Advisor. However, these stock picks are different from those at Stock Advisor and are specifically chosen for their potential to see huge gains in the coming years.
Best Stock Buys Now
Rule Breakers subscribers can check out Motley Fool’s list of the five best buys now. These top-performing stocks are chosen from a list of 200 high-growth equities and they represent the stocks the company believes can drive returns in the future.
Although Rule Breakers is primarily for investors that already have some investing experience, this subscription comes with a list of starter stocks that show a potential for lots of value growth in the near future. The idea is that you can immediately invest in a handful of these stocks to get your portfolio moving as you wait for Motley Fool’s latest stock picks.
Community and Investing Resources
Anyone with a Rule Breakers subscription gets access to an exclusive online community, which includes a bustling set of discussion boards. These discussion boards let you communicate with other investors and with the analysts that run Rule Breakers so you can ask questions and get trading advice.
Rule Breaker Performance
Since its founding in 2004, Motley Fool’s Rule Breakers stock picks have had a combined return on investment of more than 320% as of December 2021. In that same timeframe, the S&P 500 has seen growth of approximately 120%.
Access to Previous Stock Picks
As soon as you sign up for Rule Breakers, you can access the service’s complete list of previous stock picks. You can also see all of the company’s prior sell and buy recommendations, which can help you improve your personal investment strategy.
Motley Fool Everlasting Stocks Features
Everlasting Stocks is a relatively new subscription service from The Motley Fool that gives you insight into the trading habits of experienced investor Tom Gardner.
With Everlasting Stocks, you get a monthly newsletter that provides you with two top stock picks that are hand-selected by Tom from his personal investment portfolio. In each newsletter, you also get a description from the Everlasting Stocks team that explains why Tom recommends these two stocks.
Additionally, new Everlasting Stocks subscribers can access all of the service’s previous stock picks from within their online dashboard. The company also lets you see Tom’s closed stock positions so you can see which previously high-performing stocks he thinks no longer merit a spot in his portfolio. Read our full Motley Fool Everlasting Stocks review to learn more.
Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement Features
While Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers are designed for general stock investing, the Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service is specifically crafted for investors that want to plan for later in life. These are some of the best features that you get with a Rule Your Retirement subscription.
The Motley Fool provides all Rule Your Retirement subscribers with a set of three model portfolios that were carefully curated by the company’s expert analysts. These portfolios are designed to give you an idea of how to diversify your portfolio. They also provide asset allocation and rebalancing guidance to help you maximize your investment returns.
Mutual Funds and ETFs Recommendations
Unlike Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers, Rule Your Retirement’s investing advice primarily focuses on the best-performing mutual funds and ETFs (exchange-traded funds). The company offers new fund recommendations regularly so you can keep up with the markets.
Social Security Tips, Tricks, and Strategies
As you near retirement age, it’s important to consider how Social Security and other government benefits might play into your financial plan. With Rule Your Retirement, you get up-to-date guidance on how to maximize your government benefits and your personal savings so that you can set yourself up for financial success in your golden years.
Coverage on Retirement Topics
Planning for retirement is about more than getting a good return on the mutual funds in your IRA (individual retirement account). To help you out, the team at Rule Your Retirement provides plenty of educational resources and information on everything from estate planning to medical insurance so that you can live comfortably later in life.
Motley Fool Options
Motley Fool Options is the company’s dedicated subscription service for options traders. The point of the service is to help you make smarter options trades so you can maximize your short-term investment returns while also building up a solid long-term portfolio.
If you subscribe to Motley Fool Options, you get access to the firm’s suggested options trades. Unlike with other subscription services from Motley Fool, however, these put calls don’t get released on a set schedule. Rather, the analysts behind Options send out trade alerts whenever they think subscribers should make a trade.
The Options subscription from The Motley Fool also comes with access to a premium training course called Options University. This training course is designed to help new options traders learn the ins and outs of options markets. You even get access to dedicated message boards just for Options subscribers so you can improve your investing strategies and chat with other traders.
Motley Fool Millionacres
Millionacres is Motley Fool’s real estate investing service. It offers a slew of different features that cater to a range of real estate investors, such as a free-to-access blog, as well as a few premium membership options.
Currently, Motley Fool offers two primarily Millionacres subscription plans:
- Real Estate Winners – The Real Estate Winners subscription from Motley Fool’s Millionacres is a great starting point for first-time real estate investors. With this subscription, you get access to a real estate-focused newsletter that offers at least one investment recommendation (usually an REIT, or real estate investment trust) per month. You also get to check out the Real Estate Winner’s 10 best real estate investment picks, which are updated quarterly. The firm also provides easy access to its real estate investing community and educational resources when you sign up for a subscription.
- Real Estate Mogul – The Real Estate Mogul subscription package was created for the experienced real estate investor who wants to take their portfolio and property holdings to the next level. Like Real Estate Winners, a Real Estate Mogul subscription includes a monthly newsletter, which offers advice on everything from tax optimization strategies to methods for selecting quality properties. Additionally, Real Estate Mogul offers monthly investment advice on both REITs and real property investment opportunities that have been vetted by the team at Motley Fool. Subscribers also get access to exclusive tax guidance advice and private investing tutorials.
The Motley Fool Pricing
With the exception of some of its blogs, most of The Motley Fool’s services are only available through paid subscriptions. Here’s a quick overview of how much it costs to get investing advice from The Motley Fool.
A Motley Fool Stock Advisor subscription costs $199 per year. This subscription gets you access to two new stock picks each month, ten best buys now, a list of starter stocks, and a whole slew of educational resources. New members can get a 60% discount on this service.
The company’s Rule Breakers subscription costs $299 per year. It provides two stock picks each month as well as a list of starter stocks, five best buys now, and access to a community of like-minded investors. New members can get the service for $99 for 1 year with a 30-day 100% membership fee-back guarantee.
Subscribing to Motley Fool’s Everlasting Stocks costs $299 per year. With this subscription, you get access to an exclusive tool to help you build your portfolio as well as two monthly stock recommendations that are hand-picked by Tom Gardner, market briefings, and monthly stock rankings. New members can get the service for $99 for 1 year with a 30-day 100% membership fee-back guarantee.
Rule Your Retirement
The Rule Your Retirement subscription costs $149 for two years or $99 for one year and it offers a whole slew of features for retirement-focused investors. This includes model retirement portfolios, ETF and mutual fund recommendations, and expert tips for saving for your golden years. New members can get the service for $149 for 2 years with a 30-day 100% membership fee-back guarantee.
Motley Fool Options
The Options subscription costs $999 per year and it offers their top options trades each month emailed straight to your inbox. Motley Fool Options service has a consistent historical 84%+ win rate with closed option trades. New members can get the service for $899 for 1 year with a 30-day 100% membership fee-back guarantee.
Motley Fool Millionacres
The cost of a Motley Fool Millionacres subscription depends on which newsletter you want to sign up for. A Real Estate Winners subscription costs $249 per year and it includes access to a monthly newsletter that features at least one REIT recommendation.
Meanwhile, a Real Estate Mogul subscription costs $2,999 per year. It comes with a monthly newsletter that offers both REIT and real property investment recommendations, exclusive tax guidance, and access to private tutorials.
For investors that want access to the best that Motley Fool has to offer, the firm provides a special subscription called the Epic Bundle for $499 per year. This subscription gives you all the features of Stock Advisor, Everlasting Stocks, and Rule Breakers at a major discount.
The Motley Fool Promotions
All new Motley Fool subscribers can get a discounted year of Stock Advisor for $89 when they first sign up for the service. Motley Fool also offers a 30-day membership refund if you’re not happy with your purchase.
Note that your membership for Stock Advisor will renew at the regular rate of $199 after your promotional period ends.
The Motley Fool Customer Support
If you need help with your Motley Fool account or subscription, you can access the company’s detailed online help pages.
Additionally, Motley Fool provides email-based customer support if you submit a help ticket on the company’s website. However, the firm doesn’t have phone-based customer support at this time.
The Motley Fool Pros
- User-friendly platform is ideal for relatively new investors
- Provides lots of insight into the reasons behind each stock pick
- Different subscription services available for specific investing styles
- All subscriptions give you a list of all previous stock picks
- Subscriptions include access to an online community and discussion boards
- Extensive list of educational resources and market-related news articles
- Fantastic historic return on investment for all stock picking services
The Motley Fool Cons
- Some subscriptions are fairly pricey
- Doesn’t include any charting or technical analysis tools
- All subscriptions require an annual payment (no monthly plans available)
- Limited functionality for active and experienced traders
- No access to stock scanners or other resources to do your research
- Prior investing results with Motley Fool are no guarantee of future success
The Motley Fool Alternatives
Not convinced that Motley Fool is the right investment tool for your needs? Here are two top Motley Fool Alternatives to check out instead:
The Motley Fool vs. Morningstar
Morningstar is one of the world’s largest market research and financial services institutions. With Morningstar Premium, individual investors can access exclusive tools and insight to help grow their portfolios.
When you subscribe to Morningstar Premium, you get to use the company’s proprietary charting tools and stock screeners. The firm also provides you with stock research reports from over 150 expert financial analysts and it gives you extensive data on thousands of equities, ETFs, and mutual funds.
Pricewise, a Morningstar Premium subscription is a bit more expensive than Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor ($249 annually), and it comes with a lot more to love if technical analysis tools are what you seek.
When compared to The Motley Fool, Morningstar’s main drawback is that it doesn’t give clear-cut stock recommendations like you get with Stock Advisor, which can be helpful if you’re a new investor. But if you’d rather do your market research alone, Morningstar Premium offers substantially more functionality. Read our full Morningstar review to learn more.
The Motley Fool vs. Seeking Alpha
Seeking Alpha is an online investing community and stock research tool that provides you with everything you need to choose winning investments.
With Seeking Alpha, subscribers get access to a slew of tools including a stock screener, proprietary stock ranking metrics, podcasts, news articles, analyst opinion blogs, online chat rooms, and extensive financial data on thousands of stocks. The company also lets you sync your brokerage accounts to your dashboard so you can easily manage all of your investments.
Seeking Alpha offers multiple subscription plans, including a free basic plan. The company’s paid subscriptions cost $239 (Premium) and $2,400 (Pro) each year when you pay annually and they offer access to additional stock research tools.
Like Morningstar Premium, Seeking Alpha doesn’t provide you with easily digestible top stock picks, so a desire to do research by yourself is imperative if you use the platform. But, even though Seeking Alpha is more expensive than Motley Fool, it offers many excellent tools and resources for market research that you can’t get with Stock Advisor. Read our full Seeking Alpha review to learn more.
|Pricing||$199/year to $1,999/year||$0/month (Basic), $19.99/month (Premium) and $199.99/month (PRO)||$34.95/month or $249/year (save 41% over a monthly plan) or $399 for two-years or $499 for three-years|
|Promotion||Get 60% Off 1st Year (Motley Fool Stock Advisor)||Free to join (Basic) and 7 day free trial & 50% off (Premium)||14 day free trial (Premium)|
|Highlight||Premium stock-picking newsletters||One of the largest investing communities in the world||Robust fundamental and portfolio analysis|
|Best For||New investors looking for stock ideas||Intermediate to advanced investors||Long term data driven investors|
Compare The Motley Fool
Find out how The Motley Fool stacks up against the competition.
Who Is The Motley Fool For?
The Motley Fool’s subscription services are primarily designed for relatively new investors that need some direction and guidance when it comes to picking high-performing stocks. The company does all the hard work for you by researching and vetting potential investment opportunities before giving you their top stock picks each month.
However, some of The Motley Fool’s subscriptions can be pretty expensive and the service doesn’t provide much by the way of charting and technical analysis tools. This means that it’s best for traders that want to beat the market but that don’t have a lot of time or interest in doing extensive market analysis.
The Motley Fool FAQ
Here are our answers to some of your most commonly asked questions about the Motley Fool:
Is The Motley Fool Free?
The Motley Fool is not free. The company offers multiple subscription services for access to its stock picks and other financial guidance. However, you can access limited news articles from Motley Fool on the firm’s website.
Is The Motley Fool Worth the Price?
The Motley Fool can be worth the price if you want help finding new stock ideas. The platform is very user-friendly, so it’s nice for new investors that need help getting started. But it doesn’t offer much for more experienced traders who primarily want technical analysis and charting tools.
Is The Motley Fool Safe?
The Motley Fool is a reputable company that’s been providing stock investing advice since 1993. Additionally, the company simply provides stock investing advice, but it never has access to your brokerage account. That said, there’s always a risk of losing money, even when you invest in all of Motley Fool’s recommended stocks.
Does The Motley Fool Offer a Free Trial?
There is no The Motley Fool free trial. However, the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for all new subscribers so you can test out the platform and see if it works for you.
How Do I Cancel My Motley Fool Stock Advisor Subscription?
You can cancel your Motley Fool Stock Advisor Subscription by logging into your account and navigating to your account settings. Under the “Subscription Services” heading, you can click the button to cancel your Stock Advisor subscription.
Is There a Motley Fool App?
There is no Motley Fool app. All of the company’s free and premium content is solely available online at the Motley Fool website.
In A Nutshell
- Service: Stock picking services, investment newsletters and financial news
- Pricing: $199/year (Stock Advisor), $299/month (Rule Breakers) and $299/month (Everlasting Stocks) and $99 (Rule Your Retirement)
- Promotion: Stock Advisor (60% Off 1st Year), Rule Breakers ($99 For 1 Year), Everlasting Stocks ($99 For 1 Year)
In the nearly three decades since its founding, The Motley Fool has become one of the most popular stock-picking services on the planet. The firm’s user-friendly platform, exceptional historic returns, and fantastic array of educational materials make it a solid choice for investors that prioritize convenience above all else.
That said, The Motley Fool’s subscriptions can be expensive and were not designed for investors that want to do a lot of research. But if you want to take a more hands-off approach to your portfolio or if you want some guidance to kick-start your investing strategy, Motley Fool’s stock picking services are certainly worth considering.
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Gaby is a freelance writer and self-employed business owner with a personal interest in all things finance-related. She has a passion for educating others on how to make the most of their money and loves writing about everything from taxes to crypto.