Researching stocks can be time-consuming. Even when you believe you’ve found a winner, what’s to say your research is on par with that of professional stock investors?
Instead of doing the research on your own, why not let a pro (or two) do the research for you, showing you why they are picking certain stocks all along the way?
That probably sounds expensive. And, generally, it is. But not with The Motley Fool. The Motley Fool provides stock recommendations for as little as $89 for new members for the first year. The Motley Fool has been around for a long time and has developed a great track record. In this article, we’ll dig into their flagship investment newsletter and see if it's worth the price.
Promo: Right now, new members can get the first year of The Motley Fool for $89*! Sign up here >>
- Affordable stock-picking investment newsletters
- Professional stock, index fund, and ETF analysis
- Lots of free education on its website
Motley Fool Details
Premium Stock-Picking Newsletters
StockAdvisor: Starter Stocks
Rule Breakers: High-Growth Stocks
Rule Your Retirement: Index funds and ETFs
Discovery: Cloud Disruptors: Cloud Computing Stocks
$89 to $1,999 per year
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Who Is Motley Fool?
The Motley Fool is a financial services and media company. It was founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner. It offers a ton of free content on its website that includes blog posts, podcasts, discussion boards, and videos. Content and services are also available from its sister companies, which include:
- The Ascent
- Motley Fool Wealth Management
- MFAM Funds
- Motley Fool Ventures
- The Blueprint
- Million Acres.
It offers a large number of premium (i.e., paid subscription) investment newsletters. Prices range from $100/yr up to $1,999/yr.
In this article, we’ll focus on the flagship Stock Advisor service, which has returned 338%** since its inception compared to the S&P 500’s 110% during the same time frame.
What Do They Offer?
The biggest thing they offer is Stock Advisor.
The Stock Advisor is where you can find The Motley Fool's top stock recommendations. Additionally, you get the following:
- Two new stock picks each month — the latest stock recommendations delivered monthly.
- Best Buys Now — 10 timely buys chosen from over 300 stocks.
- Starter Stocks — foundational stock recommendations for new and experienced investors.
- Community and investing resources — access to educational materials and a strong community of investors to help you improve.
The Stock Advisor service is well-rounded. You get two picks each month with a detailed report on those picks. If you are looking to enhance your investment acumen, reading the analysis that comes with each pick is a great way to do it.
You can see the list here (of course, we're not going to share the actual stocks!):
You’ll get the inside scoop on why those picks are being chosen. That’s analysis you can apply to other picks that are not in the newsletter. There won’t be any need to take guesses on potential picks. Just apply what you’re learning from the Stock Advisor analysis when deciding to invest in stocks that weren't necessarily highlighted by the newsletter.
They show their performance over time, which is pretty impressive:
And if they ever think it's time to sell a stock, you get an alert so you know.
They recommend that you hold at least 25 individual stocks, and hold these positions for at least 5 years. These aren't day-trades. As of December 2022, they are showing a 338% return for all their picks, versus 110% for the S&P500**. So you have the potential to 4x the market.
Access To Previous Picks
You’ll also be able to view previous picks as well. The Motley Fool wants to be transparent about its track record and does this by showing previous stock picks. Previous picks are another great opportunity to see what went right or wrong with those picks.
Also, once you sign up, you don’t have to wait until the next picks come out. You’ll gain immediate access to the most current picks.
Long-Term Investment Horizon
The Stock Advisor isn’t meant for day trading. The stock picks are intended for investors with a long-term investment strategy, meaning at least a couple of years. Learn the risks associated with day trading.
The Motley Fool stock picks aren’t just for retirement portfolios. They work just fine in taxable accounts as well.
You’ll also have access to The Motley Fools’ investing community. In the community, you’ll find investors just like you and some with a lot of experience. This is great for people who don’t want to invest alone, want feedback on stock ideas, or just need a place to turn to for stock questions.
Sometimes the Stock Advisor service includes bonus information beyond what's promised in the subscription. While writing this article, the current bonus includes over nine reports. That’s a lot of additional analysis and education.
Related: The Best Portfolio Analysis Tools
If you're interested in real estate investing, Motley Fool offers their Real Estate Winners by Millionacres. This segment is designed exclusively for those interested in real estate, as opposed to those who are looking for stock picks.
If that's you, check out Millionacres here >>
Are There Any Fees?
Yes - Stock Advisor costs $89 for the first year, and renews at $199 per year. However, you get a 30-day membership fee-back guarantee. If you don’t like the newsletter, you can cancel any time before the 30-day period is up and receive a full refund of the membership fee.
Below is the pricing for Motley Fool's three other newsletters that are currently open to new members:
- Rule Your Retirement: $149/yr
- Rule Breakers: $299/yr
- Discovery: Cloud Disruptors: $1,999/yr
How Does Motley Fool Compare?
The Motley Fool isn't the only stock picking and investment newsletter. There are a lot of services out there - some well known and others who are up and coming.
We compare Motley Fool' s pricing and offers to a well-known service: Morningstar.
14-Day Free Trial
How Do I Open An Account?
You can visit the Motley Fool website to get started. A credit card number is required during the sign-up process.
The Motley Fool generally gets good reviews from customers, but the messages are mixed. One of the biggest complaints is the amount of email marketing you will receive to upgrade to other products and services. Another issue seems to revolve around timing of investments. The Motley Fool clearly advertises their stock picks as long-term buy and hold. That means 5 years or more. It's tough to rate their performance in the short term as a result.
As of writing this, The Motley Fool has a 3.6/5 star rating on Trustpilot, which is Good. That's based on over 7,000 reviews of the service.
The Motley Fool has a 3.82/5 rating on BBB based on 139 customer reviews, which is a B rating. It does get several complaints per month here, many relating to the upgrade offers.
Is My Money Safe?
Yes - you'll only be processing a credit card payment with The Motley Fool. There isn’t any money on deposit or invested with them. The Motley Fool website also uses encryption.
Is It Worth It?
If you don’t want to spend a ton of time researching stocks, subscribing to The Motley Fool’s stock-picking service could be a strong alternative. At $89 for the first year, the Stock Advisor service is affordable. Or if you prefer index fund and ETF investing, you could save even more money by subscribing to the "Rule Your Retirement" newsletter ($149/year) instead.
With all of Motley Fool's newsletters, you'll still need to make all the actual investing decisions yourself with your discount stock broker of choice. They do offer Wealth Management services, but the advisory fees for accounts less than $1 million range from 0.40% (for index fund and ETF portfolios) to 0.95% (for stock portfolios).
You might also want to check out our list of the best stock and investing newsletters here.
If DIY investing isn't your thing, you could probably save money in fees by choosing a top robo-advisor instead.
Here are some common questions that we get about the Motley Fool.
What is Stock Advisor?
Stock Advisor is Motley Fool's flagship product that gives you a list of stocks - including a starter portfolio, as well as stocks to buy each month. Each stock is well researched, and the performance track record of their picks over time is impressive. It's important to note that their stock picks are long-term, with a holding period of 3 to 5 years or longer. This is not a day-trading product.
How long has Motley Fool been around?
The Motley Fool was founded in 1993, and their record since then is impressive.
Is The Motley Fool legit?
Yes. It's an investment newsletter and analysis tool with a track record of solid stock picks. However, like all investing products, past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. And, to be honest, their email marketing is a bit annoying.
How much does Stock Advisor cost?
Stock Advisor is $89 for the first year.
How do you cancel Motley Fool subscriptions?
You can cancel most Motley Fool subscriptions in your "My Account" section by selecting "Turn Off Automatic Renewal". You can also contact their customer service to cancel.
I've heard Motley Fool sends a lot of emails, is that true?
Honestly, yes. You'll get a lot of emails from Motley Fool looking to upsell you to different products and services. However, that doesn't mean that Stock Advisor isn't worth it (or any of their products aren't worth it). But we would say they do use aggressive email marketing tactics.
What other products does Motley Fool offer?
Beyond Stock Advisor, Motley Fool offers their Millionacres real estate winners. They also offer a Rule Breakers high growth newsletter, and more.
Motley Fool Features
Premium Stock-Picking Newsletters
Sisters Companies and Services
$89 to $1,999 per year
Wealth Management Pricing
Index funds portfolios: 0.40%
Stock portfolios: 0.95% (for stock portfolios)
For accounts less than $1 million range
Customer Service Phone Number
Customer Service Hours
Mon-Fri, 9 AM to 5 PM (ET)
Customer Service Email
Mobile App Availability
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
* $89 promotional price for new members only. $89 discount based on current list price of Stock Advisor of $199/year. Membership will renew annually at the then current list price.
** As of March 31, 2023
Motley Fool Review
Pricing and Fees
Ease of Use
Tools and Features
Products and Services
The Motley Fool is a financial advice company that has enjoyed a long history of success with providing paid stock-picking newsletters.
- Long track record of market-beating performance
- Access full history of previous picks
- Offers text and email stock alerts
- Could be an unnecessary service for passive investors
- Fees could represent a high percentage of assets for investing beginners
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.
Editor: Clint Proctor Reviewed by: Claire Tak