Motley Fools Stock Advisor service has boasted impressive historical returns. But are they legit? And are their stock picks worth the yearly fee?
Motley Fool Stock Advisor
Ease of Use
Pros and Cons
- Strong historical returns
- Expansive research and educational tools
- Real-time alerts
- Some services can be expensive
- Fees are high percentages for small portfolios
Stock advisor with strong track record but services can get pricey
Motley Fools Stock Advisor claims they can beat the market. And it seems they have the numbers to back up this claim.
But is this service worth $100/year?
Find out with this review of The Fools Stock Advisor, including how their recent stocks are faring. Plus, get a closer look at their crazy historical returns and what others are saying about it.
What is Motley Fool Stock Advisor?
Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, Motley Fool, or simply The Fool, is an online platform offering financial and investing guidance.
Their website draws in amateur investors with lots of free, easy-to-absorb educational content with titles like Investing 101, Credit Cards 101, and How Much do I Need to Retire?
Stock Advisor is Motley Fools flagship stock-picking service.
For $99/year, Motley Fool will send you two of their best stock picks each month and 10 timely new buys. You also get access to their premium investor education materials.
This service boasts an impressive 551% inception to date return compared to just 129% for the S&P 500 over the same time period (more to come on this claim).
Is Motley Fool a rip-off?
For the current promotional rate of $99/year, Stock Advisor is priced competitively compared to similar investor subscriptions, and a good number of their picks have yielded strong returns. Some of their more expensive services (i.e., $500+) are borderline pricey, though.
How does Motley Fool Stock Advisor Work?
Motley Fools business model works like any other stock newsletter subscription. Once you sign up for Stock Advisor, you instantly receive their two stock picks for that month, and for each month moving forward. You also get instant access to all of their previous recommendations as well.
Motley Fool only recommends specific companies to their members:
- The company must have a market valuation of at least $200 million
- The company must have enough daily trading volume that you can buy in without moving the market too much
We like that the service doesnt just send the tickers. You get detailed reports outlining the investment thesis and why that stock is a top pick. This can help you decide if their investment thesis fits in your portfolio.
And if, for whatever reason, you immediately regret signing up or feel like the quality of the stock picks falls short of your expectations, The Fool offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Its important to remember that The Fool simply provides monthly stock picks and their corresponding research - thats all that you are paying for. They are not financial advisors, or brokers, so it is up to you to choose if and when to act on their recommendations.
Between the two monthly top picks and their 10 timely buys, theyll be recommending more than 100 stocks each year. A lot of them will be winners but some will certainly be losers too.
Is Motley Fool Stock Advisor worth it?
If you want a fresh set of well-researched fundamental stock picks each month, Stock Advisor is worth it for $100-200/year. Their historical returns are skewed by some very big winners, but are nonetheless still very attractive compared to similar services.
Stock Advisor Pros and Cons
- History of strong returns vs. the S&P
- Includes research and rationale for each stock pick
- Price is comparable to similar platforms, like Seeking Alpha
- Includes real-time buy/sell alerts as market conditions change
- Access to premium investor educational content and interviews
- Historical outperformance heavily relied upon a few stocks
- Some services are rather expensive (>$5,000/yr.)
- Fees would represent a large % of assets for small portfolios
Not ready to take the plunge with Stock Advisor? Dip your toes into investing with a robo-advisor. Check out this list for our best picks.
As we previously noted, the Stock Advisor subscription gets you Dave and Toms top two stock picks each month and 10 timely new buys selected from over 300 stocks. Heres what else you get:
Their list of starter stocks is meant to give your portfolio a solid foundation to build off of. This package, as well as the others we are about to discuss, also gives you instant access to all of the Fools previous stock picks.
Your Fool subscription will also get you instant alerts from Dave and Tom to keep your portfolio current. This might be something they think is great buying opportunity, or on the contrary, some new information that would warrant selling an existing pick.
News & Education
Your Fool subscription also gives you access to the premium investor education content on their site, including podcasts and interviews with guests on the latest market conditions and outlook.
The Fool offers different packages as well. Review the prices and perks for these subscriptions to see which one fits your financial goals:
- Rule Breakers, $299/year
This subscription gets you two stock picks each month and five buy now stocks, all selected from their universe of high-growth stocks.
- Everlasting Stocks, $299/year
Unlike Stock Advisor, this subscription advises you on how to fit the stocks into a balanced portfolio.
- Rule Your Retirement, $149/year
This subscription aims to help the upcoming retiree with not only investing but also maximizing their Social Security benefits
- Everlasting 10x, $1,999/year
This package promises to search only for stocks with the most potential to return 1,000% or more.
- Motley Fool Options, $999/year
This service aims to take advantage of simple, profitable options strategies.
And there are plenty of additional subscriptions to choose from apart from the ones listed here. Review Motley Fools options here.
How to log in to Motley Fool Stock Advisor
Once you go to their website, there is a login/register link at the top of the screen. Its free to create an account, and after you log in, it will show you your account details and a list of the active subscriptions that you signed up for.
Does Motley Fool Stock Advisor have an app?
Motley Fool has an app but they ask that you dont use it as they are currently in the process of removing it from circulation. On their website, they mention theyre working on a single application to provide a seamless web interface across all devices and platforms.
Motley Fool Stock Advisor Picks
Since the services inception in 2002, The Fool advertises that an equal-weighted portfolio of its Stock Advisor picks returned a total of 551% vs. just 129% for the S&P 500 index.
Were not sure how they are arriving at that S&P return since the index returned closer to 270% (and more than 400% if you reinvested the dividends) since 2002. Either way, The Fools 551% is still pretty impressive, and we have no reason to believe its not true.
Some of Motley Fools early stock picks included Amazon and Netflix, both stocks that have increased by a staggering 11,000%+ since 2002.
These surely had a substantial impact on that 551% return. Without these outliers, theres probably nothing special about Motley Fools track record. But did the Fool just get lucky picking some of these stocks in 2002 or are they still picking winners today?
One Fool subscriber over at WallStreetSurvivor did an analysis of the Fools more recent Stock Advisor picks over the past 5 years.
It turns out that Motley Fools service is still churning out some very strong winners, such as Tesla (TSLA), Fiverr (FVRR), and Zoom (ZOOM). These are all stocks that have gone up 100%-200% or more in the past year.
They found that more than 80% of the ~120 stocks recommended by Stock Advisor since 2016 have outperformed the S&P 500, which is pretty impressive.
That said, they do occasionally recommend some duds, such as Luckin Coffee, whose stock price plunged in 2020 after allegations of corporate fraud.
How Much Does the Motley Fool Stock Advisor Cost?
If you look on their website, you can see that Motley Fool actually offers a few dozen different subscription packages.
The annual subscription fees vary greatly, from $149/year to $1999/year, depending on the service. Weve listed seven of their more popular services below along with the current prices.
|Discovery: Everlasting Stocks||$299/yr|
|Rule your Retirement||$149/yr|
|Discovery: Everlasting Portfolio||$2,999/yr|
|Motley Fool Options||$999/yr|
What does Reddit think about Motley Fools Everlasting Portfolio?
Reddit users have generally favorable opinions of Motley Fools stock picks and their Everlasting Portfolio. One user using the service noted that his portfolio was outperforming the S&P. Another commented on how Toms stock picks tend to be stable companies, whereas David picks more exciting prospects.
Motley Fool is generally easy to reach and tries to do right by their customers, as evidenced by their 30-day money-back guarantee for anyone not happy with their stock picks.
For any questions you dont see on the FAQ section of their website, you can contact them in the following ways:
- Phone support: Call (888) 665-3665 during normal business hours (9:30 AM-4PM EST, Mon-Fri)
- Email support: Send an email anytime to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Online support: Submit a ticket via this online form
The biggest complaint weve seen in reviews is that Motley Fool is always trying to upsell their customers on newer, more expensive subscription packages.
Motley Fool Stock Advisor vs. Morningstar
Its always important to compare a service to its competitors. One popular service competing with Motley Fool is Morningstar Premium.
Morningstar is probably best known for its 5-star rating system for mutual funds and ETFs, but it has recently expanded this to individual stocks as well.
For the same price as Stock Advisor ($199/yr.), you can get a subscription to Morningstar Premium, giving you access to their vast library of research on mutual funds, ETFs, and individual stocks prepared by more than 150 of their professional research analysts.
You also get access to Morningstars portfolio research tools, such as a stock/ETF/fund screener to filter investments based on dozens of helpful criteria.
We think Motley Fools Stock Advisor is geared more toward the experienced stock picker who is looking for a couple new picks each month to top up their portfolio with.
Morningstar Premium is better suited for the well-rounded investor who is looking for the tools to build a diversified portfolio of not only great stocks, but also great mutual funds and top ETFs.
Which stock advisor is the best?
Morningstar Premium is best for guidance building a well-rounded, diversified portfolio. Motley Fools subscription service is better for those only looking for a handful of top stocks to add to an existing portfolio each month.
Bottom line: Is joining Motley Fool Worth It?
The bottom line is that Motley Fool does have a strong track record, with their stock picks in aggregate having beaten the S&P both since their service began in 2002 and in the past five years.
This doesnt guarantee that they will continue to generate strong returns, but it does suggest that they at least have some skill in identifying winners. Their library of educational content and real-time stock alerts can also provide you with some guidance as you take advantage of their recommendations.
At the end of the day, Motley Fool is a stock-picking service, and so it is best-suited for investors looking for new companies to add to their portfolio.
Pricing, fees, and performance information as of May 16, 2021.
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