Benzinga vs Motley Fool

Before the Internet, retail traders only had access to investment research through newspapers or hurried telephone calls with their brokers. Today’s traders not only can execute commission-free trades with just a few keystrokes, but they also have access to a bewildering array of equities research options.

Motley Fool is Better for:Benzinga is Better for:
Medium and Long-Term InvestingShort Term Trading
Easily Digested InfoDay and Swing Traders
Simplified Monthly PicksSquawk Box
Growth Stock InvestingCustomizing News Alerts
Moderate Risk InvestingHigher Risk Investing
Lower PriceRaw Information
Beating S&P ReturnsOptions Research

Brothers Dave and Tom Gardner founded Motley Fool in 1993. They were one of the first of many investment research companies that sprung up online starting in the 1990s. Since then, Motley Fool has grown from a simple Internet newsletter to a sophisticated service offering multiple subscriptions targeting medium and long-term investors.

Jason Raznick founded Benzinga in 2010. Benzinga claims to be perfect for today’s investor who emerged “from the rubble of the (2008) downturn.” Benzinga provides actionable trading news with real-time analysis and alerts to give retail investors access to premium information.

Motley Fool Benzinga
Annual Subscription Fees

Stock Advisor $199 ($89 with Modest Money) Rule Breakers $299 Rule Your Retirement $149

Benzinga Basic $324 Benzinga Essential $1,404 ($702 with Modest Money) Benzinga Options Mentorship $3,372

Securities Analyzed

Stocks

Stocks, Options, Forex, Crypto

Investment Strategies

Qualitative

Quantitative

Base Results

Moderately diversified portfolio of high performing stocks

Use the information to make your own conclusions, day trade, build a portfolio

Best Use

Moderate Risk Investing

High Risk Investing

Current Promotion

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Modest Money Overall Rating
4.9 rating based on 5 ratings
4.8 rating based on 5 ratings

Motley Fool vs Benzinga: Determining Factors?

Today, Modest Money compares Motley Fool and Benzinga to see which is a better investment service overall and which might be a better fit for your investing style.

According to our analysis, Motley Fool’s offerings, particularly its Stock Advisor, make it a better research option for most investors, though some people will derive better benefits from Benzinga’s analysis and news alert platform, especially day traders.

To come to this conclusion, we compared Motley Fool and Benzinga from all angles, looking at the factors of cost, strategy, and interface. Read on to gain a better understanding of both these services to figure out which better suits your needs.

Factor 1: Cost

If you are newer to the world of investing, you may not have a lot of money to invest

Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor is Cheaper than Benzinga Essential

  • Motley Fool Stock Advisor costs $199 per year.
  • Benzinga Essential costs $1,404 per year.
  • Stock Advisor is more than $1,200 cheaper than Benzinga Essential on an annual basis.

Motley Fool’s Cost

Even if you’ve never subscribed to Motley Fool, you’ve probably seen some of their financial articles. These can vary in the quality of their analysis but can be interesting and informative. The best bang for the buck comes with Motley Fool’s premium services.

As far as premium subscriptions, most investors should start with Stock Advisor. Stock Advisor is Motley Fool’s oldest and most successful subscription, having averaged 400-500% returns since inception, depending on when you check. This is more than four times the returns of the S&P 500. The standard price for Stock Advisor is $199 per year.

Stock Advisor yields you two new stock picks per month, sell notices on previous recommendations (as needed), and Best Buys Now, more recommendations of previous Stock Advisor picks. You’ll also get a Stock Screener, which shows you your top recommendations across services (if you subscribe to more than one product), and you’ll have access to Motley Fool Premium Live.

A work about the Premium Live service, this is one of the most under-rated features of Motley Fool’s platform. You get access to this no matter what subscription service you choose. It’s a series of live video shows that air Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm (you can also stream just the audio).

The shows are high-quality and have excellent analysis, primarily focused on qualitative methods of stock and crypto valuation. You could hear commentators go through a chosen company’s balance sheet, listen to information about upcoming worldwide cryptocurrency regulation, or any number of other topical subjects to help you create and execute your investment thesis.

Besides Stock Advisor, Motley Fool has a wealth of other subscriptions, including Rule Breakers ($299) and Rule Your Retirement ($149). Other subscriptions target institutional and professional investors.

If Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor sounds good to you, you can buy it here for a discount of $110, taking the cost of the flagship subscription service down to only $89 for the first year. At $1.71 per week, Stock Advisor’s premium subscription is one of the best investment research deals you’ll find anywhere.

Benzinga Cost

As does Motley Fool, Benzinga offers lots of basic content for free. Start by browsing this content, which will give you a great idea of what they’re all about and the types of investing they support.

Benzinga has four levels of membership: Free, Basic, Essential, and Options Mentorship.

Benzinga Basic costs $27 per month and includes the following:

  • Nasdaq Basic (15-minute Delayed Quotes)
  • Full Newsfeed (no Advanced Filtering)
  • Chat
  • Movers
  • Watchlist Alerts
  • Benzinga Premium Articles on Benzinga.com

Benzinga Essential costs $177 per month ($117 per month if you pay annually) and includes:

  • Nasdaq Basic (Real-Time Quotes)
  • Advanced Newsfeed (filter by Technicals, such as Price, Volume, Float)
  • Real-Time Scanner
  • Audio Squawk (Equity, Options)
  • Calendar
  • Signals
  • Unusual Options Activity ($27.97/monthly Add-On)
  • Unlockable bonuses
    • Options Trading Newsletter ($200 / year value) FREE starting on the 3rd month
    • Enhanced Options Trading Newsletter ($500 / year value) FREE starting on the 6th month
    • (must remain subscribed to keep bonus subscriptions)

The Audio Squawk is one of the plan’s most popular features. When logged in, this feature provides audio updates of world news and equities, alerting traders to the news before anyone even has time to write an article about it. Day traders, in particular, find this feature valuable.

Benzinga Options Mentorship costs $347 per month ($281 per month if you pay annually) and includes everything that Basic and Essential has, plus:

  • Trading Mentorship & Education from Leading Trader, Nic Chahine
  • Access to the Options Inner Circle Chat Room
  • Regular Market Overview to Match Nic’s Winning Trading Strategy (60% win rate with 35.3% avg. returns)
  • Unusual Options Activity

According to Benzinga, its most popular subscription is the Essential plan. The total annual cost you will pay for this is $1,404. Clicking this link will get you 50% off the first year, so your final first-year price will be $702.

Motley Fool is Cheaper

Comparing each platform’s most popular subscriptions, Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor at $199 ($89 with Modest Money) vs Benzinga Essential at $1,404 ($702 with Modest Money), Stock Advisor is a better value for most investors who need information to power long-term investing.

Day and swing traders, however, require more technical trading tools and time-sensitive news services like Audio Squawk. These investors should choose Benzinga Essential over Motley Fool Stock Advisor.

Factor 2: Strategy

As alluded to in the cost factor, Motley Fool and Benzinga target different types of investors. Two primary schools of thought on stock investing are qualitative and quantitative investing.

Qualitative investing means you buy a stock based on the quality of its company and operations. Quantitative investing means buying or selling based on a stock’s “technical” moves, usually as perceived on a short-term or intraday chart.

Motley Fool and Benzinga Have Different Strategies

  • Motley Fool focuses on long-term, qualitative investing.
  • Benzinga’s tools are better for technical analysis and trades based on market conditions.
  • Choose Motley Fool to get stock picks based on qualitative analysis, but choose Benzinga if you make trades based on charts.

Motley Fool Strategy

Motley Fool’s subscriptions— especially Stock Advisor, Rule Breakers, and Rule your Retirement—are geared toward buy and hold investors. When you sign up for any of these services, Motley Fool will ask you to verbally commit to buying at least 25 stocks and holding them for at least five years.

Of course, nothing holds you to this, but with fractional investing, it’s easier than ever to diversify your portfolio. You no longer must pay $1,000+ for some stocks because you can allocate amounts as little as $1 to invest in a stock with commission-free brokerages like Robinhood.

Stock Advisor chooses stocks from all sectors, focusing on the fundamentals of growing or established companies. These are not typically overly risky stocks, though it should be noted that on an individual basis, a company can fail, which is why diversification is essential.

If past results hold in the future, you can be reasonably sure that by following Stock Advisor, you can expect results quadrupling market results by up to four times. Stock Advisor publishes its monthly picks at 1:00 pm on the first and third Thursdays of every month. You can read more about Stock Advisor’s impressive returns here.

Rule Breakers operates similarly to Stock Advisor, but its style is even more aggressive. Rule Breaker’s monthly stock picks are industry disrupters, which tend to be companies that can rise meteorically if successful but also have a high rate of failure.

With Rule Breakers, diversification is more critical than ever, and you must be willing to hold a stock for the longer term, gritting your teeth as it rises or falls but holding it nonetheless. Rule Breakers publishes its stock picks at 11:00 am on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month.

Both Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers are appropriate for investors willing to incur risk, buying and holding for the long-term. If you are unwilling to expose yourself to this kind of risk, you are probably better off investing in an index fund, which guarantees perfectly respectable results over the longer term but with less risk.

Benzinga Strategy

While Motley Fool’s premium content is geared towards education and making cases for specific stocks, Benzinga provides you with the tools to make your own decisions. Most of the news alerts on the basic and premium levels provide information updates only. What you do with that is up to you.

Benzinga also has a suite of technical analysis tools. Technical traders primarily use charts over a specific time horizon—hours, days, weeks, and months—to make stock decisions based on price movements and behavioral patterns. You can read more about Benzinga’s technical trading tools in our review.

The context of market conditions is also important, so Benzinga’s Audio Squawk and other real-time market news are useful to chart-reading traders.

Technical traders are not necessarily day traders, though all day traders are necessarily technical traders. If you are serious about looking at intraday stock moves, then you need something like Benzinga to support those trades.

In fact, any type of trading based on charting depends on quantitative tools like those found in Benzinga.

Which type of trading is better for you? Day or swing trading? Or longer-term investing? Modest Money hates to use this excuse of an answer, but it really does depend. You will find fervent believers on both sides. The important thing is that you know how to properly implement your chosen strategy.

Motley Fool and Benzinga Suit Different Investing Styles

Choose a Motley Fool subscription for long-term, diversified, qualitative investing. Choose Benzinga for shorter-term, technical trading.

Factor 3: Interface

The final factor Modest Money looked at was the respective interfaces of Motley Fool and Benzinga. Even if you aren’t hunched over your laptop making trades all day, the seamless display and transfer of information in a platform are vital to understanding relevant information quickly and clearly.

Benzinga’s Interface is Better than Motley Fool’s

  • Motley Fool has a simplistic but clunky design.
  • Benzinga’s design is more up-to-date and easier to use.
  • Both Motley Fool and Benzinga lack dedicated apps for premium content.

Motley Fool Interface

Motley Fool’s computer experience is pared down. Whatever subscription you buy, when you log in, you will land on a table displaying your subscription’s top picks, including clickable links where you can read more about why Motley Fool analysts chose these stocks.

Along the right side of the page, you will see some news alerts and upcoming announcements. Four menus at the top of the page lead you to past news and other relevant information.

While Motley Fool’s interface is pared down, it can be clunky. Eventually, you will learn where everything on the site is through trial and error. Finding the information Motley Fool wants you to see is easy. Finding the information you want to see is considerably more difficult.

Motley Fool does not have a smartphone or tablet device at this time, though the company says that these are forthcoming, as is the redesign (and hopefully, improvement) of its web interface. You can access Motley Fool from smartphone and tablet browsers like Chrome.

Benzinga Interface

As is befitting a technical analysis suite, Benzinga’s interface is more user-friendly. It presents information clearly and concisely. If you are looking for something in particular, it will be much easier to find.

Benzinga does have an app, but—and get this because it’s really unfortunate—it does not include the functionality to log into your Benzinga Pro subscription account. You will have to rely on your smartphone or tablet’s browser to do that.

Benzinga Has a Better Interface than Motley Fool

When it comes to interfaces, Benzinga’s trumps that of Motley Fool. Both fall short in a critical area—the ability to access subscription content with a dedicated app.

Motley Fool vs Benzinga: The Bottom Line

Overall, Modest Money prefers Motley Fool to Benzinga, but this is due mainly to our preference for qualitative-based, long-term investing. If you go the other way, then Benzinga is better for you.

Motley Fool is Better for:Benzinga is Better for:
Medium and Long-Term InvestingShort Term Trading
Easily Digested InfoDay and Swing Traders
Simplified Monthly PicksSquawk Box
Growth Stock InvestingCustomizing News Alerts
Moderate Risk InvestingHigher Risk Investing
Lower PriceRaw Information
Beating S&P ReturnsOptions Research

Motley Fool

Motley Fool has been independently vetted, and its subscription services’ market-beating returns have been verified. The overall ease of use and quality of picks, especially for the price, makes it the top choice for most investors.

Choose Motley Fool if you are a patient, qualitative investor willing to follow Motley Fool’s rules for investing length and diversification.

To subscribe to Stock Advisor for an introductory price of $89 per year, click here to open a Motley Fool account. You can also get discounts on its other services with this link.

Benzinga

Choose Benzinga if you intend to trade based on technical analysis. Benzinga has a smooth interface and audio alerts that will keep you connected to what’s going on with your stocks and in the larger market, no matter what else you are working on.

Benzinga is perfect for day traders and other investors who like to make moves based on current and emerging information.

But if you do choose Benzinga, make sure you click this link, which will save you more than $700 off your first year’s subscription.

Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. After working many years in the website marketing industry, he decided to take on blogging full time and also get his finances headed in the right direction. Also check out his contributions to Equities.com and Benzinga.