Is Motley Fool Worth it? Here’s What You Need to Know

Bob HaegeleBy: Bob Haegele

October 24, 2021October 24, 2021

Tom and David Gardner

The Motley Fool is a financial services firm based in Alexandria, Virginia. The company was founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner.


The company first gained notoriety in 1994 with an April Fool's joke where it promoted a sewage disposal company through message boards.


The problem? The company didn't actually exist.


Tom and David wanted to teach people a lesson about the dangers of investing in penny stocks. Clearly, the stunt worked, as it was picked up by several big-name outlets, including The Wall Street Journal.


After that, it published various guides and investment advice through mediums such as AOL in its early days.


In 2002, it launched what would become its flagship investment advice service known as Stock Advisor. The bread and butter of the service has always been its two monthly stock picks, which it sends via email on the first and third Thursdays of the month.


However, it includes plenty of other valuable features, such as a starter stocks list, best buys now, and in-depth stock analysis. And now, it even maintains a list of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in its Best Buys Now section for those who prefer easier diversification.


You really can't go wrong for the price. Speaking of which, the normal cost of an annual subscription to Stock Advisor is $199 ($16.58 per month).


However, we have a special deal for you: instead of $199, if you join Stock Advisor using our link, you'll pay just $79 for your first year. That's less than $7 per month!

Motley Fool Returns

You probably want to know what kind of returns you can expect from Stock Advisor. Fortunately, Fool publishes exactly the average return for all of its picks since inception. The figure is updated frequently, but right now, it's over 600%.


Of course, the service has been around since 2002, and you could say they have been "lucky" enough to pick Netflix way back in 2004.


While picks like those were undoubtedly great ones, that doesn't mean they were lucky. As mentioned, The Motley Fool's team studies each stock at great length to ensure it's a quality company primed for success.


I started a portfolio of Stock Advisor stocks using M1 Finance in June 2020, and the results have been fantastic. So far, my return is better than 575% in that short time:

M1 Finance Return Motley Fool

In other words, my results have been nearly as good as Stock Advisor's average return even though we haven't exactly seen the next Netflix. (Sorry, Peacock.)


Of course, I have been invested a little over a year, but to have a nearly 6x return in about 16 months is excellent.


Read more: Motley Fool Review: Can Stock Advisor Beat The Market?

Is Motley Fool Legit?

At this point, I feel it is safe to say The Motley Fool is legit. Why? One word: transparency.


Fool isn't shy about its wins, its losses, its ups, or its downs. In fact, one of the things Stock Advisors gain access to is a performance page that shows the returns of every pick the company has ever made.


That includes stocks such as Pacific Sunwear of California with a return of -95%. Or how about Luckin Coffee, which endured a juicy scandal involving fake buyers last year.


Pacific Sunwear was closed way back in 2009, meaning Fool stopped recommending it back then. But Luckin Coffee is still an active recommendation despite a -62.5% return.


All this despite the fact that the program's average return is still in excess of 600%. They make clear that you buy at least 15 recommendations (sometimes they say at least 30) because these missteps will happen.

Should You Subscribe to The Motley Fool?

Whether you should subscribe to The Motley Fool comes down to what you want from your portfolio. Through Stock Advisor and other services, The Motley Fool allows you to take control of your portfolio and achieve better returns.


Or you can even use their recommendations to invest in a portfolio of individual stocks in M1 Finance to complement your larger portfolio of ETFs/mutual funds. This is exactly what I do. I like the relative safety and stability of index funds, but it's nice to have a portfolio on the side with more upside potential.


In all honesty, I find it hard to find reasons not to subscribe to The Motley Fool. Not only is it only $79 your first year with our link, there is also a 30-day money-back guarantee.


You might hear some people talk about excessive up-selling from The Motley Fool. However, all of its communication is optional, meaning you can easily opt out of its marketing mailers.


I highly recommend giving it a try and seeing what you think. If you really don't like it, you can cancel before 30 days. But I doubt you will. And if you don't, it's only $79 for the first year. It's hard to find a better deal than that these days!

Bob Haegele

About the Author:

Bob Haegele is a personal finance writer, entrepreneur, and dog walker. He's a money management expert and investing connoisseur. Bob has been writing about personal finance for three years and now manages several personal finance sites, including The Frugal Fellow and Modest Money. You can also find him contributing to popular websites such as GOBankingRates, Bankrate, and Insurance.com. You can see more of his work on Muck Rack and Contently, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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