A Closer Look At “The Motley Fool” [Unbiased Review]

Looking for a review of the Motley Fool?

Lately, I have been reviewing various premium products from the legendary financial advice platform.

So, I figured I should share my honest review of the company behind the products.

In this review, I’m going to dive deep into what The Motley Fool is all about so that you can know exactly what they offer if you choose to subscribe to their services.

Before I start…

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A Closer Look At "The Motley Fool" [Unbiased Review] 5

The Motley Fool Review

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Introduction to The Motley Fool

Motley Fool was established in 1993 by two brothers, David Gardner and Tom Gardner, and Erick Rydholm, who has since quit.

Motley Fool

They launched it with a mission to help ordinary people achieve financial freedom by giving actionable investment advice through articles, podcasts, books, a radio show, premium investment newsletters, and a newspaper column.

Motley Fool can be compared to publishing brands like InvestorPlace, Agora Financial, Angel Publishing, and Palm Beach Research Group.

Most of their advice encourages you to invest in solid businesses and focus on long term growth.

The Motley Fool also strives to improve your decision-making with things like your career, real estate holdings, personal finances, and investment portfolio.

The name “Motley Fool” pays homage to the medieval court jester who’d speak the bare truth on the King or Queen’s Court without causing too much friction with the monarchy that they’d be punished for it.

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Who Started Motley Fool

I will only focus on David and Tom Gardner as they are still with the company. Therefore, I will leave Erik Rydholm out.

Speaking of founders, they’ve been busy in the past few weeks.

I recently received adverts for The Amazon of the North (Motley Fool Canada), 4 Stocks for the Digital Payments Revolution, and  Motley Fool Issues Rare “Ultimate Buy” Alert.

You can read those reviews to learn more about their promotions.

Tom Gardner

Tom Gardner is the CEO of Motley Fool. He runs the Everlasting Portfolio and Hidden Gems newsletters. He also contributes to Motley Fool’s flagship newsletter, The Stock Advisor.

Tom graduated in 1990 with a BA in English and Creative writing from Brown University.

He was in school pursuing two Master’s degree when the Motley Fool took off. He decided to drop out to help run the business.

He has co-authored a few books with his brother, including Rule Breakers, The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens, the Million Dollar Portfolio, The Motley Fool Investment Guide, and You Have More Than You Think, Rule Makers.

David Gardner

David Gardner is one of the three founding members of the Motley Fool. He is the lead advisor of the Rule Breakers and a contributor to The Stock Advisor.

He is a proponent of the buy-and-hold strategy as long as the portfolio has dynamic growth stocks.

He launched Motley Fool CAPS, a forum of over 75,000 stock pickers drawn from the Motley Fool Community.

He has co-authored a couple of books with his brother as mentioned above.

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Free Advisory Services offered by Motley Fool

The main resource with regards to the services The Fool offers for free is the official website. Through its articles, it provides a wide range of investment services that we would term as free. We can categorize them into the following groups:

  • How to invest
  • Stocks
  • Stock picking
  • Retirement planning
  • New ventures

How to Invest

This part is mostly educational as various writers tackle different aspects of investing. If you are new to investing and would like an introduction, this section will help you things like what different financial terms mean, how to pick an investment account, how to build a portfolio, how to track your performance and other basic topics.


The Motley Fool runs a segment where they do a breakdown of the most common and trendy industries and the various sub-sectors you can invest in within them.

For example, under “Tech Stocks,” they take you through the different companies you should consider in cybersecurity, IoT, streaming media, cloud services, blockchain, AI, 5G, etc.

(I have covered a number of tech investment opportunities. Some examples include The #1 Tech Stock For 2020Stealth ID Technology, and Quantum Glass Battery.)

These breakdowns are particularly helpful to novice traders who may be confused by the different trends running concurrently in the investment community. Motley Fool does a good job describing categories like Marijuana stocks, Gold stocks, dividend stocks, and even Warren Buffet stocks (This list is not conclusive but you get the idea).

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Stock Picking

While many analysts charge a fee to let you in on their recommended buys, The Motley Fool runs a series where different authors talk about the good investment opportunities they have unearthed (Don’t forget that they still have paid services).

The conspicuous “Latest Stock Picks” category, which they regularly update, provides you with their latest stock picks as they come up.

Retirement planning

The Motley Fool has a comprehensive retirement guide that tackles various topics around the subject.

It provides you with insights and suggestions on how to manage your finances as you prepare for retirement irrespective of your age. They cover technical-heavy topics like 401(k), IRA, asset allocation, planning, and other related elements.

This section also caters to those who are already retired.

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New Ventures

The Motley Fool offers a wide range of services centered on personal finance and investment.

The classifications under this category are:

The Ascent

The Ascent is designed to help clients manage their finances in a stress-free way. It takes away the burden of sifting through mountains of money advice to give you the most relevant information.

The experts and writers who run it give you actionable steps that should help you improve your financial situation. They also analyze the various services geared toward personal finance management.

The Ascent reviews and analyzes:

  • Brokerages
  • Credit cards
  • Banking
  • Loans

Most of what they do with each category is that they educate you on the best product there is and give you helpful bits of advice before you make your decision. It is a knowledge base that you can learn a great deal from. This is one of my favorite services.


Millionacres helps you navigate the world of real estate investment. They demystify the subject and give you enough knowledge to venture out on your own.

The writers and editors have real-world experience, either as investors or writers.

They tackle various real estate subjects including:

  • REITs and other investment vehicles commonly used in real estate markets.
  • Crowdfunding
  • Taxes

They also provide individual recommendations (investment opportunities) through a premium service known as Mogul. Everything else is offered free of charge.

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It is a rating system that evaluates financial software and related products.

They write reviews and provide affiliate links to the products that score good ratings.


The Soapbox brings you financial information that goes beyond the stock market. It covers interesting stories that have a financial element to them.

Premium Services offered by Motley Fool

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor

The Stock advisor is a stock recommendation service offered by teams led by David and Tom Gardner. They launched it in 2002.

With this service, they help you find small companies that have the greatest growth potential to add to your portfolio.

When these companies fulfill their potential, you earn a decent return on your investment.

The caveat is that you have to wait a couple of years for your investment to grow. You can still go the short-term route, but you will miss out on the cumulative gains their strategy is known for.

They have beaten their benchmark (S&P 500) consistently and have even tripled its returns if you consider the past few years.

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The Motley Fool Rule Breakers

Motley Fool Rule Breakers is a paid newsletter service offered by David Gardner. It is focused on hyper-growth stocks that have a strong future as it aims to beat the market.

When you subscribe to Rule Breakers, you can access every stock that David has ever recommended to his subscribers.

To pick a stock, David Gardner has a list of six requirements that it must meet:

  • It should be a first mover in an emerging industry.
  • It should have good leadership, patent protection, competitive advantage, or poor competitors.
  • It should show a strong past price appreciation. It should have a history of growth with a similar trend expected to continue.
  • The company should have a smart management team.
  • Its products should have a strong consumer appeal.
  • The company they pick should be grossly overvalued (according to financial mainstream media commentators).

The Motley Fool Market Pass

The Motley Fool Market Pass grants you access to certain Premium services, extra features, and tools.

As I write this, they grant subscribers access to The Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers.

Motley Fool also avails special reports covering long-term trends like AI and biotech stocks.

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The Motley Fool Supernova

Motley Fool Supernova is a portfolio building service that draws from David Gardner’s collection of active recommendations from both the Rule Breakers and the Stock Advisor services.

A team of analysts assembles portfolios from David’s picks with specific goals in mind.

For example, they have The Phoenix mission which is meant for people who are retired or are nearing retirement, and another called The Odyssey Mission, which is for investors in their earlier earning years.

Remember, most of those recommendations are growth stocks.

The Motley Fool Blast off

The Blast Off (2020) is a collection of David Gardner’s collection of companies that can provide you with returns in the next 5-10 years.

As the Motley Fool team recommends them, they also purchase the stocks that they intend to hold for five years unless extreme circumstances force them to sell earlier than that.

Motley Fool has invested $150,000 in the portfolio and is looking to make eleven additional investment rounds worth $50,000 each.

The Blast Off offers a host of services and features, including stock coverage, quarterly updates, quarterly live chats, and a list of stocks that they are looking into.

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The Motley Fool Discovery: Next Home Run Stocks

The Motley Fool Discovery: Next Home Run Stocks, usually shortened to Discovery NHRS, is a stock portfolio building service that functions like Blast Off. The main difference is that Discovery NHRS was last active in 2017. The team running it recommended 30 stocks for 5 weeks.

The Motley Fool Discovery: The Rising Stars Portfolio

When you join Motley Fool Rising Stars, the idea is to buy good small-cap and micro-caps in the hope that they will grow in a couple of years. It is also another portfolio-building service where Motley Fool has reinvested $100,000 twice. It expects to make a third, and final investment of $150,000.

When you join Discovery RS, they reveal the portfolio. There won’t be additional recommendations and ongoing coverage, but they may send occasional special reports and updates.

The Motley Fool Discovery: The Partnership Portfolio

Motley Fool Discovery: The Partnership Portfolio works like the other Discovery-based portfolio building services. Motley Fool has a live stake in the portfolio, which subscribers join to emulate. There are occasional updates to the portfolio.

This portfolio service targets companies that are founder-led. The reasoning behind this is that such companies have historically outperformed non-founder-led companies in the stock market.

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The Motley Fool Long-Short Portfolio

Motley Fool Discover: The Long-Short Portfolio was launched to beat the market by reducing volatility using long and short positions. When you subscribe, you will buy and hold for long-term gains and short-sell to curb volatility.

You will be entitled to notices of position changes along with educational material to help you understand the thinking behind the strategy.

Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement

Rule Your Retirement is a comprehensive retirement planning service that gives you access to three model portfolios to build your best mix of investments.

When you join, you receive retirement advice with the best social security tips and comprehensive coverage of critical retirement topics ranging from estate planning to insurance.

Motley Fool Options

Options tackles the topic of options investing. When you join, they teach you everything you need to know about Options, from the basics to the most advanced strategies and topics.

They also send regular recommendations and weekly news commentary (coverage of the news affecting the options market every Friday).

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Motley Fool Total Income

Total Income is a collection of strategies aimed at creating an income-generating basket of investments. It dabbles in high-yield stocks, dividend growth, real estate, options, and bonds. When you join Total Income, you also gain access to the Motley Fool Options Service.

Motley Fool Explorer

A team of analysts explores the market in search of market trends that could offer some of the best opportunities. Each month, the team takes four of the best stocks and distills them to the one with the highest potential to capitalize on a specific market trend.

Motley Fool Global Partners

The Global Partners service features Motley Fool’s collection of investments outside the US. This includes international companies trading in the US and stocks that trade on other countries’ exchanges.

Motley Fool Everlasting Portfolio

The Everlasting Portfolio service gives you access to a portfolio featuring the stocks that CEO Tom Gardner has on his personal portfolio. As a subscriber to the service, you will receive quarterly buy and sell alerts based on Tom’s moves in the stock market.

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Motley Fool Marijuana Masters

The Cannabis industry is a frontier sector that many investors and analysts have been targeting since federal legalization (of Marijuana) became a probability. Several States have followed Canada’s example and overall public opinion has been in favor of legalization.

Marijuana Masters gives you exposure to the fledgling industry without subjecting you to unnecessary risk. The team that runs Marijuana Masters covers a wide range of interests, including dispensaries and businesses that profit indirectly from the cannabis industry.

Motley Fool Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (the service) focuses on the opportunities that will arise from the upcoming Artificial Intelligence boom. As 5G draws closer, AI’s use is expected to expand beyond its current use cases to cover a wider range of applications. Motley Fool Artificial Intelligence targets the best AI stocks.

Motley Fool Premier Pass

The Premier Pass service gives you access to the most popular premium services offered by Motley Fool. Its list of services includes Options, Explorer, Supernova, Stock Advisor, Total Income, Market Pass, Rule Your Retirement, Rule Breakers, Marijuana Masters, and Crypto Society.

It works the same way as The Paradigm Network.

Motley Fool One

One gives you full access to all of Motley Fool’s services with a bonus of Tom Gardner’s Everlasting Portfolio service.

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Is The Motley Fool Legit?

The Motley Fool is legit.

The Motley Fool has been around since 1993. For it to have existed that long, they must have some credibility.

Their results so far have been exceptional.

For example, the Stock Advisor portfolio has been outperforming the broader market since it was launched… and this comes from real results taken from live trades.

Not back-tests and theoretical extrapolations.

Besides, one of the most common complaints levied against them (to challenge their legitimacy) is that their advice either does not yield as much (returns) as promised or they recommend losing stocks.

What the complainants fail to consider is that Motley Fool does not render personalized investment advice because it is not mandated to.

They are also not in a position to know your unique financial situation, investment objectives, and risk tolerance. You should take their recommendations as suggestions before making a decision that is suited to your preferences and investment strategy.

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Things to Like about The Motley Fool

  • The Motley Fool has an impressive track record. Their premium services outperform the market.
  • Glassdoor named it the best company to work for in the US for two years.
  • The Gardner brothers are still actively involved in its operations. Therefore, the company is still led by the people who saw to its success.
  • A big chunk of their services is free. They offer solid advice for free via their reviews and daily articles.

What not to like about The Motley Fool

  • Not all of their recommendations yield positive returns. But you cannot complain too much about that because no investor has a perfect record.
  • They are paid by some of the providers they review when you buy through their links. I know they assure you that this doesn’t affect their stance and there is no conflict of interest, but to some extent, no matter how small, it exists.
  • They don’t offer refunds for their premium services; If you are dissatisfied with the service, you can cancel your membership but won’t receive your membership fee.

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The Motley Fool Verdict

The Motley Fool is all-rounded with regards to personal finance. They cover almost everything you’d need to improve your financial situation as an individual. Every service is geared toward helping readers and subscribers make better investment choices.

If you’d have followed all their recommendations, you’d have outperformed the market by an average of 38% – note that this is the average return for all the stock picks, your exact number will vary depending on the combination of stocks you cherry-pick from their vast portfolio.

On that note, I think that their track record has proven that you can rely on them for financial advice and recommendations. They have outperformed the market for the past few years and that puts them ahead of a majority of their competitors.

Before you leave

If you’re tired of scams and want a real solution for making money online check out my no.1 recommendation.

It’s helped me earn over $300,000 in the last 12 months alone:

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(This is a 100% free training)

A Closer Look At "The Motley Fool" [Unbiased Review] 5

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