Motley Fool Review: Is Stock Advisor Worth It? (updated Sept 26, 2020)

Motley Fool Review

*** This Motley Fool Review was last UPDATED September 26, 2020 with the Fool’s stock picks’ performance as of Friday, September 25, 2020 ***

Motley Fool Review

Based on My Experience of Being a Motley Fool Stock Advisor Subscriber and Purchasing Every Single One of their Stock Recommendations for the Last Five Years

In this Motley Fool Review I’m going to show you exactly what you want to know about the Motley Fool Stock Advisor service.

I have been a paid subscriber since January 2016 AND I have purchased about $2,000 of every one of their stock picks in a dedicated ETrade brokerage account.  The results shared here are from my personal account.

I update this review weekly so you can see the most up-to-date results of the Fool’s stock picks and see for yourself if it is worth it.

Here is a quick update of recent Motley Fool stock picks:

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 MOTLEY FOOL RECAP:

  • Two of the Motley Fool’s 2020 stock picks have already quadrupled (TSLA and ZM)
  • Another one has tripled and 2 other have doubled (NVTA, SHOP)
  • The Motley Fool stock pick ZOOM VIDEO (TICKER: ZM) is up $197 or 66% in the last 3 weeks due to a strong earnings release at the beginning of September.   Do you own stock in ZOOM VIDEO? If you subscribed to the Motley Fool you would. They recommended it 4 times in the last 12 months. The Motley Fool has been hot on Zoom Video for over a year now recommending it July 3, 2019 when it was at $90; then again Oct 3, 2019 when it was at $76; then again at the start of COVID on March 19, 2020 when it was at $123 and finally again on April 16, 2020 when it was at $150. So now it is at $496.  THAT  is exactly how they get their incredible returns year after year.
  •  The Motley Fool stock pick TESLA – Ticker TSLA is up 373% since they recommended it January 2, 2020.
  • Thirteen of their 24 stock picks from 2019 are up  more than 50% and seven of those 2019 picks have already doubled and 2 have quadrupled.

FYI -- As of September 20, 2020 their July 2, 2020 pick is already up 23%; June 4th pick is up 37%, their April 16th pick is up 192%, their April 2nd pick is up 160%, their March 19th pick is up 255%, and their January 2 pick is up 414%.

Don't miss out on the Motley Fool's next stock picks--they could also be the ones that double or triple in the next few months. If you order right now, you will get these next Stock Advisor alerts:

      • September 24, 2020 - David's New 5 Best Stocks to Buys Now
      • October 1, 2020 - Tom's New Single Stock Recommendation
      • October 8, 2020 - Tom's 5 New Best Stocks to Buy Now
      • October 15, 2020 - David's New Single Stock Recommendation
    Remember, if you are not impressed, you can always cancel within 30 days and get a full refund.

 Click Here to see all of their stock picks for 2020 and get their next stock picks for just $19 a month or $99 a year!

In addition to sharing lots of updates on the performance of their stock picks, I am also going to answer the questions everyone is asking:

  • Do they really pick stocks that double and triple every year?
  • Is it worth it?
  • Are the returns that they advertise (like the ad below) really true?

Motley Fool Stock Advisor Returns-big

Please note that not only have I been a paid subscriber to the Motley Fool for over 5 years, but I have also purchased shares of EVERY ONE of their stock recommendations over these 5 years in my ETrade account.

In this review, I will even share with you screen prints of that ETrade account so you can see for yourself exactly how the Motley Fool stock picks have performed for me over the last few years.

Most importantly, because I have 5 years of data, I will share with you just the FACTS about the Motley Fool Stock Advisor performance.

I’m going to tell you exactly:

  • What you get when you subscribe
  • How profitable their stock picks has been since inception of their service and over the last 5 years since I have been a subscriber
  • What percentage of their picks have been profitable
  • How to order the Motley Fool service for the cheapest rate available

I will also share with you two important things I have learned to maximize my profits from this service.

My Motley Fool Experiment with My Real Money

You probably have seen the Motley Fool’s ads like the one above showing that their returns are “4x the SP500” or the one below showing their average stock pick is up 529%:

MotleyFoolReturns-August 2020

Like you, I was skeptical so I decided to find out the truth about the Motley Fool’s claims.

To have an objective test and analysis of the Motley Fool services, in December 2015 I opened an ETrade brokerage account dedicated just to buying each and every one of the Motley Fool stock picks as they recommended them.

For almost 5 years now, starting in January 2016, in my ETrade account I have bought $1,000-$2,000 of EACH and EVERY stock pick the Motley Fool has recommended.

Now, as promised, I want to show you screen shots of my ETrade account.

So How Have the Motley Fool Stock Picks Performed over the Last 5 Years?

Quick Summary: As of September 26, 2020, even in spite of the COVID Crash, the average return of all the stocks in my Motley Fool stock portfolio bought from January 2016 to December 2019 is up +144% which means the Motley Fool Stock Picks have beat the SP500 on average by 99%.

Take a look at this summary of my portfolio and you will see all you need to know (average return of each years’ picks, comparison vs the SP500, stock picks that are profitable, stocks picks that are up 50%, 100%, 200%, 300%, Max winner and Worst loser …

Motley fool 2020 performance

More specifically…

  • their 24 stock picks from 2016 are up an average of 251% (compared to SP500 up 69% over the same time period)
  • their 24 picks from 2017 are up an average of 105% (compared to SP500 up 44% over the same time period)
  • the 2018 picks are up 138% (SP500 up 25%)
  • their 2019 picks are up 82% (compared to SP500 17%)
  • and quite impressively, their 18 picks from 2020 are already up an average of 68% and the SP500 is up an average of only 8% over the first 8 months of the year.  This is in spite of the Motley Fool picking one stock (a Chinese coffee shop) that is down 93% because they falsified financial statements–nobody’s perfect.
  • Finally, of the 96 Motley Fool picks from January 2016-December 2019
    • 70 are up
    • 52 are up at least 50%
    • 37 have at least doubled
    • 18 have at least tripled
    • and 12 have at least quadrupled in price
  • Yes, you see in the last column that they do pick some losers, but the number of winners they pick far exceeds the losers.

Your first thought after reading those percentage returns is probably “That’s impossible!”  But the fact is they do pick many stocks that double, triple, or quadruple every year, year after year, so the AVERAGE is truly that high.  For example, 12 of the 24 stocks from 2016 have at least doubled and 3 have quadrupled, with the max being SHOPIFY which is up 3000+% since they recommended it when it was $32 and now it is over $1,000.  The obvious conclusion here is the longer you hold the Fool’s picks, the better they get!

If you came here just to get that Quick Summary of the Motley Fool’s stock picks’ performance over the least 5 years, there you have it.

AND How are Their Stock Picks Doing in 2020?

Their 18 stocks picks from January 1 to September 26, 2020 are up an average of 68%.  So that includes about 1/2 that came out BEFORE the COVID crash and 1/2 that came out after.

Motley Fool Stock Pick TESLA (ticker=TSLA) Case Study

On January 2, 2020 the Motley Fool issued a BUY recommendation for TESLA when the stock was trading around $425 a share (that’s before it split 5:1 in the last two weeks).  Here is  a picture of the Motley Fool email I got recommending “BUY TESLA”:

motley fool stock pick tesla

You can see in the image below of my ETrade portfolio that I bought 4 shares of TESLA on January 2, 2020. I got filled at $85.78 per share (price adjusted for recent 5:1 stock split), for a total cost was about $1,715.  And as of  Friday, September 11, 2020 the stock was at $372 per share for a profit of $7,454 in just 8 months.  That is a 334% gain.:

Motley Fool 2020 stock pick TSLA

While I am at it, here’s another screen shot from my ETrade account–one of the Motley Fool’s February 2020 stock picks that is up 56% in just 5 months.  On Feb 6, 2020 they recommended NVTA and I bought 100 shares of it on the same day at $22.54. And now, as of September 11, 2020 it was at $35.35 for a $1,280 profit or 56%:

Motley Fool Stock Pick NVTA

I wasn’t able to buy every one of their stock recommendations the exact second I received the Motley Fool’s email with a stock pick. But I did manage to buy over 95% of them the same day the recommendations came out, and the others I bought the morning after.

MY CONCLUSION ABOUT THE MOTLEY FOOL STOCK ADVISOR

With the consistent returns I have experienced for the last 5 years, and given the relatively low cost of their product, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor Service is absolutely worth it. If you have at least $100 to invest each month, it clearly pays for itself many times over.

How To Get The Motley Fool’s Next 24 Stock Picks at the Best Possible Price

SAVE $100.  Normally the Fool service is priced at $199 per year but they frequently run price discounts of 10% to 50% off.  So if you are thinking of subscribing make sure you take advantage of the 50% discount price.  I have bookmarked their 50% discount page for NEW SUBSCRIBERS ONLY so try it for just $99/year if you CLICK THIS LINK.

motley fool stock advisor summary white

This offer includes a 30 Day, 100% FULL Refund Guarantee.  So you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

FYI -- As of September 20, 2020 their July 2, 2020 pick is already up 23%; June 4th pick is up 37%, their April 16th pick is up 192%, their April 2nd pick is up 160%, their March 19th pick is up 255%, and their January 2 pick is up 414%.

Don't miss out on the Motley Fool's next stock picks--they could also be the ones that double or triple in the next few months. If you order right now, you will get these next Stock Advisor alerts:

      • September 24, 2020 - David's New 5 Best Stocks to Buys Now
      • October 1, 2020 - Tom's New Single Stock Recommendation
      • October 8, 2020 - Tom's 5 New Best Stocks to Buy Now
      • October 15, 2020 - David's New Single Stock Recommendation
    Remember, if you are not impressed, you can always cancel within 30 days and get a full refund.

But if you want to know more, then keep reading to see the details of my Motley Fool stock portfolio and read the rest of my review.

In case you’re not yet convinced that their picks are worth paying for, we also did an analysis of their FREE stock picks and even those picks smashed the S&P 500. Watch this video to see our full analysis of The Motley Fool’s free stock picks and why they’re worth paying attention to.

Those Last 5 Years Were Great, But Tell Me More!

If you had been a Stock Advisor subscriber for the 12 months, then you would have these profits as of September 11, 2020:

  • Crowdstrike (CRWD) — June 4th pick is already up 24%
  • ServiceNow (NOW) — May 7 pick is already up 28%
  • Shopify (SHOP) – April 2, 2020 pick and it is already up 200%
  • Zoom Video (ZM) – March 19, 2020 pick and it is already up 141%
  • DexCom (DXCM) picked Feb 20, 2020 right before the market crashed and it is still up 39%
  • Tesla (TSLA) picked January 2, 2020 before the crash and it is up 414%
  • HubSpot (HUBS) picked December 5, 2019 and it is up 96%
  • Netflix (NFLX) picked November 21, 2019 and it is up 68%
  • Trade Desk (TTD) picked November 11, 2019 and up 152%
  • Zoom Video originally picked Oct 3 and it is up 289%
  • SolarEdge (SEDG) picked September 19, 2019 and it is up 147%
  • Wix (WIX) picked May 2019 and it is up 113%

Their last 15 picks that are at least 3 months old (released prior to May 1st 2020) are up on average 111%.  That means if you had bought each of the 15 picks from October 2019 to April 2020 you would more than doubled your money–in spite of COVID!

What’s most impressive is the Motley Fool was quick to pick out the stocks that stand to benefit from the COVID crisis.  THAT is how the Fool consistently does so well–they adapt and constantly pick stocks before everyone else realizes the opportunities.  Then, once the rest of the world figures it out, these stocks explode 2x, 3x, 4x or more.

Now, no one can guarantee that their next picks will be as strong, but our 5 years of experience gives us no reason to think otherwise.

Motley Fool 2020

CLICK HERE to get unlimited access to all of their research, all of their historical picks, and the next TWELVE months of The Motley Fool’s Stock Picks for just $99!


About This Review

In this article I will also show you:

  • Exactly what you get when you subscribe
  • When they will release their next new stock picks
  • The percentage of their stock picks that were profitable each year
  • The OVERALL results of their picks year after year,
  • And I will tell you how those picks are still doing today, September 5, 2020 (HINT: their picks from the last 4 years (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) have beat the SP500 by 106% in SPITE OF THE MARKETS PLUMMETING 30% IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS.)

I will even share with you more screen shots of my own brokerage account to prove to you my results of actually buying all of their stock picks from both services for the last 5 years.

I will also tell you 2 important trading tips about the Motley Fool services that I have learned over the years.  Two little facts that you must understand about their services in order to maximize your profits.

Why Did I Write this Review?

I will try not to bore you, but I think it’s important to tell you a bit about myself and why I felt the need to write this review.

My story is probably not too different from yours. I grew up in a modest household where everything we owned was paid for with hard earned money.

I watched my parents work their a** off (excuse my french).  They each worked 50+ hours a week to give our family the best lifestyle they could.  Unfortunately, my father passed away six years ago just after his 65th birthday. He worked hard his whole life and planned to enjoy his retirement, but he died within months of retiring.

My dad’s death taught be a valuable lesson–I need to start building my personal wealth NOW so I can retire early and ENJOY my retirement.

My Mission

To accomplish that, I set out on a mission to find the best and the fastest way to build my stock portfolio in a proven and low-risk way.

I started out by talking to people I thought were smart and wealthy, reading countless books and magazines, and subscribing to various stock newsletters and stock picking services.

To save YOU a lot of time, here is a summary of what I learned…

  1. The FIRST lesson I learned was definitely NOT to get stock tips from friends or chase rumors.  My friends didn’t know any more than I did.  But they sure acted like it, and they ended up costing me money and wasting my time.
  2. The SECOND lesson I learned is that you must take action. Reading, thinking, and talking do NOT build wealth. The sooner you start investing the right way, the faster your account will grow.  It’s all about saving and investing a little each month, and the power of compounding.  While I invested $1,000-$2,000 a month in each stock pick, you would have gotten the same percentage returns had you invested $100 a month or $10,000 a month.  So stop thinking about investing, and start investing NOW! You will be surprised how quickly and easily your portfolio will start to grow.
  3. The THIRD lesson I learned was that not all stock newsletters are worth the money.  Over the last ten years, I have subscribed to literally dozens of stock newsletters.  I have also subscribed to another dozen software and/or charting services that are supposed to give me signals of what to buy.  The truth is, most of them worked out just “OK.”  With most of the services I found that when the markets were up, my portfolio went up.  And when the markets were down, my portfolio went down too.  My goal was to BEAT the market, not just match the market.
  4. The FOURTH thing I learned was how easy it is to get started building a profitable portfolio. Especially now that most brokerage accounts don’t charge commission and that you can open an account with as little as $100 to invest. Opening a brokerage account is easy and takes less than 3 minutes. To find the right stocks to buy, that too is now easy.

Eventually, I did find a stock service that were able to consistently outperform the market year after year.  And by ‘outperform’….. I am talking about consistently beating the market by over 106% over the last 4 years!

…And that’s brought us both here so I can share my experiences with the Motley Fool Stock Advisor service.

So, let’s get started.

Everyone always ask me…

Is the Motley Fool Worth the Money?

Based on my experience over the last 5 years of buying every single one of the Stock Advisor stocks picks, my analysis of their performance concludes absolutely YES!

As I mentioned above, just buying 4 shares of TESLA on January 2, 2020 has given me $7,000 of profits.  That alone is enough for the next 50+ years of the Fool’s subscription fee.

Just to be clear.  Every one of their stock picks does NOT go up, but they do pick a lot of stocks that DOUBLE or TRIPLE each year.  So, on average, their stock picks year after year REALLY BEAT the market by over 108% the last few years.

To properly answer the question ‘is it worth it,’ you need to understand how much it costs.  The regular price of the Motley Fool Stock Advisor is $199 a year.  Even at that price it is very inexpensive compared to other services.  But new customers can now subscribe for just $99 a year on THIS new subscriber page.

At $99 a year, it is absolutely a no-brainer.  Even if you just invest $200 a month or $2,400 a year and the Fool beats the market by 20%  you will have $480 in excess profits (in 2020 it is actually beating the markets by 40%).

OK, let’s get into the details of the Motley Fool…

MOTLEY FOOL PERFORMANCE REVIEW…

Just to whet your appetite, below are a few examples of their best performing stocks since they launched this service.  Did you buy Amazon, Netflix, Bookings, and Disney a few years ago to earn these 10,000% returns?   If you had subscribed to the Motley Fool Stock Advisor then you probably already own these 4 stocks!

motley fool top stocks 2 motley fool stocks 1

So, is the Motley Fool Stock Advisor worth it?

Given that their AVERAGE STOCK PICK is up 529% since they launched the service–the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES–if you subscribed a decade ago.

But more importantly for YOU, you should be asking “how have their stocks picks been doing the last few years?”  Given you already missed out on those 10,000% returns on those 4 stocks, how is it doing NOW?

Honestly, as to be expected, all of their picks are not profitable.  Some go up as soon as they are recommended and never look back.  Some go up just a few dollars and they seem to run out of steam.  And some eventually drift lower.  So the first thing you need to understand about the Motley Fool strategy is that they are focused on the longer term.  With some picks you might need to wait a few months before they start going up.  But the average return of their stock picks since I have been buying them from 2016-2020 is a very impressive +144% which is 98% better than the market.  (Note here I included the sixteen 2020 picks that have only had a few months to gain in value so that pulls the 5 year average down a bit.)

So, assuming you have some cash to invest each month, and you can let the money stay invested for a few years, it certainly seems like a very safe bet.

Plus, it is super simple, as you will read below.  All of their stock picks come out on Thursday afternoons and it only takes a few minutes to read their pick and then you decide if you want to buy the stock they recommend.

Also, here is another FACT that I like.  The 2 Gardner brothers that started the Motley Fool years ago still run the company and make the stock recommendations.  So, unlike other comparable stock newsletters, there has NOT been any change of management like you see at other advisory services.

This is an extremely important fact because you might find another newsletter that has also done well, but you never know who really is picking their stocks.  With the Motley Fool, the 2 same brothers that started this newsletter have been there since day and there is no reason to believe they are leaving their own company.


Motley Fool Stock Advisor Summary

Here’s What You Get:

  1. Two brand new stock recommendations and analysis per month delivered in real-time to your email.
    • on the first Thursday of the month there will be a new stock recommendation from Tom Gardner
    • on the third Thursday of the month there will be a new stock recommendation from David Gardner
  2. Access to all of the Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor recommendations they made in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016.
  3. The Motley Fool’s Top 10 Best Stock to Buy RIGHT Now report that features some of their recent picks that still offer the best potential return.
    • on the second Thursday of the month Tom will release his New Best Stocks to Buy Now
    • on the fourth Thursday of the month David Gardner will release his Top 5 Stocks to Buy Now
  4. The Motley Fool’s Top 5 Starter Stocks report that features the ideal stocks that should be the foundation of new investor’s portfolios.
  5. 24/7 Monitoring:  They will let you know when they believe it’s time to sell any of their stock picks
  6. Toll-free customer service.  Yes, real people answer the phone.
  7. You also get:
    • A clear explanation of WHY they recommended each stock and the factors considered
    • A Risk Profile that explains the upside and downside of every stock pick
    • Starter Stocks: If you are just starting a portfolio, they will tell you their 10 rock-solid stocks that should be the foundation of your portfolio
    • Fool Knowledge Base:  24/7 access to their full library of reports and research to help you get their opinion on other stocks that you might own or be considering buying
    • Market News Updates: They keep you informed of all noteworthy news and trends in the investing world.

How Much Does It Cost?

The normal price is $199 a year.  No commitment.  Cancel any time.  However, the Motley Fool is constantly run pricing promotions for new customers like TRY IT FOR JUST $19” and “50% OFF for New Subscribers.”

 CLICK HERE to see their CURRENT promotional offer for NEW customers.


More Motley Fool Details…

If you want more info, please keep reading.  And don’t worry, in this review I’ll cover everything–including the good, the bad and the ugly.

I’ll even dive into the details and show you some screenshots of the actual products.

And most importantly, I will show you how their stock picks have performed for me and the differences in results of their two services: Stock Advisor compared to Rule Breakers.

So, keep reading this review of the Motley Fool to find out the TRUTH about their stock newsletters and their performances.

You may be surprised with my conclusion.

What is The Motley Fool Stock Advisor and Why Should You Care?

You probably already know a little bit about the Motley Fool and their products.

Invest Better with the Motley Fool blue

You may have seen some posts or articles on social media where they provide insights on the stock market.

However, here’s a brief recap of what they do:

The Motley Fool is a stock picking service whose stated goal is to help you learn how to “invest better.”

They advertise heavily, often promoting their Stock Advisor’s staggering 529% return since inception compared to the market’s 107% return over the same time period.


motley fool returns

For that reason, many consider it the best stock newsletter.

Those returns sound great, right?

Take a look at the chart above….it appears too good to be true.

And THAT is exactly why I wrote this Motley Fool Stock Advisor Review–to share the results of my experiences with their services.

About the Motley Fool

The Motley Fool was founded by David Gardner and Tom Gardner in 1993.  Their most popular stock recommendation service is called “The Stock Advisor” and was launched in 2002.

The Fool’s Stock Advisor service has only one purpose – to help YOU invest, better.

The Stock Advisor (SA) is Motley Fool’s flagship product.

Every month, the Gardner brothers present 12 US stock recommendations that are sent via e-mail and available on their website.

Here’s What You Get…

For those of your that are just starting out investing in the stock market–the Fool has a special section for you.

motley fool for starter investors

After you signup, you will immediate access the entire Fool Stock Advisor website which features access to all of their recent picks, the stock screener, their message boards, etc.

Then you will start getting specific stock recommendations emails as follows:

  • Every first Thursday of the month, Tom presents one new stock recommendation.
  • On the second Thursday of the month, David presents one new stock recommendation.
  • On the third Thursday of the month, Tom presents five of his favorite Best Stocks to Buy Now list.
  • And on the fourth Thursday of the month, David presents five of his favorite Best Stocks to Buy Now list.
  • You also get:
    • A clear explanation of WHY they recommended each stock and the factors considered
    • A Risk Profile that explains the upside and downside of every stock pick
    • 24/7 Monitoring:  They will let you know when they believe it’s time to sell
    • Starter Stocks: If you are just starting a portfolio, they will tell you their 10 rock-solid stocks that should be the foundation of your portfolio
    • Fool Knowledge Base:  24/7 access to their full library of reports and research to help you get their opinion on other stocks that you might own or be considering buying
    • Market News Updates: They keep you informed of all noteworthy news and trends in the investing world.

As you might have noticed, Thursday is their favorite day.

That’s when new stock recommendations come out.  On Thursdays you should be expecting to receive your email shortly after noon ET and you need to be ready to invest.

An Example Recommendation

Here is what one of the recent Thursday “Best Stocks to Buy” emails looked like…

Motley Fool stocks to buy

Here’s something else you MUST KNOW–Tom and David Gardner are still running the company and providing these stock recommendations!  So there has been no changeover in management.  If you look at other newsletters, you can’t compare one year to the next because they have so much changeover and you never know whose advice you are following.  This is a STRONG POINT for the Motley Fool’s service!

It makes life easy.

If you have doubts about one of their suggestions or would like to know more about a stock recommendation; you can pull up the coverage page which will display the analysis of the stock.

If you don’t have time to read their entire analysis, you can look on the right panel where they give a “1-Minute” presentation.

I love that feature! Here’s how it looks:

okta stock buy signal

Notice the date of this recommendation…April 20, 2018 when the stock was around $42.  I purposely picked this one to show you because it was the Fool’s top performing stock pick of 2018.

Also notice the copy above says it was first recommended in January 2018 when it was around $29.18.

As of August 28, 2020 OKTA closed at $207.98 so that stock alone is up 630%!  This is just one of their stellar stock recommendations that has more than quintupled in the last 2 years:

  • In January 2018 they also recommended PAYC that is up 228% and in February 2018 they recommended FICO which is up 155%.
  • In March 2018 they re-recommended OKTA and it is up 396% since then.
  • Late April 2018 they also recommended SHOP which is up 721%.
  • Then in May 2018 they re-recommended SHOP and it is up 671% since then.
  • Early November 2018 they recommended ZS which is up 262%
  • In January 2019 they recommended TWLO that is up 225%
  • In February 2019 they recommended APPN which is up 74% and NTDOY which is up 93%
  • Their April pick of ZNGA is up 66% and May pick of SNPS is up 78%
  • Their July 2019 pick of Zoom Video is already up 231%
  • In October 2019 they recommended Zoom again and it is up 289% since that date
  • Their first pick in November of TTD is already up 152% and their second pick (NFLX) in November is up 68%
  • Their first pick from January 2020 TSLA is up 414%
  • And their first April 2020 pick was SHOP which is up 204% in just three months!

What you should note in the above examples is that it takes a few months for their stocks to move.  Generally, I see that most of their picks are just OK as they tend to move with the market, but they do pick a few stocks each year that double or triple. And it takes a quarter or two of earnings releases to positively surprise the market and then these hot stocks start climbing.

So, Why Should You Care About the Motley Fool?

You should care for several reasons.

First, it makes investing in the stock so much easier and less stressful.  Just read their recommendations every Thursday and buy what they recommend.  I just buy the 2 NEW picks each month as the “5 Stocks to Buy Now” are usually re-recommendations of previously selected stocks. Any of their stock picks that go down 32% I just sell off to cut my losses. This helps to keep some cash in the account.

Second, as you can see, they really do pick a few stocks each year that double or triple each year.  Specifically, 14 of their 2016 picks have more than doubled, 9 of their 2017, 9 of their 2018, 7 of their 2019 and already 3 of their 2020 picks have more than doubled.  The gain on those stocks more than makes up for a few of their picks that go down a little each year.

Third, if you are just getting started, its a great place to start and learn about the stock market.  Financial advisers agree on very few things, but the one thing they ALL AGREE ON is the sooner you start investing in the stock market they better off you will be in a few years.

I’m on a quest to become financially independent sooner than later. So, I’m going to take all the help I can get to get there faster.

Here’s another IMPORTANT RESULT: Subscribing to the Fool helps you save more of your money because you WANT to have cash in your brokerage account ready to buy their next stock pick.  It really forces you to save because you don’t want to miss out!

None of us have the time nor the skills to analyze thousands of stocks and then decide which ones are the best ones.

The Stock Advisor (SA) subscription is tailored to the Individual Investor to do exactly that.

I will explain why later on.

What Else Do You Get?

As a Stock Advisor (SA) member, you’ll have unlimited access to all of their current and historical stock recommendations.  The suggested stocks also come with related articles if you wish to read more on the suggestions.

Motley Fool Stock Advisor review

You’ll also get access to their “Favorites” page, which allows you to customize a list of stocks that you are interested in following.  That page looks like this:

Motley Fool Favorite Stocks

It also includes “Instant alerts“. They will send you an instant alert as soon as one of these events occurs to a stock in your list:

  • New buy alerts
  • When it is time to sell (this is huge)
  • Large price changes

Additionally, you’ll get have access to the Fool’s research page, which presents premium articles and reports that cover most US stocks.

Their reports page is very interesting and presents numerous trending topics in our society such as virtual reality, self-driving cars, lithium batteries, pot stocks, etc.

For example, they just released a list of “The 10 Best Stocks to Own Today”  that present the best opportunities in today’s fastest growing industries.

The Stock Advisor (SA) also includes access to the community page, where you can use discussion boards to communicate with other Fools.

Another interesting concept is the “Foolish Companies”, where the boards are company-based.

These boards are available to premium Fool members and can be useful for talking about investing strategies with fellow community members.

Is the Motley Fool a Scam or is it Legit?

I get this question a lot for some reason… I think it’s because people still have a negative view on the financial industry in general. Of course this view point is justified. But it’s still an easy answer: the Motley Fool & their Stock Advisor service is DEFINITELY NOT a scam.

Of course it’s not perfect and won’t be for everyone. But, they definitely are a legit company. I’ll cover more about the pros and cons a little later on.

I also think people may get the wrong impression if they stumble upon tweets like these:

Is Motley Fool a Scam?

However, you can find those tweets about anything these days!

The fact is, the Motley Fool stock picks have beat the market the last 5 years. My results shown below prove it. That is the most important thing you need to know. Also, they have been in business since 1993 and employ 250+ people. And they currently have 700,000+ subscribers to their Stock Advisor service. 700,000 people can’t be wrong!

Not to mention I’ve been a customer for over 4 years and I am very happy I subscribed because of the performance of my stock portfolio. I just wish I had subscribed earlier.

I know for a fact it is not a scam–my stock portfolio proves it!  They deliver exactly what they say they will deliver, and I have even met a lot of their employees at various investor education conferences that I travel to.

Like I said earlier, I subscribed because I saw their advertising about their great returns, and I had to subscribe to test it out myself.

Of course, as an investor, you should feel free to do your own due diligence and investigate the company before taking any investment advice.

Motley Fool FACTS

But, for the benefit of people reading this review, here are the FACTS from my personal experience over the last 5 years:

  1. There’s no question is a legit company that is very well known among investors.  They say they have over 700,000 subscribers.
  2. I subscribed in 2015 and my results are listed below in the next section.  Here is the summary–every year for the last 4 years they have beat the market by more than 50%:
    • The average return of their 24 picks for 2018 is 149% which is 116% better than the SP500;
    • the average return of their 24 picks from 2017 is 116% which is 64% better than the SP500; and
    • their 2016 picks are up 336% compared to the SP 500’s 74% so those 24 stocks have beat the market by 262%!

3. They even have their own mutual fund, which is the “Motley Fool Global Opportunities Fund Investor Shares (FOOLX)”. I don’t have any comment on that fund as I haven’t reviewed it yet.

4. Also, the Fool Brothers don’t try to hide from their customers. Which is always a good sign.  They are very active in the investment community.

For example, they often have interesting ideas on their certified Twitter page.

The Gardner brothers are also active in the traditional media where they appear on news websites such as AOL News.

Here is an interesting piece on their ups and downs with Amazon.com (they first purchased it in September 1997!)

Now, regarding their Stock Advisor (SA) service, you’re not the first one to have asked this question.

I’ve subscribed the Fool’s Stock Advisor (SA) service for more than 4 years now and I can again reassure you that this is not a scam.

Like many other financial and investment research firm, The Motley Fool has a stock advising service thatcan be canceled at any time.

Here another testimonial from a customer given on Stackexchange, proving even more how it’s not a scam.

“I’ve had a MF Stock Advisor for 7 or 8 years now, and I’ve belong to Supernova for a couple of years. I also have money in one of their mutual funds. “The Fool” has a lot of very good educational information available, especially for people who are new to investing. Read full testimonial

Now that we’ve beaten that myth to death, let me tell you what you really want to know.

Will it Help you Make Money?

The short answer is YES.

That’s proven by their past performance. As I mentioned above, each of their last 4 years their stock picks have outperformed the market by over 40%.

I subscribed in 2016 and my results are as follows (updated as of September 5, 2020):

  1. Of their 24 stock recommendations from 2016, 19 are up, and the average of all 24 picks is +336%.
  2. For 2017, 19 of their 24 picks are up with an average of +117%.
  3. Of their 24 picks from 2018, 16 are up with an average of +149%.
  4. And of their 24 picks from 2019, 19 are up an average of 71% (which is still beating the market by 47%)
  5. YES, that means the last 4 years their picks have OUTPERFORMED the market by at least 40% each of the last 4 years.

That is why they are consistently rated as the best stock picking newsletters.

Motley Fool – Some Additional Insights

1- It is true that there are many free options to explore, but after testing a bunch of them (I paper traded multiple stock advising services), the Motley Fool provided the most optimal returns and the best bang for the buck.

2- The Stock Advisor is usually $199 a year, but if you are a new subscriber visit this new subscriber page to see their latest offers like 50% off or try it for just $19 with a 30-day 100% membership refund period.

3- There is definitely a “Fool Affect.” With 700,000 subscribers, you must understand that the stocks they recommend do tend to go up about $2 within the first hours of the release of their recommendations. So be ready on Thursday to buy as soon as you get the email.

4- Like with any other investment advisory firm, it’s true that their investment strategies are not 100% guaranteed. From what I have experienced in the last 3 years, they do seem to pick one stock a year that goes down 20-30%.  Sometimes they bounce back, and sometimes they don’t.  They will, however, let you know when they want you to sell it.  My recommendation would be to place a stop loss order based on your risk aversion with trailing percentages and/or fixed prices.

5- After paper trading their stock picks for 6 months, I eventually had the confidence to start buying their picks in my Etrade account.  Here are a few screenshots of my account that show the date I bought them and the returns.  Notice the TWLO was recommended twice so I bought it twice:Motley Fool PAYC stock pick
Motley Fool Performance twlo

I also feel that their service is very cheap compared to other alternatives that don’t perform as consistently. (Zack’s Investor service is 3x the price)

How Much is a Motley Fool Membership?

The Stock Advisor is now available at its lowest price ever.  Last year I paid $199 and if you go to their website you will see the full retail price is $199.  BUT–They do run pricing promotions of $19 a month or $99 a year.  Either way you can cancel in 30 days and get a full refund.  You will also get their “BEST 10 STOCKS TO BUY TODAY” list when you subscribe…


Register Now to get:

  1. Two brand new stock recommendations per month delivered in real-time to your email.
  2. Access to all of the Motley Fool’s stock recommendation in 2020 (3 have already doubled) , 2019, 2018, and 2017.
  3. The Motley Fool’s Top 10 Best Stock to Buy RIGHT Now report that features some of their recent picks that still offer the best potential return.
  4. The Motley Fool’s Top 5 Starter Stocks report that features the ideal stocks that should be the foundation of new investor’s portfolios.
  5. Access to The Motley Fool’s promotional page to get their deep discount pricing.

 Try The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor Service NOW for just $19.


Does the Motley Fool Cover Penny Stocks?

No, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor (SA) focuses on blue chip stocks, which are large & well-established companies in their respective industry.  They do NOT review or recommend penny stocks.

Penny stocks are stocks of small publicly traded company that are trading at very low prices per shares (5$ or less in general).

For penny stocks, I would suggest looking into Timothy Sykes, a penny stock trader who made $1.65 million by day trading as a university student.

He has a couple of teaching segments that you might interest you:

Is the Motley Fool Good for Technical Analysis?

No, definitely not. Technical analysis involves analyzing trade volume and prices and then trying to forecast the direction of stock prices.

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor service is based on the fundamental analysis, which is the study of a company’s financial statements, their competitors, the overall health of the economy, etc.

When investing for the long-term, it is best to analyze a stock’s fundamental, which can define the strengths, weaknesses and overall value of a company.

With the Motley Fool’s stock advisor (SA), the fundamental examination has already been taken care of, where you can read the analysis in their stock reports.

However, if you are an enthusiast of Technical Analysis, you can always perform your due-diligence with the Fool’s recommendations.

Is it Good for Day Traders?

Nope. Day Trading involves buying and selling stocks on the same day. The Motley Fool recommends stocks they want you to hold stocks for years, not minutes.

It is more focused on buy & hold portfolios that is seeking capital growth. This involves a lot less stress and growth for the long-term.

Will it Make Me Rich?

It depends – How much do you invest? How will the Fool perform this year? What will the market overall do?

So, will the Motley Fool Stock Advisor (SA) make you rich?

My answer to this question is that over the next few years it should make you “richer” than if you didn’t subscribe!

Motley Fool Conclusion…

So… is the Motley Fool Stock Advisor worth it?

The short answer is YES.

If you skipped my entire review and came right down to the conclusion, (Good for you; I would probably do the same…) then here is my summary…

Of all the stock subscriptions I have tried over the years, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor gives you the greatest bang for your buck and is most definitely worth the cost.

I’ve been a paying customer for over since 2016.  I buy $1,000-$2,000 worth of each of their 2 specific stock picks every month.  Here is a summary of the performance of the Motley Fool’s stock picks since January 2016.

Since I started subscribing in January of 2016, here are their top stock picks:

  • SHOP is up 2,715%
  • MTCH is up 837%
  • OKTA is up 597%
  • TTD is up 540%
  • ZM is up 234
  • PAYC is up 342%

Over the last 4 years, 83% of the stock picks have been profitable. So they are not perfect. BUT, they do have a nice history of picking a few stocks each year that double or triple and THAT is what makes their picks so good.  Take a look at the BEST STOCK column above and you will see.  Also note that the BEST STOCK more than makes up for the WORST STOCK each year.

As I stated at the beginning of this review, since I started, my portfolio has outperformed the SP500 by at least 45% each of the last 4 years so I can definitely say it’s been worth it.

The biggest negative I experience is:

  • With over 700,000 subscribers, there is definitely a Fool Effect on the stock prices. Within the first few hours of getting a recommendation, the price of the stock typically shoots up $2 or $3 so I have learned to get my order in quickly.

P.S. If you use this link, it will take you to their discount page where you will get a 50% discount.  Click Here


motley fool returns


So How Does the Motley Fool Stock Advisor Service Compare to Their Rule Breakers Service?

The Rule Breaker service works in much the same way as Stock Advisor.  The differences are:

  • Rule Breaker’s picks are coming from just David Gardner and his team
  • You still get usually 2 new stock picks per month
  • But these picks focus on high-growth stocks that they feel are poised to be market leaders
  • The results of Rule Breakers stock picks are MUCH MORE VOLATILE than the Stock Advisor’s picks
    • Over the last 4 years, the Rule Breakers picks have outperformed the Stock Advisor’s picks
    • The biggest winning stock each year has a much bigger gain than Stock Advisor’s biggest winning stock each year
    • But their biggest LOSING stock has a much bigger loss than Stock Advisor’s biggest loosing stock each year
    • Their profitable pick percentage is lower too, so fewer of their stock picks actually go up compared to Stock Advisors
  • BUT, because of the great success of a few of the Rule Breakers picks each year, if you bought all 24 of their picks each year your portfolio would be about 8% higher with Rule Breakers than with Stock Advisor’s.

Conclusion:  Rule Breakers picks have higher returns, but more variance as well.  So if you missed out on just one Rule Breaker pick each year, your results could be significantly worse.

For more information on Rule Breakers, see our Motley Fool Rule Breakers Review article.

One last tip for beginners: Did you see Robinhood is giving away free stock when you open an account? Learn more about Robinhood.


Motley Fool -- Stock Advisor

$99 per year
9.5

Value

9.8/10

Features/Options

8.5/10

Ease of Use

9.5/10

Quality of Analysis

9.8/10

5 Year Track Record

10.0/10

Pros

  • Consistently BEAT the Market by over 40% the Last 5 Years
  • Thorough Research Reports
  • Also Tells You When to Sell
  • Strong Community
  • 30 Day Full Refund Guarantee

Cons

  • No Penny Stocks
  • No Technical Analysis
  • Not For Dividend Investors
  • Not for Day Traders


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Updated September 13, 2020

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ONE of this year's Motley Fool Stock Picks Has Already quadrupled, ONE has tripled, and another TWO Have Already Doubled in just 8 months of of 2020!

We have been tracking ALL of the Motley Fool stock picks since January 2016. That's almost 5 years, 55 months and 110 stock picks. As of Friday, September 11, 2020 the Motley Fool's January 2 stock pick (TSLA) is up 333%, their March 19th pick (ZM) is up 209% in just 6 months, and another two have more than doubled. In addition, 6 of their 2019, 8 of their 2018, 8 of their 2016, 9 of theire 2017 and 13 of their 2016 picks have also doubled. Most impressively, over the last 5 years that we have been tracking every recommendation, their average stock pick is up 135%. That beats the SP500 by an average of 95%. And that's even accounting for all of this COVID mess that has wreaked havoc on most stocks. BUT, the Fool has done so well because they have quickly identified stocks this year that will perform well in the post-COVID world. THAT is how the Fool consistently does so well--they adapt and constantly pick stocks before everyone else realizes the opportunities.

  • CrowdStrike (CRWD) -- June 4, 2020 pick is already up 32%
  • Shopify (SHOP) – April 2, 2020 pick and it is already up 164%
  • Zoom Video (ZM) – March 19, 2020 pick and it is already up 209%
  • DexCom (DXCM) picked Feb 20, 2020 right before the market crashed and it is still up 41%
  • Tesla (TSLA) picked January 2, 2020 before the crash and it is up 333%
  • HubSpot (HUBS) picked December 5, 2019 and it is up 82%
  • Netflix (NFLX) picked November 21, 2019 and it is up 54%
  • Trade Desk (TTD) picked November 11, 2019 and up 117%
  • Zoom Video originally picked Oct 3 and it is up 398%
  • SolarEdge (SEDG) picked September 19, 2019 and it is up 105%

Now no one can guarantee that their next picks will be as strong, but our 5 years of experience has been super-profitable. They also claim that since inception, their average pick is up 529% and now we believe them. You sure don’t want to risk missing out. Many analysts are saying that we have passed the bottom of this COVID crisis and stocks will recover quickly. So make sure you have the best stocks in your portfolio.

Normally the Fool service is priced at $199 per year but they are currently offering it for a NEW SUBSCRIBER DISCOUNT of just $99/year if you click this link

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6 responses to “Motley Fool Review: Is Stock Advisor Worth It? (updated Sept 26, 2020)”

  1. G says:

    Thank you for this post. I have heard many good things about their stock picker services but was confused on how to use it. This helps clarify it.

  2. Luke says:

    Thank you for this article- it is incredibly encouraging.  I am a student and new to investing (just finally got my emergency fund up so I can breath easy about starting to invest).  I just opened a brokerage service with Robinhood in order to use their fractional shares feature.  I am planning on doing exactly what you did- buying each and every stock that the fool recommends but as of right now I can only put in $100 a month to each of the two stock picks.  This is a basic math question… but the average return RATE would remain the same obviously with less cash, correct?  I think I know the answer to that but just want to make sure I’m not misunderstanding… I also wanted to know if you had any thoughts regarding any downsides of buying fractional shares.  Obviously the less money I am putting into the stocks the less of a return I will be getting but other than that is there any problem with fractional shares?  Thank you for your help!

  3. Dave says:

    You are saying: “… portfolio bought from January 2016 to December 2019 is up +146.76% which means the Motley Fool Stock Picks have beat the SP500 on average by 106.29%.”
    S&P 500 made 58% in that period. Can you please explain how you got the difference of 106.29%?

    • Mark Brookshire says:

      Dave, good question–let me explain. The Fool recommended a stock the first week of January 2016 and the SP return from then to now was X. The Fool recommended another stock in the 3rd week of January 2016 and the SP return from then to now is Y, and so on. So my calculation of the SP return for the last 4 years has 96 data points. That is 2 per month for 48 months. I then average those. So yes, the SP is up big from 2016 and not so much from 2019.

  4. Michael LeCuyer says:

    If you are constantly making recommendations  and hardly make any sell recommendations, how am I to manage all the stocks that I would accumulate over the years?  Certainly you cannot expect  to have everyone to hang  on to all those recomendations without selling .  We would eventually run out  of money to invest

    • Mark Brookshire says:

      Michael, Good question. I manage to save about $3k a month and I invest that each month in the 2 stocks the Fool recommends. There are some duplicates over time, like they keep recommending Zoom and Neflix and Shopify and OKTA over the years. In the last 5 years they have also recommended selling about 4 stocks. So yes, over time, you do build up a lot of stocks. But here is what I do–you need cash to buy a car or do a project on your house? Take some of your profits!

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