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The Motley Fool

A wide-ranging investment resource that the Fools say is intended to "to educate, enrich, and amuse individual investors around the world." The site includes discussion boards, quotes and data, stock-picking advice, calculators, articles on...
 
 
 
42 Total Reviews
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Top Review
 
Great Place For New Retail Investors To Start In The Market
The Fool is getting bad rap on here and it's probably from a big misunderstanding. if the Fool has a major weakness is that it's probably...
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Great guide if you beware of the duds and ignore the hype
Motley Fool is a Stock Picking and model portfolio service with multiple "managers" in charge of multiple "Services". At latest count the services are, in alphabetical order:

Fool One

Hidden Gems

Income Investor

Inside Value

MDP Deep Value

Million Dollar Portfolio

Motley Fool Options

Motley Fool Pro

Rule Breakers

Rule Your Retirement

Special Ops

Stock Advisor

Supernova

Since I joined in 2009, two such services went away -- Global Gains and Alpha -- and new ones came in -- Special Ops, MDP Deep Value.

Each such service has its own "philosophy" though most share a focus on value stocks and generally a buy and hold strategy. You may have seen their basic, entry-level service --- Stock Advisor -- advertised or have been spammed by it. Try to ignore the insufferable hyperbole contained in their emails, the substance is considerably better than the style would imply.

After getting reasonable results with Stock Advisor (compared to S&P 500) I was upsold over the years to more and more of their services, until eventually ending up with the all-encompassing "Fool One" which I recently renewed for a full 5 years at an interesting discount. I am mentioning this so that the reader may put some of my critical remarks that follow into perspective.

What I like about TMF is its consistency of record keeping -- most of its services feature an actual portfolio and keep track of its overall performance, even when it does not make them look good at all. I've done some detailed tracking in Excel and found that, by and large, their numbers are believable and not biased. This is a welcome difference to their advertising copy (the one you get *before* you sign up) which promises ridiculous returns. As I said, with TMF you have to learn to listen to the substance and ignore the chaff.

Another aspect I like is that several of the services not only tell you what to buy, but also quantitatively in what proportion, and -- almost more importantly -- they tell you when to sell, in a timely fashion. They will also reach out to you when a stock they recommended tanks or pops and try to explain why and what to do next.

All this being said, there are some really bad apples at TMF which I learned the hard way by losing good money. Arguably the worst was the since closed-down Alpha, a shorting service that was spectacularly wrong in the majority of its predictions. Only recently was I able to close the last of its ill-fated positions at an illness-inducing loss. A similarly ill-fated service is the still-open Special Operations. Stay away from this one! It's hard to tell if its managers have extraordinarily bad luck or are just incompetent. I get sick thinking of how much money I lost following their advice. Finally, there is Hidden Gems which, in my view, should be hidden for good. All of these services were and are quite upfront about their performance, if you are willing to look at their own numbers that are on their website and ignore the misplaced self-confidence with which they tout their latest recommendations. It must be hard to get up in the morning and put up a brave face when your own published, long-term performance is so dismal.

So why after all this did I decide to sign up for 5 more years of TMF? Because there is no crystal-ball-holding advisor out there. Much of long-term success in stock picking comes from consistency and not changing horses too often. I prefer the stock picker with warts that I know to the superman that I don't. Finally, last year, when measured over the entire year and over my entire portfolio of well over 100 positions that I manage for my extended family, I achieved a 30.6% return, a few points ahead of the S&P 500. Of course last year (2013) was an unusually stellar year and I do not expect to repeat this performance any time soon, I don't even expect to beat the S&P 500 by much, if at all. But this is a real collection of accounts with several individuals' lifetime savings in it, including cash for emergencies and ongoing expenses, not a model portfolio.

I did all this on the recommendations of a subset of the TMF services that in my view stood the test of time (5 years for me, so far), a small number, actually. So here are my favorite TMF services, in order of preference:

1) Motley Fool Pro -- solid, reasoned strategies, quantitative recommendations, good track record. Also recommends options on selected positions;

2) Motley Fool Options -- run by two excellent, no-hype managers, particularly good educators with a minimum of hot air, one of whom also runs (1).

3) Million Dollar Portfolio -- not bad, though I could do without their self-congratulatory videos

4) Rule Breakers -- co-run by one of the TMF founders who unfortunately mars his obvious stock-picking talent with considerable verbal hubris and self-important demeanor

5) Stock Advisor -- perfectly good entry-level service, but only if you don't subscribe to anything else. Does not have a model portfolio and does not make quantitative recommendations.

Other services that I am warming up to but do not have a good feel for yet are:

MDP Deep Value -- I followed a few of their recommendations but am not ready to pass judgment

Inside Value -- I like the manager's sensible tone, but again have too little data of my own to judge

Income Investor -- Have not used much but appears sound

Rule Your Retirement -- I'm not quite retired yet

What else is there to say: The TMF "boards" are excellent -- you can post almost any question and -- at least on the boards that I have used -- expect an answer from one of the TMF staff members within hours. You may also get a lot of answers from other members.

The TMF also organizes various live, in-person events to which I get regularly invited. I have never gone and am unlikely to, as they appear to be driven by the same hype and rah-rah atmosphere that is such a turn-off. The trinkets that they send to absentee "high rollers" like myself (on account of the subscription $$ they get from me) are bad enough. Then again, if you are sufficiently extroverted and like parties, don't pay attention to this part of my review.

In conclusion, if you are willing to turn a deaf ear to the hype and focus on the substance, and stay away from the black sheep I mentioned, I would wholeheartedly recommend TMF.

This review is the subjective opinion of an Investimonials member and not of Investimonials LLC
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Very good site for value investors
Most of the reviews I've read so far are totally unfair, in fact they are flat out crazy.

This is a very good site, with 99% of articles from indipendent analysts and people who know what they're talking about.

They helped me choose some great stocks. Of course, they cover a huge amount of companies and they have no crystal balls, so it's up to you in the end to make the right call.

Their advertising is maybe aggressive, but who cares? Look at the substance of things and don't be prejudiced.

Not only do they cover stocks, they also give you valuable tips as to the psychology and the orientation of value investing. Plenty of articles aimed at analyzing the market environment as a whole, with regards to industry and possible undervalued stocks.

Had I paid attention to these guys back in 2007-8, I'd have been greedy when others were fearful and I'd be rich by now. I'll never do this mistake again (hopefully).

This review is the subjective opinion of an Investimonials member and not of Investimonials LLC
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Motley Fool Thinks Your Dumb
I wrote a few articles for Motley Fool, and I got booted for asking too many questions it appears. Why did I ask questions?

Because Motley Fool asked me to change things that were too complicated or too advanced because they believed their readers would not understand it. I did not want to change things.

Do you really want to read a webiste that thinks your dumb and can't handle any advanced financial analysis?

This is a ridiculously terrible website that you should never visit.

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Even if it was free, it still wouldn't be worth it.
I was a member of Pro and Options for a year.

Paid $2,999 for the service, with the understanding (as was advertised by the promotion) to get a full refund anytime, even the last day of the subscription.

Allocated approximately $170,000 in IRA funds to Fool investments.

Did not participate in all recommendations, mainly because of IRA rules, but invested approximately $110,000.

After a year (the last 12 months) my Fool portfolio grew about $4,000 or 3.5%.

If you value you time, then don’t be a Fool’s fool.

The education that is posted on this site can be found for FREE all over the Internet.

The forums are a joke and remind me of the Muppet Show, because the main characters who post are the old guys in the balcony complaining about everything.

… and the superfluous information you will encounter is unbelievable. You will read for hours and come away with nothing other than feeling you know less then when you started.

The investment advice is late to the game and very conservative. And if another service has a recommendation on a stock, the service you are in will never hear about it.

MF spends more time trying to get you to join a new ‘game changing’ service, then they do giving subscribers valuable actionable advice.

And the kicker, your refund is pro-rated.

Fool on, if you like to throw your money away!

This review is the subjective opinion of an Investimonials member and not of Investimonials LLC
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Fun To Read
I would never make a trade based on this site's recommendations but I do find it entertaining to read

This review is the subjective opinion of an Investimonials member and not of Investimonials LLC
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Supernova Service - Save Your Money
My first year with Supernova Odyssey ends at the end of March 2013, and I am planning on dropping the service. First pick from the Supernova team was WPRT @ $41, at the moment this stock has dropped like a rock, and has not even come close to the purchase price. Out of all the stocks available to pick from they pick WPRT as the 1st pick for the brand new service. Not a good choice !

The service is full of hype. MF tries to rationalize to its members why a particular stock is the best choice. If the SN portfolio was even coming close to beating the S&P, it would be a different story. However, that is not the case with Supernova. WPRT is just one example here. SN has bought 23 different stock thus far, and I own 22 of them. Just don't think the service is worth the money, and would not recommend The Fool.

This review is the subjective opinion of an Investimonials member and not of Investimonials LLC
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Too much hype, too little substance... and spam to boot
Their emails and "reports" are too bombastic; quoting literally from the some of the many *dozens* littering my mailbox:

The next industry to crumble... and why NOBODY sees it coming

The $160 billion story Microsoft doesn't want you to hear...

You'll want to be on board for this one!

Dear China, it's over...

And more.

What's more, I've already requested unsubscribing more than once, and they won't honor it: their spam just keeps coming, and in repetition: in less than 1 week I've received no less than 5 of them, all of them sent before... thanks GMail for their antispam filtering.

So, do yourself a favor and *don't* subscribe to their website, or you won't ever be free of them.

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It is okay.
I know that my one line description is not the most creative sounding. However, I don"t know of anyway to sum it up. I do, know however, that they should not be your only source for investment news at all. In fact, sometimes I wonder if I should stay away from them altogether. This is because they claim to be better than some of the most prestigious investors in the world. It is one thing if you are not better and you know it. However, these writers are either delusional or they hope all of their readers are idiots. Take all of the opinions with a grain of salt. Believe me, these guys would write for the Wall Street Journal if they could get hired. My advice, read the most reliable news sources, which they are not it.

This review is the subjective opinion of an Investimonials member and not of Investimonials LLC
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cheap but you get what you pay for
These guys send out newsletters on some stock picks, mostly on a fundamental basis. I've never made money from these guys and I wouldn't reccomend using their service.

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only for news
Only for news... their emails are very annoying! They always start with ahistorical event and how it made someone rich, After the write about how the found the next big thing... Completely BS!!

This review is the subjective opinion of an Investimonials member and not of Investimonials LLC
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