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Motley Fool Stock Advisor review

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It may help cut down on research time, but its returns are hard to gauge.

The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor delivers two stock suggestions monthly. But the ongoing cost may outweigh the benefit for experienced traders who prefer to perform their own research.

  • Consider Stock Advisor if you’re a beginner to intermediate investor interested in trading individual stocks.
  • Compare other options if you’re an advanced derivatives trader or a passive investor seeking portfolio management.

$99 per year

Fee

How does Stock Advisor work?

The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor program is a stock recommendation service that offers timely investment guidance for investors looking to grow their portfolio. The service launched in 2002 and now has over 700,000 members.

The Motley Fool advertises that its service can significantly cut down the amount of time investors spend researching potential assets to add to their portfolio. A membership gives you unlimited access to the Motley Fool’s library of stock recommendations, plus two fresh stock picks monthly from the platform’s founders, Tom and David Gardner.

Trades can’t be executed through the Motley Fool platform, so if you plan to act on the recommendations you receive through its Stock Advisor service, you’ll need a separate brokerage account.

Who is Stock Advisor best for?

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor program may be a good fit for:

  • New investors. Those new to the market may appreciate the research-driven stock recommendations of the program.
  • Buy-and-hold investors. Investors seeking growth-oriented stocks for long-term investments may be interested in the Fool’s recommendations.

Few traders would turn their nose up at stock recommendations from vetted market experts, but there are a few types of investors the Stock Advisor program is particularly well-suited to. New investors still getting to know the market may benefit from the structured guidance of the Stock Advisor program, using the Fool’s recommendation library to track trends and strategies. Buy-and-hold investors looking for long-term growth opportunities may also be interested in the program, as it can reduce the amount of time required to conduct market research.

That said, the Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor isn’t for everyone. Experienced derivatives investors and day traders may find the program’s recommendations too slow for time-sensitive trades. And passive investors who want their assets managed will be dissatisfied with the Fool’s lack of portfolio management services.

Pricing and fees

  • $39 per month
  • $99 per year

The program’s annual subscription is considerably cheaper than its month-to-month service, but you’ll be asked to pay for the service up front when you sign up. If the annual subscription feels like too big a commitment, the Motley Fool offers a 30-day fee-back guarantee for annual plan members. The 30-day refund window is not offered to those who sign up for its monthly service.

Month-to-month and annual members gain access to the same stock advisory services. The only thing that separates these membership tiers is the frequency and rate at which they’re billed.

Is the price worth it?

The Motley Fool claims an average stock pick return of 514%. Take this at face value and you only need to invest $20 for an annual Stock Advisor subscription to pay for itself. And compare this to the 10% to 11% average annual return of the S&P 500 and the Fool’s stock recommendations look even more appealing.

But the 514% return quoted on the Fool’s website is somewhat misleading. What you earn on your investments is going to be heavily impacted by outlier stocks that take big swings, like Tesla and Netflix. To get a 514% return, you’d need to buy one of every stock the Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommends — an expensive endeavor.

On top of that, stocks with major growth are often highly publicized. For example, the Motley Fool often cites its popular stock pick, Netflix, which it says is up 22,021% as of September 2020. But here’s the catch: Most people have heard of Netflix, and the company’s growth is no secret — a lot of market-savvy investors bought Netflix outside of the Fool’s recommendation.

It’s impossible to put a dollar amount on the value of the Stock Advisor. It has the potential to outpace the S&P 500 and can be a great tool for new investors looking for guidance. But hands-on investors can uncover a lot of the same information by tracking market movements and performing diligent research. A major factor in the value of the Stock Advisor is simply how much you value your time — because the program’s biggest asset is the research time it can save you.

Motley Fool Stock Advisor reviews and complaints

Motley Fool feedback is mixed. As of September 2020, it’s not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has a B rating for its accumulation of 81 BBB complaints. It has a TrustScore of 3.4 out of 5 based on the feedback of 757 customers and no complaints on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Reviews left on BBB and Trustpilot complain of the company’s auto-renewal policy and delayed responses from customer service. Numerous reviews also cite ongoing upselling tactics, with complaints of being bombarded by advertisements for other Motley Fool products and programs.

But it’s not all bad. There’s plenty of positive feedback for the Fool, too, including praise for the company’s reliable portfolio guidance and its concise, timely stock recommendations.

Numerous Redditors back the service, claiming competitive returns on Fool recommendations. But others warn that its stock suggestions are biased and that the Fool simply aims to pump up stocks it’s invested in.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Monthly stock picks. You’ll receive two new stock recommendations monthly from Motley Fool founders, Tom and David Gardner.
  • Stock recommendation library. Once you sign up, you’ll gain access to the Stock Advisor’s past recommendations.
  • 30-day refund period. The Fool offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for any annual subscription member unsatisfied with its service.

Cons

  • Risk of loss. Investments are never risk-free, even when they come from a premium stock advisory program. Any stock you invest in on the recommendation of the Stock Advisor program carries the risk of loss.
  • Upselling. Numerous complaints cite the Motley Fool’s attempts to market additional products and programs.
  • Cost. To access the service, be prepared to pay an upfront annual subscription fee or an ongoing monthly fee.
  • Limited support. Phone support is only available 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET on weekdays.

How do I sign up?

Here’s what to expect from the Motley Fool Stock Advisor signup process:

  1. From the Motley Fool homepage, click Join Stock Advisor.
  2. Enter your full name, billing address, phone number, email address and payment information.
  3. Review Motley Fool’s Terms and Conditions.
  4. Click Submit My Order.

How do I contact Motley Fool support?

Reach out to Motley Fool support by:

  • Phone. Call 888-665-3665 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.
  • Email. Send an email to membersupport@fool.com for a response from the customer support team.

Compare financial advisers

If you’re looking for more personalized investment advice, you may want to consider working with a financial adviser who can help you build a portfolio. Compare your options to find the right fit.

Name Product Minimum deposit to open Annual fee Available asset types
Vanguard
$0
$20 per year
Stocks,Mutual funds,ETFs,Forex
Get a personal advisor when you open an account with at least $50,000.
Facet Wealth Financial Planning
$0
$480 per year
Stocks,Bonds,Options,Mutual funds
Facet Wealth flat fee model allows them to deliver an affordable Facet Financial Life Plan and create greater access for families that are just starting—or with assets in retirement plans
Fidelity Investments
$25,000
0%
Stocks,Bonds,Mutual funds,ETFs
Fees range from 0% for self-directed accounts to 1.5% for wealth management.
Northwestern Mutual Financial Planning
$25,000
Stocks,Bonds,Mutual funds,ETFs
Your personalized financial plan will help you find out how much you’ll need every month in retirement, what type of insurance you need to protect your family and realistic ways to save and invest.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor delivers two fresh stock recommendations monthly and offers access to past stock picks and research. But the ongoing cost may not be worthwhile for investors who prefer to conduct their own research.

To invest in the stocks the Motley Fool recommends, you’ll need a brokerage account. Compare your options across multiple trading platforms to find the account that best fits your needs.

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