Motley Fool Stock Advisor Review

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Motley Fool Stock Advisor

9.5

Millennial Money rating

Bottom Line

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor service aims to make life easier for investors by offering high-quality recommendations supported by extensive research and analysis. Ultimately, you’re looking at an affordable stock advisor subscription service with cutting-edge research and insights for buy and sell recommendations backed by one of the trusted names in the finance industry.

Pros

  • 30-day Money Back Guarantee
  • Extensive Library of Historical Data
  • Track Record of Outperforming the S&P
  • Consistent Stream of Stock Recommendations & Data

Cons

  • No Brokerage or Robo-Advisor Services
  • Can Be Expensive for Small-Scale Investors

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Finding the best stocks to buy is hard work — whether you’re just starting out in the market or you’re a seasoned veteran with years of trading under your belt. And it’s even more challenging when you don’t have the time or data to make informed decisions.

Stock Advisor is the Motley Fool’s answer to this challenge—and it tops our list of the best stock advisor websites. In this Motley Fool Stock Advisor Review, I’ll unpack the features, pros and cons, and pricing to help you decide if Stock Advisor is the right tool for you.

What is Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor?

Launched in 2002 by Motley Fool co-founders David Gardner and Tom Gardner, Stock Advisor is a monthly subscription newsletter service that provides investors with a steady stream of expert tips and financial advice.

The investment newsletter is backed by extensive research — helping investors cut through the noise to understand where you should be putting your money and where you shouldn’t.

It’s one of the most accurate and trusted advisory services on the market, which is why the company has over 700,000 dedicated subscribers — a figure that’s growing steadily each year.

How Profitable are Motley Fool Stock Picks?

There are two fundamental strategies that you can take with the stock market:

  1. You can attempt to track the S&P 500.
  2. You can attempt to beat it by investing in stocks that end up outperforming the index.

The Stock Advisor service claims to exceed S&P 500 returns by selecting high-quality individual stocks and recommending them to users, with remarkable accuracy and a long track record of success.

Since Stock Advisor’s inception, the stock has produced an average return of over 360%, beating the market by 3-4 times. It recommends mostly large and mid-cap stocks, betting on stocks with major long-term upside.

Since 2002, holding a stock portfolio of 15 Motley Fool recommendations for at least three years has produced a profit approximately 90% of the time.

Can Stock Advisor Invest For You?

Stock Advisor is not a brokerage service; you can’t buy stocks through it. To invest in the stock market, you need to open up a brokerage account with a provider like Fidelity, Schwab, or TD Ameritrade.

Stock Advisor merely recommends what stocks you should consider buying to beat the market. You can take their advice or leave it, depending on how you feel about the recommendation. Each pick comes with a thorough rationale behind the recommendation, both quantitative and qualitative, so you get to decide if that stock makes sense for you and your portfolio.

As a customer, you are in no way obligated to buy the stocks the service recommends. It’s for educational purposes only, filled with recent picks and stock tickers that you should at least check out.

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor Features

Here’s an overview of what you’ll get when you sign up for the Motley Fool Stock Advisor Program.

1. Stock Picks

Stock Advisor participants receive two hand-picked stocks every month delivered directly to their inbox. It’s like getting personal recommendations from the founders of The Motley Fool.

The Fool supplements this stock-picking service with advanced research. That way, you’ll be able to see why they are recommending stocks and make a decision for yourself based on the companies they’re recommending and how market conditions are looking.

Overall, the service encourages members to buy at least 15 stocks and hold them for at least 5 years. In addition to the two picks each month, Stock Advisor offers a bunch of ways to find those 15 stocks.

Best Buys Now

The two monthly stock recommendations are only part of the package that you receive with a Stock Advisor membership. You also get 10 picks from the Best Buys Now feature, delivering timely data to supplement your strategy.

The Best Buys Now feature can point out attractive opportunities and help you understand where you should look in the market.

Starter Stocks

Stock Advisor’s Starter Stocks feature provides recommendations to help you get a strong foothold in the market — typically, these will be a little more stable, and less risky to give new investors a strong foundation to build on. This feature is also useful for experienced investors, too.

2. Historical Data

In addition to providing current recommendations, Stock Advisor also provides a complete list of all the tips they have ever given. So if there is ever any question about past performance or accuracy, you can easily go back and check. This list includes positive and negative recommendations.

As a bonus, you can look back and find previous stocks that the company recommended, which may still be useful. So you get much more than just two stock tips every month. This can serve as a valuable database to draw from and influence your current strategy.

3. Community Resources

With Motley Fool’s community feature, you can get feedback on top stock recommendations, ask questions, listen to podcasts, and learn strategies from other investors through discussion boards. It’s a great way to supplement the advice that David and Tom provide in their newsletters.

And a newer feature is Motley Fool Live, a members-only livestream that covers market news, deep dives on stocks, and interviews.

4. Insights

Stock Advisor offers much more than just charts and figures. You’ll also get access to fresh content to help you make sense of the confusing market.

Here are some examples of topics that you’ll have sent to your inbox by signing up for Stock Advisor.

  • Planning for a down economy: Investing during a down economy forces you to keep a level head and avoid rushed or emotional decisions. Stock Advisor addressed this issue by offering five stocks for a down economy, taking some of the pressure off investors by providing insight about good places to put money during the economic downturn.
  • Determining whether to hold stocks or sell: In a recent newsletter, Stock Advisor explained how the number of stocks you hold is a personal decision based on your risk tolerance and diversification needs. It also highlighted a new proprietary tool, Simulators, that uses historical data to model portfolio scenarios and make stock recommendations.
  • Waiting for volatility to drop: Investors often fear fluctuations in the market during times of volatility. Stock Advisor addressed this issue in an email, emphasizing the importance of thinking clearly and acting with restraint. They advised investors who can’t keep a cool head in turbulence to consider waiting for conditions to clear to make moves, or find less risky investment strategies.

These are just a few examples of insights you’ll find when you access Stock Advisor. Topics range from “home run” stock alerts to forming an investment strategy and everything in between.

Stock Advisor Pricing

A Stock Advisor membership costs $199 per year, and sometimes there are sales that cut the membership fee in half.

If you don’t like the service, Motley Fool offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, for a full refund. If you’re thinking about making some big moves in the world of investing and are looking for a little extra help, why not give it a whirl?

Customer Support

If you have any questions or issues with your membership, you can contact Motley Fool’s support team by phone or email.

The live customer support phone line is available from 9 am to 5 pm ET on Monday through Friday.

You can also use the Motley Fool website to do the following:

  • Updating your privacy settings
  • Change communication settings
  • View and update your account and payment details
  • Customize your premium profile

As mentioned above, Stock Advisor is great for investors who are looking to beat the market. That said, you may still benefit from Stock Advisor even if your goal is to merely track the market. After all, you can never have too much information when investing, and it can help to see what other people are doing with their money.

Here are some additional reasons you might want to consider using Stock Advisor.

You Want to Acquire More Equities

Stock Advisor is useful if you want to add high-performing stocks to your portfolio.

While stock investing is risky, it also comes with a high potential for gains. Young investors are encouraged to build a portfolio that is heavily weighted with equities to get ahead and maximize gains.

Stock Advisor provides sound recommendations for stock investments that can help you build your investment strategy.

Little Time or Desire to Research

Most investors are busy people who lack the time or desire to do their own research.

What’s more, investing with limited data — or worse, Googling stock tips — can produce a half-baked investment strategy that winds up costing you more money than you make.

Stock Advisor streamlines the investing process by doing the research for you, explaining that research, and backing up their insights and new stock picks with years of demonstrated success. Additionally, they publish write-ups if one of their stock picks moved (up or down) 10% or more in a given day. And if something happens to a company that makes them decide to sell, they’ll send out an alert.

Long-Term Strategizing

If you’re looking for day trading insights, you won’t find them in Stock Advisor. The investment newsletter is meant for people who have a long-term investment horizon that stretches several years.

For example, Stock Advisor may recommend a good buy-low opportunity on a company with a two- to three-year outlook. This type of insight wouldn’t be useful for a day trader looking for a quick return. However, it could be gold for someone who is looking to build a slow-growth strategy and see their gains compound over time.

Pros and Cons

Here are a few of the biggest advantages—and disadvantages—of Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor.

Pros:

  • Track record of outperforming the S&P
  • Consistent stream of stock recommendations and data
  • Extensive library of historical data
  • More affordable than competitors offering the same services
  • 30-day money back guarantee

Cons:

  • Frequent promotional emails (can be turned off)
  • No brokerage or robo-advisor services
  • Can be expensive for small-scale investors with less than a $5,000 budget

Alternatives to Stock Advisor

This service from the Motley Fool is our top pick when it comes to online stock advisors, but there are other options.

If you want to research some alternatives, here are a few platforms to consider:

  • Rule Breakers: Also offered by the Motley Fool, this service is worth considering if you’re a growth-minded investor who’s willing to take more risks with your portfolio.
  • Seeking Alpha: Seeking Alpha offers a suite of stock investing memberships, from a free version with basic investing advice to a pro plan for experienced investors.
  • Zacks Investment Research: Zacks is another useful tool that ranks stocks on a scale of 1 to 5 to help you determine whether they’re worth your while.

Additional Motley Fool Services to Explore

Stock Advisor is just one premium service offered by the Motley Fool. If you’re looking to get even more information about stock picks, here are some additional options to check out.

Rule Breakers: High-Growth Stocks

The Rule Breakers service is similar to Stock Advisor in terms of the format you can expect.

But it’s geared specifically toward high-growth stocks, so you’ll receive a narrower list of company recommendations.  These companies come with higher risks, but they can also lead to higher rewards. If you’re looking to build an aggressive stock strategy, you should look into this offer.

Rule Breakers has produced an average return of 196% since its inception. The service has a list price of $299 per year, though again they regularly offer discounts.

You can also bundle Rule Breakers with Stock Advisor for $499 per year.

Everlasting Stocks

Tom Gardner recently launched a new service offering stock recommendations from his personal portfolio.

The Everlasting Stocks service provides immediate access to 15 stock recommendations, along with future stock recommendations from the same analyst team that has consistently beaten the S&P over the past 17 years.

The service costs $299 per year.

Rule Your Retirement: Index Funds and ETFs

The Motley Fool offers to Rule Your Retirement, a service that provides comprehensive retirement advice for customers.

Rule Your Retirement comes with model portfolios, mutual fund, and exchange-traded fund (ETF) recommendations, Social Security tips and strategies, and coverage on a variety of topics like insurance and estate planning.

Rule Your Retirement costs $149 per year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Stock Advisor a scam?

Stock Advisor has outperformed the S&P 500 over the last two decades, proving that the service is no scam. As a customer, you’ll receive investment recommendations and insights along with detailed explanations.

Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to determine for yourself if Stock Advisor is a scam. If you don’t like the service, you’ll have 30 days to cancel your membership and receive a full refund with no questions asked.

Is Stock Advisor affordable?

Stock Advisor is affordable compared to competing services that charge $1,000 or more for similar services, offering profitable picks and educational resources. The $199 annual fee is a bargain price in comparison — especially when considering the potential ROI that the service could produce for you in the long run through stock recommendations.

What is Stock Advisor’s investing strategy?

Stock Advisor is built for long-term investors rather than short-term day traders. The Stock Advisor’s investing philosophy focuses on buying high-quality stocks and holding onto them, to produce steady and consistent gains over time for brokerage and retirement accounts.

Is Stock Advisor good for beginners?

Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor is a great choice for beginning and intermediate investors looking for educational resources to help them invest. It’s also a savvy purchase for advanced investors, offering expert stock picks with a proven track record.

Can you lose money with Stock Advisor?

It’s impossible to say whether you will make or lose money with Stock Advisor’s recommended stocks. After all, the market is inherently risky and unpredictable.

However, you will receive expert guidance backed by a platform with a demonstrated history of success.

If you follow Stock Advisor’s investment advice on when to sell or hold stocks, you have a decent chance of making more money than if you were to make investments that track the S&P 500.

Is Stock Advisor secure?

Stock Advisor uses standard website security and encryption to protect customer data. Plus, when you open an account through Stock Advisor, you won’t actually be investing any money in the company. Stock Advisor is not a brokerage firm or bank. The only payment the company processes is credit card data when you make a purchase.

What is the Motley Fool’s mission?

The Motley Fool is dedicated to making the world smarter, happier, and richer. The Motley Fool accomplishes this by offering free and premium financial advisory services centered around investing, personal finance management, real estate, business, and career growth.

The Bottom Line

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor service aims to make life easier for investors by offering high-quality recommendations supported by extensive research and analysis.

Unlike robo-advisor services offered by firms like Robinhood, Stock Advisor does not actually buy or sell stocks like Netflix, Amazon, or Apple for you, which is one of its most powerful benefits.

The platform tells you what you should be looking into as an investor based on top stock advisor picks. But it puts the responsibility on you to go out and complete a transaction or ignore their advice.

Ultimately, you’re looking at an affordable stock advisor subscription service with cutting-edge research and insights for buy and sell recommendations backed by one of the trusted names in the finance industry.

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