Stock advisor services take the burden off your shoulders to research and choose the right stocks. But you have many choices when choosing a stock advisor service; how do you know which is right for you?
Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha are two popular services. I’ve compared them below to help you decide which is right.
Motley Fool vs Seeking Alpha: Comparison
Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha offer stock advisory services but in different ways. As a result, they cater to two different audiences. Understanding the differences can help you decide which is right for you.
About Motley Fool
Motley Fool is one of the oldest stock-picking services around. They began in 1993 when brothers, as a printed newsletter, created in their backyard shed. Today, it’s a popular stock-picking newsletter and an informative website for investors.
Investors can read trending news and popular investing topics on their websites to gather information. But if you want to take it a step further, you can sign up for one of their stock-picking services and have access to new stock picks weekly.
Motley Fool has a few subscriptions, but the two primary subscriptions are the Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers.
The Stock Advisor newsletter is for investors who want to beat the S&P 500 by buying and holding stocks for three to five years. The Stock Advisors’ picks have consecutively beaten the market by 3x for the last 19 years.
The Rule Breakers newsletter is for more aggressive investors who don’t want to buy and hold. This newsletter sends stock picks for growth stocks meant for more aggressive investors. Rule Breakers also consecutively beats the market at a lower rate than Stock Advisors.
Motley Fool Subscriptions
As I said above, Motley Fool has a few options. Unfortunately, they don’t have a free subscription, but anyone can view the website and read the articles and educational material provided.
The real benefit, however, is the stock pick newsletters, which most commonly are Stock Advisors and Rule Breakers.
Here’s how they break down.
Stock Advisors provides picks for market-beating stocks twice a month. The founders and professionals select two stocks per month as the ‘new picks’ that investors should add to their portfolios.
Subscribers receive these picks every other week, accompanied by an in-depth analysis of why they chose the stock. In the weeks they don’t see stock picks, Motley Fool sends ‘Best Buys Now,’ which are the top 10 stocks out of their list of 300 stocks they feel are good buys now, and a list of starter stocks they feel every portfolio should have.
Stock Advisor sends timely notifications when something changes drastically in the market too. So, for example, if you should sell a stock they suggested, they’ll send push alerts, so you sell the stock in time.
The nice thing about the ‘Best Buys Now’ list is it’s often the second chance to buy stocks they recommended previously but you didn’t do. Of course, since you are responsible for purchasing the stocks based on the recommendations, you can choose to listen to the advice or not. Still, if a stock comes around a second time as a recommendation, it’s likely a sign it belongs in your portfolio.
Motley Fool Stock Advisor
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Rule Breakers provides stock picks for growth stocks and more aggressive investors. This subscription focuses on businesses Motley Fool feels will be leaders in the coming months or years. However, this subscription doesn’t assume investors will hold the investments for three to five years like Stock Advisors does.
Like Stock Advisors, Rule Breakers provides weekly newsletters, including two new stock picks monthly and Best Buys Now. The Rule Breakers Best Buys Now are five stocks from a list of 200, and you’ll likely see some repeats.
They also suggest certain starter stocks for beginning and experienced investors and provide access to all Motley Fool educational materials and its large pool of investors willing to share their expertise and opinion.
Other Stock Advisory Newsletters
Motley Fool also has two other stock advisory newsletters, including the following:
- Everlasting: The Everlasting plan is meant to complement Stock Advisors or Rule Breakers but can also be a standalone product. It focuses on rounding out investors’ portfolios versus recommending one or two stocks. Investors get instant access to 15 stock recommendations based on what’s in Tom’s portfolio, plus future recommendations.
- Rule your Retirement: The Rule your Retirement plan is a guide to help you plan for retirement. It includes three types of portfolios, mutual fund and ETF recommendations, and other critical retirement information.
About Seeking Alpha
Seeking Alpha was started in 2004 by a former Wall Street analyst. He saw a need for more research from the buyer’s perspective versus the seller’s (investment banks) and filled the void with Seeking Alpha.
Seeking Alpha is built on the recommendations and opinions of 16,000+ professionals, but Seeking Alpha professionals vet the information before publishing it.
Unlike Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha provides stock advice for advanced investors but doesn’t provide stock picks. Instead, they provide in-depth research and analyses for investors to use for their own needs.
Seeking Alpha Subscriptions
Seeking Alpha has a few free subscription offers, which provide access to the articles, analyses, and information on their website. The content in the free version is limited, but it can be a good start if you want to see if the type of information provided is useful for you.
Free subscribers can set alerts for their favorite stocks, alerting them in real-time when news occurs. However, free subscribers cannot see the author’s ratings of the information they read and cannot see expert analyses as those are only for premium subscribers.
The downside of the free version is you could be reading an analysis from an investor with a poor track record but not know it, so proceed with caution. Check out Seeking Alpha’s paid options.
Seeking Alpha’s Premium Plan provides access to exclusive content and author ratings, so you can determine if their advice is warranted or should be disregarded.
The Premium plan also provides access to the author’s past analyses and how they performed to help you determine if you want to use their advice.
Premium subscribers have access to ‘expert’ analysts, which they don’t have access to with the free version.
Other Benefits Include:
- Stock screener
- Fundamental analysis tools
- Debates among experts
- Streaming newsfeeds
- Market data updated in real-time
- Access to conference and earnings calls
The Pro Plan is primarily for professional investors. This plan includes everything in Premium plus top ideas from the highest-ranked experts, exclusive content and newsletters, and VIP service.
Motley Fool vs Seeking Alpha: Competing Features
Comparing apples to apples is important when looking at the different stock advisor services. However, price, content, and tools are the features I find most important.
You shouldn’t pay for services you don’t need or that won’t benefit your investment portfolio. Since stock advisor services can get pricey, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of what you get for the price to ensure it’s worth it.
Fortunately, Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha provide some free content, but it’s typically not enough to make informed investment decisions. Registering for a free account can help you determine the type of content they offer and if it is helpful, but it should be just the start.
For example, Motley Fool’s content is free, for the most part, but they reserve exclusive content for subscribers. Plus, free members don’t get access to the weekly stock picks or push-through notifications to sell previously purchased stocks.
Motley Fool Pricing
While the prices are somewhat high for Motley Fool, they are low compared to other services and are as follows:
- Stock Advisor: $199/year
- Rule Breakers: $299/year
- Everlasting: $299/year
- Rule your Retirement: $149/year
- Epic Bundle: $499/year and includes Stock Advisors, Rule Breakers, Everlasting, and Real Estate Winners
*Real Estate Winners is an advisory service suggesting publicly traded real estate entities.
Seeking Alpha Pricing
Seeking Alpha also has free content, but only for a limited time. For example, any content more than ten days old is only viewable by subscribers, and many of the premium or exclusive content pieces are for subscribers only.
Free users have access to a lot of content, but most of the analytical information is reserved for subscribers, including charts and statistics about individual assets. Premium subscriptions have much more access to useful, in-the-moment information, and you can follow your favorite authors.
Seeking Alpha pricing is as follows:
- Premium plan: $189/year + 7 day free trial
- Pro plan: $2,400/year
2. Voice and Audience
Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha have very different voices and, therefore, different audiences.
Motley Fool Voice & Audience
As the name suggests, The Motley Fool is more lighthearted. This doesn’t mean it’s not a service to take seriously, though. Their goal is to make the world happier and richer, and they do so with their lighthearted commentary and easy-to-digest information regarding their stock picks and analytical information.
The subscription is best for investors who want stocks picked for them, so they can decide whether to add them to their portfolio.
Seeking Alpha Voice & Audience
Seeking Alpha’s voice is more professional and crowdsourced from thousands of investors. The content is geared toward investors with a solid understanding of how investing works and who look for fundamental analyses.
The website can be overwhelming when first approaching it, and it can be too much for beginning investors.
Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha have very different content. Seeking Alpha’s content focuses on breaking news, trends, and in-the-moment trading decisions, whereas, Motley Fool caters to long-term investors.
Motley Fool Content
The Motley Fool’s content accompanies the stock picks. You won’t see a lot of breaking news or trending analyses. Instead, you’ll receive easy-to-digest information regarding the stock picks they made.
Motley Fool is bold about its past performance and uses it a lot in its advertising, but make no mistake, no service can be right 100% of the time, and Motley Fool is no exception.
Seeking Alpha Content
Seeking Alpha content is more advanced and frequent than Motley Fool. You don’t have to wait for newsletters to arrive; all information is on the website in real time.
Remember, however, the content on Seeking Alpha is crowdsourced, unlike the information provided on Motley Fool. So while all information is vetted, there’s always a risk when taking other people’s advice when choosing your stocks and investments.
4. Analysis Tools
As far as analysis tools for Motley Fool, they don’t offer much. Because they are a stock picking service, they push out their recommendations and the reasons why, but they don’t offer many tools.
Seeking Alpha’s analysis tools are mostly the crowdfunding data provided by the experts. However, they offer a powerful stock screener and an ideas portal reserved for Pro members.
Motley Fool vs Seeking Alpha: Verdict
When comparing Motley Fool vs Seeking Alpha, it helps to understand how they are the same and different.
How They are the Same
There aren’t many similarities between Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha because they cater to different audiences. However, their free content is somewhat similar because it’s limited, but anyone can access it.
Both platforms are also stock databases. While Motley Fool pushes the information out in newsletters, both Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha allow users to search the website for any information regarding a specific stock, including reports, charts, and other fundamental information to make investing decisions.
Both services also have a robust community where all members can contribute, giving investors more ideas.
How They are Different
As you can imagine, there are differences between Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha. Motley Fool organizes information in newsletters and pushes it out to subscribers. So while their website has information, it’s mostly the information in the newsletters that’s most helpful.
Seeking Alpha doesn’t send out personalized newsletters. Instead, you must seek information about a company or asset. There isn’t a way to tailor what information you receive; everything is DIY.
Motley Fool also has a more carefree and easier-to-digest way to produce their content. Anyone with any background can understand the information provided.
Seeking Alpha, on the other hand, provides content written by many professionals, some of whom don’t make the concepts easy for those without experience to understand.
Choosing Motley Fool
Motley Fool is the best option if you’re looking for an organized and predictable subscription. You’ll receive weekly newsletters and know what to expect (minus the stock recommendations).
- Best For: Motley Fool is best for beginners and experienced investors who want someone to tell them what stocks to pick and why. You won’t get a lot of fluff or overwhelming information. Instead, everything is curated with the chosen subscription in mind, whether Stock Advisors for conservative investors or Rule Breakers for aggressive investors.
Choosing Seeking Alpha
Seeking Alpha is less organized but more robust. It’s for advanced investors who want to do their own research and make their own decisions.
- Best For: Seeking Alpha is best for fundamental investors who want many investors’ opinions and can use the information to make their own decisions. It’s not for you if you want specific stock recommendations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Motley Fool vs Seeking Alpha, caters to different audiences but provides the same bottom line – information to create a DIY portfolio.
Which service is better?
It’s not a matter of whether Motley Fool is better than Seeking Alpha or vice versa. It’s about what you want out of the service. If you’re looking for curated information and exact stocks to pick, you want Motley Fool. But if you’re more of a DIY investor and want to do things your way with access to fundamental analyses, then Seeking Alpha is better.
When should you choose Seeking Alpha?
Choose Seeking Alpha when you understand how the market works, your investment needs, and how fundamental analyses work. But unfortunately, it could be too overwhelming for most to use it before understanding fundamental analyses.
When should you choose Motley Fool?
Choose Motley Fool when you want someone to hold your hand, tell you which stocks to buy now, and even when to sell certain stocks. While you still have to do the work, having the steps in place is important.
Motley Fool vs Seeking Alpha: Which is Best for You?
Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha both offer great services. It depends on how you receive your information and how much handholding you want. With the right steps, either service can help you build a portfolio that helps you reach your financial goals.