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Author's Note: This article includes a true story from one of Joy Wallet's Directors about his experiences using Motley Fool's Stock Advisor product beginning March 2020. I am writing this article on behalf of his personal stock portfolio, experiences and results.
I’ll admit it: Investing in stocks has always overwhelmed me. I knew I wanted to invest. I heard great things from those who did invest. But I was afraid to make a mistake and felt like I didn't understand how to invest in stocks.
Then a couple of friends told me they swore by Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor and life got a whole lot easier — and my net worth increased.
If you aren’t yet aware of Motley Fool, it is a private financial and investing advice company. Founded in 1993 by brothers David and Tom Gardner, the duo set out to “make the world smarter, happier, and richer” by providing outstanding business and investing advice.
Just as the Shakespearean court jester could speak the truth to the king and queen (without having his head chopped off), the Gardners wanted to speak the truth and were never afraid to question conventional wisdom.
Launching an online subscription platform with investing recommendations, stock research, and analysis, the Stock Advisor by Motley Fool is perfect for people like me.
What Are Motley Fool's Stock Advisor Picks?
What drew me to Stock Advisor was this: “You don’t need a degree in Finance to grow your wealth.” For just a few minutes a month, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor service was promising to give me and other new investors some stock recommendations I could trust. I wouldn’t have to scour the Wall Street Journal or spend hours online. Stock Advisor was going to do all of that for me.
They also made a pretty bold claim of outperforming the market 3-to-1, with recommendations returning over 561%¹. Is it worth the hype? I was ready to find out.
Disclosure: My experiences may be unique and do not guarantee future results.
So, I decided to join.
Recommending only companies with at least $400,000 in average daily volume and market caps in excess of $200 million, Stock Advisor picks cost $199 for 1 year, or $39 for 1 month (although they have a generous introductory offer of $99 for the first subscription year for new members). The platform is not a brokerage account and doesn’t give you the ability to buy or trade stocks. Nor does it offer financial advisors or financial services. Instead, the platform features more than 100 stock recommendations with 100% or more returns.
As a member, I am able to access the library of recommendations, plus I get new stock picks sent to me every month, along with investment advice, in-depth analysis, and tips. Here’s an example of Stock Picks’ recent suggestions:
How my Motley Fool picks are performing:
The Motley Fool stock pick 'StitchFix. (TICKER: SFIX)' was the Pick of the Month in July 2018, September 18, and December 2019. My cost to invest was $8,707.14 and today the market value is $18,613.35 and looks poised to rise. It's experienced a 113.77% gain.
The Motley Fool stock pick 'Shopify – Ticker SHOP' made it to Tom's picks back in 2016 but in 2020 really started to soar. It appeared back on the pick list in April and again in December. My $9,734.94 investment is now at market value of $31,182.84 — a gain of 220.32%. On April 1, 2020, the stock price was $384.67. As of October 5, it is nearly $1,318.08!
How Profitable Are Stock Advisor Picks?
Of course, every robo advisor vying for your business is going to tell you they outperform the others. Does Motley Fool really outperform others?
Since launching Motley Fool, the Gardner brothers have outperformed even their expectations. Tom's previous picks have a return of +323.4% while the S&P's performance is +118.6%. And David's best stocks and picks? A whopping +888.4% since inception!
David Gardner was an early investor in Amazon (AMZN), which today is valued at $3,221 per share. Imagine getting David's prediction on this stock before others? Heck, at this time in 2016 you could still get Amazon for just over $500 per share.
Motley Fool Stock Advisor outperformed the S&P by four times! Look at this chart:
Graph: Motley Fool Stock Advisor Growth vs S&P 500
But I’d have to put my own money to the test to know for sure how well the co-founders' stock picking service worked.
My portfolio gains using Motley Fool (up 207% and $143k since March '20)
Note: My results using Stock Advisor and this Motley Fool review may not be typical for every investor or period of investment. Personal finance results may also never be guaranteed, since past performance isn't a predictor of future results.
Motley Fool suggested Zoom Video was going to be hot, first recommending it in July 2019 at $90, then again when the price dropped to $76 in October. They had no way of knowing COVID was about to strike and the country would be shut down and forced to work from home.
Now it’s at $257.12. Zoom is up over 150% since the COVID crash and nearly 400% since the start of 2020. And even if COVID finally goes away, hasn’t the world discovered how easy it is to work from home and video conference?
By using Stock Advisor's subscription service, my account value has increased 207% and $143k since March 2020 after I trusted their picks.
In fact, this portfolio is based entirely on Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations.
Stock tips, of course. When enrolled in Stock Advisor, 12 total stock recommendations are given in a Thursday investment newsletter, provided by David and Tom Gardner (both still do all of the picking and their own research even after all of these years). Each stock picked showcases the company’s risk profile, why and what made the brothers pick the stock, and 24/7 monitoring. This means if there is an issue and Motley Fool thinks it’s time to bail, you’ll get an alert.
Starter stocks. If you are just starting out and want an easy, go-to set of stocks, the list is curated monthly and includes 10 rock-solid stocks to help you build your portfolio. There is also a special section for newbies to help you start building your portfolio.
Instant alerts. Favorite your stocks and watch them, and then you will receive an instant alert when there are big price changes, good buying ops, and when you need to sell.
Deals. David and Tom are watching the market and when they notice great prices, they alert their members, just like if you had your own portfolio manager giving you a call with the news.
News. Speaking of news, you won’t have to keep watch on the market because Motley Fool is doing that, too, and when there is news that you need to know, it’s getting posted.
Full access. A new membership doesn’t mean you start with the current stock tips. Members have access to all the recommendations made since 2016.
Videos and podcasts. You'll receive invitations to check out numerous videos with the brothers and guests about investment strategies and discussions on individual stocks, ETFs and other stock market best buys.
Live customer service. If you ever have questions, just call the member toll-free customer service line and speak to a real person.
Message boards. The Motley Fool is a member-driven community and in its boards, you can talk to other investors, ask questions, and learn valuable tips from people just like you.
The log-in also provides a Motley Fool Stock Screener so you can sort through stocks recommended through a number of filters, as seen here:
2020 Success Stories
Within the last year, Stock Advisor suggested the following stocks to buy (the return is based on January 21, 2021):
When you have such high returns, it looks like the Motley Fool is too good to be true. However, it is a legitimate company with over 700,000 subscribers and 250+ employees.
Am I guaranteed to make money?
Although the Motley Fool Stock Advisor program has had a high rate of historical success, there is still an investment risk and not every pick may pay off. It’s more difficult to find negative reviews, but yes, Stock Advisor has picks during the year that drop by as much as 30%. They may bounce back but some don’t.
Are the recommended stocks cheap?
Many times, the Motley Fool finds stocks right as they're about to take off, whether they are low- or high-priced. They do not recommend penny stocks and focus solely on blue-chip stocks. The duo are about long-term growth stocks and not day trading ops. You do have to move quickly when the recommendations go out on Thursdays, around noon, as the “Fool Effect” often occurs. Within the first couple of hours of the recommendations, the prices go up around $2 to $3 per share.
What if I don’t feel Stock Advisor is helpful?
If you enroll and decide to cancel within the first 30 days, you’ll get your money back. After that, you also have the freedom to cancel at any time, although you won’t be refunded.
Can Stock Advisor serve as my broker?
No; Stock Advisor is exactly as its name implies: an advisor. The service does not include brokerage functions.
How To Enroll
Typically, Stock Advisor pricing runs for $199 annually or $39 per month but Motley Fool is currently offering a $99 introductory offer for Joy Wallet readers who are new members. The first month of enrollment for its premium service includes a full refund if you decide to cancel, which means you can at least take a look for free.
Plus, if you make an investment through a Stock Advisor tip and it performs as well as the average, the annual fee will pay for itself and then some.
Quite simply, the 700,000-plus members of Motley Fool Stock Advisor are in on the secret: the stock recommendations are not only legitimate but they also out-perform the S&P 500 by triple-digit percentages on average. In the last four years, 83% of the picks have been profitable. Not 100% but what stock is? Stock Advisor’s track record speaks for itself: Over 500% since it launched Stock Advisor in 2002¹.
Is Stock Advisor meant to make you rich? No; but it is meant to provide stable and steady growth to make you wealthier.
For less than $100 for the year and a full refund within 30 days, I definitely recommend you give Motley Fool's Stock Advisor a look. You can follow this link and get started within minutes.
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