I’m approaching the end of my 1-year subscription to Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor and I have decided to cancel it. I finally gave Motley Fool a shot in April 2021 after years of advertisements. Once I read through some reviews and came across a decent Motley Fool promotion, I pulled the trigger. My American Express credit card offered a $99 discount in purchasing Motley Fool’s basic Stock Advisor service. This means I received the $149 annually priced service for just $50. However, I have to admit that after one year, I am ready to kick it to the curb.
My Top 5 Reasons for Cancelling Motley Fool:
1. Continuous Upselling/Marketing
Oh Man…Please Stop! As I mentioned, I have seen Motley Fool’s marketing for years. What I didn’t realize was that was just the beginning of their ploy. It appeared to me, at least, that once you’ve joined their platform is when they really sink their teeth in.
E-mail is their main method of communication since it is mostly a web-only platform. These emails include Buy/Sell Alerts, Investing Tips, and pure promotional junk. However, since joining Motley Fool, more than half of the emails I have received have been marketing or upselling promotions. These kinds of e-mails were so frequent that I barely recognized their more relevant e-mails, including the Stock Advisory notifications. I even found their educational e-mails plagued with upselling, which made them look like spam!
The good news was that I could turn off the incessant e-mails in my account’s “Communication Settings”. I was on the verge of blocking Motley Fool emails entirely.
Additionally and expectedly, this company also attempts to upsell more services on their website.
To be honest, Motley Fool’s marketing tactics really soured my whole experience with them from the beginning.
2. Market Influencers
I have noticed that Motley Fool’s Buy Now announcements influence the market price of their recommended stocks. Though I cannot definitively comment on each specific occasion, there have been many times that I have personally noted that once Motley Fool announces a stock to purchase, that stock price quickly surges. This kind of influence carries a certain amount of power and weight; in fact, this was observed with the surging of GameStop (GME) and AMC Entertainment (AMC) in early 2021.
I tend to purchase stocks at my leisure. However, I found this difficult with Motley Fool. Their model is designed to influence the trader to be ready to buy and sell as quickly as it’s announced. Unfortunately, I was not always able to listen to live stream announcements. Rather, I would rely on their delayed e-mail notifications. With this information and my own due diligence, I made the decision on whether to purchase a recommended stock. If I committed, then I completed my purchase near market close, which put me in a disadvantage during times of price surging.
3. Stock Volatility
Volatility is inherent when investing in stocks. The stocks recommended by Motley Fool that I’ve invested in have fluctuated between the top and bottom of my portfolio. Throughout the year, these stocks have not been stable.
I am more of a conservative investor. I prefer steadily performing stocks or funds, while sprinkling in a few volatile ones. Currently all of my purchased recommended stocks remain in the bottom of my portfolio. Although these positions can change over time, I don’t have enough trust in Motley Fool to be comfortable with this kind of volatility. My own discomfort has made me question if their advice is applicable to my personal portfolio goals.
4. Difficult to Navigate Website
I cannot stand using Motley Fool’s online platform. This is completely subjective due to my nearly 15 years in the Web Services industry and my own personal preferences. I find it to be convoluted, non-intuitive, and difficult to obtain actionable information (especially for beginner-level investors). All of the webpages are extremely word-heavy, so a user can become overwhelmed very quickly. There were many times I would stop to ask myself What am I look at? or Okay…what does that mean?. It seemed as if Motley Fool was working to persuade me to follow their lead rather than educate me.
I am a visual person, so having a platform that displays data in a text-heavy format was difficult for me to convert into actionable information. To illustrate, my favorite tool for analyzing markets is FINVIZ, which displays stocks and markets in a visual way. It reminds me of the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
5. Not Worth the Cost
Currently, I utilize 2 free brokerage accounts (Fidelity and Ally). Both offer their own research data with graphs, charts, analysis, recommendations, and learning resources. Additionally, these brokerage accounts have great web and app platforms that allow easy access to information. For me, Motley Fool was a paid research account with a web-only platform that provided less valuable information. I believe Motley Fool does have an app, however, it only comes with their Backstage service which currently carries a price tag of $1,999. Yikes!
Ultimately, if I put in a lot more time and effort into learning Motley Fool’s platform, then I probably could have gotten more out of it. Even so, I don’t believe it is worth it to renew at $149 – especially not when there are so many free alternatives that I feel offer more value.
Would I recommend Motley Fool to anyone?
Maybe – Depending on your trading experience and what your financial goals are. I believe Motley Fool can be beneficial to the following investors:
- Absolute Beginner – If you have little-to-no trading experience, but you want to get started and have extra money, then Motley Fool can be a short-term solution for you. By purchasing Motley Fool’s recommendations, you will naturally become familiar with the basics of trading and, eventually, be able to manage your portfolio on your own.
- More Money than Time – If you have plenty of money to invest, but little time to research, then Motley Fool can help you. It’s basically like having a fund manager tell you when and what to trade, though you actually perform the trading, thereby avoiding the large percentage fees on performance.
- Live and Breathe Trading – If you are in the profession or live and breathe trading as an interest, then I assume you want all of the knowledge you can get. Motley Fool definitely offers insight into the logic behind their stock picks, from which you can learn.
While it was nice to have some additional research and trading recommendations, Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor service fell short for me. I personally did not find the worth in the discounted price I paid. I far more prefer managing my own trading with the other free research platforms at my disposal. So, as this subscription ends, I say good-bye and good luck to Motley Fool.
This is a well-written, thoughtful analysis of why you chose to forego future investment in a service that doesn’t fit you needs.
Thank you for taking the time to put those thoughts into words. I have heard the Motley Fool radio shows in the past and have often considered checking out their website. Maybe I still will, but I’ll make sure to also look into the other less-costly or free services that are available on the internet.
I’m glad that you enjoyed the article and thank you for taking the time to read and comment.
Motley Fool has a lot of free content available on their website, podcast, YouTube channel, and radio. Happy researching!