Is Motley Fool Stock Advisor worth it?

Motley Fool Stock Advisor is our flagship investing service. Once a month, the team shares two new investment recommendations, its Best Buys Now, a handful of Starter Stocks that deserve to be the foundation of any portfolio, and a whole bunch of great investing education and advice. Plus, you can choose to get regular updates on the stocks that matter to you.

Published since 2002, the service emphasizes a long-term, buy-and-hold approach, and its returns have more than tripled the results of the S&P 500. Based on those results, we’d argue a membership pays for itself many times over. But in the interest of transparency and community, we’re going to leave the question to our members.

So please leave your opinions in the comments section below. And if you’re interested: Learn more about Stock Advisor.

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33 Comments

  1. Steve G

    I’m fairly new to SA, and don’t quite understand something. Every week or 2 I get the teams’ best picks, 3 or 4 stocks each. What happened to the ones that were on the list the previous time and now are not — if they’re lower or the same as they were two weeks ago, are they still good investment ideas, or has their time passed already?

  2. Christopher Hartman

    Yes, Stock Advisor is worth it. The returns from the stock picks easily paid for the cost of the subscription, perhaps 20 or more times over. Thank you.

  3. mbernier

    The cost is small compared to advisor fees. I have only been a member for a short time. I signed up for the original MF as MF Canada has so far served generally to confirm my own picks. MF is generally too wordy. The signal to noise ratio is WAY TOO LOW. Way too many of the things written should be edited down to a single paragraph or perhaps two sentences. I also agree with other posters as a member, I do NOT need additional invitations. KISS

  4. You offer 2 recommendations each month but a lot of times one of this will be a re-recomandation. When this occurs I feel you should offer us 2 new recommendations along with the re-recomandation.

  5. Pete

    Hell yes!
    I’ve made an average %4 higher IRR (above S&P 500) over 12 years!!!
    Several hundred thousand dollars, or so…

  6. Robert Vallentyne

    Personally I like your phylosophy of investing. I also think you are up front. Your service is not for everyone. Do not buy and sell because of an immediate drop in stock value, use your service if you are in it for the long haul. Not all stocks are winners, buy many and the numbers will almost certainly take care of themselves eventually. So I don’t undertand the complaints about your advice. You say it over and over again. I could not ask for better advice.

    However the comments on your email spam, are valid. I am a member, asking me to join over and over again is insulting to my intelligence and makes you look less intelligent than you seem to be. Why do you know so much about stocks, but do not understand that harrasing your own customers with not only unecessary but pointless spam is bad for your business.

    Do yourself a favor and stop sending so much spam to your customers, it is bad for your business in the long haul. People HATE spam, especially from and for services they are already buying. Follow your own advice. Think 10 years down the road, not next quarters bottom line, cut your spam by at least 90 percent, and never send spam to a customer asking them to join. That makes you look stupid and makes them want to stop being a customer.

    That being said, I would like to close by saying I love your service and advice.

  7. Star

    I am a SA member. I am waiting for the stock I must buy by April 10 that I will get 4 dollars for every Apple watch that is sold. Yes, I am a sucker!!

  8. Mick

    No, it seems you have the same tired recommendations over and over; you are pushing many of the stocks you have been pushing for years. The service is a huge ad generator and the articles really seem like an afterthought, and follow the same old formula. I dont know why you need my email, I am very aware you already have it.

    1. Roger Friedman

      Thanks for your comment, Mick. The answer is that sometimes the best stock to buy is one that’s already in your portfolio. The team is always looking for great new recommendations, but they also keep a close eye on their past picks … and if they feel a re-rec has the best chance of earning long-term wealth for members, that’s where they’ll go. And if you look at the scorecard (Netflix, for example), you’ll see the strategy can be quite successful. Hope that helps explain the Stock Advisor thinking.

  9. doug

    I am new to the Stock Advisor. I am trying to gain perspective on how well the SA recommendations pan out over time. So far I like the information. However, there are so many recommendations, it makes it hard to take a finite amount of initial money and know where to put it.
    I don’t mind getting emails giving updates and trying to sell other Fool services. One thing that I hate is that I keep on getting emails trying to sell the Stock Advisor. I probably get at least one a day. Quit sending me emails about joining the SA!! I AM A MEMBER OF THE STOCK ADVISOR. QUIT wasting my time! A company as savvy as Motley Fool has to know that my email address belongs to a SA member. I don’t understand the objective of sending SA spam to me. STOP IT. Also, I probably have deleted other important emails from MF thinking it was more SA spam.
    Other than that, I like the service.

  10. william Steinmetz

    Absolutely NOT worth it. It’s not just your recommendations , it’s the whole confusing enchilda ie too many services etc etc..; It’s not a fuzzy web site any more Just a total MESS seriously. Iw ould love to try and clean you up but you are WAY PAST THE POINT where it will do any good. You guys got greedy .Too many annoying and confusing solicitations which cheapens your message and image.

  11. Solwiz

    I first got Motley Fool in early 2012, as I was just getting back into investing, and was looking to vet my stocks, many of which I have had for 20 years or more. I also subscribed to a couple of other free and paid advise services. (I gave up on stock broker advice many years ago!) I have since cut back on such subscriptions, but have kept SA and one other. I can’t say I have bought many of your recommendations; it’s the overall information I value. Most importantly, getting information on what NOT to buy is probably more important than what TO buy. Thus I have developed certain criteria: no drilling platform operators, very few retailers, no foreign stocks, no railroads, airlines or car manufacturers. I am heavily into biomedical and computer (and all its ramifications) technology. Since my initial housecleaning, I have very little turnover. My best performer? United Technologies, with over 2000% return.

  12. Louis

    I (foolishly) thought when I subscribed to your service I would stop getting your solicitations for new customers. I was disappointed and I had to create a Email rule to delete them. I get 300-400 Emails a day and currently have 173 Email rules managing them. Sending me excessive Emails only increases my stress level.

    Since I am not fully utilizing your advice yet, I have no need for an upgrade. I appreciate being notified that upgrades are available, but CERTAINLY NOT to the extent of pestering me with 5 or more Emails per week advertising them. I have almost reached the point of creating one more Email rule that will immediately delete any Emails from Fool@foolsubs.com.

    I have not clicked “unsubscribe” on those Emails because I am concerned it would stop ALL the Emails, even the ones I paid for.

    1. Hi Louis,

      Thanks for sharing your concerns. We’ll be glad to help you unsubscribe from our promotional communications, or you may do so yourself via your Account Settings page. The lists are managed independently from each other, so unsubscribing from the promotional communications won’t disrupt your subscription emails.

      As needed, we may be reached via membersupport@fool.com, or toll free at 888-665-3665, between the hours of 9am-5pm Eastern, Monday through Friday.

      Best,
      Carl
      Member Services
      The Motley Fool

  13. I have been a Stock Advisor customer since 2002 and still value the newsletter for updates on stocks and recommendations. I use it in combination with my Options subscription since 2012 to evaluate my investments. Not every stock pick does as well as Priceline, but as a whole the recommendations are still better than lottery tickets or the craps table. Overall, the subscription makes ups its price in performance improvement over an S&P 500 mutual fund. Although, I am getting really tired of each week getting an advertisement to join the Everlasting, the One, the SuperNova, or whatever investment subscription is being pushed for a few thousand dollars. Seriously, they are going to close tonight at midnight but then re-open next month?

  14. Steve

    I joined Stock Advisor in June 2014. My portfolio only consists of 7 stocks as I didn’t have much money in this account. The portfolio is currently up by 49%, and I only wish that all of my retirement money had been available to purchase stocks, as I would be retired now if it had. Needless to say, I am VERY pleased with Stock Advisor!

  15. Mary

    I do enjoy reading your suggestions, and when to sell, but lately it does seem as tho rookies, as others said, are making the suggestions. So many come pouring forth. More SERIOUS research needed.
    I was disappointed in your back and forth on Lumber Liquidators. I watched the 60 min special and would NEVER buy that stock now even if it turns out, long term, to do well, as OF Course the head of co. knew they were cutting corners. HIS testing probably favored a positive assessment for them; would have to be tested over time in all temp and humidity situations. I want companies with integrity i can trust and respect. Throw it out!

  16. Martin

    Every single one of the stocks that I bought on your advise lost from 10% to 20% in value in the first month. Not knowing where the bottom was going to be and with no direction from MF, I sold. Just about everyone turned and went back up. So now I know to wait and let your picks hit their 52 week lows and then consider them. If you gave a price range to buy at it would have been of more help. You fall into the rather large bucket of not knowing what the market is going to do.

  17. Harvey

    I use the fool advisor. To cut down on all the stocks I look at and research it’s great and has made me a comfortable portfolio in my retirement years
    No not all the recommendations are good

  18. Brian

    I have been with MF more or less since the beginning. During that time I have built up a portfolio of 58 stocks nearly all of which are from SA. They have given me a return on capital of 56% and an XIRR of 16.3%. Pretty impressive – a result that makes most fund managers somewhat embarrassed. I have to admit however that the best investment I made – I made purely on my own – bought into Stock Advisor all those years ago.

  19. I don’t get anything from Motley Fool Advisor. So far, every stock you recommended has failed me. I agree with Grant. Most of the recommendations are from rookies and I don’t think this subscription is useful. Please refund my $49

    1. Roger Friedman

      Hi Vivian, thanks for your comment, and I’m sorry to hear you’re not enjoying your Stock Advisor membership. Looking at the last 20 recommendations on the scorecard, I see that 16 of them are enjoying positive returns and beating the S&P 500, so it’s unfortunate that all your picks have failed you. That said, I’d encourage all investors to think with a longer timeframe in mind. Drops happen to most every stock; the key is finding great companies and holding for the long term. We’ve been pretty successful with that approach. As for your refund, just scroll up or down to find the responses from Carl — they’ll tell you how to get your money refunded. Thanks.

  20. Jack Kreamer

    Do you think that a person who is very dependent on his stock holdings and is 83 years old sholuld be following the stocks that you talk about. My concern being if 2008 were to happen now, not much time to make it up.

    1. Brian

      You can’t take it with you Jack! Or are you planning on financing a wedding in the interim with your profits?

  21. Kit S. Clarke

    I have found the site worthless for me and have been trying to find a way to cancel. If I cannot cancel, do not renew under any circumstances.

    1. Dear Kit,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. If you wish to make changes to your account or subscription(s), please send your request to us at membersupport@fool.com, or give us a call toll free at 888-665-3665, between the hours of 9am-5pm Eastern, Monday through Friday. We’ll be glad to help.

      Best,
      Carl
      Member Services
      The Motley Fool

  22. Peter

    Interesting question. I’m a charter member of the MF Stock Advisor – yes, 13 years and counting. At the start, I took about $200K (IRA) from a full-service broker, opened a Schwab account, and promptly began to follow the Stock Advisor buy recommendations. I remember buying a bunch of Marvel stock (at about $6/share) and my wife looking at me like I was nuts. That stock alone paid off the cost of the newsletter and then some! Not every stock is a winner, but I’m still beating the S&P 500 and hold about 50 different stocks, all recommended by the Fools. So yes, I’m a huge fan. Buy and hold for the long run, enjoy the ride, and don’t overstress.

  23. Lynne

    I’m sure you get new members on a regular basis who are NOT investment savvy. It would be very helpful if, in at least one Stock Advisor each year, you were to publish a glossary. As a refresher, seasoned investors might appreciate it too.

  24. lois bevins

    Your emails seem to very often be ads pushing yourmore expensive offerings. (pretty close to being spam). The only stock I have purchased solely on your recommend is POST- one of my worst holdings. I admit that I have missed some good buys by not following your advice. I don’t like having to delete, delete,delete through propaganda for MF1 before I can read the jokes from my friends. Lois Bevins

  25. mike

    I have 150k build me a portfolio age 67 risk tolerance above normal

  26. steve

    You folks automatically renewed my subscription, this time for $150. I wasn’t going to pay THAT. So I canceled and asked that my money be returned to my CC; which you did. Then, miraculously, one day later, you offered my subscription at only $49. So, apparently, that’s all your service is really worth? So why can’t you just offer me a renewal at $49 instead of playing games?