Why does The Motley Fool have different opinions about a single stock?

“Wait a second, you said in the newsletter that XYZ Corp. was a buy, but an article on Fool.com said to sell. What gives?”

It’s a fairly common question we receive: Why does The Motley Fool have different opinions about a single stock? The answer: We’re motley.

We understand that can be frustrating for an investor looking for a hard-and-fast decision about whether to make a purchase, but for better and for worse, we don’t have a “company line.”

As we state in our Knowledge Center definition of motley, “We glory in the practice of letting our writers and analysts put forth views that do not agree with the ‘official’ recommendation position of our premium advisory services because that leads investors to consider multiple sides to the investing argument. And when they do that, they usually make better, more informed decisions.

“Each of our premium advisory services originates, publishes, provides, and supports its own independent view of any given investment,” the wiki continues.

If you want to know where your newsletter service team stands, click on the Recommendations tab on the service’s site. If the team changes its collective mind based on changing conditions, they’ll let you know there and via email.

We’re motley!

But one team’s decision doesn’t make it law, nor does it muzzle those who disagree.

“The Motley Fool, as a company, long ago encouraged all Fools — whether customers or employees — to think independently and to post their views on places such as our discussion boards, our CAPS blogging pages, and our public website, Fool.com,” as well as our newsletter services, per the wiki.

“We encourage this free and independent thinking because it is our firm belief that it serves every investor’s best interest to encounter and consider opposing viewpoints. Only by considering both sides of an argument (bull and bear, for instance), can one come to the most informed decision for one side or the other,” it concludes. “We do recognize that with this benefit comes a drawback — namely, that some members (particularly newer ones) may be initially confused or flummoxed that there’s no official corporate line or party line for any given stock. We regret that anyone might ever feel this way, and an article like this one is written specifically to clear up any confusion.”

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