The primary goals of anyone who invests in stocks should be the same: To predictably generate wealth and beat the market in the process. To be fair, the latter is easier said than done considering the S&P 500's historical annual returns of roughly 10%.

Yet the Motley Fool Income Investor newsletter has consistently done just that, with its average pick since 2003 up 45.6% and beating the market by 5% as of this writing (returns as of 4/19/2017). 

At the same time, life isn't all about picking great stocks -- as fun as that might be. That's why the Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter has served as a guiding light for investors both young and old as they work to accumulate and manage their finances through a crucial time in their lives.

But what, specifically, sets these two newsletters apart from each other. And how can you benefit from them?

Motley Fool headquarters building


How Income Investor aims to find the best dividend payers on the market

Income Investor is led by advisor and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Michael Olsen. Olsen, for his part, has worked on several other market-beating Motley Fool services, including Million Dollar PortfolioInside Value, and Special Ops, and is supported by two top-notch analysts in Paul Chi and Rana Pritanjali. Together, their primary goal through Income Investor is to find high-quality companies that can grow their dividends over time.

To be fair, there's no definitive guide for what makes an ideal Income Investor stock. But above all else, the team prioritizes the concepts of wealth preservation, capital appreciation, and -- as the their name suggests -- income generation.

"When viewed through that filter," Michael writes, "dividend investments are well-suited: they've consistently registered the best risk-adjusted returns across long periods of time."

Income Investor further hones its approach to dividend investing as follows:

  • Income Investor picks must pay a regular dividend. The team targets a 3% yield on average across all recommendations.
  • Generic businesses won't do. Income Investor looks for differentiated companies with wide, competitive moats. So it tends to follow that they offer "must-have" services and products.
  • Seek "stealth value." Income Investor doesn't just look for "value" or "growth" stocks, but wants to find "good companies whose potential isn't quite appreciated, or is the subject of temporary disdain." To that end, they try to find moats that are less obvious and continuing to grow, which often means looking closely at underappreciated small-cap and mid-cap stocks.
  • Partner well. This means finding companies whose management teams have a track record of capable capital allocation.
  • Consider less conventional dividends. Often this requires looking at "dividend compounders," or companies that might currently pay a small dividend in an early stage industry, but have ample room to grow their payouts over time.
  • Strive to "remain anchored" by being brutally honest with themselves and avoiding attempts at being smarter than they are. As Michael writes, "We're firmly committed to remaining within our circle of competence."

When the rubber hits the road, Income Investor is able to use this methodology to provide members with one investment idea each month, ongoing coverage of its picks in real time, weekly updates with a recap of the previous week's news, and a thriving message-board community where you can interact with other members and the analyst team. Income Investor also maintains lists of Buy-Rated stocks from within its recommendation universe, as well as its "Best Buys Now" to highlight what they believe are the absolute best places for investors to put new money to work.

Finally, Income Investor encourages members to own stocks with a long-term mentality and avoid frequent trading. Especially in the case of dividend payers, this is the most effective way to let the magic of compounding returns to do its work.



Rule Your Retirement is a canary in your gold(en years) mine

By comparison, Rule Your Retirement isn't explicitly a stock-picking service. That's not to say buying and holding great investments isn't part of ensuring a comfortable retirement. But through the leadership of Advisor and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Robert Brokamp, Rule Your Retirement's focus is to both educate and provide actionable recommendations on topics like building a balanced portfolio, calculating savings rates, planning for insurance, handling your taxes, and managing your estate.

Robert Brokamp has been a full-time Fool since 1999, and has contributed to publications including Better Investing and Newsweek. He also wrote The Motley Fool's Guide to Paying for School, co-authored The Motley Fool Personal Finance Workbook, and contributed to both The Motley Fool's Money After 40 and The Motley Fool's Guide to Couples and Cash.

But all the information included with Rule Your Retirement could easily be overwhelming. So Rule Your Retirement members receive an easy-to-read email digest with each week's content every Thursday, as well as a monthly digest on the first Thursday of each month. To help you navigate all that useful content later, the Rule Your Retirement site is neatly organized by topics including:

  • Portfolio
  • Funds
  • Saving
  • Everyday Finances
  • Accounts
  • Estate Planning
  • How to Retire
  • Property and Mortgages
  • Insurance
  • Paying for College
  • Health and Wellness

In addition, Rule Your Retirement gives you access to a thriving community where you can interact with other members in any of 16 discussion boards devoted to every aspect of retirement planning. In short, if you have questions about any retirement-related issue, there's no better place to be.

Start your life-changing journey today

Whether you share Motley Fool Income Investors' thirst for dividends, or want the best possible financial planning and investment guidance from Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement, both services offer compelling ways for anyone to vastly improve their financial well-being.

Best of all, you can sign up for either newsletter -- or both -- at a special introductory rate right now. Rather than paying the usual price, take advantage of this offer and click here to pay a significant discount to list price for Motley Fool Income Investor. Or you can click here to pay a significant discount to list price for Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement. Either way, it could mark the beginning of your journey to life-changing wealth.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.