Co-founders Tom and David Gardner standing outside The Motley Fool headquarters

The Motley Fool co-founders Tom and David Gardner. Image source: The Motley Fool.

It's been an interesting start to the year for the stock market writ large and for our Motley Fool 100 Index specifically. A market-cap-weighted index that tracks the performance of The Motley Fool's 100 largest investing ideas, the Fool 100 was up 2.04% in the first quarter of 2018 compared to a 1.58% decline for the S&P 500. That's good, but we strive for better. The Fool 100's outperformance narrowed toward the end of the quarter due to declines in the value of big technology company stocks such as Facebook and Alphabet, which represent a hefty percentage of the Fool 100's composition.

Having said that, we'd like to think this recent performance lends credibility to the simple idea that powers the Fool 100: We'd rather own all high-quality businesses than any low-quality businesses.

To that end, we reconstitute the Fool 100 quarterly to make sure the index reflects our company's latest and greatest thinking on the stocks our analysts follow. This quarter, six companies came into the index and six went out.

Leaving the index were commercial truck manufacturer Paccar (NASDAQ:PCAR), industrial engineering company Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR), biotech BioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN), aircraft market Textron (NYSE:TXT), aircraft parts maker Transdigm Group (NYSE:TDG), and oil pipeline and storage firm Magellan Midstream (NYSE:MMP). Paccar and Emerson both left the Fool universe after our analysts issued sell recommendations on the stock, while BioMarin, Textron, Transdigm, and Magellan became too small to qualify for the Fool 100.

Replacing these stocks were open-source tech giant Red Hat (NYSE:RHT), consumer finance lender Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS), veterinary healthcare equipment provider IDEXX Laboratories (NASDAQ:IDXX), pipeline operator Spectra Energy (formerly NYSE: SEP), cyber security specialist Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW), and paper and packaging maker WestRock (NYSE:WRK). Red Hat, Discover, and Spectra entered the Fool 100 thanks to new buy recommendations from our analysts, while IDEXX, Palto Alto, and WestRock grew large enough to qualify for inclusion in our top 100 ideas.

Those changes, though, were mostly on the margin, and the Fool 100 remained substantially the same, with low turnover, relatively more exposure to the technology and consumer discretionary sectors than the broader market, and recognizable names making up its top 10 constituents.

Motley Fool 100 Top 10 Constituents



Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG)




Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)


Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)


Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B)


Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)


Visa (NYSE:V)




UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH)


As of April 2, 2018.

To learn more about the Motley Fool 100 index, including all of the Fool picks that make up its 100 constituents, visit the Fool 100 website at

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.