In this edition of The Motley Fool's Ask a Fool series, Motley Fool analysts Jason Moser and Brendan Mathews take a question from a reader who asks:

I compared your NOW Starter recommendations to my brokerage's stock ratings. Only one stock was recommended by both -- the others were quite the opposite. This confuses me. I am tempted to buy the one, MasterCard (NYSE:MA), that you both agree on. Is this Foolish or foolish thinking on my part?

Brendan doesn't recommend using the ratings generated by brokers. The ratings offered by most discount brokers are computer-generated, and they don't capture the important nuances of a good long-term investment. Jason further points out that brokers are typically looking to encourage short-term trading -- something that doesn't line up with the Fool's long-term investing philosophy.