Motley Fool Rule Breakers, the growth stock newsletter captained by Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner, has a long and storied history of finding great growth stocks years before they've realized their full potential. Many likely join the newsletter simply based on David's superb history of picking market-beating stocks – but we believe you should be aware of all the benefits of a Rule Breakers subscription before you decide whether to buy.

Let's dive in.

What makes a Rule Breaker?

Picture of David Gardner.

Motley Fool co-founder and Chief Rule Breaker David Gardner. Image Source: The Motley Fool

Let's start by defining a rule breaker stock. David has actually developed six criteria for doing just that. We'll share them essentially verbatim from Rule Breakers (in bold)and then provide some extra explanation and context.

A rule-breaking stock...

- Is the top dog and first mover in an important, emerging industry. The company should operate in an attractive industry that is rapidly growing. (The best floppy disk company is still in a dying niche.) It should also be the lead innovator and hopefully the largest company in the space.

- Has a sustainable advantage gained through business momentum, patent protection, visionary leadership, or inept competitors. As an innovator, the company must have something that significantly distinguishes it from the competition – something that seems likely to endure. Otherwise, how can it provide outsize gains over the long term?

- Exhibits strong past price appreciation. David has found that companies who have had a nice run-up in price often...just keep running up. That's not to say that we believe in 'momentum stocks' or any of that nonsense. But we also don't necessarily believe that what goes up must by necessity go down...a company whose business keeps growing over the long term may have a price that does the same.

- Has good management and smart backing.Bad management can take an otherwise good business and run it into the ground. When seeking innovative companies early in their growth cycles, we cannot afford to accept anyone but the best management teams. Nobody else can as effectively capitalize on the disruptive growth opportunities that give rule breakers the chance to beat the market over the long term.

- Has strong consumer appeal. Reputation matters. The company should be widely respected by its customers and key opinion leaders in its niche.

- Is grossly overvalued according to the financial media. You read that right. As investors, we win big if we zag when others zig...if we're right. Others often decry a company for being too expensive because they don't see just how big its growth opportunities could be. That underestimation is our opportunity.

Not every Rule Breakers pick will have all of these attributes all the time – there is no such thing as a perfect stock -- but each will have some of them.

Rule-Breaking stock picks (and regular updates!)

Rule Breakers is a stock idea newsletter, so every month David announces two new picks that he and his team of analysts have uncovered. David and team also identify five "best buys now" each month from within the Rule Breakers universe – often stocks recently reporting news that clarifies just how superb their growth trajectory could be.

For those new to the service, David and team also provide a list of "starter stocks" – picks that any new rule-breaking investor should think pretty hard about having to anchor their portfolio. These starter stocks are updated each year so new investors have timely opportunities based on the team's current thinking.

In fact, the Rule Breakers team provides timely updates on every stock recommended in the newsletter – quarterly earnings, major news that moves the stock, etc. So you can feel confident that, if something thesis-changing has happened to the stock, the team will have a write-up explaining what they think now.

A community of passionate investors

One of the key things separating Rule Breakers – and, indeed, all Motley Fool stock newsletter services – from the competition is the emphasis on community. The Rule Breakers message boards provide thousands of investors the opportunity to talk stocks, ask and answer questions, and build life-long friendships around their mutual passion of investing.

With the boards, what you get out is closely related to what you put in -- people who are dedicated to learning more can develop an experience far richer than someone who just comes to get the picks once a month.

All of these benefits and more are available to Rule Breakers subscribers. With the newsletter on sale for a discount, now's a great time to take the plunge and learn more about what this service can do to help you grow your wealth.