The Motley Fool is an investment service with a website founded by brothers David and Tom Gardner in 1993. It is a free website and I encourage anyone who wants to learn more about investing and to improve their financial literacy to go to fool.com and read the articles there. The saying goes that you get what you pay for, but in this case, I think you can learn and gain a lot by reading these free articles. There are embedded ads in the articles – the Fool owners and employees have to get paid somehow – but if you don’t get sidetracked by clicking on ads, the site is worthwhile.
As you can tell from the photos of the founding Gardner brothers, The Motley Fool is a serious financial website with an irreverent delivery. Their mission, as stated on the home page of the fool.com website, is “Helping the World Invest – Better”. They are in business specifically to help readers do a better job of investing their own money. The Motley Fool doesn’t get paid commissions, and their advice is independent of any brokerage or other financial institution. They get paid through advertisements on their website, so their job is to generate as much site traffic as they can by posting the best investment vice that they can. They do offer a paid subscription service called Stock Advisor for $99/year, which is a good value in my opinion, but you can still read plenty of good articles through the free site. Unlike other sites such as Seeking Alpha, the authors of the articles on fool.com work for fool.com, which means that fool.com endorses any of the investment opinions put forward on their website.
Having been founded in 1993 during the beginning of the dot-com era, The Motley Fool initially made its reputation by touting high-tech stocks. Good idea, and good timing on their part. They continue to tout high tech stocks, but not entirely. One of their current top picks, for instance, is Tractor Supply Company, a big-box retailer that caters to rural America – not high tech. Their analysis and picks are mostly fundamental in nature (meaning they look at individual companies’ finances and try to find value therein) and long-term. Don’t go to fool.com if you are looking for quick trading pops. Do go to them if you want to invest your retirement money in individual stocks.
One piece of advice that I received early on is that you should develop hobbies that will either earn you money or improve yourself or both. Nowadays people (not you or I, of course) spend hours each month looking at videos on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and the like. Think about cutting the time that you look at social media in half, and instead better yourself by reading The Motley Fool or a similar site with the time that is no longer devoted to social media. Another idea? If you see an article you like on fool.com and have further questions about it, contact me and we can discuss it together and maybe we can both learn something.
I do subscribe to Stock Advisor but I otherwise have no connection with The Motley Fool. I am writing this post only because I admire their website and because I think you all can benefit by reading it.