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The Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha have a track record of successfully steering investors in the direction of money-making investments. There are a number of high-quality investing newsletters available on a subscription-only basis, and these two options stand out for their modest price points and smart stock recommendations.
In this post you'll learn:
Motley Fool Stock Advisor Services Basics
The Motley Fool is an investment advisory service with a long track record. Started by brothers David and Tom Gardner in 1993, the site offers a huge library of free information on investing, retirement, and personal finance.
The Motley Fool offers a number of different stock advice subscriptions, each with a different theme. The Motley Fool Stock Advisor is one of their most popular newsletters and is priced at $199 per year. The site frequently offers Stock Advisor at a discounted price.
With MF’s Stock Advisor, you’ll get advice on which stocks to add to a high-quality portfolio that should ideally be held for at least five years. Each month, subscribers get a list of new stock picks with information about why they may be a good buy.
Here’s what Stock Advisor subscribers get:
Stocks to Buy: Motley Fool’s ever-evolving list of the ten best stocks to buy today.
Starter Stocks: List of ten stocks ideal for anchoring a portfolio for the long haul. New investors can start by purchasing these individual stocks.
Monthly Newsletter: Two stock picks each month plus an in-depth analysis of the reasons MF staff experts chose these stocks.
Motley Fool Advisor Services Subscription Choices
Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor newsletter is just one of their subscription services. There are several choices designed to meet the needs of nearly any type of investor.
- Stock Advisor (SA): Current stock recommendations from The Fool founders, analysts, and the community.
- Rule Breakers (RB): RB provides monthly access to community and investment resources as well as monthly stock recommendations.
- Rule Your Retirement (RYR): RYR is for investors interested in retiring soon. It includes recommendations about ETFs and mutual funds as well as Social Security tips and strategies. RYR costs $149 per year.
- Options (OPT): Created to meet the needs of advanced traders, OPT provides access to the Options University, options trading news, and options investment recommendations. OPT normally costs $999 per year but is currently not accepting new members.
- Market Pass (MP): MP subscribers get access to the information included with Rule Breakers and Stock Advisor. They also get research on long-term investment trends. MP has a subscription cost of $1,499 per year but isn’t currently accepting new members.
Seeking Alpha Stock Advisor Services Basics
Seeking Alpha’s stock advisory service exists within three distinct tiers. The Free Plan allows users to set alerts on their favorite stocks to receive new information and analysis. Free Plan subscribers can’t see the author’s track record, however. Stock analysis authored by experts and those with an excellent track record are behind the paywall.
With Seeking Alpha’s Premium Plan, subscribers get access to expert analysis, news, and Quant Ratings for $199.99 annually. The site runs frequent promotions and sales, so you may be able to get access to the service for less money.
The Seeking Alpha Pro Plan is $199.99 per month billed at $2,399.88 annually. There’s an automatic 14-day trial period during which subscribers get full access to all of the Pro Plan’s top-tier features.
Seeking Alpha Advisor Services Basics Subscription Choices
- Seeking Alpha Free Plan: Subscribers get analysis alerts, new article alerts, access to comments, and they can see StockTalk and Seeking Alpha blogs.
- Seeking Alpha Premium: Seeking Alpha Premium offers unlimited access to more than 1 million articles on the SA site. Subscribers can see author ratings, quant ratings, dividend scores, and author performance numbers. SA Premium also comes with fewer ads than the free plan.
- Seeking Alpha PRO: With a SA PRO subscription, you get everything included with the free plan and Alpha Premium plus Top Ideas content, short-selling ideas portal, and all PRO content and newsletters. The idea screener allows subscribers to filter investing ideals by certain parameters. Subscribers also get access to the VIP Editorial Concierge where they can work directly with PRO editors to create ideas that match their interests and investing style. The PRO subscription comes with an ad-free site experience.
Are Motley Fool Stock Picks Any Good?
Yes. The Motley Fool’s stock advisors choose growth stocks, and so far their picks have significantly outperformed the stock market. Stock Advisor pointed subscribers in the direction of Disney, Netflix, and Amazon back when those companies were somewhat new. Over time, MF’s Stock Advisor stock picks have produced more than a 500% return.
In November of 2018, the Stock Advisor Newsletter suggested that subscribers should purchase Apple, Arista Networks, Shopify, Booking Holdings, Stitch Fix, and Amazon. All of these stocks have increased in value. For example, Shopify was $134.45 per share in November of 2018. Today, it sells for more than $1,247 per share.
MF analysts recommend that investors purchase their stock recommendations with the intent of holding those stocks for at least five years. If you subscribed in 2017 and purchased all 24 recommended stocks, you would have beat the market by 223%. All 24 stock picks from 2017 are profitable, six have more than tripled in value, and 11 have more than doubled in value. Nearly 90% of Motley Fool Stock Advisor stock picks during the past five years are profitable. 105 stocks recommended by Motley Fool since 2017 in this newsletter are winners; 15 are losers.
Who Is Motley Fool Stock Advisor Good For?
If you plan to buy and hold your investments for at least five years, The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor subscription may be a good buy. It also helps to have a minimum of $3,000 to $5,000 set aside to invest in stocks.
The Motley Fool isn’t advertising or promoting any get-rich-quick schemes with its subscription services. It’s best if you have enough disposable income to easily cover the purchase price of the subscription and can make unilateral decisions about which stocks to buy, even if it doesn’t line up with the experts’ recommendations.
Are Seeking Alpha Stock Picks Any Good?
Seeking Alpha’s content is user-generated, so subscribers must sift through the advice to find stocks that hold promise. You can get a list of top-rated stocks in each sector with one click after subscribing to Seeking Alpha Premium. The Factor Scorecard evaluates ETFs, REITs, and stocks using grades with easily discoverable underlying data.
Seeking Alpha’s Premium subscription differs from The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor in that SA doesn’t feed subscribers a list of stocks to buy each month. Instead, it offers access to the information and analysis investors need to make the right decisions for their portfolios.
Who Is Seeking Alpha’s Premium Subscription Good For?
Investors who prefer to compile their own research with a set of advanced tools that are easy to navigate and located in a single platform may prefer Seeking Alpha Premium Tier.
Investors may spend a great deal of time going through individual sources to vet investment ideas. Seeking Alpha Premium offers Quant ratings to help investors get a snapshot of an investment’s potential worth.
Which Premium Subscription Offers the Best Value?
Seeking Alpha Premium and Motley Fool Stock Advisor offer a very different set of services, so one isn’t necessarily a better value dollar-for-dollar than the other. Investors who have a couple of hundred dollars a year to spend on expanding their investment knowledge base are likely to find that their money is well spent with either service.
In general, Seeking Alpha Premium may be more satisfying for the curious investor who likes to get lost in research and investment experts’ opinions about individual stocks. Motley Fool Stock Advisor may work better for the investor who wants a short answer to the complicated question, “Which stock should I buy this month?”
Seeking Alpha Premium Pros and Cons
- Access to investing ideas articles
- Quant ratings
- Personal portfolio tracking
- Audio of company call transcripts and presentations
- Could be too expensive for new or casual investors
- No specific stock recommendations
- Lacks mutual funds coverage
- Few tools for technical analysis
Motley Fool Stock Advisor Services Pros and Cons
- Track record of market-beating returns
- Stock Advisor picks routinely beat the S&P 500
- Straightforward and action-oriented investing advice
- Could be too expensive for new or casual investors
- No investment portfolio tracking
- No investing community interaction or support
When to Choose Motley Fool
Motley Fool Stock Advisor may be ideal for investors who:
- Plan to buy and hold individual stocks for at least five years
- Have adequate discretionary income with which to buy stocks
- Have a solid understanding of the risks of investing in the stock market
- Want a brief overview of a few stocks to buy each month authored by financial experts
Investors who want to regularly beat the S&P 500 with their stock picks and those who want to start purchasing stocks right away may appreciate the straightforward nature of the Motley Fool Stock Advisor subscription service.
When to Choose Seeking Alpha
Seeking Alpha Premium may be ideal for investors who:
- Are serious about actively purchasing individual stocks, ETFs, and REITs
- Want access to Seeking Alpha content published more than ten days ago
- Currently hold at least five individual stocks
- Enjoy researching ETFs and stocks
Active investors who rely on others to provide in-depth research, investing ideas, and news alerts may find that Seeking Alpha’s paid subscription services save them time. It may also be useful to interact with other investors facing the same questions and problems.
When to Choose Both Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha
Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor Subscription could work well with Seeking Alpha’s Premium tier subscription. Their services don’t overlap much, and both offer important information that could help an investor make wise choices.
Is Motley Fool Worth it For New Investors?
Yes, if a new investor is ready to purchase individual stocks, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter can help them choose already-vetted stocks that MF analysts think have great potential. If you are new to investing, but understand the basic ideas outlined in The Motley Fool’s How to Invest Guide, you may be ready for a subscription to one of Motley Fool’s premium newsletters.
Of course, you can’t make money in the stock market unless you are willing to invest. So before you decide to pay for an MF newsletter subscription, make sure you have enough disposable income to purchase the stocks they recommend.
Motley Fool’s investing strategy rests on the idea that you should buy individual stocks with the intention of holding them for at least five years. Those who want to invest but may need access to their money sooner should pursue other (safer) investment vehicles.
If investing is a completely new idea, it’s wise to learn more by spending time on the Motley Fool website absorbing the free information. Start with The Top 21 Stocks to Buy in 2021 (And the 1 Ultimate Stock) after reading the How to Invest Guide.
The Motley Fool’s stock analysts recommend that new investors put their money into a diversified fund. For example, they recommend that investors check out the Vanguard Total World Stock Index Fund EFT (NYSEMKT:VT).
Is Seeking Alpha Worth it For New Investors?
Yes. Investors that are ready to purchase individual stocks and understand how important it is to conduct research before putting in their order will find a huge stockpile of information with access to Seeking Alpha Premium.
This amount of data can be overwhelming for those who don’t have a lot of experience researching stocks. However, for investors who are interested in gaining knowledge, Seeking Alpha Premium is a great choice among affordable stock advice subscriptions.
Motley Fool Stock Advisor Newsletter Reviews from Customers
Trustpilot.com has 1,261 reviews of The Motley Fool platform for all paid subscribers and those who use the free information on the site. MF users offer an average rating of 2.6 stars out of five stars.
- Excellent: 35%
- Great: 11%
- Average: 5%
- Poor: 5%
- Bad: 45%
Here are a few Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter subscribers offering their experiences with the service on Reddit:
“Overall, my experience has been positive. Motleyfool also has an in-house retirement account setup that I am using as well. I have been encouraged by my results, as I am up around 23% in the last 3 months (although 6 months looks about the same at 24%, 1 year at 31%).” -Charcuterienighmare
“I would recommend it. Here’s the question I want to ask you: what do you EXPECT out of it / what exactly do you want from the service that will make it “worth it” for YOU? If you think you can just buy their recommendations without any research or conscious thought, then this isn’t for you. They have a rationale for every stock they recommend, and they even SPECIFICALLY tell you to only invest in stocks that you truly believe in and/or support.” -GeepGeepOG
“I’ve had a subscription to Stock Advisor for over 3 years. I don’t buy every recommendation they make, but I use it as a strong indicator of what to research further. All of my picks based on their recommendation have done very well. The service more than pays for itself for me.” -WhiteFang34
Seeking Alpha Premium Tier Reviews from Customers
Trustpilot.com has 70 reviews of the Seeking Alpha platform across all subscription tiers with an average rating of 4.3 stars out of five stars:
- Excellent: 64%
- Great: 13%
- Average: 1%
- Poor: 6%
- Bad: 16%
Here are a few Seeking Alpha Premium subscribers offering their opinions about the service on Reddit:
“So I’ve been reading seeking alpha premium for about 5 months now. I would say it’s worth trying free for a month to see if it fits your investment needs. I invest in a lot of niche asset classes (CEFs+preferreds+ REIT/ute CEFs/preferreds) and there aren’t a lot of other places that carry so many contributors covering this area. Often the articles are gated esp. those involving Pimco.
The reason I like SA is because it’s crowdsourced so you get many conflicting opinions and there are a lot of savvy readers so there is a lot of pushback in the comments. Note some authors delete unfavorable comments so unfortunately there is censorship of a sort.”
“At least for REITS and dividend stocks I think the quality of seeking alpha is much better than other online resources. If you visit the site often and keep up to date you can get by without paying.” -Redwakasushi
“I would say it depends on: 1) how sophisticated you are with investing in general, 2) if you have any specialized interests (REITs, dividend stocks, commodities), 3) your current account size, 4) your level of satisfaction with the free version, and 5) if there are specific articles you’ve tried to access but have been excluded from. So… It’s hard to say if it’s worth it “in general” -thechickensage
Which Stock Advice Service is Better?
Your long-term satisfaction with Seeking Alpha Premium or Motley Fool Stock Advisor depends on your needs as they relate to investing.
If you want a direct connection to specific stocks recommended by experts, Motley Fool does a better job than Seeking Alpha of providing condensed recommendations via a monthly newsletter.
However, if you want to dive into the research on your own and read several experts’ opinions on whether an individual stock is a worthy investment, Seeking Alpha may be a better fit.
In general, investors should have a good understanding of the inner workings of the stock market and be comfortable with the idea that they could lose money by investing in stocks. Even new investors with a good working knowledge of how to interpret the analysis of individual stocks could benefit from both a subscription to The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor newsletter and the Premium Tier of Seeking Alpha.
These two services are different from each other, but also complimentary. If making money in the stock market is your goal, and you are ready to buy individual stocks, The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor newsletter offers straightforward advice about exactly which stocks you should buy each month and why those stocks are a great addition to a portfolio.
Seeking Alpha can help you build your stock analysis skills and provide you with an interactive platform where you can track stocks you own while you watch how interesting stocks perform over time. If you want to be part of an active community of investing enthusiasts, discuss investing ideas, and read articles from some of the most successful investors in the marketplace, a Premium Tier subscription to the Seeking Alpha website provides access.