The Motley Fool

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Motley Fool)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Motley Fool
Type of business Private
Type of site
Financial advisory services
Founded July 1993
Headquarters Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Area served US, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Germany
Founder(s) David Gardner and Tom Gardner, and Erik Rydholm

The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company that provides financial advice for investors through various stock, investing, and personal finance services. The Alexandria, Virginia-based private company was founded in July 1993 by co-chairmen and brothers David Gardner and Tom Gardner and by Erik Rydholm, who has since left. The company employs more than 300 people.


Investment advice[edit]

The Motley Fool offers a wide range of stock news and analysis at its free website,, as well as through a variety of paid investment advice services. The services, which provide online stock analysis and research with interactive discussion boards and other tools, cover a range of styles from small caps to international stocks, to options, to shorting.[1]


  • The Motley Fool runs the Motley Fool Money radio show and four other podcasts.[2]
  • The Motley Fool newspaper column is syndicated by Universal Uclick.[3]

Company culture[edit]

The company received the 2014 and 2015 nationwide honor for being "the No. 1 Medium-Sized Company to Work for in the United States" from[4][5] Its employees are given significant flexibility, for example, the ability to choose their daily shift's start time, in addition to numerous benefits, including traditional benefits such as health insurance as well as unique benefits such as haircuts and money specifically earmarked for investing in publicly traded companies.[6]

Mutual funds[edit]

In June 2009, Motley Fool Funds launched its first mutual fund, Motley Fool Independence Fund.[7] As of August 17, 2018, the fund (FOOLX) had underperformed the S&P 500 by 2.97% and earned 4 out of 5 stars from Morningstar.[8]

In November 2010, Motley Fool funds launched Motley Fool Great America Fund. As of August 17, 2018, the fund (TMFGX) has a five-year underperformance of the S&P 500 by 1.29% and outperformed the average fund in its category, midcap growth, by 0.44%[9]

In November 2011, Motley Fool funds launched Motley Fool Epic Voyage Fund (TMFEX). As of mid-December 2014, the return of this fund was one-third that of the S&P 500.[10]


Motley Fool headquarters in Alexandria, VA

The name "Motley Fool" is taken from Shakespeare's comedy As You Like It.[11][12]

In August 1994, brothers David and Tom Gardner parlayed their one-year-old investment newsletter into a content partnership with America Online. The Motley Fool gained renown for its early recommendations of stocks, such as, America Online (AOL), Amgen, eBay, PayPal, and Starbucks, and was featured in a cover story for Fortune magazine (1996) about the emergence of online interactive discussion as a new form of investment research.[citation needed] In April 1997, the site was moved from AOL to the website,[13] and a UK site,, was established.[14]

Motley Fool content is available to the public on and, and in its Motley Fool Money podcast and nationally syndicated newspaper column. The Gardners have written several bestselling books on investing, most recently the New York Times Best Seller Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio, published in December 2008.[15] Their third book, Rule Makers and Rule Breakers, was published in 2000.[16] Their best-known book, The Motley Fool Investment Guide, was in 2003 called the "#1 All-Time Classic" by investment club members of the NAIC.[citation needed]

During the financial crisis and the dot-com bubble collapse in 2001, the company ran into trouble, resulting in the loss of 80% of the staff in a series of three layoffs and the closure of its operations in Germany and Japan. Following the 2000–2002 stock market downturn, Motley Fool started to cover more strategies, such as a range of investment styles from small cap stock investing to growth and technology stocks, to dividend investing.[citation needed]

A December 2005 Washington Post article detailed the Motley Fool's 10-year lease for new offices in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, taking over office space vacated by Time-Life.[17]

In September 2006, the company unveiled Motley Fool CAPS, a service that monitors and ranks the most successful stock pickers amongst its members.[18]

In 2011, the company launched Fool Australia,[19] followed in 2012 by Fool Canada[20] and Fool Singapore.[21]

Premium services[edit]

Motley Fool Stock Advisor[edit]

In April 2002, the company launched the first of its premium subscription services. David and Tom Gardner pick one stock each month in a brotherly competition to best each other and the S&P 500. They maintain a consistent buy-and-hold style, tending to let their winning stocks compound returns over longer periods of time.


  • Motley Fool Hidden Gems - Small cap stocks
  • Motley Fool Hidden Winners (UK) - UK small cap stocks
  • Motley Fool Income Investor - A newsletter focusing on high yield stocks
  • Motley Fool Inside Value - A newsletter for value investors
  • Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio - A managed portfolio of $1 million of The Motley Fool's own money
  • Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio 360 - A service that combines access to the Million Dollar Portfolio with access to most other newsletters
  • Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio Deep Value - Concentrated portfolio for Value investors
  • Motley Fool One - Allows subscribers to view all the newsletters in one place
  • Motley Fool Options - An options recommendation service used in conjunction with investments in securities
  • Motley Fool Pro
  • Motley Fool Pro (UK) - £100,000 real-money portfolio
  • Motley Fool Rule Breakers - David Gardner and a team of analysts choose mid-cap companies they see as using disruptive innovation to change the marketplace
  • Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement - Retirement planning advice
  • Motley Fool Share Advisor (Australia)
  • Motley Fool Share Advisor (UK) - UK growth and income shares
  • Motley Fool Special Ops
  • Motley Fool Supernova - Gives subscribers access to a team of analysts building a portfolio of David Gardner's stocks. This service consists of three portfolios: one for regular wage earners, another for people nearing retirement, and a third portfolio which pits baskets of stocks against each other in a battle to see the "best of the bunch". Returns on the Odyssey portfolio were 67.1% growth after 28 months (as of October 2014)[22][not in citation given]

Community discussion boards[edit]

The Motley Fool hosts online discussion boards. Registered users can get access to all non-newsletter boards that cover a variety of stock, personal finance, and investing concepts. The discussion boards are used heavily to recruit future Motley Fool staffers; frequent posters are first awarded free subscriptions to their favorite Motley Fool newsletters then eventually receive a small stipend and "TMF" username moniker to patrol the boards.[citation needed]

On Thursday 3 November 2016 it was announced that the UK boards would close, with a post stating "It's my sad duty to announce that we'll be closing the Fool UK Discussion Boards to new posts on Thursday 17 November. After they close to new posts, the Boards will remain accessible as a 'read-only' archive for at least 3 months."[23] Several Fools have suggested alternative sites including[24][citation needed]

"Foolish Four" investment strategy[edit]

In 1999, Motley Fool ran into controversy with its eventually discredited Foolish Four investment theory, which had been marketed as a way to "crush mutual funds [in] only 15 minutes a year" by using a simple mathematical formula to find stocks likely to grow much more than average.[25][26] This stock-picking technique was referred to as "investment hogwash in its purest form" by Money writer Jason Zweig in an August 1999 article titled "False Profits."[27] Zweig also called it "one of the most cockamamie stock-picking formulas ever concocted" in his 2003 commentary in the revised edition of Benjamin Graham's acclaimed Value investing book, The Intelligent Investor.[25]

Motley Fool writer Ann Coleman admitted in 2000 that the Foolish Four method "turned out to be not nearly as wonderful a strategy as we thought."[28]

Blog Network[edit]

The Motley Fool Blog Network was a stock analysis and news site that provided a platform for non-Motley Fool staff writers to submit articles. They received compensation ranging from $50–$100 for each article submitted and additional compensation for how many recommendations or "editors picks" they received.[29] Eventually the company merged the Blog Network with its primary site, syndicating bloggers' articles alongside those written by in-house staff and making the blogging platform defunct. In July 2014, after Yahoo announced its new Yahoo Finance Contributors platform,[30] Motley Fool was negatively impacted, as a significant percentage of traffic to its website relied on syndication of articles via Yahoo Finance. This led the company to sever relationships with the majority of its freelance contributors and former bloggers.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Motley Fool". ]
  2. ^ Motley Fool co-founder launches new podcast
  3. ^ The Motley Fool by David Gardner and Tom Gardner
  4. ^ "The Motley Fool Named the Best Medium-Sized Company To Work For in the US". The Motley Fool. December 11, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ Nycz-Conner, Jennifer (December 10, 2014), "The Motley Fool Tops Glassdoor's List of Best Places to Work", Washington Business Journal Morning Edition, retrieved December 12, 2014 
  6. ^ "Compensations & Benefits". Careers - The Motley Fool. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  7. ^ Jaffe, Chuck (2009-07-09). "Stupid Investment of the Week". Boston: Retrieved 2013-09-12. 
  8. ^ "Motley Fool Independence Fund (FOOLX)". 
  9. ^ "Motley Fool Great America Fund (TMFGX)". 
  10. ^ "Motley Fool Epic Voyage Fund (TMFEX)". 
  11. ^ Harold Bloom & Pamela Loos (2007). As You Like It. p. 10.  "Indeed, after meeting Touchstone, Jaques wants to change his own life, to take on the life of a motley fool himself."
  12. ^ William Shakespeare (2004). As You Like It. Sparklesoup Classics. p. 23. DUKE SENIOR. Why, how now, monsieur! what a life is this, That your poor friends must woo your company? What, you look merrily! JAQUES. A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' th' forest, A motley fool. 
  13. ^ "About The Motley Fool:History". Retrieved 2013-09-12. 
  14. ^ "About The Motley Fool UK". Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  15. ^ David Gardner & Tom Gardner (2008). Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio. 
  16. ^ David Gardner & Tom Gardner. The Motley Fools Rule Breakers Rule Makers : The Foolish Guide To Picking Stocks. ISBN 9780684857176. 
  17. ^ de Tantillo, Lila (December 15, 2005). "The Motley Fool Finds Room to Grow in City". The Washington Post. 
  18. ^ Oliver, Ryan (October 3, 2006). "Stock picking gets social on Motley Fool". CNN Money. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  19. ^ "About Us - Fool Australia". Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "About Us - Fool Canada". Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "About Us - Fool Singapore". Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  22. ^ " Stock Investing Advice - Stock Research". The Motley Fool. 
  23. ^ Fool, The Motley. "TMF: Closure of the UK Discussion Boards / What's New at the Motley Fool". 
  24. ^ "The Lemon Fool - Home". Archived from the original on 2016-11-07. 
  25. ^ a b Graham, Benjamin (2003). The Intelligent Investor (PDF) (Revised 1973 ed.). Harper Collins. pp. 44–45. ISBN 0-06-055566-1. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  26. ^ "Dogs of the Dow and the Foolish Four". 1999-06-29. Retrieved 2013-09-12. 
  27. ^ Zweig, Jason. "False Profits". Money Magazine. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  28. ^ Coleman, Ann (December 29, 2000). "Fool Four Moves On". Archived from the original on September 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-12. 
  29. ^ "Details of The Motley Fool Blog Network", The Motley Fool, October 26, 2011, retrieved December 12, 2014 
  30. ^ Pearlman, Phil (July 23, 2014), "Introducing Yahoo Finance Contributors", Yahoo Finance, retrieved December 12, 2014 
  31. ^ Creation, ANew (July 30, 2014), "The Motley Fool is in disarray, laying off massive amounts of contributors", Reddit, retrieved December 12, 2014 

External links[edit]