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The Motley Fool and The Human Element

In today’s world, investing your money can be simple, but the sheer number of choices can be mind boggling. Do you opt for one of those newfangled robo-advisors, algorithmic wizards which line up your assets through sheer mathematical speculation? Or do you turn to a stock-brokerage, like your parents before you?

Luckily, The Motley Fool is somewhere in the middle of these two options. On one hand, they are situated in the midst of the contemporary discourse about investing, and realize the power of algorithmic reasoning. But on the other, they still abide by human feeling. This is really what sets them apart from robo-advisors and other stock advice services.

Most people have a hunch before they start investing. Heck, such hunches are often the que to take our first plunge: we hear of this company as a potential up-and-comer, a giant in the making, and think opportunities are rife. But what do we really know?

This is where an investment service like The Motley Fool really shines. The average investor simply does not have time to do the kind of research which makes a guess educated; The Motley Fool does all this work for you, plus a little bit more. Their flagship service, Stock Advisor, has been consistent in offering members insightful, ahead of the curve stock picks.

Founded in 1993 by David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool follows a business ethos that reassures even the most tepid of beginners: long-term investment strategy. While exchange traded and mutual funds are typically recommended for their staying power, The Motley Fool works to make stock picks shine for investors looking to create passive, long-term, and relatively risk-free portfolios.

Their recommended investment strategies have been impressive: with recent returns at an average of 36%, this is well above the S&P average, and illustrates that the folks at The Motley Fool have a bead on the market.

A Look at The Fool’s Recent Picks

These guys and gals at The Motley Fool have been at it since 1993, with no sign of slowing down. In fact, the fourth quarter of 2020 was one of their strongest showings yet. We think it a great illustration of the line between gusto and thoughtfulness that The Motley Fool carefully walks:

  • Pinterest (NASDAQ: PINS) – This stock was recommended by Tom Gardner in October 2020. Since, its stock has soared. Tom showed real vision by noticing Pinterest as a “unique platform” amidst the slew of social medias. This is an example of how Tom’s genuinely human intuition played into the choice. Algorithms may have been blind to just what sets Pinterest apart.
  • Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) – This stock was also recommended by Tom Gardner in October 2020. Tom sees Autodesk as having a developing global market, as the need for computer-aided design continues to grow. Again, Tom is thinking into the future, and using his own intuition and knowledge of progressive globalism to determine this company’s success, something a mere algorithm may be incapable of doing.
  • Fiverr International (NASDAQ: FVRR) – This stock was recommended by The Motley Fool in November 2020. Fiverr offers robust freelancing software for a world that is becoming more and more about remote employment. Again, The Motley Fool is speculating about the future in a reasonable manner that involves the gut.
  • Zebra Technologies (NASDAQ: ZBRA) – This was another stock recommended in November 2020. Tipped by David Gardner, he identified Zebra Technologies as having a chokehold on their respective market (barcode printing). David sees this market dominance resulting in a steady incline over the next several years.
  • Lemonade Inc. (NASDAQ: LMND) – We think this is a perfect illustration of the kind of picks you get with The Motley Fool’s advisor program. This company’s stock was recommended by Tom in December 2020. Tom personally researched the company and found exceedingly high levels of customer satisfaction coupled with a passionate, quirky CEO. Would an algorithm be able to read the CEO in this way? Fat chance. This is the fruit of human know-how.

Where Does The Motley Fool Falter?

No service is perfect, as everyone knows from their experience in this life. That’s why it is important to do a little research and pick the investment service that best suits your needs. There are a few things about The Motley Fool that stick out like a sore thumb:


  • They have a penchant for upselling their own wares; this can sometimes be cumbersome to the user.
  • Due to a long-view strategy, their stock picks can often be on the conservative side. This may concern some people who are looking to make a fast turn-around on their investments.
  • Not all stock picks are successful (but whose are?).

The Bottom Line – Are The Motley Fool’s stock picks worthwhile?

We want stock advice that smacks of an insider’s touch; this is only reasonable. But do advisor services actually provide this? Can the market even be predicted? When should I start investing?

Rest assured: The Motley Fool’s most recent stock recommendations have done exceedingly well. Tom Gardner showed hip verve in recommending Pinterest last quarter, and David Gardner beat many to the punch in celebrating Zebra Technologies, a company he thinks will eventually come to dominate their share of the market. These are but a couple examples of the opportunities that will come your way as a subscriber to The Motley Fool.

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