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Motley Fool Pro (what am I missing here?)



July 20, 2012 – Comments (8) | RELATED TICKERS: TMF , PRO

Motley Fool Pro: 63,340 are interested, but only 1,360 can join.

I'm sure you've seen this at least a thousand times now, just like I did.

So, please help me figure out what am I missing here:

Motley Foll is asking for $2,000 for a one year subscription or $3,000 for 3 years - I get this part.

But when I look at the scorecard on Fool's front page, I see that Motley Fool Pro has returned 40.60% since its inception vs. S&P 500's return of 40.70% during the same time frame.

I don't know what is wrong with my math, but it looks to me like they are asking people to pay them $2,000 a year to match (or slightly underperform) the market's performance!!!

Please help. What is it that I'm missing here?


Or here:

If you look at the above mentioned scorecard of all Motley Fool services, you see that some of them are outperforming the market while some of them are underperforming it (Hidden gems must be really well hidden). Nothing unusual.

Motley Fool vs. S&P 500Our Service Our Return S&P 500 Stock Advisor 81.68% 22.08% Hidden Gems 14.40% 79.90% Rule Breakers 42.35% 15.60% Income Investor 13.89% 5.10% Inside Value 16.43% 12.78% Million Dollar Portfolio -2.20% -1.60% Pro 40.60% 40.70%

But if you calculate the average of the returns from both columns, you get 29.59% return for MF and 24.94% return for S&P 500. That's 4.65% outperformance for Motley Fool vs. the market.

Unfortunately, that's not 4.65% per year (which would be really nice). This is 4.65% for a period of 10-12 years or so (not sure when their first service was started).

So once again, what is it exactly they are asking people to pay for (through yearly subscriptions)? To pay them so they can outperform the market 5% in 10 years? (And how much those subscriptions cost a year, multiplied by 10?)

What am I missing here again?

I know I sure am as I get these e-mails telling me how David called this amazing 20-bagger, and Tom called that incredible 15-bagger (maybe it was vice versa, I'm not good with names), and how they advised their subscribers to get into this ABC stock right before it gained 281% in a year, etc.

I just know it must be me as 63,340 interested people can't be wrong. It just can't be that somebody is asking you to pay for something you can get for free.


Have one more favor to ask.

Do you ever receive e-mails from Motley Fool talking about their recommendations of Pacific Sun or Satayam Computer and other of their picks which eneded up being 70% - 100% losers of your capital? Or the ones talking about how they recommended MAKO at $30-40, a stock you can buy for $12 today. Or how they recommended NFLX to be your core stock when it was at $300, which you can now get for $80?

Unfortunately, I don't get them. If you do, please let me know what do I need to change in my e-mail security settings as my SPAM filter must be blocking them from my inbox. Never got one.

Luckily, I do get all of their e-mails like "10 stocks to retire Rich", "27 stocks to quadriple your money", "43 stocks you can't afford not to invest in NOW!", it's just the "XYZ stock 60% cheaper than when we recommended it" kind of e-mails that I don't get.

Your help with this will be highly appreciated.


Fool on fools, and don't forget to sign up for Motley Pro. You will never again have a chance to match market's return for less.   

8 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 20, 2012 at 5:16 PM, L0RDZ (88.00) wrote:

How about how they recommended select comfort, seeing how that stock lost 99.9% of its value before it started to recover.

Oh sure it can't be all motley fools fault, but omg at some of the picks.

But hey someone must have subscribed, as the site went offline yesterday and was available for purchase by go-daddy,  did anyone else experience or see the site's name was for sale ?

That one subscriber brought them back from the brink.


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#2) On July 20, 2012 at 8:40 PM, HarryCaraysGhost (77.10) wrote:

How could anyone justify paying a $3,000 commision (cause that's what it is, don't fool yourself into thinking that it's worth it no matter how much you can invest)?

 I probably invest $1,500 pr/yr new money, so any gains would go straight to TMF, and I would have to sell stock just to pay the bill.

Sounds like a vicious circle of investment failure. 

I suppose you could just pick a basket of blue chips, reinvest the dividends, dollar cost average with low commision brokerages. But yeah that is sooooo! boring, much better to go fishing for the (maybe 1 out of 10 twenty bagger) at 3 g's pr/yr.

Cheers, and I mean no disrespect, but that is absolutley ridiculous.

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#3) On July 20, 2012 at 9:12 PM, Valyooo (34.43) wrote:

Maybe they're trying to market themselves as the only honest people in finance

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#4) On July 24, 2012 at 10:30 AM, JaysRage (81.63) wrote:

Well, if they were being honest, then they'd admit that there are 63,340 people on their mailing list that really aren't interested, because if there were 63,340 people interested, then they wouldn't need to send out recruiting e-mails every third day.  

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#5) On July 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM, dragonLZ (70.08) wrote:

HarryCarysGhost, I don't think Motley Fool Pro is after you and me (people who invest less than $50,000 - $100,000 per year) based on the price of the yearly subscription.

Still, the fact remains, why should anyone want to pay any dollar amount to match the S&P500 return?

"Show me the money" before you ask me for a subscription, TMF Pro. 


 Valyooo, I do truely believe they are an honest bunch (posting not-so-great returns on their front page). It's just these e-mails David-called-this-27-bagger that are slightly misleading to me...


JaysRage, I have to say, I was thinking the same thing: Why does it take so long and so many e-mails like "XXX hours left before you miss this huge opportunity" if so many people are interested.

However, as I said above, I do think they are honest people so I don't think 63,340 is the number of people on their mailing list. I think that is rather the count of people who clicked on their front page ad (I know I did). But, I guess you might be right. If that were the case that number would go up with every day (I'm sure someone clicks on that ad every day). 

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#6) On July 26, 2012 at 8:55 PM, Borbality (34.48) wrote:

i'd glady pay $100 per year to use the site, without all the sales piches in the stories and without all the emails. Maybe a little bit of premium content included.

I love that the site is free but would be willing to pay for it to be a little less annoying. I'm more likely to do this than sign up for any of the newsletters.


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#7) On September 16, 2012 at 3:52 AM, portefeuille (98.32) wrote:

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#8) On September 16, 2012 at 5:39 AM, daveandrae (< 20) wrote:

The answer to your question is, of course, nothing. Meaning, your decision to hold equites over every single other asset class, accounts for more 90% of your total return. 

"Market timing" and "stock selection", the two varibles most people put their overwhelming amount of energy into, account for less than 10% of total return, tops.  

Let me turn this around for you so it makes even more sense. 

When it comes to equity investing, the overwhelming variable driving your bottom line, is also the only variable you have ANY control over.....Your own behavior, or lack thereof.

Good day.  





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