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Investing in individual stocks can be very lucrative—if you make the correct stock picks. That’s not exactly easy. Analyzing stocks on all the important metrics devours time and requires a significant amount of knowledge about the stock market.

To help bridge this knowledge gap, many people rely on stock recommendation services. These typically subscription-based services feature one or more stock analysts who provide “buy lists” of stock picks they suggest readers go out and purchase.

Among the most reputable stock picking outlets is The Motley Fool, whose picks across a variety of investing products have a history of outperforming the stock market—in many cases, by a wide degree.

But should investors subscribe to The Motley Fool Stock Advisor service? And along the same lines: Is The Motley Fool legitimate?

My Motley Fool Stock Advisor review will provide you with information to answer these questions and many more. I’ll even talk about my own personal experience with The Motley Fool, and how it afforded me an opportunity I otherwise might not have had.

The goal here: Help you determine whether this particular Motley Fool stock picks service is the right fit for you.

And if Motley Fool Stock Advisor doesn’t mesh with your preferred investment strategy … don’t sweat it! Because after the Motley Fool review, we’ll also highlight several other stock recommendation services that cater to investors with similar—and sometimes not-so-similar—needs.


What Are The Motley Fool Premium Investing Services?

young man checking laptop cafe

The Motley Fool is a well-known and widely trusted investing recommendations company. They’re best known for their Motley Fool website, as well as their assortment of investment services.

Two of the most popular Motley Fool services are Motley Fool Stock Advisor and Motley Fool Rule Breakers. The former concentrates on safer, more established companies, while the latter is more growth-oriented, picking stocks that might be more volatile, but also more potent. Many investors choose to subscribe to whichever newsletter better fits their investing style, but some subscribe to both.

Today’s Motley Fool review is going to focus primarily on Stock Advisor, discussing how picks are chosen, how they’ve performed, costs, and more. But after that, we’ll also provide an overview and some details about Rule Breakers—as well as some other competing services.

Related: 15 Best Stock Market Investing Research & Analysis Sites

Motley Fool Stock Advisor Overview

motley fool stock advisor signup no price

Brothers Tom and David Gardner began The Motley Fool in 1993. A year later, the service started drawing eyeballs—thanks to an April Fool’s joke where the service promoted a fake sewage-disposal company.

Fast-forward to today, and The Motley Fool has both a massive website averaging nearly 30 million visits per month, as well as dozens of investment services covering everything from basic blue-chip stocks to commercial real estate and undiscovered micro-cap stocks.

But while the website is free, you’ll need to pay up to subscribe to a stock-picking service like Motley Fool Stock Advisor—the company’s flagship stock picking service.

Stock Advisor, which got its start in 2002, does the grunt work of researching stocks for you. The service’s advisors usually lean on well-known, not-too-volatile companies that they believe can beat the stock market. Each pick has a long term bent, with an expected holding period of at least five years.

This Motley Fool service also begins your subscription with “Starter Stocks”: What they believe represent the best stocks for beginners to use as the foundation of their portfolios.

The Motley Fool, as an organization, suggests owning a portfolio of at least 25 stocks—and Stock Advisor helps you build that portfolio, adding two new stock picks each month to account for positions changing over time. (Of course, you can also diversify through mutual funds or exchange-traded funds [ETFs], or even by making non-stock investments.)

Selection Criteria

The Motley Fool’s flagship Stock Advisor service provides monthly stock picks from two investing teams: Team Everlasting and Team Rule Breakers. (Note: Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor service relies on both Team Everlasting stocks and Team Rule Breakers stocks, while Motley Fool Rule Breakers relies only on Team Rule Breakers.)

Per Motley Fool, Team Everlasting looks for:

  • “High-quality companies that have the sustained potential to keep growing and beat the overall market over extremely long periods”
  • “Founder-led companies”
  • “Companies employing a strong corporate culture”
  • “Businesses that have built a strong enough bond with their customers that they command substantial pricing power and have identifiable proprietary advantages”
  • “Cash-rich, low-debt companies”

And Team Rule Breakers looks for:

  • “First-mover companies in emerging, but important industries that have become the top dogs in their niches”
  • “Companies with sustainable competitive advantages”
  • “Sizable past increases in share prices”
  • “Companies with good management teams”
  • “Businesses with strong consumer appeal that have built up brand awareness”
  • “Stocks that are grossly overvalued according to mainstream financial media sources”
  • So, how do Stock Advisor stocks stack up?

Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor Performance

Stock Advisor stock picks have performed exceptionally well over their 22-year existence. The service has made 175 stock recommendations that have delivered 100%+ returns, multiplying members’ net worth several times over.

Overall, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor stock subscription service has returned 671% through April 8, 2024, since its inception in February 2002. This number is calculated by averaging the return of all stock recommendations it has made over the past 22 years. Comparatively, the S&P 500 Index has returned 152% over that same time frame.

stock advisor vs sp500 apr 8 2024
Motley Fool

While I have a healthy skepticism about stock recommendation services, this track record should instill trust in anyone considering a Stock Advisor subscription.

Motley Fool Stock Picks

Let’s look at some of Motley Fool’s best calls—a trio of Stock Advisor picks that have gone bananas since the service gave its readers the green light:


disney dis stock

Walt Disney (DIS) went public decades ago, back in 1957. Since then, it has grown to become one of the world’s largest entertainment conglomerates, spanning TV, movies, theme parks, toys, and more. Disney isn’t just Disney: It’s ESPN, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and a number of other top-flight brand names.

Disney shares have benefited investors for ages, but they started contributing to Stock Advisor members’ growth on June 7, 2002, when DIS debuted as a Fool recommendation. Since then, through April 29, 2024, shares have produced a return of more than 6,100%!


amazon amzn stock small

David Gardner bought Amazon (AMZN) all the way back in September 1997—before the Motley Fool Stock Advisor investment newsletter ever existed! A few years later, in 2002, Stock Advisor got off the ground, and in September of that year, the service recommended AMZN shares to readers.

What once was an online bookstore has evolved into an everything store, completely upending the entire retail industry and bulldozing numerous brick-and-mortar competitors. Of course, Amazon is much more than a store now, too—it’s a digital streaming video provider, a smartspeaker and tech device maker, the world’s largest cloud service provider, and jumping into artificial intelligence (AI), no less.

All of this has sent AMZN shares rocketing by more than 23,500% since Stock Advisor’s original recommendation through April 29, 2024.


netflix nflx stock small

Netflix (NFLX) went public on May 23, 2002, at $15 per share. Less than two years later, after shares more than quadrupled, NFLX split its stock for the first time, 2-for-1. In December 2004, Motley Fool’s David Gardner recommended investors buy Netflix, even though it was a small-cap stock that had lost more than two-thirds of its value from its 52-week highs.

Less than a year after the recommendation, the stock doubled. And ever since Stock Advisor’s recommendation, shares have exploded higher—up more than 30,000% as of April 29, 2024!

What to Expect From the Stock Advisor Service

Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor stock picking service provides a lot of worthwhile resources to subscribers:

  1. “Starter Stocks” recommendations to serve as a foundation to your portfolio for new and experienced investors
  2. Two new stock picks each month
  3. 10 “Best Buys Now” chosen from over 300 stocks the service watches
  4. Investing resources, including the stock picking service’s library of stock recommendations
  5. Access to a community of investors engaged in outperforming the market and talking shop

Related: 11 Best Brokerage Account Bonuses, Promotions + Deals

How Much Does the Motley Fool Stock Advisor Service Cost?

The Stock Advisor stock picking service offers discounted introductory rates to new users. That discount has varied over time, but typically, it’s substantially lower than what current members paid when they renewed their membership.

Currently, Stock Advisor’s discounted new-member rate is $99 per year. That shifts to $199 annually after the first year.

Also worth noting: All annual Stock Advisor subscriptions come with a full membership-fee-back guarantee.

What Does Motley Fool Stock Advisor Recommend Members Do With Its Stock Picks?

bookkeeper calculating accounting tablet

Motley Fool’s “Foolish” Investing Philosophy educates how Stock Advisor makes stock recommendations to members. It boils down to six rules:

1. Buy 25+ companies recommended by The Motley Fool over time to maintain a diversified portfolio.

“A well-diversified portfolio typically contains 25-30 company stocks,” says The Fool, “with the more stocks you own and the longer you hold them increasing your likelihood of making money.”

Let’s say you have $10,000. If you use all of that to buy shares of just one company, you could make a fortune over time—but if anything disastrous happens to that company, you could lose a giant chunk of that nest egg.

Compare that with spreading $10,000 across, say, 25 stocks. Even if one of those companies goes completely bankrupt and you never sell before the stock goes to zero, the most you could lose is just 4% of your total investment money.

2. Hold these recommended stocks for at least five years (longer is even better).

If you buy stocks with the hope that they’ll double within a few months, you’re gambling, not investing. However, individual stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds may naturally and gradually build wealth over time—and the more time you have in the market, the more compounding could work its magic.

1000 invested over time

3. Invest new money frequently and regularly.

The Motley Fool’s investment strategy includes the continual investment of new cash. Funding your account with fresh money prevents the need to sell your best stocks just to capture the new opportunities provided by Motley Fool stock picks.

Setting aside money from each paycheck, even if it’s just investing small amounts of money, can snowball into generational wealth. Look at the difference an extra $1,000 each year makes:

1000 invested over time wo contributions

Beginner investors especially should follow this investing style. You start out with little money, so you’re not risking much while you’re still learning. Over time, you’ll gain knowledge—and can put your bigger nest egg to better use.

4. Hold your investments during periods of stock market volatility.

Napoleon Bonaparte defined a military genius as “the [person] who can do the average thing when everyone around [is losing their minds].” But this also best describes successful investors.

When the market melts down, some investors panic-sell at lower prices … then wait in fear and only buy back into the market once most of the recovery has already taken place.

In other words, rather than “buying low and selling high,” they’re doing the opposite—and that practically guarantees inferior returns to what you’d get from just staying put.

I know, I know: This advice is easier given than followed; beginner investors and seasoned pros alike struggle to remain calm during manic downturns. But if you remind yourself you’re in it for the long run, and hold a few defensive positions to tamp down volatility, and you’ll avoid one of the most costly mistakes an investor can make.

5. Let your winners keep winning.

“Winning companies tend to keep winning.” Sure, it’s prudent portfolio management to occasionally lock in a little bit of profit here, and a little bit of profit there. But if you have the impulse to sell a position once, say, it has doubled—just because it has doubled and you don’t want to risk losing any of your gains—think again.

Stocks backed by high-quality companies can keep racking up more returns for you over time. As long as you believe in the underlying investment story, hold tight and let doublers turn into triplers and quadruplers over time.

6. Target long-term returns.

You might have noticed that more than one “Foolish” rule deals with investing with an eye to the far-out future. That’s because calculated long-term investing—not frantic short-term trading—is the safest way retail investors like you and me have to build our wealth.

The Motley Fool says you should “aim to achieve excellent returns over a 5- to 25-year period.” Again, the idea here is to let the powers of compound interest work in your benefit. Thousands of dollars now can turn into literally millions—with enough patience and discipline.

So, when you invest, invest with a timeline of at least five years at a minimum.

Is The Motley Fool Really Worth It?

It’s hard to argue against the value of Motley Fool Stock Advisor.

It’s not just that the service’s picks have outperformed the S&P 500 benchmark—it’s that they’ve done so by a country mile. Anyone who invested across all of Stock Advisor’s picks since inception would be sitting on well more than triple the gains of the broader market.

If subscribers receive similar value going forward, that would more than justify the cost. Still, you have to have the money to spend. If you’re a low-dollar investor, the first-year discounted annual promotional rate, as well as the $199 annual renewal rate, could signify a huge chunk of the money you had available to invest. So a Stock Advisor subscription makes much more sense for investors who have at least a few thousand dollars to put to work—if not more.

My Personal Motley Fool Stock Advisor Experience

I started my subscription to Motley Fool Stock Advisor early on in grad school. I was getting by on a quarter-time assistantship, so I wasn’t making much money. Combine that with my frugal nature—I always tried to sock away money into savings, no matter my financial situation—I could only afford to rent a room in a house with a hole in the kitchen floor.

But still, I knew how important it was to invest. I reasoned that if I could set aside some money today and keep it invested for years to come, I’d be able to use it for something more important down the road.

When I first opened up my brokerage account and signed up for Stock Advisor, I started with $3,000 I had saved from my junior and senior years of college. Over the next few years, I contributed roughly $7,000 more—some of that earnings from my assistantship, and some of that was cashed-in savings bonds.

I followed the stocks regularly, and I always looked forward to the Stock Advisor analysts’ commentary about these companies. They laid out a compelling buy case—and clearly, the market agreed.

In just a few years, I turned that roughly $10,000 worth of contributions into $25,000 by investing in stocks either recommended by Stock Advisor, or that I learned about through the Motley Fool’s CAPS Community stock message board—one of the benefits of subscribing to one of the Fool’s services.

In case you’re curious, only a few stocks were responsible for the vast majority of my gains:

  1. Axos Financial (AX), which was Bank of Internet (or BOFI) at the time
  2. Celgene, which has since been acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY)
  3. Addus Homecare (ADUS).

The Fool’s picks powered my portfolio onward and upward until I finally cashed out my earnings a year after I graduated. That sizable nest egg was enough to lock in a down payment, closing costs, and furniture for a condo in downtown New Orleans near my first job at the local power company—and covered capital gains taxes to boot.

In short: Motley Fool Stock Advisor, and the community built around it, helped me put a roof over my head and afforded me a short walk to work.

I remember that, at the time, I felt like the subscription price was high, but I told myself that it would pay off over time. That proved true, and the choice made it clear to me that paying for recommendations can be worthwhile—even if you don’t always put every piece of advice into action. That’s because in addition to providing you with picks, simply engaging with the product gets you more involved with your portfolio and gives you starting points to understand various stocks’ investment cases.

In the case of Motley Fool Stock Advisor, their research team looks for a set of qualities they believe define the best investment opportunities … and their picks’ long-term outperformance proves the process works.

FAQs About Motley Fool Stock Advisor

faq question market cards

Is The Motley Fool legit?

In a word: Yes. The Motley Fool is a legitimate business, and Stock Advisor specifically is a successful, long-running newsletter boasting hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

Can you make money subscribing to The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor service?

As mentioned above, I made plenty of money subscribing to Stock Advisor, and I’m hardly the only one. More than 170 of its recommendations have doubled or better. And the service’s 671% return since inception in February 2002, through April 8, 2024, is well more than four times better than the S&P 500 Index’s return over that time frame.

But here’s an important reminder about any investment service—not just The Motley Fool: Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. While I still highly recommend Stock Advisor, no investment is a “sure thing.” When you invest, you are taking on risk, simple as that. But across its more than two decades of existence, Stock Advisor has proven itself a worthy product.

Is The Motley Fool good for beginners?

I can tell you from firsthand experience that the Motley Fool Stock Advisor service is great for beginners who can foot the cost.

For one, Stock Advisor makes it easy: Buy recommendations are straightforward, and the investment theses are simple enough to understand. But I also got a lot of use from the ability to access The Motley Fool’s CAPS Community—a stock message board where other Motley Fool users discuss opportunities they’ve unearthed. Not only did one of my top three performers come from the CAPS Community, but reading the various posts there helped accelerate my investment education.

Related: Best Investments for Beginners

Can you cancel your Motley Fool Stock Advisor subscription?

Virtually any product offering investment advice allows you to cancel your membership—but you might not get your money back.

In the case of Stock Advisor, The Motley Fool also has a 30-day membership-fee-back guarantee. So if you cancel your membership within the first 30 days, you should be eligible for a refund. After that, however, you cannot cancel without forfeiting your annual membership cost.

You have three options for canceling Motley Fool services:

  • Phone: Call 877.629.2589 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
  • Email: Reach out to billingquestions@fool.com with a cancellation request.
  • Website: Log into your Motley Fool account, and navigate to “My Accounts.” From there, select “Cancel Subscription” and follow the prompts.

Does The Motley Fool offer bundled discounts for its most popular products?

It does! The most popular Motley Fool collection of services is the Epic Bundle, which groups four products into one:

Better yet: Epic Bundle’s first-year price tag is a 22% discount compared to subscribing to all four services at first-year rates, and its renewal rate is roughly half of what it would cost to renew all four products at their normal rates.

Related: Best Seeking Alpha Alternatives

Should you rely on a stock picking service to buy stocks?

Ideally, every investor would be able to spend several hours every week educating themselves about the stock market so they could make their own picks. But for some people, that’s simply not a realistic goal.

Ultimately, the kind of person who should use a stock picking service such as Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor should:

  • Be interested in holding at least some individual stocks. (People who invest only in funds won’t get anything out of this service.)
  • Don’t have time to do stock research and/or would prefer to get picks from expert analysts.
  • Can afford the annual rate. Remember: Whatever money you spend on a subscription service is money you’re not investing. So in a way, it’s like a fee charged by a mutual fund or investment advisor. But if you can afford it, and if you’re getting value out of the cost by being pointed toward stocks that are generating market-beating returns, then it’s worth the cost!

Related: Best Stock Analysis Websites

Does Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommending a stock cause a stock to move?

Technically, yes. Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor picks tend to be larger stocks with millions of shares’ worth of daily trading volume. However, the service has so many subscribers that a recommendation can cause a surge of buying demand, sending shares higher. But it doesn’t always happen.

Does Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommend exchange-traded funds or mutual funds?

No. As mentioned above, Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor is best suited to investors interested in buying individual equities. The service does not recommend ETFs or mutual funds.

Alternative Stock Picking Services to Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Of course, a Motley Fool Stock Advisor subscription isn’t necessarily for everyone. For instance, you might want to consider a different service if you’re interested in, say, more high-risk, high-reward growth plays, or real estate investment suggestions.

Let’s take a look at few other services worth considering:

1. Motley Fool Rule Breakers (Best Stock Market Website for Growth Recommendations)

motley fool rule breakers sign up 1

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Best for: Investors who want growth-stock picks

Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommends stocks that the Rule Breakers team believes have massive growth potential. In some cases, these companies are at the forefront of emerging industries—in others, they’re disrupting the status quo in long-established industries.

This stock subscription service doesn’t fixate on what’s currently popular, but instead always looks for the next big stock ahead. That means these Motley Fool picks have the potential to be nauseatingly volatile … but also the potential to rocket higher exponentially.

Rule Breakers’ team has six rules it follows before making stock recommendations to subscribers:

  1. Only invest in “top dog” companies in an emerging industry. As Motley Fool puts it: “It doesn’t matter if you’re the big player in floppy drives—the industry is falling apart.”
  2. The company must have a sustainable advantage.
  3. The company must have strong past price appreciation.
  4. The company needs to have strong and competent management.
  5. There must be strong consumer appeal.
  6. Financial media must overvalue the company.

In other words, Rule Breakers’ team considers a number of factors before it ever recommends a stock to its users. If it’s not a well-run company with a sustainable advantage over its competitors, and it’s not in an emerging industry, it probably won’t get past Rule Breakers’ velvet ropes.

How has Motley Fool Rule Breakers performed?

Their rules seem to pay off, if their results are any indication.

Since the product’s inception in 2004, Rule Breakers has more than doubled the S&P 500, beating many leading money managers on Wall Street. Their results speak for themselves and easily justify the affordable price tag.

rule breakers vs sp500 dec 7 2023
Motley Fool

What to expect from Motley Fool’s Rule Breakers

The service includes five primary items you can expect to receive when you sign up:

  1. A list of Starter Stocks—including their “essential Rule Breakers”—to begin your investing journey
  2. Top-10 rankings of timely buys from the entire Rule Breakers portfolio
  3. Two new stock picks each month
  4. Investing resources, including the stock picking service’s library of stock recommendations
  5. Access to a community of investors engaged in outperforming the market and talking shop

And of course, you’ll receive regular communications from the Rule Breakers team providing analysis and rationales behind the portfolio’s holdings.

If you’re unhappy with the service within the first 30 days, you can receive a full refund. You can also read more in our Motley Fool Rule Breakers review.

Related: Motley Fool’s Rule Breakers vs. Stock Advisor

2. Seeking Alpha Premium (Best for Stock Recommendations + Data Services)

Seeking Alpha Premium Pro

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Best for: Investors who want picks and data

Seeking Alpha Premium caters to intermediate and advanced investors looking for an affordable, all-inclusive, one-stop shop for their investing needs.

The free Seeking Alpha site itself has more than 16,000 active contributors sharing stock analysis. In-house editors vet these pieces before they’re read and discussed by millions of people. Reading different opinions about the same stock helps investors develop their own informed opinions on the likelihood a stock will rise or fall. (I recommend this approach when learning how to research stocks.)

SA also offers stock research tools, real-time news updates, crowdsourced debates, and market data. Users can create their own portfolio of favorite stocks, see how they perform, and receive email alerts or push notifications about their investments.

However, while the basic SA website has a significant amount of information, several more powerful features remain reserved for the Premium Plan and Pro Plan members.

Seeking Alpha Premium

With a Seeking Alpha Premium subscription, you will enjoy unparalleled access with an ad-lite user experience.

SA Premium is an all-in-one investing research and recommendation service that offers insightful analysis, financial news, stock research, and more—all designed to help you make better investing decisions.

Seeking Alpha Premium can help you manage your stock portfolio by putting you in touch with a large investing community—one that can help you research stocks and understand the financial world and provide you with ideas for your next great investment.

Premium plan members can see the ratings of authors whose articles they read. (After all, it’s useful to know whether you’re reading the opinion of someone with a top record, or someone who’s whiffing a lot.) And Premium subscribers unlock analyses from SA-designated “experts.”

Among the other benefits:

  • A stock screener that lets you filter by average analyst rating
  • Earnings conference call transcripts
  • 10 years’ worth of financial statements
  • Ability to compare stocks side-by-side with peers
  • Access to dividend and earnings forecasts

How has Seeking Alpha Premium performed?

SA’s Premium subscription provides full access to the service’s Stock Quant Ratings. These are collections of the best (to the worst)-rated stocks according to three independent investment resources provided on Seeking Alpha’s website. These cross checks and validations come from: (1) the Seeking Alpha Quant Model, (2) independent SA contributors, and (3) Wall Street analysts. The list of best stock recommendations gets further vetted by quantitative and fundamental analysis.

Look at the dramatic market outperformance seen by these quant-fueled “Strong Buy” stock picks as compared to the S&P 500 (total return with dividends reinvested):

seeking alpha premium pro quant performance jan2024
Seeking Alpha

Check out our Seeking Alpha Premium review to learn even more.

Seeking Alpha Pro

A Seeking Alpha Pro subscription includes all of the features offered by Seeking Alpha Premium, then packs on additional services, such as:

  • The Top Ideas recommendation list
  • Exclusive newsletter subscriptions and interviews
  • VIP Editorial Concierge
  • Seeking Alpha Pro stock screener for investing ideas
  • A completely ad-free experience

In short: The Pro tier, which is geared toward professional investors, is more expensive than the Premium tier—but it comes with more goodies.

Why subscribe to Seeking Alpha?

Seeking Alpha distills relevant financial information for you so you don’t have to—making it easy for anyone interested in self-directed investing to have a chance at outperforming the market.

Consider starting a subscription to take advantage of SA’s Premium services and see if they make sense for your needs.

Related: Best Seeking Alpha Alternatives [Competitors’ Sites to Consider]

3. Seeking Alpha’s Alpha Picks (Best Data-Driven Stock Recommendation Service)

alpha picks signup 640 2024
Seeking Alpha
  • Available: Sign up here
  • Best for: Investors who want medium-term stock picks

Seeking Alpha’s Alpha Picks is a stock selection service that provides you with two of the best stock picks each month that SA determines have the greatest chance for price upside. They base their selections on fundamentals such as valuation, growth, profitability, and momentum—not hype.

The stock selection process relies on Seeking Alpha’s proprietary, data-driven computer scoring system to screen and recommend stocks for more conservative “buy-and-hold” investors.

And if results from their backtest (run from 2010 to 2022) are any indication, historical simulations of the methodology behind their strategy prove it has worked: Alpha Picks’ recommendations outperformed the S&P 500 Index by 180 percentage points (+470% for SA vs. +290% for the S&P 500).

A bit more detail about how this works: Alpha Picks relies on the existing Seeking Alpha Quant model available to Seeking Alpha Premium and Pro users, but with a bit of modification. Namely, all recommendations must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a Strong Buy Quant rating for a minimum of 75 days
  • Market cap greater than $500 million
  • Stock price greater than $10
  • Is a publicly traded common stock (no American Depository Receipts [ADRs])
  • Be the highest-rated stock at the time of selection that has not been previously recommended within the past year (Alpha Picks releases one pick at the start of the month, another in the middle)

If you sign up for the service, you can expect the following:

  • Two long-term stock picks to buy and hold for at least two years, delivered every month
  • Detailed explanations from Seeking Alpha behind why they rate each stock pick so highly
  • Notifications when a recommendation changes
  • Regular updates on current Buy recommendations

The service, designed for busy professionals interested in building a portfolio that outpaces the market but without the time to commit to finding these opportunities, is worth considering. If you’re interested, you can sign up for a discounted first-year price of $449.

Related: How to Get Free Stocks for Signing Up: 10 Apps w/Free Shares

Zacks Investment Research (Stock Picks and Data)

zacks premium new

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Best for: Investors who want picks and data

Zacks Investment Research is a subscription-based stock recommendation and data service that you can use to improve your own due diligence or lean on for stock selection.

The investment research site has a free side that provides general market data and information about the financial markets and business news. One of its popular features is the Bull and Bear of the Day, where the service selects two stocks and rates them as a Bull (strong buy) or Bear (strong sell) pick.

However, the Zacks Premium service unlocks access to:

  • Focus List portfolio of long-term stock picks
  • The Zacks #1 Rank List to develop your investment strategies
  • Custom stock screener
  • A Portfolio Tracker that provides constant monitoring of your stocks to help you decide if you should buy, hold, or sell.
  • Equity research reports and more

Investors looking for stock recommendations should home in on the Focus List—a tight group of 50 long-term stock picks that Sheraz Mian, Zacks’ Director of Research, has singled out because of their exceptional earnings momentum. And every Monday, Mayur Thaker, a Zacks Stock Strategist, sends out the Weekly Market Analysis email detailing why stocks have been added or pulled from the Focus List.

If you want even more firepower, Zacks Investor Collection provides access to Zacks Premium and other services, including ETF Investor and Stocks Under $10. You can try the service for 30 days for just $1. After that, it’s $59 per month or discounted to $495 annually if paid upfront.

Investors who desire even more information can get Zacks Ultimate. This plan provides even more exclusive services, including Black Box Trader, Blockchain Innovators, Marijuana Innovators, Options Trader, and more. After a $1 30-day trial, Zacks Ultimate costs $299 per month or $2,995 annually.

Related: 7 Best Stock Portfolio Management Software Tools + Apps

5. Millionacres: Real Estate Winners (Best for REIT Stock Picking)

millionacres real estate winners sign up

Motley Fool’s Millionacres: Real Estate Winners focuses on understanding the fast-moving, ever-changing world of real estate investment—and mobilizes you for success with valuable resources, recommendations and picks!

Real estate is a worthwhile investment not just because of its return potential, but also its relatively low volatility compared to stocks. However, because most people can’t afford to go out and buy, say, an apartment building or grocery-anchored retail real estate, they have to get access via publicly traded real estate companies.

Millionacres provides recommendations for real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other real estate-related equities. The service delivers easy-to-understand monthly investment alerts and quarterly investment rankings. And importantly, Millionacres’ analysts make clear-cut cases for their recommendations, drastically cutting down on the investing research you need to do yourself.

What you get with Millionacres: Real Estate Winners

Millionacres: Real Estate Winners is a premium subscription product meant to simplify real estate investing for the average retail investor. You’ll receive clear, actionable investment recommendations along with specific guidance on how to get started in today’s real estate climate.

Among the resources that Millionacres: Real Estate Winners provides to subscribers:

  • Fresh monthly stock recommendations
  • Regular updates on previous recommendations about quarterly earnings reports and other key events
  • A ranked “Top 10 Investment Alerts” every quarter
  • Educational content and other resources

That last point is worth noting. This service isn’t necessarily just for veteran investors—people who are new to real estate investment trusts (REITs) can build their knowledge base while putting Millionacres’ stock picks to work.

Lastly, if you subscribe today through us, you can lock in a discounted first-year rate.

Related: Which Type of Real Estate Investment is Right for You? 8 to Know

6. AAII Dividend Investing (Best Dividend Stock Recommendation Service)

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  • Available: Sign up here
  • Best for: Dividend growth investors

AAII’s Dividend Investing does all the income investment due diligence work for you. With their proprietary stock-screening and picking process, AAII targets stocks that combine yield and asset quality.

The service also analyzes the company’s management team to make sure it is committed to dividend payouts—not just for today, but for tomorrow as well.

AAII Dividend Investing features include:

  • Model portfolio of 24 dividend stocks, hand-picked for traits such as long profit and dividend-growth histories, free cash flow generation, attractive valuations, and more
  • Weekly commentary
  • Monthly portfolio reports
  • Quarterly “ask me anything” events with DI’s lead analyst
  • Access to AAII’s dividend investing grader

You’ll also gain access to other AAII benefits, including weekly stock ideas based on the company’s proprietary screens, a monthly AAII Journal that includes actionable analysis, weekly webinars, and entry into an interactive community where you can learn from experts and peers alike. (And something I think sets AAII apart from a lot of its competition: It releases an annual tax guide that helps you make tax-smart investing decisions.)

If you’re looking for a stock recommendation service with an income tilt, start your full 30-day trial for just $2.

Related: 17 Best Income-Generating Assets [Invest in Cash Flow]

7. Trade Ideas (Best for Active Traders)

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Trade Ideas

Make no mistake: Trade Ideas is not like the other Motley Fool alternatives above.

Trade Ideas employs an artificial intelligence-powered assistant named Holly. This AI becomes your virtual research analyst who never sleeps and instead sifts through technicals, fundamentals, social media, earnings, and more to pick stocks as real-time trade recommendations.

Holly stays busy, too. She runs more than 1 million simulated trades each night and morning before the markets open with more than 60 proprietary algorithms to find you the highest-probability, most risk-appropriate opportunities to invest in stocks.

This stock scanning and analysis tool doesn’t stop there, though. You can also build your own scanners and screeners with over 500 data points and indicators to choose from. You can backtest your trading strategies, and also forward-test them in the real-time trade simulator. This allows you to learn, test, and optimize, without risking your own money.

The powerful service allows you to access real-time streaming trading ideas on simultaneous charts to learn how to trade into risk-reward balanced trades. In other words: You can invest and learn at the same time.

Where Trade Ideas excels

Where Trade Ideas excels is not only giving you the data and ideas you haven’t seen elsewhere, but also how to manage your money. The AI-powered smart risk levels on every chart are suitable for both long-term investors and active traders.

As the stock market evolves, TI’s software adjusts levels and the trading plan to match. The best part? You can learn how to do all of this without risking your principal through a real-time simulated trading environment.

After you’ve grown comfortable with the service and trading, you can choose to go live with the trade ideas and start investing real money by connecting directly through a brokerage like Interactive Brokers or E*Trade. (The full list of available brokers you can use through the service is available on Trade Ideas’ site.)

I’m a newsletter and alert aficionado, so I should point out a couple of Trade Ideas products. For one, it has a standalone alert service in the form of a weekly Swing Picks newsletter. This gives you five new trade ideas in your inbox from the company’s model portfolio every Monday. Trade Ideas’ Standard and Premium subscriptions include these stock picks. Trade Ideas also has a free Trade of the Week newsletter highlighting one stock pick TI has identified for members.

How does Trade Ideas find stock picks?

Trade Ideas finds its Strength Alerts by focusing on a unique approach that emphasizes relative strength. They start by identifying the most effective indicators and chart setups, based on their top-performing algorithms. They proceed by applying statistical analysis to assign weighted values to each indicator and chart setup, allowing for a quantitative evaluation of their significance. Advanced server technology allows TI to evaluate every stock in the market using these weights and then sort them based on which achieved the highest score. Their team of experts curates these findings to ensure subscribers receive only the most promising trade recommendations.

While Trade Ideas offers exceptional value, I’ll note that there’s a considerable investment required. Note that you must sign up for Premium to receive full access to the Holly experience. However, you can enjoy a big discount by using the code mentioned below.

Consider starting your Trade Ideas subscription with no contract involved. Cancel anytime.


About the Author

Riley Adams is the Founder and CEO of Young and the Invested. He is a licensed CPA who worked at Google as a Senior Financial Analyst overseeing advertising incentive programs for the company’s largest advertising partners and agencies. Previously, he worked as a utility regulatory strategy analyst at Entergy Corporation for six years in New Orleans.

His work has appeared in major publications like Kiplinger, MarketWatch, MSN, TurboTax, Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, The Globe and Mail, and CNBC’s Acorns. Riley currently holds areas of expertise in investing, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies and personal finance where he has been cited as an authoritative source in outlets like CNBC, Time, NBC News, APM’s Marketplace, HuffPost, Business Insider, Slate, NerdWallet, Investopedia, The Balance and Fast Company.

Riley holds a Masters of Science in Applied Economics and Demography from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from Centenary College of Louisiana.