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What is up with The Motley Fool?

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What is up with The Motley Fool? They used to give great advice, but now it seems like they just try to sell their latest newsletter:

“Need help? You can learn all about Tom Gardner’s approach to finding undercovered, undervalued stocks with strong fundamentals and real earnings. If you’d like to subscribe, you can try Tom’s complete Hidden Gems service yourself. If you’re not 100% convinced he’s on to something, just cancel within the first 30 days, and Tom will refund every penny.”

I guess they have to figure out some way to monetize it. It’s just disappointing for it to be so in-your-face. I agree with a lot of their low-cost, long-term investing strategies, but I don’t think I’ll be linking to them anymore.

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146 Comments

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  1. Well when they gave away advice for free, it was a financial bloodbath and they had to lay off almost the entire company. (I know dozens of them.) Now, they’re focused on making a profit … go figure. :)

  2. Amen to that, I can’t even go on their web sites, and have cancelled their e-mail newsletter, all they are is “shilling” for their “pay” stuff.

    –C8j

  3. I wrote about this in december in my blog …

    “Why Motley Fool Sucks:

    For anyone that reads financial publications online, they are likely to know about fool.com, the Motley Fool. They are tons of articles on there about investing in Mutual Funds, IRA’s, stocks and bonds, but the problem is that every article is an advertisement. Every article somehow ties into one of the pay services that they offer and how you can get a thirty day free trial. This is shitty way of marketing. If you are going to offer free articles on your website, don’t make all of them ads, that sucks. Not only does each article end as an ad for the service, but there is always a huge ad down the side about the same thing. Many of their articles also make you sign in in order to read them; what a waste of time. If you are looking for online financial publications don’t be a fool and waste your time with them.”

  4. If you want to find out why TMF sucks, simply subscribe to my newsletter…

  5. yeah they used to be pretty good but seems to be just pimpin’ their for pay products. Oh well….. I’ve junked their email address now 😉

  6. fool.com used to pitch, “Don’t pay for financial advice, when most of it is common sense”. They always complain about “hidden fees” but then don’t figure in the “hidden fee” for invests to pay for thier site.

    Then they made fools of themselves and started charging.

    I was a member at the change and argued against them starting to charge. Apparently the word hypocrite isn’t a label they care about having.

  7. TMF is opportunistic, and nothing better than any low-grade investment advice you can get from a broker.

    Maybe I am just a bit morose, but their whole “we’re fun!” schtick makes me VERY suspicious. Like most meaningful endeavors in life, it is a fair amount of hard work and discipline. There are some laughs, but those accidentally happen along the way.

    Their site seems more the “The Manipulator of Fools” to me.

  8. my (least) favorite headline: I “Can’t Wait to Buy This Stock — and You Shouldn’t Either!” A runner up: “This Unmistakable Signal Is Flashing “Buy!”” Ok one more that I hate: “Own the next Genentech — make up to 3,250%”

    That’s complete crap. I just unsubscribed.

  9. I also noticed that they’ve only got about 6 months worth of content. After that, “new” articles start to seem very familiar as if you’ve read them before.

    I can’t blame them for trying to make money. It’s what we’re all trying to do, no?

  10. The “Fools” are turning “fools”!!

    I had signed-up for a trial period (free) subscription to a couple of their newsletters – no doubt, they offer good advice – but when it was time to cancel the subscription, I found that there is no easy way to unsubscribe the newsletters. There is no unsubscribe link in the subscription email, no unsubscribe link on their website, and no prompt responses to subscriber emails. Such a sneaky way to “fool” people.

    They should monetize their absolutely wonderful services using the abundant subscribers. If the users desert them, so will the subscribers.

    Here’s my message to the Gardner brothers:
    Fools, be Foolish!

    • DEEPAK is right on the money! I subscribed at posted price and they came back with another, higher price as charged. I’ve tried and tried to cancel subscription (which they claimed you can do within 30 days) with no luck so far. There is no unsubscribe link and no answers to emails sent. Now I’ve written a letter to their headquarters in Alexandria to see if that will get me an answer.

      This is NOT the way to do business, Gardner Brothers, and still retain an honorable reputation.

      Buyers Beware!!!!!!!

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