When it comes to investment advice platforms, Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha are two of the most prominent. Both offer a wide range of financial investment analysis, and both are heavily geared towards stocks.
They are both so good, in fact, that choosing between them can be difficult. Here is an in-depth look at how they are different, so you can decide between the two of them—Motley Fool vs. Seeking Alpha, which one is better for you?
Motley Fool vs Seeking Alpha: Service Comparison
While both Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha provide excellent stock advice, the specific services offered differ slightly.
Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor
Motley Fool’s flagship service is Stock Advisor. The normal subscription price for the service is $199 but you can get it here for only $99.
Motley Fool claims its Stock Advisor subscription service has outpaced the S&P 500 by a multiple of 4 over the past 19 years, an excellent long-term return. The average return of Motley Fool stock picks works out to an astonishing 537%.
In addition to new monthly stock picks, Stock Advisor subscribers have access to a library of products containing the Fool’s best stocks. All Motley Fool’s picks are carefully selected by their team of top financial advisors. Besides its Stock Advisor, Motley Fool’s other services give progressively more advanced advice but at progressively higher prices.
Motley Fool Stock Advisor is excellent, but once you sign up, expect to be bombarded by near-constant upselling emails. These aggressive sales tactics have really put some subscribers on edge. It will take discipline to not be tempted by the add-ons they constantly barrage you with, but Stock Advisor remains one of the best stock-picking services out there.
Seeking Alpha’s Subscription Plans
Seeking Alpha has three main subscription plans: Basic, Premium, and Pro. The Basic plan is free, while the Premium and Pro plans will run you $19.99 and $199.00 per month, but only if you sign up for subscriptions of a year or more.
Seeking Alpha claims its top-rated stocks have outperformed the market 4 to 1 over the past ten years. It seeks to provide its subscribers with “under-the-radar stocks that will become the next Google and Apple.”
Seeking Alpha’s Premium service is geared towards individual investors while its Pro service is geared towards professionals. Reviewers of the Premium service have noted that the software can seem complicated to inexperienced users, though I did not have this issue.
Another potential drawback to Seeking Alpha is that it costs almost twice as much as Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor. That said, Seeking Alpha does offer free 14-day trials here for both its Premium and Pro service, so it would be worth checking out both of those before deciding the service might be too complicated or expensive.
My Preference: Seeking Alpha of Motley Fool
As a user of both, Seeking Alpha slightly edges out Motley Fool in my book. Motley Fool is great for its low price and accessibility. Seeking Alpha, on the other hand, has just a little more of what I want. Plus, I hate aggressive sales tactics, for which Motley Fool is notorious.
How to Optimize these Services
You can read all the stock tips you want, but you need to have an overall well-hedged and diversified investment plan to truly reap the benefits of each service.
Using Motley Fool to Beat the Market
Using common sense when it comes to the stock market, can help you achieve robust and steady returns when used alongside Motley Fool’s excellent stock tips. Stocks should only make up a percentage of your portfolio that is consistent with your personal risk tolerance level which considers, among other things, how close you are to retirement and how many years you will have to live on that retirement income.
People close to retirement don’t want to have a higher percentage of equities in their portfolios. Over time, stock market returns beat other asset classes, but they are volatile in the short term. This can cause short-term loss of wealth, though it will likely correct in the long term.
In addition to diversifying your overall portfolio, diversification within stocks is also important. For this reason, Motley Fool urges its subscribers to hold a portfolio of at least 25 of its stock picks, a great start in diversifying away the idiosyncratic risk of any one stock or sector.
Using Seeking Alpha to Beat the Market
Even Basic members can track their portfolio and receive stock alerts in Seeking Alpha. Motley Fool has a version of this too, but I like Seeking Alpha’s better for its ease of use and clean interface.
Setting up stock alerts is important for any investor. You should monitor the status of your investments to ensure that you are making the right moves. This does not mean that you sell at a sudden dip, which would be one of the worst things you can do. Rather, it helps you understand the overall market and how certain world and business events affect the value of a particular class.
Motley Fool vs Seeking Alpha: Final Notes
In a contest between Motley Fool vs Seeking Alpha, I consider Seeking Alpha the overall winner for its great tools and lack of aggressive sales tactics. Motley Fool still has its pros, however, including an overall lower price for its Stock Advisor subscription service when compared to Seeking Alpha’s Premium.
Both platforms are independently rated ethical advice platforms, so no matter which one you choose, you will have access to top investment analysis. Bottom line, I like Seeking Alpha better, but you really can’t go wrong with either choice.