Motley Fool is a leading name in the research industry, but how does their retirement service stack up to its headline offerings? We gave it a thorough examination in our Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement review. Keep reading to find out if this stock-picking service can
Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement Review: What’s Included?
If you’ve spent any amount of time researching the stock market on the web in the last 20 to 25 years, you’ve likely come across the Motley Fool. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, it’s one of the most high-profile stock picking services of the last half-century. It offers stock picks, special reports, market data, advice, and newsletters for everyday stock investors.
Motley Fool’s most popular services are Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers. Rule Your Retirement is the Motley Fool’s premium offering for those planning (or currently managing) their retirement. The full package includes access to stock picks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds that can help retirees the most.
Is the Rule Your Retirement service worth its cost? We dig deep to find out in this review.
Tom and David Gardner
Tom and David Gardner are brothers who co-founded the Motley Fool in their mid-twenties back in 1993. David wrote for financial expert Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street newsletter, while Tom earned degrees in English and creative writing. They relocated to Washington DC to start the Motley Fool and have maintained their stock-picking service while co-authoring several books about personal investment strategies.
Robert Brokamp Review
Robert Brokamp is a senior advisor for the Motley Fool, and he runs Rule Your Retirement. He has a background as a financial advisor, and he’s penned pieces for the likes of Newsweek, Better Investing, The Motley Fool, and more.
Motley Fool Review
The Motley Fool is arguably the best-known stock-picking service in North America. As such, it’s also one of the most well-regarded in the financial sector. Since its origin in 1993, the Motley Fool has issued investment advice and opinions in the form of newspaper columns, books, and their webpage. The Motley Fool was one of the first financial entities to embrace the internet, partnering with AOL for their first newsletter and then the Fool.com domain in 1997.
The Motley Fool established the web subscription model was established in 2002. Paid subscribers select from several different advisory services covering various investment strategies. Their flagship program, Stock Advisor, is a stock-picking service with a 30-year record of success and respect in the investment community. Other premium Fool offerings include Rule Breakers (covering high-growth stocks), Discovery: Everlasting Stocks, Motley Fool Options, and Rule Your Retirement.
What’s Included in the Rule Your Retirement Package?
The Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement package offers subscribers the following:
- A 12-month subscription to the Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter
- Monthly stock recommendations, news, and market analysis
- Access to the Motley Fool library of trader education materials
- A 30-day guarantee review, offering subscribers a complete refund of their membership fees if not satisfied
- World-class customer service and support
Motley Fool Rule Breakers Newsletter
The Motley Fool’s Rule Breakers module is exclusively devoted to high-growth investments. Managed by David Gardner, Rule Breakers seeks out companies that are ahead of the business curve and are leading the way in innovation. The newsletter summarizes the Rule Breakers portfolio. It also acts as a source for other insights on disruptive industries and technology.
Rule Breakers is geared toward the aggressive investor, rather than the more passive, risk-averse type who’s just seeking long-term, consistent returns. Many of the stocks Rule Breakers picks are technology companies that are disrupting the market with groundbreaking products and services.
A Rule Breakers pick tends to be a burgeoning, small- to mid-cap company in an emergent industry. These picks also include those with relatively recent IPOs or that are headquartered in foreign cities. These companies are typically on the young side and still flying under the radar, so they’re perceived as high-risk. Gardner chooses his Rule Breakers picks very selectively, only after applying tons of research, data, and projections.
Fool.com says that, as of August 2019, the Rule Breakers portfolio is returning 157% on initial investments, outdistancing the S&P 500 index by a substantial margin.
Stock Picks and Analysis
Robert Brokamp’s Rule Your Retirement package also offers a series of stock picks, sample portfolios, and analysis of retirement investment issues.
The Fool.com offer page notes that Rule Your Retirement subscribers get access to “three sets of model portfolios,” each one tailored to different investment strategies for retirement. There’s a special focus on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which are essentially stock portfolios in themselves. Traders buy into these funds for instant diversification of their holdings. Professional money managers alter the portfolios as needed. Position-holders, therefore, don’t have to micro-manage the funds themselves, a big plus for retirees.
Rule Your Retirement subscribers also get advice and tips on “maximizing your benefits” from Social Security, as well as occasional articles on retirement topics like estate planning and insurance.
Educational Library Access
The Motley Fool website features exhaustive materials for educating all types of investors, beginning or experienced. The website’s 1,000-plus articles include how-to guides, stock market concepts, strategies, news, and advice. Titles that cater to the Rule Your Retirement subscriber base include “7 Ways to Make the Most of Your 401(k),” “5 Long-Term Care Stats That Will Blow You Away,” and many more.
The range of topics Fool.com’s educational library covers is astonishing — it’s as complete a guide to retirement living as one’s likely to find from a stock-picking website.
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Most of Fool.com‘s premium services come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, including Rule Your Retirement. If you’re unsatisfied within 30 days with the product for any reason, you will regain your subscription fees in full.
World-Class Service and Support
Motley Fool subscribers can get answers to questions with an online contact form, or on a toll-free number during regular East Coast business hours. Also, there are a generous number of message boards for the Fool.com community to help each other out or discuss pertinent investing topics.
How Much Does Rule Your Retirement Cost?
An annual subscription to Rule Your Retirement costs $99. Two-year subscription plans are available at $149, a 25% discount off the full two-year price. At that rate, the subscription could pay for itself in just a few weeks.
Rule Your Retirement’s Trading Track Record
The Motley Fool has tremendous credibility among the online investment community for a few reasons. Nonetheless, they’re expert, world-class investors who don’t take themselves too seriously. They have tailored their stock pick offerings for a wide range of investor styles and approaches, including active, passive, and balance investing. Most importantly, their track record of stock picks is as solid as they come.
The Gardner Brothers each offer their lineup of stock picks. Tom Gardner provides deep analysis for every company. He looks at everything, including culture, valuation, and more. Conversely, David focuses on emerging industries and the tech sector.
As of 2021, David’s picks returned about 670% on average. On the other hand, his brother netted gains of nearly 202%.
Pros and Cons of Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement
The pros and cons of Rule Your Retirement essentially echo those of all the other premium services the Motley Fool offers.
The Motley Fool has, over 30 years, demystified a lot about the stock market for common investors. Their advice and recommendations are geared for multiple strategies. They make it basic enough for anyone to understand while still being authoritative enough to appeal to expert investors. You could learn all you need to know about stocks and investment ideas from a subscription to one or two of the Motley Fool’s premium services, including Rule Your Retirement.
Every stock pick carries a risk, and no stock-picking service ever gets it right 100% of the time. That being said, Motley Fool’s record of stock selection is impressive. Many of David Gardner’s Rule Breakers picks see returns very quickly. Their common-sense approach to research and market fundamentals reinforces their method.
Opt-Ins and Alerts
The Motley Fool makes a lot of announcements: news bulletins, special reports, buy-and-sell alerts, and more. Rule Your Retirement investors choose to be alerted by text message or email so they can make moves quickly.
The Motley Fool remains one of the better bargains in the increasingly crowded stock-pick industry. Rule Your Retirement’s $99 annual fee ($149 for two years) can, in theory, pay for itself within a month or so, given that subscribers follow the service’s advice.
Rule Your Retirement is nuanced to address the most pertinent issues of post-retirement financing, planning, real estate, and even lifestyle. They’re diligent and concerned about their subscribers’ financial stability, and that focus especially shows in their well-crafted retirement planning silo.
The Motley Fool is notorious for upselling their premium services — a lot. Rule Your Retirement is a separate service from Stock Advisor, Rule Breakers, and all their other offerings. If you subscribe to one service, Motley Fool will likely bombard you with offers to sign up for all the others they provide. Not only can that get exasperating, but it can also be confusing when you’re trying to navigate the Fool.com site from an email blast they’ve sent out.
No Guarantee of Success
Not every single recommendation the Motley Fool makes pans out — once in a while, they’ll hit upon a clunker stock. However, this is the case with literally every stock-picking service in existence. By the time you sign up with any of them, including Rule Your Retirement, you should know the inherent risk of every stock investment.
Is Rule Your Retirement Right for Me?
You’re never too young to start planning for retirement. It’s not a topic most in their 20s like to think about. However, the sooner you get familiar with the investments available to you, the more prepared you’ll be for the future. Even small movements can have a huge effect down the road.
If you’re still in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, Rule Your Retirement may prove to be of surprising benefit. Although it’s tailored for retirement investment, it contains more than enough general info about the stock market and ETFs that could pay off for young subscribers decades before they retire, too. Therefore, even just a one-year membership may be worth it and provide a solid base for ongoing investment decisions after it expires.
In particular, those who are already retired, or getting close to it, definitely stand to gain from Rule Your Retirement’s approach. It answers virtually every question about personal finance that a retiree is bound to have, and not just about stocks and investments, either. Especially if you’re a retiree that plans to remain active in trading, a multi-year subscription to Rule Your Retirement may be of great help.
Final Review: Is Rule Your Retirement Worth It?
It’s hard to overstate the Motley Fool’s influence on the stock-picking industry (and the stock market in general). They’ve maintained a persistent presence on the financial radar for almost three decades. As a result, they have become the unofficial standard for up-and-coming stock-picking services.
With Rule Your Retirement, the Motley Fool and Robert Brokamp offer common-sense advice for myriad issues involving retirement finances. As such, it caters to those who are nearing that age or already there. But since it draws from the Motley Fool ethic, it may even hold value for those wishing to know more about the broader investment market as well.
In conclusion, Rule Your Retirement lives up to the Fool’s reputation. At just $99, It’s easily worth its price and more. Plus, it has a money-back guarantee, so there’s no reason NOT to take it for a test spin.