The Motley Fool is a private investing and financial advice company. It was founded by the Gardner brothers, Tom and David, in 1993 with Erik Rydholm. 

The group provides online subscription services for stock research and analysis with some wealth management recommendations.

Tom Gardner continues to serve as the CEO of The Motley Fool. He also authors the Hidden Gems newsletter to find small public companies for investment.


David is the older brother. He invented CAPS for the company, which is a site that features over 75,000 ranked stock pickers. Most of them come from The Motley Fool community.


The Gardners have co-written several investment books together, with most of them falling into The Motley Food brand. Other titles include “Million Dollar Portfolio” and “You Have More Than You Think.”

Is The Motley Fool a Legit Service?

After moving to subscription-based services in the early 2000s, that product has become an aggressive sales push for the company. They provide excellent content, but there is a lot of upselling that comes with their communication.

They perform a lot of research for their clients, but it is up to the individual investor to determine the legitimacy of each stock and company. The Motley Fool makes most of its money from its sold subscriptions.

When looking at whether they are a legitimate service, the Gardners are not likely to perform fraudulent activities. They suggest that investing could be a second career, and that may be a point of disagreement.

Plenty of opinions exist in today’s world. The reality of investing is that the people who know don’t offer free advice, and those who do don’t have the knowledge to share.

If The Motley Fool aligns with your personal investment philosophies, it makes sense to join them for your wealth management needs. When you prefer a different method, work with an agency that can provide the help you require.