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Motley Fool Stock Advisor vs. Rule Breakers: Which is the Best?

The only reason that you start buying individual stocks is if you think that you are going to beat the market.

The S&P 500 generally returns about 10% year after year, and so you if you want to match that return you can buy index funds or index ETFs.

However, if you want to BEAT THE MARKET and really increase your portfolio value year after year, you should consider subscribing to one of the Motley Fool services:  Stock Advisor or Rule Breakers.  But which is the best service?  Each of these services, going back to their launch dates of 2002 and 2004 respectively, have consistently outperform the market year after year.

This article is about the difference between the Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers services.  I have been a subscriber since January 2016 to both of these services.  Most importantly, I have purchased about $2,000 of EACH of their stock picks in 2 separate ETrade accounts so I will also show you how they have performed for the last 5 years.  See my performance summary tables and my ETrade screenshots below.

The Motley Fool Advertisements

If you have been on any financial website in the last 15 years you have probably seen their ads.

 And as of May 28, 2022 Rule Breakers claims their stocks are up 205% versus the S&P500’s 106% since inception in 2004.

That means that whatever you get from this article you should walk away knowing that both Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers have an excellent HISTORY for beating the market with individual picks.

Based on those 2 percentages, it appears that Stock Advisor is the better service.

But you should be asking yourself the following questions:

  • Which Motley Fool service is best?
  • What are the differences between Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers?
  • And more importantly, how have they performed RECENTLY?

So let’s look into the different objectives of each, let’s review their recent performance, and let’s find the best one for you!

Please keep in mind as you review their performance, that the Motley Fool picks stocks that they expect to hold for 5 years or more.  They are not a day trading service.  What I have found is that the first year or so some of their stocks don’t move a whole lot, but after 2 or 3 years they really start to move.  That confirms that they are forward thinkers picking stocks that have potential, and picking them before they start to move.

Quick Overviews

Stock Advisor

There are two brains at the core of Stock Advisor.

The co-founders of The Motley Fool, Tom and David Gardner, each work with their own great team of analysts to pick a variety of stocks for this service.

Each of the two teams recommends a new stock for the subscribers to buy every single month.  David’s team looks for stocks that are poised for long-term trends and have a certain level of what he calls “unquantifiable greatness.”  Tom’s team looks for great companies that are in beaten-down industries with strong financial performance and excellent management teams.

Also, once per month, each team reveals the five stocks that they think are the best buys and should be purchased with new money that day.

If you’re just starting out, Stock Advisor is great because it has a continually updating and revolving list of starter stocks that the team thinks should be in every portfolio. Even if you’re coming to Stock Advisor with a lot of money and no investments, then you can get a running start through the Stock Advisor service.

Stock Advisor has been around for almost two decades, and over the last decade they’ve picked a ton of winners.

The stocks that Stock Advisor targets are great for a long term performance. They aren’t looking for something that burns bright and then crashes, they are looking for stocks that are going to perform well over the long run. They pick stocks that they think should be held at least for 5 years.

Each of the teams that contributes to Stock Advisor–team Tom and team David–have their own methods that they use to get you the best long term stocks.

Team Tom focuses on a bunch of stocks that are working in industries that are less popular than they used to be.  Because the markets are not known to be popping and strong, this helps you get great stocks at a bit of a discount. Tom focuses on stocks that have great business models and excellent financials.  With a great management team and great ownership, these stocks can perform really well in the long run.

Team David is a bit less rigorous with the process.  David looks for companies that are situated in different kinds of trends, but that also have some kind of X-factor that can help them succeed over time.  These are the intangible qualities.  These are the companies that have something special about them.  While you can tell that they have a strong business model and a great brand, there’s always something a little bit extra about the companies.

Rule Breakers

Team David doesn’t just work in the Stock Advisor segment.

David and a different team of analysts also work the Rule Breakers service, producing a different type of analysis.

This newsletter, Rule Breakers, seeks to identify “high-growth opportunities that are poised to be tomorrow’s stock market leaders.” In other words, they target explosive growth.

The Rule Breakers team is looking to take big swings at the market and hoping to hit a few home runs, and so far their batting average is pretty good!

They are looking for a variety of innovative leaders that are taking over new industries.

If you can find the right person at the helm of a company that is well-positioned in a new industry, then you can get a huge return on the stock.

If you can find a stock that has a great advantage in a given business, then you can find a bunch of money moving forward.

Businesses that have a bunch of competitive advantages might be great for the long-run.

Rule Breakers is also looking for a ton of counterintuitive companies that keep on winning.

If companies beat the conventional wisdom of the market at one point, and have a strong system, they will probably continue to do so.

The Rule Breakers newsletter is also looking for counterintuitive, X-factor companies, just like Team David in the Stock Advisor segment.

These are companies that are positioned really well to beat the market and win by a lot.

Rule Breakers also produces a couple of specific new stock recommendations each month and curates a Best Buys list that helps you consider additional recommendations.

Rule Breakers also has a list of Starter Stocks that can help new investors begin to build a portfolio.

Head to Head Comparison

Time Stamp

Stock Advisor started in 2002 while Rule Breakers started in 2004.

Both of the different portfolios have existed before the crash of 2008, and have survived through that same crash.

Stock Advisor has had a couple of years to increase the total performance numbers, but has also had more time to fall in the charts.

Ultimately, the two year difference between the two newsletters should not cause you to pause too much on either one.

Both of them have had a solid 10+ years to prove themselves.

We have been subscribers to both for over 6 years now and here is how they have performed for us through December 31, 2021….

Stock Advisor Performance for the last 6 years…

and Rule Breakers Performance for the last 6 years…

Both of them have strong performances, and continue to do so year after year.

So what’s the difference between Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers?

  • Over the last 6 years, Rule Breakers is up 242% compared to Stock Advisor 171%
  • 75% of the Rule Breaker stocks were profitable compared to 73% for Stock Advisor
  • 52 out of 120 Rule Breaker stocks have doubled and 53 out of 144 Stock Advisor stocks have doubled
  • The Rule Breakers stocks seem to have both the biggest winner and the biggest loser each year ( this is consistent with trying to identify the biggest growth opportunities–sometimes they are really right and sometimes they are really wrong)
  • Rule Breakers had 5 sell orders and Stock Advisor 5 sell orders
  • They are both currently being offered for $99 for the first year to new subscribers, but renew at current market rates of $199 and $299.

Stock Advisor vs Rule Breakers Conclusion

Over the 20 years since launch, Stock Advisor has the best overall returns and the greatest percentage of winners.  However, the overall returns of the Rule Breakers picks for the last 5 years are beating Stock Advisor easily.

My takeaway after subscribing to both of these services overs the years is this:  If you have the discipline to buy equal dollar amounts of each of their 2 stock picks each month, and you are willing to stay invested for at least 5 years, based on their recent performance I would recommend Rule Breakers.  You will have more losers than Stock Advisors, but the winners should be really big winners.

If you DON’T have the discipline to buy all of their stock picks, then I think Stock Advisors is the better bet.

New Subscriber Offers:

Try Stock Advisor now and get their next 24 stock picks for just $99.

Try Rule Breakers now and get their next 24 stock picks for just $99.

Next Stock Recommendation for Each:  April 18th

(there’s no risk, they offer 30-day money back guarantee)

*** UPDATE -- Friday, April 19, 2024 -- MOTLEY FOOL STOCK ADVISOR AVERAGE RETURN OF ALL 500+ STOCK PICKS IS 674% VS THE S&P500'S 154% ****

The Fool investing philosophy is hold stocks for at least 5 years, invest regularly, and ride out the dips. Here is just a sample of some recent picks:

  • DASH picked Nov 2, 2023 is up 58%
  • CRWD picked again Oct 5, 2023 and already it is up 95%
  • TSLA picked again May, 2023 and it is up 54%
  • CRWD picked March, 2023 and it is up 160%
  • KNSL picked Feb 2, 2023 is up 88%
  • NOW picked January, 2023 and it is up 107%

Also, the Motley Fool just launched a special promotion: $110 off (see the link below).

Here is their release schedule of their upcoming stock picks:

  • April 4, 2024 - List of 5 Best Stocks to Buy Now List
  • April 11, 2024 - New Stock Recommendation
  • April 18, 2024 - List of 5 Best Stocks to Buy Now
  • April 25, 2024 - New Stock Recommendation

So, if you have a few hundred dollars to invest each month and plan on staying invested for at least 5 years, we haven't found any better source of stock picks.

New Pricing: Motley Fool has slashed it price $110 for its top stock picking service.

DON'T MISS OUT! The Fool's next pick comes out Thursday, April 4th.
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Methods of Investing

Hidden gems is probably the best way of describing Rule Breakers.

David and the team are the focus of Rule Breakers, and they focus on finding all kinds of picks that help you find great stocks that aren’t that risky.

Identifying companies that have a good chance of turning a really good rate, then buying them while low, allows people to build a really good portfolio.

But instead of just googling hot companies and finding great growth rates that are untethered to great companies, the Rule Breakers team focuses on finding these things located within companies that are really strong.

If you can find a company that has a great cash flow and a great business model, and it has really strong growth, it can be a great company to own moving forward.

The Stock Advisor program is completely different than the Rule Breakers category in terms of investments and strategies.

The Stock Advisor program is the flagship Motley Fool recommendation service, which allows it to be the most generic.

They also reserve some of the best long-term bets for this recommendation service.

You get great investment advice, but it is also safe and solid.

History of Returns

The big difference between Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers is going to be performance.

While Stock Adviser is up over 300% since inception in 2002, Rule Breakers is up over 200% since 2004. But the last 5 years Rule Breakers has outperformed.

But there are a few things behind those numbers that you need to understand.

First, the Stock Advisor service has had a couple extra years to pick up on those numbers. Second of all, these are the aggregates of all of the individual picks. It doesn’t mean that every stock in the Stock Advisor service has performed better than every stock in the Rule Breakers service.

In fact, the opposite is true. There have been many stocks in the Rule Breakers service that have actually done really, really well.

But there are also plenty of stocks that have done really, really poorly.

As you might expect, the Rule Breakers has produced some big hits and some big duds.

So Stock Advisor has put together a much better long-term game over all of the different Rule Breaker stocks.

But if you love playing the odds and seeing how individual stocks perform, then Rule Breaker stocks give you access to a ton of different individual picks that can go the distance.

The Services, In-Depth

We’ve talked quite a bit about the different kinds of philosophies behind the Rule Breakers and Stock Advisor services.

But what do the individual services actually get?

The Rule Breakers members get a ton of different education articles and trading tools.

The big hits of the service are the awesome stock picks that you get every single month.

If you’re getting ready to trade or simply want something new, it’s a great service to have in your back pocket.

If you’re a member of Rule Breakers, then you’ll also get a couple of new stock picks every single month.

Each of these picks also comes with a ton of research.

You don’t simply get a paragraph of buzzwords!

You get a ton of valuable information that you can use to make the correct picks for your individual portfolio.

The Motley Fool actually picked up an audience in the first place by providing great, in-depth research to a ton of different people in the industry.

Their research is still great, and it comes in a couple of different forms.

You get a great quick summary that takes a minute to read.

If you still have more questions after that, you can dive into the full research report.

Stock Advisors may also be something to check out.

The Stock Advisors service also offers you a couple of different stock picks each month, and in-depth research for each of the stocks that you are being offered. You get the same kind of different research metrics but for a different set of stocks.

Why Not Both?

It’s important to realize that these two different advice columns are not offering contradictory opinions on the stock market!

All of the advice and research is generated by Tom and David, along with the whole Motley Fool team.

They can both offer you a variety of different perspectives on what is going on in the stock market.

If you sign up for both, Rule Breakers will give you some more volatile, high-risk and high-reward stocks that can be great for going after the market.

Advisors will give you a great way of balancing your whole portfolio without leaning too far into different kinds of stocks.

If I’m Picking Only One?

If you’re picking only one, then you are going to have a tough decision to make.

The rationale behind the two different services are completely different.

Rule Breakers is for the risk takers who want to get in-depth scouting on stocks that could be huge.

Stock Advisor allows people to dig into a great selection of stocks all over the place.

It has a history of producing big returns as a whole, and is the much better choice if you are going to simply follow the picks without thinking too much about the research.

But if you like rolling the dice on some stocks–then having Rule Breakers makes a lot more sense.


Both Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers have been excellent sources of profitable stock picks over the years. While Stock Advisor has the overall lead in performance, Rule Breakers has been the stronger service over the last 5 years. But you really must by each and every one of their stock picks to get these great returns because of their 24 stock picks each year, several of them will double or more in the first year. And if you missed out on a few key stocks each year, then obviously you want have the same results.

Bottom line…They are both great services so do what I do—I have both. I subscribe to the Motley Fool Epic Bundle where I get Stock Advisor, Rule Breakers and their new Everlasting Stocks service. This bundle is $499 a year but it actually saves you money in the long run because Stock Advisor is $199 per year, Rule Breakers is $299 a year, and Everlasting Stocks is $299 a year. That is a total of $797 if you bought them individually compared to $499. (Note: You might find the Fool services on sale occasionally, but they will always renew at the higher retail price. So in the long run you are better off with the Epic Bundle.)
I buy about $2,000 of each stock pick each month. Having this discipline forces me to save each month and the other benefit is I am dollar cost averaging because I spend about the same each month.

Both of the newsletters are great choices to do just that.

Rule Breakers is really great at giving you growth stocks that help you build a strong portfolio over time.

Stock Advisor offers a bit more perspective, if you are looking for some different angles to approach the market with.

Both of the services can really help you build a portfolio that is much better than the portfolios of your friends!

*** Friday, April 19, 2024 ALERT—Motley Fool Picks Still CRUSHING the SP500!****

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor’s stocks picks, even with this recession, inflation, and COVID recovery have been performing very well as of late.

I have been a subscriber since 2016 and their average pick of the last 8 years is easily beating the SP500. Keep in mind these FIVE very important tips regarding the Motley Fool Stock Picks.

Tip #1 is that you need to buy them as soon as you get the alert because the stocks typically rise 2-5% in the first 24 hours of the pick being released.

Tip #2 is that I buy about $2,000 of each pick and I immediately place a 20% stop loss order to control risk.

Tip #3 is that their next stock pick should come out Thursday, so make sure you have subscribe now so you are ready.

Tip #4 is to always read your emails from the Fool because they also tell you when to sell stocks.

Tip #5 is to save $110 and get a Full Year of Stock Picks for only $89 (new members only)

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