One of the most vital attributes of being a successful investor is knowing how to conduct effective research.
Great investors know that knowledge is power, and they do everything they can to stay up to date and learn how to discern good stocks from bad stocks.
Newsletters and investment publications are invaluable assets in the investor’s toolbox.
These newsletters cover many styles of investing, including value, growth, and emerging markets.
Two prevalent and influential investment publications are Stock Advisor by the Motley Fool and Action Alerts PLUS by the Street.
Both of these services have a strong pedigree…
…but they each shine in different ways.
Which one is best?
Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between the two.
Once you’re done reading, you can make an educated decision on what investment service fits your investment style the best.
What is The Street?
The Street is a finance and investing website that is owned by Jim Cramer of CNBC’s Mad Money.
You may recognize Cramer from his TV show due to his eccentric and highly energized personality that can be very entertaining to watch.
When you go to the homepage of The Street, there are various sections for investing, retirement, personal finance, and technology.
If you are familiar with Mad Money or Jim Cramer, you know that the news and fast reaction times are very important to his philosophy.
The Street reflects his need for speed and reporting because it is constantly updated with articles about the day’s events – especially how they relate to the stock market.
If a merger is announced, or if oil tanks, you can be sure that there will be a new article to reflect this news very quickly.
Since the Street was founded by Jim Cramer, much of the content and style is centered around his perception and understanding of the Stock Market.
Cramer’s experience prior to The Street and Mad Money includes two degrees from Harvard, investment experience at Goldman Sachs, and he even ran his own hedge fund before starting the Street.
The Offer: Action Alerts PLUS
In order to share his knowledge with investors, Cramer created a subscription-based service called Action Alerts PLUS (AAP).
Action Alerts Plus offers resources for new investors that are derived from Cramer’s knowledge and experience.
The platform gives subscribers a real-time view of one of his portfolios that he actively manages.
You can see what stocks he owns, what he has sold, and what he is buying.
The benefit of this strategy is that investors can watch how stocks are bought and sold and how someone with years of experience (Cramer and his team) constructs portfolios.
One of the most interesting benefits of this portfolio view is that you can see a historical chart of all the fund’s investments over time and how they have performed.
Each week, readers receive a roundup of the major news and world events that moved markets and how those events can play out in the stock market.
The Street: Cost
The Action Alerts PLUS service costs $299.99 per year.
The Street: Who Can Benefit?
Action Alerts PLUS is well suited for new investors who learn by observation and practice.
Since Cramer and The Street allow their readers to see all of their trades, the readers are able to watch investors manage a fund in real-time.
Even if you don’t like the stocks that AAP buys, you can still learn a great deal about the process behind the investment decisions.
What is Motley Fool?
The Motley Fool (The Fool) is an investment research and news provider that was founded in 1994 by brothers David and Tom Gardner.
Over the years, the company has evolved and branched out from its headquarters in Alexandria, VA.
Today they are all over the world and have offices in England, Germany, Australia, and more.
When you arrive at The Fool’s homepage, you will see that there are numerous articles about current events, how to invest, and stock recommendations.
The team at The Motley Fool has made a name for themselves with their cheeky marketing, passionate stock recommendations, and very detailed research and analysis.
The Fool offers free articles and analysis to the public, and they also operate an investment subscription service called The Motley Fool Stock Advisor.
The Offer: Stock Advisor
Stock Advisors is a subscription-based service that provides monthly stock recommendations, a “best buys” list of 10 stocks that they have researched and recommend, and a list of what they call “starter stocks.”
The stock recommendations are derived from the efforts of David and Tom.
Each of the founding brothers has his own team of analysts and researchers that they work with.
Every month the teams “compete” to find the best stock recommendation, and once they decide on the company, submit that stock to the monthly pick list.
By utilizing two separate teams to create the stock picks, the Motley Fool continues to keep its recommendations competitive and fresh.
These starter stocks are a list of companies that a beginner investor may do well to buy.
The purpose of the starter list is to provide a holistic group of companies that offer portfolio diversity and strong historical performance.
Stock Advisor: Cost
The Motley Fool Stock Advisors membership ranges between $99-$199 per year.
Stock Advisor: Who Can Benefit?
The Motley Fool Stock Advisor program offers immense value to both new and intermediate level investors.
The goal of The Fool is to educate and provide stock recommendations for long-term investing by utilizing a buy and hold mentality.
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Stock Advisor vs. The Street
Both The Street and The Motley Fool offer reputable investment subscription services, but they vary greatly in their target audience.
If you are interested in learning about portfolio management, trading, and short to medium-term investment periods, then Action Alerts Plus may be the best choice for you.
Jim Cramer’s investment style and philosophy are at the core of the AAP service, and if you resonate with his recommendations, then you should have no problem understanding the information included with AAP.
On the other hand, if you are curious about investing in the medium to long term, and desire analysis that is more quantitative, then The Motley Fool Stock Advisor service is probably your best bet.
The Fool wants investors to be in it for the long game. Their best buys and stock picks are vetted and chosen to deliver superior returns over a longer time horizon.
At the end of the day, both the Street and The Motley Fool have built their reputations over many years.
Their services cater to different investors, and ultimately it is up to you which style fits your personality and investment strategy.
If you are interested in trading and have a resonance with Jim Cramer’s Mad Money personality, then Action Alerts PLUS may be the perfect fit for you.
The open nature of the fund’s portfolio and constant updates work best for investors who are looking at the market every day and will do everything they can to optimize their portfolio.
If you have an eye for analytics and the why behind your stock picks, the Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor service may fit the bill.
The Gardner brothers have built a very effective system for analysis and research.
Even if you don’t buy every sock they recommend, you will receive more data and due diligence than you know what to do with.
Regardless of which option you pick, you will receive great research and reputable advice.
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