Examining An Online Investment Research Service: The Motley Fool

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Don E. Giacomino
Michael D. Akers

Keywords

Online Investment Research Services/Advice, Internet Financial Websites, Financial planning

Abstract

The Motley Fool has been described as “the most popular Internet stock chat website” (Hirschey et al, Financial Analysts Journal, 1999). Per the company’s website, the mission of the privately-held multimedia financial services company is to educate, amuse, and enrich” in order “to build the world’s greatest investment community” (www.fool.com/press/about.htm).  The Motley Fool notes that their products are designed to “help people take control of their financial lives”.  While other internet financial services exist, this article examines the performance of the investment services/advice provided by The Motley Fool (TMF) because of its notoriety.  We use investment publications, information posted on the company’s website, and academic research for our analysis.  Our findings show that, despite the popularity of TMF, investors need to critically evaluate TMF financial recommendations. Considerable time and effort are required to effectively manage financial resources and, undoubtedly, there will be mistakes, even by financial advisors such as TMF.  It is doubtful that performance that beats the market can be accomplished in 15 minutes per year as suggested by TMF.    

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