The Motley Fool and TheStreet are two of the top sources for free financial news. Both platforms offer daily updates on the markets, deep dives into individual stocks, and resources for investors. However, the two sites differ somewhat in how they analyze stocks and the types of investors their content is written for.
In this guide, we’ll compare The Motley Fool vs. TheStreet with an emphasis on the free market news each platform provides. We’ll also take a brief look at how the two platforms’ premium services stack up.
About The Motley Fool and TheStreet
The Motley Fool was founded in 1993 by brothers David and Tom Gardner. The site began as a small investment analysis firm that focused on long-term growth stocks and often bucked mainstream analyst opinions. Today, The Motley Fool has more than 700,000 subscribers to its premium Stock Advisor stock picking newsletter, and the site is a hub for beginner-friendly stock analysis articles.
TheStreet was founded in 1996 by Jim Cramer, a well-known stock picking guru. TheStreet offers breaking market news and analysis, and was long the home of Cramer’s charitable investment portfolio. TheStreet was acquired by The Arena Group in 2019, and Cramer and his portfolio are no longer affiliated with the site.
The Motley Fool vs. TheStreet: Market Coverage
The Motley Fool and TheStreet differ in what topics they cover. The Motley Fool’s market news articles are primarily focused on stocks. The site only occasionally covers cryptocurrencies, and even then the focus tends to be on crypto-related stocks. The Motley Fool generally doesn’t have any articles related to forex or bonds.
TheStreet takes a wider view of the market. While much of the coverage is around stocks, the site also offers articles about cryptocurrency, treasuries, bonds, futures, and options. TheStreet also has a category of news specifically around the cannabis industry.
Another difference between The Motley Fool and TheStreet lies in the types of articles the sites feature. The Motley Fool mainly focuses on articles that analyze individual stocks or that put a spotlight on stocks investors should consider. Articles may be timely – for example, there are often articles explaining why specific stocks are experiencing large price movements – but breaking market news is rare.
TheStreet similarly includes free articles that look into specific stocks. However, the site also dedicates a lot of space to breaking news, such as earnings reports, Fed announcements, and broader economic news.
The Motley Fool vs. TheStreet: Analysis Style
The Motley Fool and TheStreet both offer in-depth analysis of individual stocks, and particularly stocks that are undervalued or experiencing higher than usual volatility.
At The Motley Fool, this analysis is almost exclusively centered on fundamentals. Articles typically focus on whether their analysts think a stock is cheap or expensive based on its price-to-earnings ratio. They also examine headwinds and tailwinds for the company, with an eye towards future growth potential. Overall, articles from The Motley Fool follow the platform’s overarching preference for explosive growth investments.
TheStreet has many articles that take a similar analysis angle to The Motley Fool, focusing on valuation and growth potential. However, TheStreet also incorporates technical analysis into many of its articles, while price charts are almost entirely lacking from The Motley Fool. Charts in TheStreet articles include annotated support and resistance lines, and the analysis focuses on potential entry and exit points based on these lines.
This is an important difference. Long-term investors may find The Motley Fool’s analysis more useful since it’s focused on business performance. Short- and medium-term traders may find TheStreet’s analysis more useful because it provides actionable entry and exit points for trades.
The Motley Fool vs. TheStreet: Investing and Finance Guides
The Motley Fool and TheStreet each offer investing resources for beginners, but once again there are important differences in how these are presented.
The Motley Fool primarily offers static guides. These are long, in-depth articles that cover basics like how to invest in stocks, what brokers to use, and the different types of stock investments available. The Motley Fool also has guides on personal finance topics like the best savings accounts and credit cards, how to save for retirement, and how to buy a home.
These guides don’t change much over time. So, The Motley Fool is a great resource for investors who are just starting out, but doesn’t provide insight into more niche topics.
TheStreet, on the other hand, offers shorter finance articles that are focused on highly specific topics. For example, recent articles cover how to invest in a bear market, how to choose homeowner’s insurance, and how to choose a savings account when inflation is high. The content of these articles reflects current economic conditions, so they can be very useful for investors who have a solid background in personal finance and want to know what to do as conditions change.
The Motley Fool vs. TheStreet: Premium Services
Both The Motley Fool and TheStreet offer a range of paid services in addition to their free market news coverage.
The Motley Fool offers a variety of stock picking newsletters, the most well-known of which is Stock Advisor. This newsletter offers two new stock picks each month and focuses on stocks that are poised to become the next Amazon or Netflix (both of which were past Stock Advisor picks). Stock Advisor costs $199 per year and has returned 304% since launching in 2002, compared to 106% for the S&P 500 (as of June 2022). The Motley Fool’s other services include Augmented Reality, Everlasting Portfolio, Rule Breakers, and Rule Your Retirement.
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TheStreet offers a combination of newsletters and stock picking services. TheStreet Smarts takes the site’s free content to the next level, delivering a daily in-depth report on current market conditions and what investors can do to respond to those conditions. Smarts costs $59.99 per year. Action Alerts Plus, which costs $199.99 per year, is a stock picking service that mixed fundamental and technical analysis to find medium-term trades.
The Motley Fool vs. TheStreet: Which Service is Better?
The Motley Fool and TheStreet are both excellent services for monitoring the market. There’s no reason investors shouldn’t take advantage of the free content available on both platforms.
That said, the two platforms do cater to slightly different investors. The Motley Fool’s articles are written with long-term fundamental investors in mind. They focus much less on short-term price movements than on multi-year outlooks for a company’s growth. TheStreet offers some fundamental analysis, but articles also come with annotated charts and recommendations for entry and exit points for medium-term trades.
Alternatives to The Motley Fool and TheStreet
The Motley Fool and The Street aren’t the only sites to offer free market news and stock analysis. CNBC is an excellent resource for keeping up with the latest market events and economic coverage. In addition, Seeking Alpha offers very in-depth stock analysis, diving much deeper into stocks than either The Motley Fool or TheStreet. However, Seeking Alpha’s articles can be complex and are better suited for experienced investors.
Conclusion: The Motley Fool vs. TheStreet
The Motley Fool and TheStreet each offer market news and analysis to investors for free. The Motley Fool caters more towards beginner and fundamental investors, while TheStreet leans on technical analysis to offer actionable trade suggestions. Both platforms can be used to generate stock ideas or learn more about whether a particular stock is worth investing in right now.