If you’re interested in building up a portfolio of stocks, TipRanks and The Motley Fool are among the best services to help you get started. However, these platforms offer very different types of help. TipRanks is built to make research from market experts as accessible as possible, while The Motley Fool is primarily a stock picking service.

In this guide, we’ll compare TipRanks vs. The Motley Fool to help you decide which service is right for you.

About TipRanks and The Motley Fool

TipRanks was founded in 2012 to aggregated financial ratings, tips, and news from some of the most influential names in market research. The platform includes data from Wall Street analysts, financial bloggers, corporate insiders, and individual investors, and puts it all together to help you find stocks worth trading or investing in.

TipRanks vs. Motley Fool - TipRanks

The Motley Fool was founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner. The platform offers investment education and stock investment advice, but it’s best known for its stock picking newsletters. The flagship newsletter, Stock Advisor, launched in 2002 and now has over 700,000 subscribers.

TipRanks vs. Motley Fool: Stock Picking

One of the main reasons to use either TipRanks or the Motley Fool is to get helping picking stocks. Both platforms do an excellent job with this, but they go about it in different ways and target somewhat different types of traders.

TipRanks doesn’t issue outright buy or sell picks on any stocks. Instead, the platform offers a ‘Smart Score’ for thousands of US stocks based on the buy/sell/hold ratings and price targets issued by financial experts. The platform keeps lists of top stocks based on criteria like overall rating, recent upgrades, or stocks that are seeing high insider trading volume. However, TipRanks won’t give you the investment thesis behind these stocks and it doesn’t make recommendations.

TipRanks vs. Motley Fool - TipRanks Price Target

The Motley Fool, on the other hand, is a stock picking service. The flagship Stock Advisor newsletter and similar services like the Rule Breakers newsletter offer 2 stock picks per month. These picks go into detail about the investment thesis, but the newsletter doesn’t offer information about any stocks that aren’t in or recommended for the current portfolio. So, the Motley Fool’s approach is more prescriptive, but also more limited.

TipRanks vs. Motley Fool - Stock Advisor Stock Picks

TipRanks vs. Motley Fool: Investment Horizon

Another important difference between TipRanks and The Motley Fool is in the timelines of the investments they target. 

The Motley Fool explicitly recommends investments with a target holding period of at least three years. Many of the stocks in the Stock Advisor portfolio have been there for more than 7 years. Nearly all of the platform’s newsletters have a long time horizon and you’re unlikely to find any discussion of technical analysis with this platform.

TipRanks, on the other hand, caters to a wider variety of investment horizons. Day and short-term traders can take advantage of daily stock ratings, a market news feed, and IPO and economic calendars. For swing traders operating on a weekly or monthly basis, the ‘Trending Stocks’ list offers ideas for stocks that are building momentum and receiving upgrades from financial analysts. The Smart Score and one-year price target data that TipRanks offers are suitable for investors with longer time horizons.

TipRanks vs. Motley Fool: Research and Analysis

If you’re interested in generating stock ideas and doing your own research, TipRanks has a lot to offer. The platform lets you create your own portfolio, and then you can automatically receive upgrade/downgrade alerts to help you monitor changes in your holdings. In addition, the platform offers a stock screener and a stock comparison tool, so you can quickly find and evaluate investment ideas relative to one another.

TipRanks vs. Motley Fool - TipRanks Stock Screener

The Motley Fool’s in-house team of analysts does a huge amount of research on the market, but most of it is released in the form of short analysis articles. That makes it somewhat hard to search and categorize the information, especially since not all articles follow the same format when laying out data. It also means that if no analyst has written an article about a stock you’re interested in, or if the current article is out of date, then there’s nowhere for you to turn.

TipRanks vs. Motley Fool - Motley Fool Research Article

Still, these analysis articles are typically very in-depth and can be extremely useful for generating new investment ideas. They also often come with clear buy, sell, or hold recommendations.

TipRanks vs. Motley Fool: Pricing

You can use some of TipRanks’ features with a free account, including price target charts, the stock screener, and the portfolio manager. However, you won’t get access to many of the top stock lists or Smart Scores, so the platform’s usefulness is somewhat limited with a free account.

A Premium TipRanks account costs $359 per year and unlocks most of the service’s features. The only things you don’t get are recommendations from corporate insiders and the ability to create multiple portfolios. To unlock these features, you’ll need an Ultimate account for $599 per year.

TipRanks vs. Motley Fool - TipRanks Pricing

The Motley Fool’s research articles are free, but stock picking newsletters require a paid subscription. The flagship Stock Advisor newsletter is relatively inexpensive at $199 per year (new members can get their first year for $99). The similar Rule Breakers newsletter costs $299 per year, but some ultra-premium newsletters from The Motley Fool cost up to $2,999 per year.

TipRanks vs. Motley Fool - Motley Fool Stock Advisor Price

TipRanks vs. Motley Fool: Which Service is Better?

Whether TipRanks or Motley Fool is better depends to a large extent on what you’re looking for. TipRanks is extremely well-suited for short- and long-term investors alike who want to do their own research. The data that TipRanks provides is meant to be a jumping-off point for further analysis, and TipRanks’ basic analysis tools make it easier to organize and update your research.

On the other hand, if you simply want to know which stocks to invest in and when to do it, The Motley Fool’s stock picking newsletters will be more suitable. These newsletters don’t provide research on thousands of different stocks like TipRanks does, but they do tell you exactly what to buy and explain why that stock is worth investing in. The Motley Fool’s newsletters have investment horizons of several years or longer, so they’re best for long-term investors.

In short, TipRanks is ideal for investors who want to do their own research on multiple stocks. Motley Fool is ideal for investors who want to get stock picks that have a history of outperforming the market.

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Alternatives to TipRanks and The Motley Fool

If you’re looking for a service that falls in between TipRanks and The Motley Fool, it’s worth taking a look at Zacks Premium. This platform costs $249 a year and gives you access to five lists of stocks that represent a spectrum from strong buy to strong sell recommendations.

What makes Zacks different from TipRanks is that the analysis comes from a team of in-house researchers and offers specific scores for both fundamental and technical attributes. Zacks recommendations aren’t quite as clear-cut as what The Motley Fool offers, but you have the advantage of getting research on thousands of stocks as opposed to just a handful.

Conclusion: TipRanks vs. Motley Fool

TipRanks and The Motley Fool are popular services for investors looking to gain an edge on the market. TipRanks is best-suited for traders and investors who want to do their own research and are simply looking for a place to start. On the other hand, The Motley Fool is best for long-term investors who want a stock picking service to guide their portfolios. 

TipRanks is Ideal for:

  • Investors who prefer self-directed research
  • Investors who have the time to commit to in-depth research
  • Investors who have the skillset to take advantage of advanced research tools
  • Investors who value analyst opinions
  • Investors who can justify the $30-$50 monthly fee

Motley Fool is Ideal for:

  • Long-term investors
  • Investors who value simplicity and a “hands-off” approach to investing
  • Investors who want stock picks that outperform the market
  • New investors looking to build a strong portfolio
  • Investors looking for a cost-effective stock picking service

Still undecided? Check out our full review of TipRanks here and our full review of The Motley Fool here to learn more about each service.