The Motley Fool vs Seeking Alpha: Which Is Best For Investment Advice?

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Investments on screen (caption: The Motley Fool vs Seeking Alpha)The Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha are two popular websites offering a wealth of investment research and advice. While both have some solid free content and tools, serious investors likely will want to pay for a membership to get the most out of all the expert articles and robust features.

But before you fork over your money, it helps to know which site best suits your investment goals and needs. We’ll tell you about the key differences between the two and which one we think comes out on top (in the event you decide not to get both, which is not a bad option considering the different features they cover).

Reliability & Reputation

The Motley Fool launched in 1993 and quickly became a major player in the investment analysis industry. It’s geared toward helping beginners and seasoned investors alike develop a more well-rounded portfolio. Content is direct, easy to understand and targeted to specific advice.

Founded in 2004, Seeking Alpha offers a unique platform of crowdsourced research content targeted toward intermediate and advanced investors. Many authors have investment management backgrounds and give Wall Street perspectives you may not find elsewhere. However, many Seeking Alpha customers say the quality of authors and its research/advice varies a great deal.

Although both sites offer advice and research into a variety of investment types like exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, etc., both have a strong focus on individual stocks. The Motley Fool has a generally good track record of outperforming the markets. Because of its crowdsourced nature, Seeking Alpha can be more hit or miss and doesn’t have quite the reputation for reliable advice that The Motley Fool has garnered.

The Motley Fool logoReliability & Reputation Winner: The Motley Fool

Features

Both companies offer a wide variety of features, including the latest investing news, analyst reports, real-time market data, investment strategies, top investment picks, stock screeners and a portfolio manager. 

It’s difficult to choose a winner in this category because each has definite strengths, depending on what you’re looking for. Here are some of each company’s standout features. Many of these features require a paid subscription with both sites.

Seeking Alpha

  • Screen for top-rated stocks with a ratings screener
  • Get dividend scores and forecasts
  • See all Quant Ratings and underlying metrics
  • Build and manage a portfolio of stocks or ETFs and get alerts on upgrades and downgrades on portfolio
  • Listen to earnings and conference call recordings and download earnings and conference slides
  • Long and Short ideas: authors post articles supporting long or short-selling positions in underlying companies

The Motley Fool

The Motley Fool offers 20+ different subscription services that involve everything from retirement guidance to investing in high-growth stocks or international markets. Each service is tailored to specific goals you want to achieve through investing. Its most popular service, by far, is The Stock Advisor.

Here are some of its features:

  • Two new stock picks per month
  • Weekly advice about the best 10 timely buys for hot-stock commodities
  • Starter stock recommendations for newbies
  • 4-8 email newsletters per month with new recommendations, the latest stock news and its expert analysis
  • Favorites and Scorecard features, so you can keep track of stocks you’re keeping an eye on
  • Detailed tables, charts and reports on the latest stock trends, specific industries to focus on, company information and more
  • Highly active discussion boards, which include novice and seasoned investors who share a wide variety of advice

The Motley Fool & Seeking Alpha logoFeatures Winner: The Motley Fool & Seeking Alpha (Tie)

Ease Of Use

If you’re new to investing or want your investment advice provided in an easy-to-find, straightforward manner, The Motley Fool is the better choice. It provides a more concise analysis and specific investment recommendations within single articles.

Since Seeking Alpha is geared toward intermediate and advanced investors, a lot of its content is far more technical and in-depth. You’ll spend much more time digging through its content to get advice and investment recommendations. It can be overwhelming unless you know exactly what you’re looking for.

The Motley Fool logoEase Of Use Winner: The Motley Fool

Online Community

Both sites have active, knowledgeable users who can share their own advice and perspectives. The Motley Fool’s CAPS community and online discussion boards are free to join. You can get some valuable insight from other members in these highly active forums.

On Seeking Alpha, users can comment and generate discussions within each article or on blogs. However, we’ve seen a good bit of negative feedback from users who say the site overly moderates comments, especially when they challenge the research and advice from the article’s author. For this reason, The Motley Fool’s online community wins our nod.

The Motley Fool logoOnline Community Winner: The Motley Fool

Value

While both sites offer some free content, The Motley Fool gives you much more for free — trending news, investing articles, a stock tracker, online communities, assistance finding a broker, retirement resources, podcasts and more. Seeking Alpha’s free content primarily includes the latest market news and investing and financial literacy articles, but you only get access to articles posted in the last 10 or so days.

When it comes to paid subscriptions, we give the edge to The Motley Fool as a better overall value. Its Stock Advisor service, which gives you access to a lot of its features and tools, is among the most affordable you’ll find in this industry.

The Motley Fool Pricing

As we mentioned above, The Motley Fool offers more than 20 different subscription services, but the following are the most popular. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for all subscriptions.

Seeking Alpha Pricing

Seeking Alpha offers two membership levels. It has a 14-day free trial for its Premium subscription (credit card required).

The Motley Fool logoValue Winner: The Motley Fool

What’s The Verdict?

If you have to choose just one, we think The Motley Fool is a better choice for the quality of analysis, investment tools, stock picks and the many other features it offers. Learn more in our in-depth Motley Fool review.

On the other hand, if your goal is to dive deep into technical Wall Street-level analysis and data on individual investments, Seeking Alpha could be the better fit for you.

The Motley Fool logoOverall Winner: The Motley Fool

The Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha are just two of several top-notch investment advice sites. See your other options in our reviews of the best investment advice websites, which compare the top services and give you some tips on where to get the best investment news.

Which service are you leaning towards?

About The Author:

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations, Sally began a long career researching and writing about hard-to-understand topics, such as insurance and finance.

Her additional experience in marketing, fundraising, public relations and financial planning at various foundations and nonprofit organizations over the years has given her the practical tools to inform consumers about making the smartest business and personal financial decisions.

Speaking of smart living — growing up in the (at-the-time) per-capita murder capital of the U.S. (Richmond, VA) taught her a thing or two about the need for personal and home safety. Sally stays on top of all the latest gadgets and services to protect her and her teenage daughters from potential predators and thieves. And she brings this knowledge to every article she writes.

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