Launched in 2002 as part of Motley Fool’s premium stock picking services, Stock Advisor is one of Motley Fool’s flagship products. As soon as you sign up with Stock Advisor, you will gain access to the complete library of 171 stocks recommended stocks (plus 25 foundational stocks); these are highly curated, must-haves that every investor should have to start building a bulletproof portfolio. In total, Motley Fool offers dozens of different services focusing on various sectors and industries. Their library of stocks grows every month as their experts continue finding gems, and they give detailed summaries of the thought process that goes behind each of their picks.
Zacks Investment Research provides DIY investors access to financial data and professional analysis to make better investing decisions. It was founded in 1978 by Len Zacks. It works by aggregating data feeds from over 200 brokerages and thousands of publicly traded companies and compiling them into a high-potential list of promising stocks. Zacks’ three main products are Zacks Premium, Zacks Investor Collection, and Zacks Ultimate. They all come with advanced screening and research tools for self-directed investors, as well as one of the best ranking systems we’ve found, which ranks on a 5-point scale all their recommendations.
In this Motley Fool vs. Zacks summary, I will compare the two biggest services of each and the bundled option - keep in mind this is a quick summary; if you want to read a more in-depth analysis, check our full Motley Fool vs. Zacks review.
Starting with the similarities, both are investing platforms that will help you choose an investment.
Motley Fool offers specialized stock advice on dozens of sectors, including real estate, growth stocks, and obscure ones like biotech. Zacks, on the other hand, offers powerful research tools for the DIY investor. We will first compare Motley Fool Stock Advisor vs. Zacks Premium plan, then the bundled options Motley Fool Epic Bundle vs. Zacks Investor Collection.
|Platform||Motley Fool Stock Advisor||Zacks Premium|
|Subscription||$199/month (or $89/year for the first year)||$249/year|
|Trial period||30 days||30 days|
|Premium Recommendations||Yes. 25 foundational stocks||Yes. Zacks Rank #1 List|
|Stock analysis tools||No||Yes. Quotes, Charts, News & Portfolio Tracker|
|Exclusive premium newsletters||Yes. Monthly newsletters||Yes. Daily newsletters|
|Extensive research reports||Yes. Monthly reports||Yes. Access to 1,000+ reports|
|Stock rating system||Yes||Yes. Zacks Style Scores|
Starting with the prices, Motley Fool is slightly cheaper, starting at $199 per year, compared to Zacks Premium at $249. Motley Fool Stock Advisor, like all Motley Fool services, comes with 25 recommended foundational stocks, in addition to their monthly recommendations, plus two new stocks to their library of 171 expertly-picked stocks. Motley Fool premium services have beaten the S&P500 by more than 200% over the last decade.
The Zacks Premium account offers tools better suited for self-directed investors, including charting, screening tools, and a backtesting environment that supports different strategies with historical data from 2001 onwards. It also offers detailed reports for over 1,000 other stocks plus daily premium newsletters. If you’re an investor looking to lay back and follow expert recommendations, Zacks ranking system is for you; it ranks all investments from Strong Buy to Strong Sell.
Which plan is right for you will largely depend on the type of investor you are. If you are a self-directed investor looking to build your portfolio from the ground up, Zacks is the better option. If you are a beginner or don’t want to spend hours on end picking stocks, Motley Fool is for you. Motley Fool’s ranking system is black or white; you invest in the recommended stock or you don’t, which makes it simpler for beginners compared with Zack’s 5-tier ranking system.
Motley Fool’ Epic Bundle combines four of the most successful Motley Fool services: Stock Advisor, Rule Breakers, Real Estate Winners, and Everlasting Stocks, for just $499/year. For reference, if you sign up for these services individually, you’d pay over $1,000/year. This bundle is for individual investors or companies that can take full advantage of all the recommendations to build a diversified portfolio with short-term and growth stocks plus real estate and long-term investments.
Similarly, the Zacks Investor Collection offers access to the best-performing services: Stocks Under $10, Income Investor, Value Investor, ETF Investor, Home Run Investor, Zacks Confidential, and Zacks Top Ten Stocks. All these services have a narrow focus that, when combined with the others, make for a very diversified portfolio if you can afford to invest in all. We break down all the benefits and features in this post. The annual subscription is $495.
Both services have the same annual fee, so that it will depend mostly on the focus: Motley Fool services have more diversification across industries (Real estate, Everlasting Stocks), while Zacks services are more diversified based on the type of the stock – not so much on the industry (Value, Income, Home run). If you’re a beginner, a Motley Fool bundle is your best bet. Experienced investors can benefit more from the flexibility Zacks offers.
Motley Fool services are primarily for US citizens, but anyone outside the US can create a Motley Fool account. The sign-up process is very quick; fill in some of your basic information and purchase a subscription.
If you use this link to sign up for any Motley Fool service, you will get a 60% discount on all subscriptions and a 30-day trial, money-back guaranteed if you cancel before the 30-day mark.
Similarly to Motley Fool, Zacks's services are primarily for US citizens. If you sign up for this service outside the US, you must comply with local laws. To sign up, you need to provide a valid email address, verify your account, and fill very basic personal information.
Zacks offers its customers a 30-day trial on all its premium services, on top of a 100% free basic plan. To access the trial, make sure to sign up using this link; you will also get the best welcome bonus available at the time.
If you’re still unsure which plan to pick, these are our recommendations:
Motley Fool and Zacks Investment Research are two very established platforms with a history of beating the S&P500 index by a wide margin. Depending on the type of investor you are, you will benefit more from one than the other; Motley Fool gives straightforward recommendations: purchase this stock and hold it for the long term. Zacks is more nuanced; it uses a 5-point tiered system to rate stocks from Strong Buy to Strong Sell, so you will need experience deciding which investments are worth adding to your portfolio. Zacks's approach has higher potential, but it’s slightly riskier; previous investing expertise is highly recommended.