My letter to Motley Fool:
Dear Misters Gardner:
I am writing to follow up on my decision to cancel my subscription to Stock Advisor, after cancelling Rule Breakers last year.
I thought it possible you might be interested in why, if this letter manages to not be weeded out by assistants because it is not complementary.
The proliferation of your newsletters has increased from one to how many now?
Over 20 at least.
There is no way I am getting the best advice; you must spread the best stock picks out among all these products in ever-increasing divisions of categories.
Here's How Motley Fool Co-Founder David Gardner Finds Multibagger Stocks
Yet, that is not what an investor needs or can benefit by; an investor wants the benefit of your insight and analysis to put together a reasonable portfolio, no matter what the category, and a limited number of stocks.
Furthermore, your incessant publication of memos for so many stocks, often with contrary messages, illustrates the confusion and lack of message.
For example, a recommendation of yours, Gamestop.
You encouraged me to buy and hold repeatedly.
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Yet, I saw one letter that advised it may be time to dump Gamestop, published on Yahoo financial, on the day that earnings showed a 20% increase. This helped tumble the price.
So, publicly you publish contrary advice to the public that you give the paying customers. When I posted a complaint to your company and on the forum, I heard no reply except one that stated you have so many people writing opinions that no one has control over the content.
You abrogated your own advice.
You advise that it is foolish to trade in options; now you have an options strategy that one can follow for a fee. Finally, after ranting forever about mutual funds, that they have too expensive hidden fees, and one can pick better for him or her self, you are now, lo and behold, coming out with your own mutual fund.
It seems that no advice is to stand if you can make more money be constantly watering down or defying what you have previously said, by coming out with yet another category of investing newsletter that now proposes to advise one in the categories you previously dismissed as unsound.
Motley Fool has simply turned into a churn and burn advice mill, no matter whether one hand states the opposite of the other, we are supposed to swallow it all.
Your policy (for us) of buy and hold does not work in the medium run; balancing your portfolio, recommended by most CFP professionals, does.
Your silly assertions after the crash last year of 60% that you can still make it back because the market averages 10% per year on average is also not based in reality; you have to cherry-pick your time frames to include great declines in the market to achieve the growth rates you average; the typical investor loses in that calculation. While the stock market has gained 60% this year, that does not restore the losses from last year.
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A loss of 60% from a $100 investment that recovers 60% only results in only $64, yet the average of those gains looks like, well, no loss at all! In reality, you have still lost 36%.
I am disappointed in my experience and the sheer number of releases you publish continuously.
I can look at a stock on Yahoo and find 7 or 8 Fool releases on one day underneath, touting the stock as it sinks, or vice versa.
In short, the only recipe for success is the sheer number of newsletters you can sell, and going against your own advice for your own portfolios. You tout your numbers, but unless you timed your investments when you did, they are not attainable, nor are your current numbers that great.
Your strategies, when followed, simply lose more money than gains for your naïve readers, as I once was.
Your partial advice is more damaging then helpful, and you are misleading investors, who won’t get the true picture until they spend thousands to buy all the newsletters.
Indeed, you have to now have the million dollar portfolio nonsense to allow yourselves to build from all your myriad stock picks.
You would not be able to achieve that by sticking to any one category that you have a newsletter for.
So, I have decided $200 a year for 1/20th of the best stocks you would buy, is not a bargain at best, and dangerous to the individual. While you pick among the whole basket for yourselves, you leave us with little help in building a well-balanced money increasing portfolio by spreading out the advice way too thin.
I think you are losing more money for your participants than you are making, if you tried to find out.