Rule Breakers

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    1. Lucca 27
      Jan 31 2009, 10:41:01 am

      I subscribe to PRO, Stock Advisor, Million Dollar Portfolio, Global Gains, Hidden Gems and Rule Breakers and will post this review on all the sites. In general I found the letters useful for ideas in an up market, but not terribly helpful in our current down market. I found some excellent companies like DWSN, EDU & CTRP that I would not otherwise have looked at. Sell recommendations usually come too late and analysts tend to fall in love with stocks and catch “falling knives”. For example the repeated recommendations of Select Comfort, Irwin Financial, First Marblehead all the way down and then the final sell recommendation at much lower prices that had been recommended a few months earlier. There seems to be a reluctance to say do nothing and wait. Recent recommendation after recommendation is substantially under water.

      In general Fool is an excellent source of information on a wide variety of financial subjects and the authors seem to be competent and professional. “The Boards” can be a useful source of information and opinion, however slogging through them is tedious because there are a lot of junk postings wherein people tell the reader what they are buying (not why) and criticizing other posters, a situation that breaks into a brushfire that overwhelms a posting site for a day or two.

      Unfortunately the web sites for each of the portfolios, while consistent on a stand alone basis, are a total mess when one subscribes to several newsletters. Each letter ranks performance differently. No letter as far as I can ascertain includes dividends in calculation returns, a substantial flaw in assessing the performance of a stock.

      The “cafertia” approach of the newsletters is also annoying – the same stock may be recommended in two different newsletters and checking the boards requires going to three different boards to get updates. The non-subscriber board and then each of the two different subscriber boards.

      All in all I do not believe that the price of any individual newsletter, each of which is a niche letter, is worth it unless one is a substantial investor, as am I, although far less substantial than a year ago. I am not going to renew any of my newsletters, except PRO which I like because it discusses options.

      All in all Fool is pretty good, but it presents a conundrum. The service is intended to educate unsophisticated investors, at which it does a good job, but it is so expensive as a percentage of assets that unless a subscriber has several hundred thousand of dollars to invest they would do better in a basket of index funds. I would recommend that a new investor without a substantial portfolio subscribe to one of the services for a year or two to get some education and then go on to one of the many free sites that provide all sorts of ideas and their own boards.

    2. Linda McVarish
      May 31 2010, 06:11:21 pm

      I just ended my year subscription, and was sad to have to cancel it. I don’t have the money to invest in all the ideas I already have. Their newsletters are a great read, the recommendations all solid companies, not penny stocks or anything. A lot of them are biotechs, also technology and consumer products and services. Not every stock has performed well, but most have vastly outperformed the market. I love the RB community forum and the CAPS ratings, too. I’ve tried 4 of the Motley Fool subscriptions (Hidden Gems, Rule Breakers, Global Gains and Option Advisor) and loved them all.

    3. beesvees
      Dec 13 2010, 05:26:08 pm

      I am fairly new and enjoy the advice to search out stocks that interest you in some way so it will be fun to follow. My stocks based on their picks are doing quite well.

    4. Philip Sarachik
      Jul 30 2013, 06:24:28 pm

      I joined Rule Breakers but quit after one year. I
      joined because of the market beating performance claimed by the service and I believe that is true provided you can afford to buy every one of their recommendations. I however have to pick and choose so I bought 5 of the stocks recommended that year and earlier (you get to see all previous reports). I gained on 2 lost on 3 and am still holding a modest gainer and a BIG loser.
      I concluded that its just not worth the annual fee.

    5. 30 |
      Dec 5 2013, 02:17:25 pm

      Great ideas and write-ups. The problem with “cafeteria” type letters is that YOU do all the work. Sure they suggest comments by other subscribers, but that is NOT what I pay for. Research is on you. Best buys now usually put you under water. 200 + stocks is too much to chose from, especially when majority of stocks underperform the market on a 1 yr. basis.
      Also, no real target price for the recommendation. Let’s take NFLX. No real guidance for the stock just before the big rally. Only “so & so reader really likes it”. I want David or Tom’s personal opinion, not another subscribers’. They are wrong as much as they are right. Not a good investing strategy.
      It’s a great letter if you want to do tons of research yourself. So why buy a letter if your doing the research anyway???

    6. bkeating51
      Sep 12 2015, 12:17:40 pm

      Rule Breakers has improved a lot over the past year. Although almost all subscribers think that the quality of the stock picks is high, many were unhappy about a lack of follow up on the picks.

      TMF Rule Breakers has done a number of things to address this. Here are two of the most important: Whenever one of their recommended stocks is up or down by around ten percent, a knowledgeable member of staff writes an article on the cause of the movement.

      The most important change is that they have now assigned “ticker guides” to all boards. His or her responsibility is to post on the board a lengthy analysis of quarterly earning reports and on other important news affecting the stock. Since this practice has begun, the boards have become much busier and, since it is a premium service, you don’t find any idiots there.

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