Motley Fool’s Television 2.0 Stocks Revealed — “The $2.2 Trillion War for your Living Room Begins Now”

Re-checked for 2016: What are the Motley Fool's "3 Must-See Stocks for the New Golden Age of TV"

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, March 28, 2016

Today, we take you back to 2012… The Motley Fool is promoting it’s “$2.2 Trillion War for your Living Room” stocks again, and the ad is almost identical to the version that first started circulating in the Fall of 2012.

That’s not all that shocking, of course — once a newsletter publisher finds an ad that catches the eye of potential subscribers, they have every incentive to make sure everyone with an email address sees that same ad at least a few times a week. But this one got some folks curious because it’s being released as “A MOTLEY FOOL INVESTIGATIVE REPORT — MARCH 25, 2016”

Which it sort of is, in that there are a few comments about the fact that these picks were made a couple years ago… but they continue to keep those older picks “secret” in the ad and encourage you to sign up to get your full “Golden Age of TV” research report and a subscription to Motley Fool Stock Advisor to learn more. They also indicate that those three stocks have done spectacularly well, though they use the time period from 2012 to 2014 to illustrate that success, regardless of the fact that we’ve had another 18 months since then that could have been included, had the “Investigative report” really been done on March 25.

So… since they’re going to re-mail the same ad with minor updating, we’ll do the same thing. What follows is the identical article I published on October 15, 2012 identifying the three stocks the Fool was picking… and then stick through to the end, and we’ll see what their performance has been like and check the current valuations. I’ve also left all the original comments appended in case you want to see what other readers think.

—from 10/15/2012—

The folks at the Motley Fool have pitched a lot of “big change” stock ideas over the years, from the “end of ‘Made in China'” (3D printing) to the “Death of Microsoft” (cloud computing), and these email campaigns always get a lot of attention from Gumshoe readers … both because they’re well pitched and because the big trends they describe often do, at least in broad terms, seem well-grounded in reality.

So it caught our attention when the floodgates opened over the weekend and thousands of readers (OK, dozens — but still) wrote in asking about the latest pitch from them, called “Television 2.0”.

It’s a long ad, as they always are, and it’s signed by one of the tech folks at the Fool because he tells a personal story about taking his daughter to school and having her throw the epiphany in his face that yes, teenagers don’t need traditional cable TV anymore … but it’s really an ad for Tom and Dave Gardner’s Stock Advisor newsletter, the flagship publication of the Motley Fool, and it’s about how content creators will be the winners of the “war for your living room.”

Here are a few excerpts from the ad about the big picture — which is basically just that more people are getting their video in untraditional ways and video and cable providers are losing leverage:

“Because the percentage of households with a cable or satellite subscription is now declining for the first time in the history of television.

“3 million Americans have already cut the cord, including 425,000 in the past 3 months alone.

“And according to Credit Suisse analyst Stefan Anninger, those ‘cord-cutters’ are joined by a new group … the “cord-nevers.” A full 83.1% of new households are choosing to live without pay-TV.

“No wonder Business Insider reports that the cable/satellite industry is ‘starting to collapse’…”

And this about “how we got here,” including comparisons to old monopoly businesses like the music labels, phone company, etc….

“We started paying more and more good money to get less and less good programming.

“And we put up with it for too long.

“I mean, millions of Americans dropped newspapers, long-distance telephone service, bookstores, traditional stockbrokers, record companies, travel agents, and department stores, even though they were actually quite happy with those businesses.

“It’s just that something better came along.

“But here we are still clinging to this outmoded television delivery technology that we’re all really unhappy with.

“And now that something better has come along for this too, it’s time to act.

“Not just as consumers, but also as investors.”

And then he preemptively covers that concern that’s probably popping up in your head right now: In most c