Investment memberships can help you DIY your own stock portfolio while still having the benefit of expert advice. Motley Fool, TheStreet, and TipRanks are three of the most popular options on the market. All three provide stock tips, but each has its own selling points and stand-out features. Read our review of all three to find out which one is best for you.
Introduction to Each Service
What Is Motley Fool?
Motley Fool is an investing website with an online membership that recommends specific stocks. When you sign up for the Motley Fool Stock Advisor, you receive new monthly stock picks, educational materials, community resources and more. Stock Advisor comes with a price tag of $99 for the first year.
When you sign up for Stock Advisor, you receive:
- Two stock picks each month
- 10 timely stocks to buy
- Starter stocks for every investor
- Community resources and educational materials
According to Motley Fool’s website, Stock Advisor outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 400%.
What Is TheStreet?
TheStreet is an investing and personal finance website founded in 1996. The website offers free editorial content. And TheStreet offers a paid subscription called Action Alerts PLUS. When you sign up, you receive investment advice from TheStreet founder Jim Cramer. You can choose from a monthly, annual or two-year membership with prices ranging from $29.99 per month for the monthly plan to $499.99 for the two-year plan.
Included in the membership is:
- Investing tips and education from Jim Cramer
- Monthly members-only conference calls
- Real-time investment alerts
- 24/7 access to Jim Cramer’s portfolio
TheStreet has other offerings to choose from at various price points, but the Action Alerts PLUS is the most popular.
What Is TipRanks?
TipRanks was founded in 2012 for the purpose of bringing accurate and accountable financial advice to the general public. The site pulls data from a variety of sources, including Wall Street analysts, hedge funds, financial bloggers, corporate insiders and individual investors. The basic membership is free. But TipRanks also has Premium and Ultimate plans, which provide additional features. The Premium plan costs $29.95 a month. And the Ultimate plan is $49.95 a month.
Additional features available with a paid account include:
- Analyst ratings and price targets on all stocks
- Stock screens
- Real-time portfolio analysis
- Actionable alerts from Wall Street experts
Unique Features of Each
Features Unique to Motley Fool
- Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor includes community resources and a discussion board where investors can talk with one another and share advice.
- Stock Advisor focuses on recommending specific stocks that it claims will help members beat the market. Members get two new stock picks each month, timely buys and starter stocks that everyone should have in their portfolio.
Features Unique to TheStreet
- Unlike its competitors, TheStreet offers a monthly conference call available only to its paid members. And most of the call is spent with founder Jim Cramer answering investor questions.
- TheStreet’s Action Alerts PLUS service is very much centered around Jim Cramer. Members have 24/7 access to his portfolio and get real-time alerts any time he buys or sells a stock.
Features Unique to TipRanks
- While all of the services on our list offer stock tips, TipRanks is the only one that boasts personalized portfolio analysis.
- Rather than producing original data, TipRanks specializes in compiling data and analysis from other resources as explained above. As a result, members are getting valuable information from many different sources.
How Are They the Same?
Motley Fool, TheStreet and TipRanks all have the same basic purpose: to offer investment advice to their members. As a result, they’ve got a few key features in common.
- Stock Tips: Each of the three memberships offers stock tips. With Motley Fool, members get a list of stocks to invest in. TheStreet offers specific insight into the stocks that Jim Cramer is buying. And TipRanks has a stock analysis tool where it rates stocks and shares opinions on them from investors and financial bloggers.
- Educational Resources: All three memberships offer educational resources above and beyond their stock tips.
How Are They Different?
While they have some things in common, Motley Fool, TheStreet and TipRanks also have some important differences.
- Pricing: While all three companies have paid memberships, there are some important differences in their plans. First, only TipRanks offers free basic membership. Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor is significantly cheaper than the other paid memberships. And the first-year costs less than half the price of the others’ plans.
- Central Features: While each of the three companies focuses on providing investment advice, their paid memberships have different key features. For the Motley Fool membership, the primary selling point is the recommended stocks. For TheStreet, it’s access to Jim Cramer and his portfolio. And TipRanks’ key selling point is that it compiles data and information from many different sources.
Plans and Pricing
Motley Fool, TheStreet, and TipRanks each offer free content, but their premium content comes with a paid membership. Here are the plans and pricing available for each product:
Motley Fool Stock Advisor
- Annual Membership: $99 for the first year, $199 after that
TheStreet Action Alerts PLUS
- Monthly membership: $29.99 per month, which comes to $359.88 per year
- Annual membership: $299.99 per year, saving you nearly $60.00
- Two-year membership: $499.99, which comes out to $249.99 per year
TipRanks Premium and Ultimate Memberships
- Basic Membership: Free
- Premium Membership: $29.95 per month (billed annually)
- Ultimate Membership: $49.95 per month (billed annually)
Motley Fool, TheStreet, and TipRanks all offer a customer service phone number and email address. This means customers can get a hold of the company in the way that works best for them. Motley Fool and TheStreet’s customer service phone lines are open during set business hours. But TipRanks allows customers to call 24/7. TipRanks offers customer support to free customers when there’s availability, but it prioritizes its premium and ultimate customers.
Who Are They Best For?
Motley Fool, TheStreet and TipRanks are all popular stock-picking memberships. And each is best suited for a particular type of investor.
- Motley Fool is best for those who want someone to tell them what stocks to buy. Members get two new stock recommendations per month, 10 timely stocks to buy now and starter stocks to have in their portfolio.
- TheStreet is best for Jim Cramer fans who want a look inside his portfolio, insight into the stocks he’s buying and direct access to him through monthly member calls.
- TipRanks is best for those who want a well-rounded membership with a lot of different features. In addition to stock picks and stock analysis, members also get a portfolio analysis tool and a variety of research tools.
Further Reading: The Motley Fool vs Jim Cramer’s Action Alert Plus
Motley Fool, TheStreet and TipRanks are three of the most popular stock-picking memberships out there, but they certainly aren’t the only ones. Other free and paid options include:
Morningstar is a popular resource for up-to-date research on stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Its paid membership includes more timely security analysis and portfolio management tools.
Further Reading: The Motley Fool vs Morningstar
Zacks is a stock research company that provides research on a variety of stocks, mutual funds and ETFs. It has a free stock screener. And it offers premium features such as a ranking of top stock and earnings predictions.
TD Ameritrade offers a free stock screener to help you sort through and choose securities, including stocks and mutual funds. And this screener is available to anyone, not just TD Ameritrade customers.
Seeking Alpha is an investing website that shares crowdsourced investment advice. It has plenty of free tools and information available. There’s also a paid membership that comes with stock tips and premium articles.
Further Reading: Seeking Alpha vs Motley Fool
The Bottom Line: Which Is Best?
When it comes to choosing between Motley Fool, TheStreet and TipRanks, there’s not necessarily one right answer. All three offer stock tips and educational resources. And each has its own big selling points.
For example, Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor has by far the best price. And you get specific stock recommendations. If you’re a big Jim Cramer fan, then TheStreet is likely the best choice. But TipRanks offers the most well-rounded service with many features to enjoy. So it may be best for those who want to combine stock tips with research tools to help them come to their own conclusions.