The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial service website that provides a wealth of invaluable information for investors of every kind. The website publishes hundreds of articles each week that offer news, analysis, and commentary on a variety of stocks, markets, and topics, such as bonds, investing basics, and retirement. The website is highly collaborative, which means that users can share their opinions, seek and give advice, and even edit some of the website’s pages. The Motley Fool has also published a variety of newspaper columns, books, and other media, such as its free Motley Fool Money Radio Show. Users can also subscribe to several investment newsletters for investors of every profile, from Small-Cap to International Stocks.
After a user signs up, the website creates a profile, which can be found under the My Fool tab. Users can edit their profiles as they see fit. Unlike most multimedia websites, profiles here are geared toward investing. Users can add their education and career background, their investing areas of expertise, and information regarding their investing style, such as methodology and risk tolerance. Since the website allows users to follow each other, profiles help users determine whether or not they want to follow someone.
The My Watchlist sub-tab, located under the My Fool tab, is a great feature for investors who would like to know the performance of their stocks and see any news related to their portfolio all on one page. On the left side of the page, users can add stocks and see their watchlist portfolio, which shows the last trade and change in price for each ticker. To get a more detailed snapshot of a stock—such as the company’s name, what they do, and the stock’s one-year performance against the SPY index—users need only hover over the ticker symbol. Clicking on the ticker will direct the user to that stock’s page, which provides a host of information, from adjustable charts and ratios to downloadable SEC filings. Users may also notice that each stock has a CAPS rating. The CAPS rating is a feature that allows users and financial firms to essentially rate a stock.
On the right side of the page, users will see headlines to the most recent articles pertaining to their portfolio. Here users can find articles from well know sources, such as DailyFinance, NASDAQ, CNN Money, and SmartMoney, in addition to “Fool Content,” which are articles provided by The Motley Fool and fellow users.
The main downside to the website is that this information is not provided in real-time, which means that users will have to refresh the page to get the latest updates. Users of this website or other non-real-time websites may want to download one of the auto refreshers in this week’s Featured Download to eliminate the hassle of manually refreshing these pages.
The Screener sub-tab, located under the CAPS Community tab, is another great feature for users who would like to incorporate the website’s CAPS ratings into their screenings. On the left, users can select screener criteria under certain categories, such as Company Information, CAPS Picks, Price Data, and Risk Data. On the right, users can put in the details for each of their selected screening criteria.
After submitting the criteria, the Screener Results show the passing stocks and their performance regarding the screened criteria. There is also a Key Stats tab that shows price, market cap, and average monthly volume for the stocks that pass the screen. Users can download this information to a spreadsheet.
The Boards tab is where users can search The Motley Fool’s community discussion boards for a broad range of topics, whether investing-related or otherwise. Users can search by category, such as Investing/Strategies and Sports, or by entering a ticker symbol. Users can mark the boards they find most useful as favorites and request to start a new board if one that pertains to their interest does not already exist.
The Motley Fool is a great resource that every investor should at least try for themselves. Most of the website’s services are free, which is all the more reason to give it a go. For investors who are seeking premium advice, The Motley Fool offers newsletter subscriptions, which are located under the Fool Store tab.
Finally, since the website is highly collaborative, investors might want to be careful when making decisions based on information provided by other users or editable pages. Though The Motley Fool patrols their website for potential problems and much of the information is credible, it may best serve investors as an addition to their current methods.
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