Motley Fool Reviews

Updated May 4, 2015
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4.5
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Motley Fool CEO Tom Gardner
Tom Gardner
71 Ratings

Pros
  • There is good work/life balance (in 7 reviews)

  • The open office work environment allows you to communicate with and learn from different aspects of the company (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • Also, if you want a linear career path with clean and tidy lines from one role to the next, that management philosophy is not embraced here (in 6 reviews)

  • s hard to keep everyone informed about everything all the time (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

101 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (10)

    Great Work, Flexible Lifestyle

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Motley Fool

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great work environment, even for contractors (I seldom go to the home office). Lots of support for different work-life arrangements. Interesting work; you get out of it what you put in for the most part. Fairly flat hierarchy means everyone is accessible and there's very little feeling of "management" per se--just people you go to for specific things.

    Cons

    Not really a downside, but you have to stay on your toes--things are always changing and new people are coming in steadily.

    Advice to Management

    Don't get overly corporate as the company continues to grow! And now I'd like to hum you a little tune. Hmmm....is that 20 words?


  2. Helpful (3)

    Technical Operations

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at Motley Fool full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Innovative, collaborative, tech driven company dedicated to their mission of helping the world invest better. Excellent workplace with a very intelligent and pioneering tech group.

    Cons

    Can be chaotic with an open seating plan.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to offer solid direction, direct feedback and positive realistic direction.


  3. Helpful (6)

    Great company on the surface, not so great for motivated people.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Alexandria, VA

    I worked at Motley Fool full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    On the surface - Flexible work environment, fun activities.

    Cons

    Very cult-like. Low salary, unusable unlimited vacation, and a culture which does not encourage new ideas. If you're good at what you do you, it's incredibly easy to find the same perks with a significantly better salary at a company that treats you and respects you like an individual.

    Senior management makes secretarial staff take care of personal items such as getting oil changes, registering cars, submitting school paperwork, etc.

    Almost 5 years after leaving, their product and offerings are almost completely unchanged. Don't work here if you want to accomplish anything.

    Advice to Management

    Please grow up and learn how to take care of yourselves. I understand you grew up with trust funds, but you're adults now.


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  5. Helpful (5)

    Not as good as they might have you think

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Motley Fool

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Many intelligent and a few caring individuals work here. For some reason, this company looks good on a resume. There are opportunities to learn about business and investing, among some other things.

    Cons

    "Culture Club" acts as a secret police. Transparency is a bit of a facade. "Unlimited time off" isn't really true.

    Advice to Management

    Don't get a new CTO every year. They're not clothes; they don't go out of fashion so quickly.


  6. Helpful (5)

    Rare case where nice people finish first

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - N/A in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - N/A in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at Motley Fool full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    That's not to say it isn't a tough, competitive place to work. It's hard to get a job here, you have to work hard to keep up, and 'average' performers are not allowed to be the norm. However, most Fools are kind and caring people so it's the right mix of challenging and supportive.

    Cons

    Lack of true hierarchy and process makes everyone more reliant on building a network, but that can often turn into a lot of unnecessary politics. Decisions are either abrupt or dragged out.

    Advice to Management

    Be really clear about how you are delegating, as we get bigger, make sure you trust the people who are on your team to make decisions on their own. It's tempting to swoop in and try to do everything but you'll just burn yourself out.


  7. Helpful (18)

    I joined a company for life

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Human Resources in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at Motley Fool full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The Fool is a truly unique place where you are encouraged to forge your own path contributing to a purpose you believe in. People here respect each other and push to be challenged every day. The work is hard and fast paced. The benefits are top notch. Founders Tom and David Gardner are great people to work with for life. There is so much love here.

    Cons

    This isn't really a con - but for some it would be - You need to enjoy leading your own "career" looking for projects that matter. The Fool doesn't believe in a perfect manager making all your dreams come true. It is more on you to navigate the projects you love and are most qualified to do.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the great communication coming about our daily challenges and long term growth.


  8. Helpful (10)

    The Best Place You'll Ever Work - Seriously

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at Motley Fool full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    A reviewer inferred that one could work anywhere else with the same or similar benefits. I thought about this comment a lot and realized that this is impossible. I've been at the Fool for over 3 years and can honestly say it's the best company I've ever worked for. I've never be in such a professional (I use this term loosely - the better word would be "Foolish") environment where people actually care about each other.

    Leadership works hard to make sure that everyone is happy and fulfilled. They'll fund a Starbucks gift card if you take a "Fool" out that you don't know; teams are celebrated when they do a good job; you can order FREE (!!) books about whatever you want to read; there are monthly cake and pizza days and weekly free healthy snacks...many of our office perks also include subsidized monthly mani/pedis, bi-weekly masseuses, and an in-house Wellness Fool that teaches classes like yoga and kettlebells. The flexible schedule is also a really great benefit. It's nice to not be so worried about doctor's appointments, etc.

    I see this year's hiring boost as a really great thing. Others may be pessimistic about so much growth, but the talent here is incredible if you look around. There's tons of opportunity in the future for both employees and the business to thrive.

    Cons

    Sometimes I'm unable to unplug from the office. Even though I may be out, I can't go long before I feel like I should check my messages. Many Fools work long hours, but I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. When you love your job, you feel more attracted to projects and motivated about work. You can really see this passion here.

    Communication isn't always clear. A lot of decisions seem quickly acted upon, when maybe they should just be better explained.

    I enjoy the open office plan but don't love the frequent office-moves - this is just a personal pet peeve. Teams relocate every 6 months. It can be hard to keep up, so successful employees have to be quick on their toes.

    Advice to Management

    Keep growing but be more open about why - whether this is about hiring or other decisions. If there are questions lingering, it's probably worth holding a meeting about.

    Company culture is awesome - I really see the Fool only going up from here.


  9. Helpful (13)

    the story has changed

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Contractor
    Current Employee - Contractor

    I have been working at Motley Fool

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    tmf is still a great place to work, but only if you work at the alexandria hq. there you will find good pay and excellent fringe benefits. compensation however for the large minority of workers classed as outside contractors and freelancers took a big hit this year. if you want to get a job at tmf, make sure to get a "job-job" as an official employee. do not take a job as a contractor

    Cons

    the business model suffered a recent shakeup. the result is huge disruption internally, and a paycut for outside contractors. contractors are increasingly deemed secondclass citizens at tmf, suffering paycuts that do not affect workers at the alexandria hq. cut off from internal policymaking, their input is not sought, even as they bear the brunt of increasingly onerous rules from alexandria. more work and less pay is the order of the day

    Advice to Management

    we used to be close, but as tmf has gotten bigger, it's gotten harder to manage through channels. you don't realize it, but you're starting to lose touch. reach out to your contractors from time to time. in many cases they are "the face of the fool" -- and it's a frowney face


  10. Helpful (7)

    Do work you're passionate about, for a mission you believe in, alongside the best and brightest in their fields.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at Motley Fool full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The culture is one of drive, entrepreneurship, fun, and helping the world invest better. As an employee you are trusted and respected (you don't get treated like a child; you can wear what you want, show up and leave when you want, and there's no vacation policy). That gives you the confidence to go about your work in the best way suited for you, and success is strongly rewarded. Fun, competitive culture for sure.

    Cons

    Not many to speak of, but one I'd mention is the start-up culture at The Fool can lead to changing short-term goals from time-to-time.

    Advice to Management

    Keep allowing your employees to voice their opinions, but also make sure current priorities align with our long-term objectives.


  11. Helpful (18)

    Great place to work – but not for everyone

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Motley Fool full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I think it’s important to remember that no work environment is perfect for everyone. I have worked at The Motley Fool for more than a decade and here are the reasons I still love it here.

    Amazing People – The people that I work with are some of the smartest, kindest and most dedicated I’ve ever met. In my work and even casual conversations I’m challenged and stimulated. Generally people that are jerks don’t last long around here because it’s just so counter to the culture.

    Constant Learning – The posts here have focused around the “lack of career path.” This is really by design and I love it. The Fool is constantly trying to align talent of the individual with the needs of the business. For me that has lead me to jobs I would have never imagined and given me opportunities to learn and grow beyond my wildest dreams. I assumed when I started here that I would be in marketing for the rest of my life, but I’ve now done product strategy, customer service, human resources, and tech strategy. I look at my career now and think I can learn or do anything and my skill sets are so broad that I can speak across several different levels of any organization and connect business initiatives across departments

    I can be myself – I bring 100% of me to work every day. "Me" is hard working and analytical, but also a little kooky, nerdy, silly. I’ve had jobs that I felt like I was leaving a part of myself at the door and that I was slowly become someone else that was hard and jaded. I don't feel that here. I can joke and play and still be taken seriously on a professional level too.

    Transparency – I love knowing how we are doing and how my job feeds into that. Everyone is encouraged to know the top and bottom line of the company, how our business model works and how their job fits into the company's long and short term plans. In previous jobs I’ve had no idea we were doing poorly until layoffs were announced or no idea that we were doing well until some people got big bonuses – but not everyone. I love that our bonus structure is the same for everyone and if we do well everyone does well, and if we are in trouble everyone pulls together to cut costs.

    Fun – I’m encouraged to have fun in my work and if I’m not having fun I’m encouraged to fix that.

    Cons

    Here are reasons you’ll be frustrated if you decide to work here and it's the wrong fit.

    Speed – Things move fast ALL THE TIME. We are a performance culture. I like the challenge of that but if you think this is a “great culture” where work/life balance means that you don’t work hard, you’ll be disappointed. It is flexible and there is a lot of fun, but there is always a lot to do.

    Change – I guess this goes with speed, but when something’s not working we change it. If we find a better way next week we change it again. This might lead to new jobs, new roles, new bosses, new initiatives frequently. I find that stimulating, but for some people it feels a little chaotic. If the seems energizing to you will like it here. If not you'll be confused and frustrated frequently.

    Communication – With so much change and speed it’s hard to keep everyone informed about everything all the time. You have to be proactive and build networks within the company to keep up to date. But this is encouraged and I don’t ever feel like information is intentionally left out – only that it hasn’t caught up to the official channels.

    Career Path – You never know exactly what your next step is around here, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have opportunities. You won’t grow from representative to manager to VP to SVP to Chief something, but my experience is that I’ve seen consistent opportunities to learn, grow, and develop - and although a little confusing on paper, my career and skill sets have consistently grown along with my compensation.

    Advice to Management

    As we grow it’s going to be more important to scale leadership transparency and communication. Things that came very naturally in the past may need a little more attention. I’ve seen some reviews in here about leadership and I think most of them come from a lack of understanding. In the past it was easy for everyone to say – “I sat in on an ExCom meeting and the intentions are good” I think it’s harder as we grow and as the company has more locations to maintain that same level of transparency and trust. I really don’t think it has changed – I just think as we grow it's harder to see the great and deliberate intent put into our strategies and decisions. Keep up the great work!



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