Motley Fool Reviews in Alexandria, VA | Glassdoor

Motley Fool Alexandria Reviews

Updated August 21, 2017
89 reviews

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Alexandria, VA

4.2
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Motley Fool CEO Tom Gardner
Tom Gardner
65 Ratings

89 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work life balance and absolute commitment to customers as well as employees (in 12 reviews)

  • Innovative, collaborative, tech driven company dedicated to their mission of helping the world invest better (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Fools love it here so much that there's very little turnover, meaning there's not obvious upward mobility (in 8 reviews)

  • Can become a slog after a while, especially when you have to SEO-optimize your articles (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "We Care For One Another"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Motley Fool full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Above all else this is a place that cares for and about each other and customers.
    Everyone shares the same goals and supports one another toward achievement. When there is disagreement it comes from the right place and with the right outcome in mind. The work is forever challenging and available.

    Cons

    There are so many great benefits and a lot of autonomy to set your own path. Some people can lose their way and forget how good they have it. Even the best culture over time can be taken for granted.


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Solid place to work but be aware of what you're getting into"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Motley Fool full-time

    Pros

    The Motley Fool is very trusting of its employees. The top perk is the flexible work schedule and unlimited vacation. The Fool encourages you to use these and there's no shaming of people who take vacation (given that you're not abusing the unlimited part). I think the average employee probably takes somewhere between three to five weeks of guilt-free vacation a year. And if you need to work from home for whatever reason, it's very easy to do and not feel like you're letting people down. This is particularly great for picking up the kids, having home repairs done, going to the doctor, etc.

    The people at the Fool are genuinely nice. I've worked with and in different groups at the Fool, and this is universally true. Employees are friendly and deeply caring about the company and their co-workers. I've worked at several other places in my career and this is not something you find everywhere.

    There are more pros about working at the Motley Fool (pizza day, cake day, intramural sports, a yearly company retreat, the occasional mariachi band marching through the office), but these are really the top two great things.

    Cons

    For as many wonderful things the Fool has going for it, there are just as many frustrating aspects. For starters, the company continues to beat its chest regarding compensation, benefits, and culture. Some of these things are worth bragging about, but compensation is not one. The company claims to benchmark comp and will pay at least at the median, but this just isn't true for the average employee. I've found salaries to be consistently under market, even when you incorporate benefits.

    Secondly, the Fool claims to be a meritocracy, but being close with the Gardners is far more important than skill or acumen. There is also a strong "yes man" bias. Raising differing points of view from what management, especially the Gardners, want to hear will get you no where, even if it's the truth. I've seen many careers stagnate or even regress once someone broke from the party line. Don't be mistaken, this company is very much run and controlled by Tom and David.

    The Fool has a lot of young workers. I'm not referring to those kids right out of college, but rather people under 50. That makes promotions and advancements very hard to come by. You see people moving laterally in the company rather than upward. That's okay, but don't expect to have a career schedule here. It can also make getting raises difficult because title and role changes don't come very often. Even more aggravating is the Fool's backward policy of not giving a raise when you do finally receive a promotion! For a company that shouts from the mountain tops that it values its employees, sometimes it really feels like you're fighting tooth and nail for everything that has a dollar sign attached to it.

    Lastly, be prepared for changes on company strategy. It happens all the time. Although we preach taking the long-term view, sometimes it feels like we're fickle in our own company's goals. I've seen ideas for the business bubble up, ultimately die, only to reappear again a year down the road. Only this time it's somehow different. It can feel like we don't give a strategy enough time to actually take hold and produce results before we're worried about the next issue and are changing course. I think some more steady-handed leadership could be good for the business.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on working to diversify the business and make it more solid for the future, even if that comes at the cost of lesser financial results in the short-term. Also, take a hard look at salaries and ask if we're really where we want to be on this matter. There are a lot of good things going for the Fool, let's keep on working to make this a business that is relevant 100 years down the road, not just relevant next year.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Senior Software Developer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Groundbreaking culture and fantastic people. Great work life balance and absolute commitment to customers as well as employees. Very strong commitment to creating a exemplary and diverse workplace

    Cons

    Despite a fantastic vision the company has struggled to translate that vision into concrete results.


  4. "Great!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Freelance Writer in Alexandria, VA
    Current Freelancer - Freelance Writer in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good people, fun work environment

    Cons

    Ultimately, the Fool is a sales engine for its newsletters.


  5. "Temp"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Temporary Associate in Alexandria, VA
    Former Contractor - Temporary Associate in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Motley Fool as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great environment, everyone is super friendly and helpful.

    Cons

    not much upward mobility from temp position but great experience and great people

    Advice to Management

    keep being awesome


  6. Helpful (17)

    "was great now depressing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Motley Fool full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Generally fun atmosphere and good benefits. Not a lot of oversight which is good if you are self motivated.

    Cons

    The foundation of the business is really starting to suffer now after years of focusing on short term thinking/results. Times seem desperate now and they are... It's time to stop chasing dreams of being a big company (for the sake of being big) and concentrate on being a great company with a focused mission.

    Advice to Management

    Don't drag the business down by pursuing vanity projects. Bring focus and resources back to the core business.


  7. Helpful (29)

    "Investment Team Lacks Diversity, Team Leads Reluctant to Hear New Ideas"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investment Analyst in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Investment Analyst in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Motley Fool full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Compared to traditional finance companies, the Fool is a low key place to work. No need to dress up or wear a tie. Everyone, even the CIO, has a cubby and is seated in pods of four. Great to bounce around ideas and hear what's happening in other parts of the floor. There are usually weekly meetings and assignments are distributed on a timely basis.

    Most reviews here mention benefits, like organized trips and concerts, but most people on the investment team tends to be less social.

    Cons

    I came to the Fool under the impression that it runs like a startup, where new ideas are accepted and everyone is encouraged to participate. In reality, the Fool runs like a big company, no different than your typical Wall Street company. It's very hierarchical and you don't get much say especially if you are new.

    To stay afloat, you need to put your head down and do what your manager tells you to do. Be prepared to have managers way younger than you. They may not know what they talking about, investment-wise, but they'll have seniority over you, because they've been at the Fool longer.

    The investment team lacks diversity -- there are very few women and employees of color. Many of its new hires tends to be mainstream rejects. In other words, if you don't fit the traditional mold (college + MBA + work experience), the Fool will likely hire you.

    Everything at the Fool is about doing it the "Fool-ish" way and God forbid you come in to the company with previous experience, especially Wall Street experience, you'll be shunned and ostracized. The Fool prides itself as being anti-Wall Street, so definitely don't flaunt your past experiences or expertise. No matter your background, when you enter the Fool, you start from ground zero and must work your way up. Unfortunately, it's very hard, because performance isn't based on merit, but on how effective you are at sucking up to the right people.

    If you are new at the company, definitely don't speak up and voice your ideas, unless you want a target on your back. There is a strong sense of unspoken rule that seniority (or length of time at the Fool) dictates whether you make a good investor.

    Management will say that the company turnover rate is low, but the reality is they just don't count many of the folks who left within a year. For an investment analyst, the pay is very low especially compared to the market average. It's a comfortable job with great hours, but other than that, I wouldn't consider this a great investment company.

    Advice to Management

    Please make performance based on merit and not on seniority. Just because someone has worked at the Fool longer doesn't mean he/she is a better investor!

  8. Helpful (3)

    "I Still Can't Believe This Place Exists"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Support in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - IT Support in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The employees are treated like adults, the benefits are amazing, and the facilities are awesome. The worse part of my day is traffic, but it is quickly forgotten when I step through the door. Did I mention the people are great!? The Fools who work here are defiantly part of what make this place awesome.

    Cons

    With such a unique culture it can be pretty overwhelming just how things move. Some things are quite predictable while others seem to remain in a constant state of flux, I'll admit It's not for everyone, those of us still here have gotten used to it.

    Advice to Management

    Keep at it, I know this place isn't for everyone but for those of us who genuinely love this place. We hope that you continue to make it one of the best places to work.


  9. "Good Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Intern - Investing Intern in Alexandria, VA
    Former Intern - Investing Intern in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Motley Fool as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great Culture
    Lots of resources available

    Cons

    Didn't give interns too much work to do.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "If you enjoy a fast-paced environment, I can't imagine a better place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Member Service Representative in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Member Service Representative in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Motley Fool full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I have been here over a year now and have seen a company that stands behind its words. The fast-paced environment is not designed nor should it wear you down. The unlimited paid time off policy has never been an issue when I wanted or needed to take time to slow down (either a day or weeks at a time). All of that aside, I have grown professionally within this year at an exponential rate in comparison to previous work environments. From opportunities made available (but not forced upon me) and my colleagues that happily mentor at the drop of a hat, I cannot imagine building my career anywhere else at this point.

    Cons

    If you are a stickler for structure, I could imagine some stressful days and situations here. Answers are out there, but make sure you do your part to ask the questions to the right people.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to our members and other stakeholders.


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