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Motley Fool Reviews

Updated October 31, 2017
29 reviews

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4.0
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Motley Fool CEO Tom Gardner
Tom Gardner
13 Ratings

29 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 (2)

    "Great Entry Level Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Motley Fool full-time

    Pros

    The benefits are actually great.

    Cons

    Your manager will dictate your experience. Several are not experienced as managers and are promoted with no managerial experience. This company is a stepping stone to better paying jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Train your managers better.

    Motley Fool Response

    Nov 27, 2017

    Thanks for taking a moment to write this review. We think our benefits are pretty great, too! Internal surveys shed light on areas where we can improve, and leadership training is among our top... More


  2. "copywriter"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Motley Fool as a contractor

    Pros

    Terrific products and friendly people! Awesome company.

    Cons

    Once a promotion project is submitted, writer receives no feedback at all. Communication between company and writer should be consistent, not leaving writer in the dark. Company should employ a copy chief to work with freelance copywriters to maximize their marketing efforts.

    Advice to Management

    Employ a copy chief.

    Motley Fool Response

    Oct 10, 2017

    We are committed to making sure every Fool's work, whether freelance, contractor or full-time, receives appropriate attention. Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback, especially on... More

  3. Helpful (11)

    "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.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    Flexible, great people, lots of mentorship and opportunities to grow, especially if you're a new dev. Encouragement to pursue new tools and technologies. Plenty of pairing opportunities if you're interested.

    Cons

    Leadership doesn't have great technical understanding, can lead to tension between the business objectives and technical objectives. Constantly striving to be innovative, but a few steps behind when it comes to technical infrastructure.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Pleasant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Freelancer - Anonymous Freelancer
    Former Freelancer - Anonymous Freelancer

    Pros

    Friendly people and good communication

    Cons

    Will terminate you at any time, have to be diligent (even as a freelancer)


  6. "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


  7. "Nice place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Motley Fool as a contractor (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Pleasant people to work with, positive culture.

    Cons

    A lot of time spent positioning for promotions/playing politics.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Freelancer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    Pros

    Very collegial staff, very competitive pay, flexibility.

    Cons

    One editor was very passive-aggressive but he was an anomaly. I chose to work fewer hours once he became my supervisor.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "A great company, but with some serious issues"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people at The Motley Fool are among the best I have ever known, in any context. They are almost uniformly intelligent, capable, and generous with their time and knowledge. We Fools, as we are proud to call ourselves, live and breath our culture--you may call it drinking the Kool-Aid--but I would simply respond that, when something is as good as our culture, you can't help but wish that everyone could experience it.

    Cons

    During my entire time at the company, the Fool has been very consistent in hiring the intelligent, capable people that make it such a wonderful place to work. However, in a company that is staying relatively the same size, there are simply not enough challenging, career-advancing opportunities for all those intelligent, capable people. That said, the company discourages turnover, exacerbating a problem it created in the first place. There are other minor issues potential applications should be aware of, which I am sure are addressed in other reviews. That said, I believe most fall under the "No Place is Perfect for Everyone" doctrine.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to find a way to either challenge and retain talent at all levels, or else prepare itself for potentially widespread departures. People looking to advance their careers--and their lives--will only subsist for so long on great people and a great culture. Pay more, offer more challenges, and allow real advancement for more than a select few.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great place, needs fine tuning"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Motley Fool full-time

    Pros

    Great people work here. They're smart, committed, honest, caring and full of energy. The company tries very hard to foster a dynamic workplace culture to take advantage of the team.

    Cons

    A lot of decisions seem to be made on the fly by upper managers who are operating by the gut. That not only flies in the face of what everyone else is supposed to be doing (using data to inform decisions), but it leads to a lot of wasted effort on false starts. It also leads to confusion, resentment, or simple fatigue with chasing the shiny new object.

    Advice to Management

    Measure thrice, cut once. You have many people who aren't operating at full capacity because they're not challenged and its considered career limiting to make this known.


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