Motley Fool Reviews | Glassdoor

Motley Fool Reviews

Updated June 24, 2017
136 reviews

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136 Employee Reviews

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

  • Great work life balance and absolute commitment to customers as well as employees (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 (19)

    "Was once great, now only great if you're part of the "in-crowd""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    + Flexible work schedule/unlimited vacation policy*
    (*If you have a manager that understands the Fool's own core values and the reasons people choose to work at the Fool, otherwise your flexible work schedule winds up being not so flexible.)

    + Employer matching 401k, good health benefits

    + Nice people

    + TMF's game room used to be utilized by it's employees rather than just a nostalgic relic from a time that has long past. The game room now mainly serves as a go-to spot for PR photos that are to be included in newspapers or really any trendy DC magazine that outlines "Great Company Benefits/Perks"

    + The walls are colourful (Whoa, just like Google!), and everyone has $650 Herman Miller chairs, ironically though they aren't much more comfortable than a traditional $50 chair. After all, you know what they say "A Fool™ and their money soon part"

    + We have an entire unused 2nd floor (another boondoggle) that can be used for drinking parties or tag

    Cons

    Those who can "see" what has happened at The Motley Fool over the past couple years are NOT pleased, but we are not alone and we are also not a small minority.

    Employees are generally good at putting on their "Happy Face" though. As previous reviews have stated, if you don't assimilate than you will have someone (typically a manager, or their manager) talking to you about your behaviour and lack of perceived "Foolishness" (cult-speak for fitting in and not "rocking the boat")

    Many veteran ex-Fools painfully saw the rapid decline from the fun, collaborative, organic and free-flowing workplace, where it was understood that as long as you got your work done - you were free to be, now transformed into a place where only the chosen ones participate in that experience. Those days of equality are gone except for Chosen Ones: the Yes-Men, the Fantasy/Sports Enthusiasts and the in-crowd PartyCrew® all seem to have free rein to do whatever they please while others are held to an unclear litany of constantly morphing standards.

    Not to be misunderstood, EVERYONE is meticulously graded on multiple levels, scoring rubrics, metrics and tests. You will be analyzed and charted by a group of (?) not really sure...peers, superiors, managers? However, in the end it is all fairly irrelevant considering like other reviews on here have explicitly stated, it seems to be a select few people gathered in a room agreeing on who they like or dislike.

    Walking into the Fool anymore feels like one signed up for a clinical trial where they'll be monitored and charted, rather than the highly touted transparent workplace that TMF was once known for. The only thing missing is wires and monitors hooked up to employees reading their heart rates, blood pressure and stress levels. The Motley Fool is using an overreaching system in order to place it's employees into groups. Every metric seems to have been taken care of and is scored in a rigid, cold and non-transparent system that attempts to place employees into categories instead of looking at their actual work output, and to be honest, it feels more like segregation.

    Enough of this, let us work - judge us on our work and not our networking/beer-drinking abilities. It is tiring and demotivating.

    Many long-time and valuable veteran Fools have already left the company recently, and now we can all see why. I guess they too saw the writing on the wall.

    At The Motley Fool, it is perceived that there is a select group in the company that can do no wrong: take 2 hour alcohol lunches, watch sports, Netflix and play video games with no supervision, all while others are working around-the-clock worried about losing their jobs without even participating in any of these activities.

    It is a vast understatement to say that this has created a resentment from many employees toward the "untouchables" who seem to do as they please.

    How are some people failing to meet goals by astoundingly embarrassing percentage points (Think: actual final numbers = less than 1/3 of projected numbers) and being rewarded, while others who do not participate in the "bread and circus" activities are constantly having the bar raised for them causing burnout? Either make it fair for all or get rid of the "perks" and increase the pay, half of us don't even get to use the perks.

    Advice to Management

    Bring back the spark of what made The Motley Fool what it was. Quit over managing everyone and let them work organically, perhaps we just simply got too big too fast.


  2. Helpful (34)

    "Time for a wake up call."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The foundation of the company has good intensions and its top leader is inspiring and has a great vision. Although sometimes misdirected.

    Cons

    It is so sad to see The Fool blindly moving into the future with zero idea of how its employees are really feeling. Many of the negative reviews are very true and the positive ones are often written by the People Team who take turns writing reviews and encourage its team members to write whenever possible. The leadership is hidden from the true reality of the company by the lies and misdirects of a small group of people. Again mainly on the People Team.

    Energy at times is extremely high, collaborative, and truly a great place to work. Those “times” are often when the company knows a survey will be going out or during times of potential mutiny. Not sustainable.

    Other times days are filled with management plotting which employees they like the best, which ones will stick around in the tough times, and who doesn’t rock the boat. Rocking the boat can be anything from suggesting an idea that goes against what a “top performer” is planning. Even if it is in the very best intention. Assuming a leadership role on a team when the team leader is too busy playing video games to lead the team. Being so overworked that you decline to play said video game. (working hard and with your head down is considered “not-Foolish” and is graded negatively by leadership).

    I hope the Fool has a awakening and realizes what is happening right in front of them.

    Advice to Management

    Take a moment to slow down and really analyze what is happening within the walls of the company. People are not happy with the current environment and things need to change. It has been said for months now. Read the reviews and realize there is truth behind the words. We aren't all disgruntled employees - we just want things to get better.

  3. Helpful (34)

    "Glassdoor rating is misleading"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You will love working here for about a year… maybe longer if you drink the koolaid. Lots of perks like commuting subsidy, free office spinning/yoga/kettlebell classes, tons of booze all the time (sorry AAers), flex working depending on what dept. you are in, free books, tickets to Nats games, free financial classes. Still a hand full of smart/fun/kind people at the co. Try to hang w/them and keep your head down and don’t rock the boat and you will be ok.

    Cons

    Hard to know where to start…. a lot of lip service paid to being a self motiveated self starter, but that is because managers here lack of any real management training/experience. Mostly everyone spends a lot of time trying to CYA and put on a happy face so they dont become a target.
    As other reviews state, you have to be nimble… translation: Be able to follow schizo biz decisions and people running around trying to deliver on “whatever the CEO is hot on right now.”
    Popularity contests, self promotion, being a dude (like “dude” who can hang with the bros) are how you get ahead. If you are good at your job better pray that your manager is one of the “in” crowd and is actually asked for their opinion about you. Otherwise it is all based on whatever general impression about 5 people at the company have on you when they sit down to rate everyone at the company. (Ignore the hype about all the new ‘tools” they are building/trying to sell to other co.s to unleash talent. Even managers say that its more harmful than helpful.)
    The creepy cultish “people team” really does take note of who attends company events and participates in things like corhnole and ping pong tournaments. Seriously. Besides being kindergarten cops there other job is to keep top management from knowing how low morale really is.

    Advice to Management

    Your Glassdoor rating is misleading. Yes people like you but that is not what it takes to be a great CEO. That takes focus, discipline and a longer term view of the direction of the business and the company reputation/mission in the world.


  4. Helpful (22)

    "A Playground In So Many Ways"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The flexibility and autonomy are truly amazing when compared with the standard 9-5. Fringe benefits, like metro allowance, access to financial planning and theoretically unlimited vacation time are big bonuses.

    If you are ok flying under the radar and are more concerned with quality of life than advancement/accomplishment, many of the cons likely won't bother you.

    Cons

    The company offers such amazing fringe benefits because it's cheaper than competing with other companies on salary. Depending on your department, you will likely earn a fraction of the market rate, particularly if you work in tech or investing. Despite repeated initiatives to make compensation more transparent, few understand how the process works, who you can talk to or who makes the decision.

    Further, the company has very little discipline about developing and managing people -- despite high profile coaching initiatives. The majority of senior managers are long-tenured employees who joined the company during its startup stage. Few have worked in traditional settings, let alone have management training. In general, the company's expectations for employees are incredibly inconsistent and unclear, if they exist at all.

    There's no clear career path and managers aren't required to have set metrics for subordinates. This leads to an unhealthy focus on politics. The org chart is a mess, and the company has devolved into a series of fiefdoms. Authority rests with whomever can get the founders most excited in a given week, and this leads to a game of "who can build the biggest sand castle." Moonshots are a dime a dozen, and the company seems far more enthused by shiny ideas than execution.

    All in, the Fool talks the talk of an employee-focused company without actually walking the walk. The company makes a show of window-dressing with fringe benefits but falls down on meeting core needs like fair compensation, sensitive management and clear career opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    I'm all for flat hierarchy, but you need someone who can make a call when it counts to prevent infighting and empire building. Rethink the org chart, and who fills it, from the top down. Right now, nobody will tell the emperor, the CEO, he has no clothes, even when he asks them to specifically. This is for good reason: the CEO is also the founder, majority shareholder and public face of the company. He has absolute authority and little sense of restraint. There's no incentive for telling him the truth. Tom Gardner needs to either step down as CEO or make rebuilding communication and trust with his employees a top priority. We don't need another swarm, tool or retreat. We need fresh blood in senior leadership.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Amazing internship opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    The people! They're passionate about what they do. The CEOs love the company and it's reflected in their enthusiasm for everything The Motley Fool has going on.

    Cons

    I have no cons for my experience.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "If you can roll with change, it's great"

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

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

    Pros

    The company is very open about what is happening, and very flexible with work schedules.

    Cons

    Things can change quickly. People change rolls and business approaches can head in a different direction on a moment's notice. If you don't like that kind of dynamic, this may not be for you.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure to keep the lines of communication open with those working remotely. Also, keep it up!


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Freelancer"

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

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

    Pros

    TMF is a great employer because of a culture that fosters professional growth, and a compensation system that is transparent, fair, and incentivizes employees the right way. There is also a strong support and training system to help employees grow along with the company.

    Cons

    The overall pay is not as high as one could get working at some other investment firms, but that's the trade-off you make for a better work-life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up!

  8. Helpful (7)

    "No place like it"

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

    I worked at Motley Fool full-time

    Pros

    The recruitment process is tight -- and the result is you'll end up working with some of the most creative, intelligent, motivated and inspiring people you'll ever come across.

    Cons

    No company is perfect. TMF is going through growing pains right now, trying to figure out how to preserve its core culture while becoming a "grown up" company. It's cliche to say that change is constant; but seriously, if you can't handle constant change, this isn't the place for you. Also, growth isn't linear here. TMF puts their best people toward their top priorities -- if you're married to a certain title or find most comfort in a clear career trajectory, you won't be happy here.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure you're letting the Fool speak the truth to the King.


  9. Helpful (11)

    "Great Work, Flexible Lifestyle"

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


  10. Helpful (23)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    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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