For investors who wish to develop an interest in stock markets, The Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha are two leading online expert stock tipping firms. The Motley Fool finds the next best stock that will outperform the market and has done this successfully for 20 years. Seeking Alpha also focuses on individual stocks and for a fee, you can use their “Quant” computerized stock ratings. Let’s compare Motley Fool vs. Seeking alpha. The Motley Fool Their purpose is to make the world smarter, happier, and richer, believing that you should invest in at least 25 great businesses to provide sufficient diversification and hold onto their stocks for at least 2 to 5 years. Motley Fool is not suitable for active traders but is ideal for less experienced investors and those who lace the time, energy, or the knowledge to understand the potential of individual stocks. Investment Strategies Their Stock Advisor service began in 2002 and has two investment teams. One team picks a stock that stands for “unquantifiable greatness”, based on long-term market trends. The other team chooses stocks with a strong financial performance, excellent management team, and a presence in underrated industries. Rule Breakers is their other leading service. Stocks are chosen for their high-growth potential, primarily the emerging technology stocks. This is an aggressive and volatile investment philosophy. What Advice do you Get? Both services offer four stock picks each month. Stock Advisor also includes 5 “Best Buys” chosen from favored investment opportunities to hold for at least five years. These stocks and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) have solid histories and are recommended to supply diversification. Rule Breakers includes a “Best Buys Now” list. They choose the five best stocks around the middle of every month and explain why they are sound investment opportunities. Rule Breakers also publishes a list of ten “Starter Stocks” once a year to supply a conservative group of stocks to offset the more volatile monthly stock picks. What About Performance? Stock Advisors’ average return since 2002 is 338% compared to the S & P 500 of 118% over the same period. Since its start in 2004, Rule Breakers’ average return is 190% compared to the S & P 500s 101%. For both services, about 80% of stocks are showing positive returns. They have had stock-picking failures and they will recommend selling when their recommended picks do not perform. What do their services cost? Stock Advisor cost $199/year and Rule Breakers costs $299/year, but both are available for just $99 for the first year. Their other investment services are targeted at retirement, holding stocks for life, options, biotech, real estate, and several others. Annual fees for these other services range from $149 to $2,999 each and there are bundle packages available including all services for $13,999/year. The Motley Fool is the Stock picking website with the best investment performance combined with one of the lowest costs. Their investment teams also supply a huge amount of investment advice which helps customers educate themselves. Seeking Alpha This platform began in 2004 and has both a free service and a paid service. One unique feature is the enormous volume of investment articles provided by members. Articles from over 7,000 authors are only published after going through a screening process, but the volume is reported to be at least 10,000 articles/month. You are sure to find some articles from members with the same investment goals as you. But apart from finding the articles that you believe suit you, there is extraordinarily little direction given around what stocks to choose or why. For an investor with little experience, you might feel like you have access to too much information and no idea which is right for you. Premium Service This service gives you access to their quant algorithm that ranks stocks. For a stock to be rated as “very bullish” it has to have beaten the S & P 500 index return by 4 times. However, that is the stock’s past return and no guarantee that it will continue outperforming the market. Research, in addition to the quant algorithm, is provided by members. So, you have to decide for yourself the quality of the research. What Do You Get? Over 10,000 Stock Research Articles per Month Professional Stock Ratings Listen to Earnings Calls and Read Transcripts VERIFIED Performance History: Very Bullish ranked stocks have outperformed the S&P 500 by almost 1400% Very Bearish ranked stocks have been beaten by the S&P 500 by over 300% Seeking Alpha Pricing The Basic Plan is free, and the Premium Plan is $19.99 per month, though you can pay a yearly amount and save $120. If you cease membership during the year, you will be refunded on a pro-rata basis for the unused part of the year. You can even get a free two-week trial. Here is another view of how these two platforms compare Motley Fool vs Seeking Alpha: Which is Best? Seeking Alpha is better for active traders and while the free service provides inexperienced investors with the opportunity to build up their knowledge, the sheer volume could misdirect you and waste a lot of time. With the paid service the inexperienced investor is likely to just follow the best-performing stocks without understanding whether that performance is likely to continue. Motley Fool has a wide range of services all based around long-term investing and has a history in most of their services that give the confidence to follow their stock picks. In this Motley Fool vs Seeking Alpha review, Motley Fool is the safer choice with more experienced researchers, consistent long-term investment performance, and clearer direction, all inspiring far greater confidence.