Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world’s greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company’s name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king — without getting their heads lopped off.
Our Mission, Vision, and Values
- Our mission: To educate, amuse, and enrich
- Our vision: To build the world’s greatest investment community
- Our core values: Honesty, optimism, teamwork, innovation, winning
What We Do
The Motley Fool provides financial solutions for investors of every kind. Our products and services — whether free or fee-based, online or offline — are designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Our offerings include:
Fool.com: Whether it’s analyzing the latest earnings reports or helping investors find the next home run stock, the Fool’s award-winning website publishes hundreds of articles each week. Fool.com offers news, analysis, and commentary through wide-ranging distribution partnerships with Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, and many others.
CAPS: Outperform … or underperform? The Fool’s groundbreaking stock-rating service provides unique insights into what Motley Fool community members (as well as more than 100 professional Wall Street firms) think about the stocks investors own. More than 5,000 stocks — and the thousands of investors who cover them — carry a rating from one to five stars, making CAPS a must for investors seeking new ideas (or a second opinion on their investments).
Subscription investment newsletter services: Big-value blue-chips, outperforming mutual funds, undiscovered small caps, and explosive growth stocks — the Fool’s family of subscription newsletters delivers superior investment ideas for investors of every profile.Backed by a team of analysts, every one of The Motley Fool’s products is focused on delivering market-beating stock and fund recommendations — and building a transparent track record to prove it.
Motley Fool Asset Management: Motley Fool Asset Management plans to introduce a family of retail and institutional investment services that strive to deliver superior long-term performance, with an emphasis on independent investment thinking and disciplined financial analysis plus Foolishly clear communications.
Newspaper column: Through a successful decade-long partnership with Universal Press Syndicate, some 200 publications across North America carry The Motley Fool’s weekly newspaper column.
Books: With a dozen titles and more than 2 million books in print, The Motley Fool has built a library of investing and personal-finance classics. The Motley Fool Investment Guide and Rule Breakers, Rule Makers are among several of the company’s New York Times and BusinessWeek bestsellers. In early 2009 The Motley Fool’s Million Dollar Portfolio hit the bestseller lists of USAToday, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Amazon.com
Media: Motley Fool analysts and advisors offer independent analysis and engaging commentary for business reporters as well as radio and TV producers.Members of the media may request a one-page guide to the Fool’s top spokespeople and their areas of expertise by contacting the company’s media relations department.
Fool UK: Launched in 1998, http://www.fool.co.uk/ is one of the UK’s most popular financial websites, with more than 2 million members. This wholly owned subsidiary of The Motley Fool has also published several books, including three editions of the best-selling Motley Fool UK Investment Guide.
Foolanthropy: Since 1997, The Motley Fool’s innovative giving program has raised nearly $3 million for various well-managed charities, including Grameen Bank, Share Our Strength, and Heifer Project International. Channeling the power of its online community, The Motley Fool selects deserving organizations from hundreds nominated by members each year. In 2008, Foolanthropy began focusing its efforts on financial literacy and education.
Consumer finance: From buying a home to dealing with taxes, and from managing credit-card debt to saving for retirement, Fool.com’s Personal Finance Center provides actionable advice to help members save more and spend smarter.
Who We Are: Executive Team
Tom Gardner, CEO and Co-Chairman
A frequently sought-after advisor, commentator and educator, Tom Gardner co-founded The Motley Fool along with his brother, David, in 1993. Today, The Motley Fool is a worldwide investment and personal-finance advisory services company offering superior ideas and solutions to millions of individuals seeking to improve their financial lives.Tom Gardner is the lead analyst and director of the market-beating Motley Fool Hidden Gems investment newsletter service. He and David have co-authored several best-selling books, including The Motley Fool Investment Guide, You Have More Than You Think: The Motley Fool Guide to Investing What You Have, and Rule Breakers, Rule Makers. They also oversee The Motley Fool’s nationally syndicated newspaper column and are co-advisors of the market-beating Motley Fool Stock Advisor investment newsletter service. Tom graduated with an honors degree in English and creative writing from Brown University in 1990 and received an honorary Ph.D. in humane letters from Strayer University in 2000. Tom has testified before the United States Senate, calling for greater transparency in the financial-services industry. An in-demand public speaker, Tom has inspired consumer audiences both large and small, and has delivered private addresses to Fortune 500 companies in the financial-services, banking, and real-estate industries.
David Gardner, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman
David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool with his brother, Tom, is one of the country’s most respected and trusted sources on the stock market and investing. As an innovator, stock picker, author, lecturer, and media personality, David wears many different hats; he currently holds the position of “Chief Rule Breaker” at the Fool. With Tom, David led The Motley Fool’s growth from a single print newsletter in 1993 to a worldwide investment and financial advisory services company that educates, amuses, and enriches more than 30 million people each month. In that time, The Motley Fool has helped people achieve financial independence across a wide variety of online and offline media channels, including its award-winning Fool.com website, best- selling books, and nationally syndicated weekly newspaper column. David graduated as a Morehead Scholar from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1988, and wrote for Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street newsletter before starting The Motley Fool. He has received the University’s prestigious “Distinguished Young Alumni Award.” Since 1999, David has been a member of the NYSE’s Individual Investors Advisory Committee. Since 2004, David has served on the Board of Governors of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. Among his many accomplishments at The Motley Fool, David is perhaps most proud of his conception and development of Motley Fool CAPS.
Scott Schedler, President
Scott Schedler joined The Motley Fool in early 2001 as chief financial officer, bringing more than 15 years of financial-services experience from General Electric. Later that same year, he became president of The Motley Fool, and he has since helped the company grow its business in increasingly profitable ways. In his time as president, Scott has overseen the expansion of The Motley Fool’s operations in both the U.S. and the UK. During his tenure at GE, he filled a number of strategic and leadership roles in finance and operations, including serving as chief financial officer of GE Capital’s Container Finance division. He was also chief financial officer of GE Capital’s Technology Management Services division, and director of MIS and productivity for the Railcar Services division.From 1994 to 1997, Scott performed an international role as managing director for GE Capital Austria.He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Knox College in Illinois and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University, and is a graduate of the GE Financial Management Program.
Ollen Douglass, CFO
Prior to joining the Fool, Ollen worked as vice president of finance for First Nationwide Mortgage, a division of California Federal Bank (now Citibank), where he was responsible for financial planning for a $100 billion mortgage-servicing portfolio, as well as strategic analyses of the company’s fair lending activities. From 1995 to 1998, he worked for First Horizon Home Loan Corporation in Dallas, Texas, managing portfolio valuations and analyses and assisting in related risk management. Ollen began his professional career as an auditor with KPMG Peat Marwick in Baltimore, Md.
Scott Day, CTO
As chief technology officer, Scott Day leads The Motley Fool’s technology team and is charged with identifying and implementing technology innovations that create strategic business value. Most recently, Scott was vice president of application software and analytics at In-Q-Tel, the strategic investment arm of the U.S. intelligence community. Previously, Scott was vice president of information technology at ProFund Advisors, an index-based mutual fund company, and he was also a founding employee and vice president of systems development at the innovative financial-services firm FOLIOfn. Scott spent several years in IT consulting as senior principal at American Management Systems (now CGI) and as senior consultant at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in management of information technology from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce.
Lawrence Greenberg, Chief Legal Officer
Lawrence Greenberg has been chief legal officer of The Motley Fool since 1996. Before joining the Fool, he practiced securities and intellectual property law at the Palo Alto firm of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati and helped found the Project on Information Technology and National Security at the Stanford Center for International Security and Arms Control. He clerked for Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Houston, and has served as an attorney at the National Security Agency and as a graduate fellow analyst for counterterrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency. Lawrence attended Harvard College and Stanford Law School, and received a master’s in political science from Stanford University. The author (with Seymour Goodman and Kevin Soo Hoo) of Information Warfare and International Law (National Defense University Press, 1998), Lawrence has served as a non-resident fellow of the Stanford Center for Internet & Society and a member of the 2000 Defense Science Board Defensive Information Operations Task Force Legal Panel. He is currently an adjunct professor at the George Mason University School of Law, where he teaches a seminar on Internet privacy, and the American University Washington College of Law, where he lectures on business associations.
Peter Jacobstein, President of Motley Fool Asset Management, LLC
Peter Jacobstein is responsible for developing a family of retail and institutional investment services to be launched by Motley Fool Asset Management. Peter joined the Fool in 2006 as Senior Vice President, Consumer Services, where he led the company’s subscription newsletter services business. Prior to joining The Fool, he was Vice President, Strategy & Development for Discovery Communications, where he evaluated acquisitions and developed new business opportunities for Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel and Animal Planet. Peter began his career at Time Warner, where he directed consumer marketing for the Time Inc. Magazines and Time Life Divisions. Peter has a BA in international relations from Georgetown University and an MBA from Harvard University.
Who We Are: Advisors and Analysts
- Robert Brokamp, advisor, Rule Your Retirement
- Andy Cross, advisor, Hidden Gems
- James Early, advisor, Income Investor
- Jeff Fischer, advisor, Motley Fool PRO
- Tim Hanson, advisor, Global Gains
- Seth Jayson, advisor, Hidden Gems
- Philip Durell, advisor, Inside Value
- Amanda Kish, advisor, Champion Funds
- Ron Gross, advisor, Million Dollar Portfolio
- Rick Munarriz, analyst, Rule Breakers
- Nate Parmalee, advisor, Global Gains
- Shannon Zimmerman, advisor, Ready-Made Millionaire, Duke Street
Who We Are: Board of Directors
Dan Levitan co-founded the venture capital firm Maveron with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in 1998. He previously served as a managing director at Schroders, where he headed the consumer investment banking and new business development initiatives and founded the company’s West Coast investment banking division. A Motley Fool director since 1999, Dan provides strategic guidance on the company’s culture and innovation practices.
Stanley “Bud” Morten is the independent consultant to Citigroup/Smith Barney, with responsibility for its independent research requirements. Formerly the chief operating officer of Punk, Ziegel & Co., a New York investment banking firm, and managing director of Wertheim Schroder & Company’s equity division, Bud joined The Motley Fool board in 2005 and has been a key advisor in the company’s financial-services offerings.
John B. McKinnon joined The Motley Fool board in 2005 and provides assistance with the company’s hiring and growth strategies. John served as dean of the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University, and was president of Sara Lee Corporation from 1986 to 1988. (Oh yeah … John is also David Gardner’s father-in-law.)
David Quinlivan is a managing director of the venture capital firm Saints, and joined the Fool’s board of directors in 2005 with a focus on Internet financial services. Previously the senior vice president of finance at Insweb, David also worked as an investment banker at Credit Suisse First Boston, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions.
Fred Singer became a director of The Motley Fool in 2003 and has played a key role in developing the company’s Web 2.0 Internet strategy. Now the president and CEO of Anystream, Inc., Fred previously led several divisions of America Online and was a founder of washingtonpost.com.
Putnam Coes is the chief operating officer of Paulson & Co., an investment management firm, and joined the Fool’s board in 2008 with an eye toward expansion in the financial-services arena. Previously, Putnam was a managing director with Morgan Stanley, where he served as chief operating officer of the firm’s hedge fund business.
Steve Kerr is a Senior Advisor at Goldman Sachs and joined the Motley Fool board of directors in 2008. Previously the Chief Learning Officer at General Electric where he reported to CEO Jack Welch and was responsible for GE’s world-renowned leadership education center Kerr provides guidance for the Fool’s executive leadership training and in-house coaching initiatives.
- July: David and Tom Gardner publish The Motley Fool, a monthly 16-page investment newsletter, and mail it to 1,000 friends and family members, requesting $48 for an annual subscription. Thirty-seven people subscribe.
- February: David and Tom’s investing bulletin board becomes the most popular finance site on America Online.
- August: The Motley Fool officially debuts online, as the Gardners accept an offer from AOL to join its Greenhouse Program. From the outset, the Fool is the program’s most-trafficked finance area.
- December: The Economist writes, “Part of the Fool’s attraction is that it stands out as an ethical oasis in an area that is fast becoming a home to charlatans running penny-stock schemes to woo the gullible.”
- January: The Motley Fool Investment Guide is published by Simon & Schuster and quickly becomes a New York Times and BusinessWeek bestseller.
- April: David and Tom Gardner are featured on the cover of Fortune magazine.
- April: Expanding beyond AOL, The Motley Fool launches its own website at http://www.fool.com/.
- July: The Motley Fool partners with Universal Press Syndicate to author a weekly column that is published in newspapers across America.
- January: Simon & Schuster publishes You Have More Than You Think and The Motley Fool Investment Guide Workbook, two new Motley Fool books which become business bestsellers.
- March: The Motley Fool establishes its first international presence with the launch of a UK operation at http://www.fool.co.uk/.
- April: In what becomes an annual tradition, The Motley Fool plays its first April Fool’s Day prank by publicly confessing to have been wrong for years about underperforming mutual funds … and blaming it all on an upside-down chart. The Raleigh News & Observer takes the prank seriously and runs it as news on the front page of its business section. The next day, the newspaper admits it was fooled by the prank.
- June: “The Motley Fool Radio Show,” a freewheeling weekly three-hour program, debuts in the Atlanta and Los Angeles markets. Before the year is out, the show will be aired by more than 100 stations across America.
- September: Company co-founder David Gardner testifies before a U.S. Congressional committee to advocate for greater transparency in the mutual-fund industry.
- March: Fool.com wins its first Webby Award for Best Finance Site.
- April: On April 1, the company announces it is launching its first-ever IPO with eMeringue, a tech start-up company that delivers meringue pie tops (just the meringue, not the pies) to customers within seven days. For the second year in a row, a major newspaper is fooled by the April Fool’s prank when The Seattle Times includes eMeringue.com on a list of “10 Favorite Food Websites.”
- September: The Motley Fool completes its first-ever round of venture capital financing with a combined $26.5 million investment from Maveron and The Mayfield Fund.
- April: The Fool secures $30 million in a second round of venture capital financing led by SoftBank Capital.
- August: Rallying its online community, The Motley Fool publicly champions the SEC’s campaign to pass “Regulation Full Disclosure,” a rule that would end the practice of companies privately passing market-moving information to Wall Street analysts while excluding individual investors. The measure passes by a vote of 3 to 1. SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt declares that The Motley Fool is “as close to being an effective investor advocate as any organization in America.”
- February: Crunched by the swooning stock market and a dismal advertising climate for online businesses — the bursting of the fabled “Internet Bubble” — The Motley Fool announces the first in a series of layoffs that will eventually reduce the company’s workforce from 425 to 80.
- October: “The Motley Fool Radio Show” debuts on National Public Radio. Within six months, it can be heard on nearly 50 stations across America, making it the fastest-growing show in NPR history.
- March: In a joint venture with Phillips Publishing, The Motley Fool launches Motley Fool Stock Advisor, David and Tom Gardner’s monthly subscription investment newsletter. The Motley Fool will later buy out Phillips, and by 2007, Stock Advisor will become the largest investment newsletter of its kind, with more than 100,000 subscribers.
- July: Buoyed by the success of Stock Advisor and facing increasing demand from members, The Motley Fool launches Hidden Gems, a newsletter service focused on undercovered small-cap stocks.
- September: The Fool expands its service line with the launch of Income Investor, a subscription service focusing on stocks that pay solid dividends.
- April: Having spent more than a decade reminding investors that most managed mutual funds don’t beat the market’s average return, The Motley Fool sets out to find the funds that do with Champion Funds, the company’s fourth subscription newsletter service.
- June: Rule Your Retirement, a subscription newsletter service providing allocation, retirement, and financial-planning advice, is launched.
- September: The Fool launches Inside Value, a service patterned after Warren Buffett’s approach of finding good stocks at great prices.
- October: Rule Breakers — a subscription newsletter service led by David Gardner that seeks explosive growth stocks — is launched. It is the Fool’s seventh service overall and its fourth of 2004.
- December: To keep pace with the company’s growth projections, The Motley Fool signs a 10-year lease for new office space, more than doubling the size of the company’s headquarters.
- March: After nearly eight years as one of the most popular weekly financial radio programs in America, “The Motley Fool Radio Show” goes off the air as the company turns its attention to more profitable online media ventures, such as Motley Fool Video.
- September: Motley Fool CAPS, a free online stock-rating service, is launched. Within a year, CAPS features ratings on more than 5,000 stocks.
- October: The Motley Fool launches Global Gains, the company’s first-ever service focused exclusively on international investments.
- January: Tom Gardner is named CEO of The Motley Fool.
- October: The Motley Fool is named one of the Washington, D.C., area’s “Great Places To Work” by Washingtonian magazine.
- October: The Motley Fool launches Million Dollar Portfolio, a service built on a $1 million real-money portfolio that invests in a diversified selection of recommended stocks from across The Motley Fool’s newsletter services, including value plays, growth opportunities, small caps, blue chips, dividend payers, international stocks, and turnarounds.
- August: The Motley Fool celebrates its 15th anniversary.
- October: The Motley Fool launches Motley Fool PRO, a service built on a $1 million real-money portfolio that invests in stocks, options, ETFs and uses other advanced strategies to help subscribers make money in any market.
- December: The Motley Fool announces an organizational restructuring to include a distinct business unit, Motley Fool Asset Management, LLC, which plans to introduce a family of retail and institutional investment services in 2009.
- January/February: The Motley Fool’s Million Dollar Portfolio hits the bestseller lists of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USAToday and Amazon.com