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Motley Fool Stock Advisor Review – 2018 Stock Picking Performance Review

- TraderHQ Staff

How did the 2018 Motley Fool Stock Advisor Picks Perform?

It's time to look back at the 2018 performance of the Motley Fool Stock Advisor service and analyze all the stock picks measuring short and long-term performance 4 years later.

For this review we'll analyze the performance of recommendations including the worst performers. We'll break down the performance by the 3 recomendation types to get a complete picture on the Motley Fool Stock Advisor way of investing so you can better decide if the service is right for you.

For those unfamiliar Stock Advisor has three types of recommendations which are...

  1. New Recommendations: These are high growth recommendations which they release two of them monthly. On occasion they are re-recommendations of a past pick when their conviction level is extremely high.
  2. Best Buys: These recommendations are released bi-weekly and they feature 10 timely recommendations which are believedd to be the best stocks from all active recommendations current and past.
  3. Foundational Stocks: Sometimes called "Starter" stocks, these 10 stocks are released at the beginning of the year and are designed to provide maturity, stability and growth to new and established portfolios.

In general the Motley Fool recommends a portfolio construction of at least 25 stocks to have adequate diversity and the foundational stocks are meant to provide a based on which you begin purchasing new recommendations, building up over-time to a portfolio of at least 25 holdings.

Probability of Positive Returns

The Motley Fool analyzed Stock Advisor performance from March 31, 2002 – November 19, 2021, using an average portfolio from an average month during that time period to help determine the optimal number of holdings and holding period.

They found that the optimal number of stocks to hold is 25 and the optimal minimum holding period is 5 years which produced a 98.4% likelihood of positive returns with an average return of 89.6%.

Probability of Positive Returns

So without further ado let's dive in and look at the performance of Stock Advisor in 2018.

How did the 2018 Stock Advisor Picks Perform Long-term?

Long-term Performance1 Year2 Years3 YearsAs of (3/21/22)
New Recommendations24%99%227%133%
Best Buys15%72%140%97%
Foundational Stocks2%39%72%66%
Blended Average14%70%146%99%
  • New Recommendations produced a 133% cumulative return to date.
  • Best Buys produced a 97% cumulative return to date.
  • Foundational Stocks produced a 66% cumulative return to date.
  • Blended Average produced a 98% cumulative return to date.

Bundle Offer: Stock Advisor + Rule Breakers + Everlasting Stocks + Real Estate Winners. 1 Year for $299

The Best Stock Advisor Picks of from 2018

Here are the 5 best Motley Fool Stock Advisor stock recommendations from 2018.

Best Picks from 20181 Year2 Years3 YearsAs of (3/21/22)
#1 Best Pick:165%329%805%481%
#2 Best Pick:16%245%736%467%
#3 Best Pick:77%361%801%439%
#4 Best Pick:95%387%746%406%
#5 Best Pick:128%254%554%304%
If $5000 Invested$4,799$15,768$36,419$20,958

The best Stock Advisor pick from 2018 produced a 481% return by the 4th year, making a $1000 investment worth $5,806. A $1000 investment in each of these picks would have returned you $20,958 by the fourth year.

Thats the power of compounding returns.

That 5x return on one stock would cancel out 5 other equal weighted investments that go to zero. That is the power of asymmetric risk.

You can only lose 1x the money you invested, while you can gain 5x,10x,100x or more. That's asymmetric returns and the primary draw of stock picking and the value of services like the Motley Fool offers.

Click here to See the Latest Stock Advisor Picks (Dec 8th, 2023)

How did Stock Advisor Perform vs Rule Breakers?

While Stock Advisor performance was great, Rule Breakers out-performed in many categories.

  • Rule Breakers had...
  • 82% higher 6 month returns
  • 77% higher 3 month returns
  • 12% higher 9 month returns

Bundle Offer: Stock Advisor + Rule Breakers + Everlasting Stocks + Real Estate Winners. 1 Year for $299

The Worst Stock Advisor Picks from 2018

Here are the 5 worst performing Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations from 2018 to date.

Worst Picks of 2018As of (3/21/22)
#1 Worst Pick:-60%-41%-9%-76%
#2 Worst Pick:8%1%120%-63%
#3 Worst Pick:-31%-52%3%-31%
#4 Worst Pick:8%-31%-34%-26%
#5 Worst Pick:-4%-41%-11%-13%
If $5000 Invested$4,203$3,358$5,679$2,897

The worst Stock Advisor pick from 2018 was down -76% by Mar 21, 2022 making a $1000 investment worth just $236.

A $1000 investment in each of these picks ($5000 total) is worth $2,897 as of Mar 21, 2022.

Based on equal weight investing the 5 best picks returned 8x more money than the losses from the 5 worst picks in 2018.

5 Best Picks by the Charts

#1 Best Stock Advisor Pick from 2018

5 Best Picks by the Charts

#2 Best Stock Advisor Pick from 2018

5 Best Picks by the Charts

#3 Best Stock Advisor Pick from 2018

5 Best Picks by the Charts

#4 Best Stock Advisor Pick from 2018

5 Best Picks by the Charts

#5 Best Stock Advisor Pick from 2018

5 Best Picks by the Charts

How did the 2018 Stock Advisor Picks Perform in the Short-term?

Short-term Performance3 Months6 Months9 Months1 Year
New Recommendations5%8%19%24%
Best Buys1%5%11%15%
Foundational Stocks7%20%28%2%
Blended Average4%11%19%14%
  • New Recommendations produced an average return of 5% at 3 months and 19% at 9 months.

1. As of 03-21-2022 2. One year after recommendation.

Click here to See the Latest Stock Advisor Picks (Dec 8th, 2023)

Stock Advisor 2018 Win Rates

Now let's look at win rates and see what percentage of stocks produced a 15%+ and 50%+ return in the first year.

Then let's look at the unicorns and see how many 3x and 10x stock picks so far to date.

Win Rates15%+ Returns
at 1 Year
50%+ Returns
at 1 Year
3x Returns10x Returns
New Recommendations58%33%21%%
Best Buys47%22%11%1%
Foundational Stocks60%40%%%

How did the 2018 Stock Advisor Picks Perform in the Short-term?

  • New Recommendations had 58% of picks with 15%+ returns in the first year and 33% with 50%+ returns. So far to date 21% have had 300%+ returns, 0.0% have had 1000%+ and one pick with an amazing 481% return.
  • Best Buys had 47% of picks with 15%+ returns and 22% with 50% returns at one year.
  • Foundational Stocks had 60% of picks with 15%+ returns and 40% with 50%+ returns at one year.

Stock Advisor Performance Review by Sector - 2018

SectorReturn% of PicksAnnualized Return
Information Technology147%67%73%
Consumer Discretionary14%13%7%
Communication Services-12%4%-6%

The top performing sectors were information technology, healthcare and consumer discretionary with information technology yielding the highest return of 147%

. The average sector weight was 17% with the largest sector accounting for 67% of the picks.

Performance vs. The Market (Annualized)

Annualized Returns1 Year2 Years3 Years
New Recommendations24%49%76%
Best Buys15%36%47%
Foundational Stocks2%20%24%
Blended Average14%35%49%
S&P 500-7%10%12%
New RecommendationsStock AdvisorS&P 500Beat Market by
1 Year24%-7%444%
2 Years49%10%415%
3 Years76%12%517%
Blended Average50%5%912%
Foundational StocksStock AdvisorS&P 500Beat Market by
1 Year2%-7%134%
2 Years20%10%106%
3 Years24%12%97%
Blended Average15%5%213%
Best BuysStock AdvisorS&P 500Beat Market by
1 Year15%-7%310%
2 Years36%10%273%
3 Years47%12%281%
Blended Average32%5%560%

Click here to See the Latest Stock Advisor Picks (Dec 8th, 2023)


The stock picks from Motley Fool Stock Advisor in 2018 strongly outperformed the market in nearly every category. The annualized returns on the new recommendations beat the market by 517% in the 3rd year and the Best Buys beat the market by 281% in the same period.

Stock Advisor continue to prove itself to be an invaluable source for oriented growth investing recommendations. And each year they continue to add exponentially more value through all the additional resources like daily market briefings, webcasts, market research and more frequent updates and coverage on new and past recommendations.

For serious investors just getting started or those with years and decades of experience we believed Stock Advisor is a great investing companion well worth the $99/year (for new members).

Additionally the Motley Fool has a similar service called Rule Breakers which in many categories has out-performed Stock Advisor. You can see our yearly reviews of that service here.

We actually advise people to try both services together as they are very complementary to each other and provide 2x the stock recommendations and they come with a 30 day membership back fee guarantee.

Bundle Offer: Stock Advisor + Rule Breakers + Everlasting Stocks + Real Estate Winners. 1 Year for $299

More Stock Market Resources:

Did you know that...

  • Dollar-cost averaging can reduce the risk of investing a large amount at an inopportune time, such as right before a market downturn?
  • In environments with falling interest rates, the power of compounding can be diminished, especially for fixed income investors?
  • Rising interest rates often indicate an economy in growth mode, which might lead to increased corporate profitability despite the challenges of higher borrowing costs?
  • Companies listed on stock exchanges are subject to stringent reporting and transparency regulations to protect investors?
  • Cagr is especially useful when comparing the growth rates of two investments over the same time period, as it gives a clearer picture than average annual returns?

Quotes of the Day:

  • "The best investments are those that are made with a long-term perspective." - Ron Baron
  • "The most important thing is to be able to manage risk." - Ray Dalio
  • "Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with the 130 IQ." - Irving Kahn
  • "The most important thing in investing is not what you buy, but when you buy it." - Charles Brandes
  • "The key to successful investing is to buy low and sell high." - Michael Burry

*Disclaimer: Unless noted otherwise all returns are as of Dec 8, 2023. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Individual investment results may vary. All investing involves risk of loss.

We provide general information, not investment advice. Some of the links on this page are affiliate links in which we receive a commission when a purchase is made.

$89 promotional price for new members only. $110 discount based on current list price of Stock Advisor of $199/year. Membership will renew annually at the then current list price.

$99 promotional price for new Rule Breakers members. $200 discount based on current list price for Rule Breakers of $299. Membership will renew annually at the then current list price.