Motley Fool Stock Advisor vs Rule Breakers, Performance Review from 2016 to 2021

By TraderHQ Staff

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In 1994 David and Tom Gardner started The Motley Fool. In 2002 and 2004 they started Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers their two most popular stock picking services. Both services are geared towards growth and share the same long-term investment outlook but they have some key differences that will influence which service may be a better fit for you and your investment goals.

Motley Fool Rule Breakers

Rule Breakers is run by David Gardner and has been providing monthly stock recommendations since 2004, let’s take a closer look at some of the services best picks, recent picks and to-date performance. A $500 investment in each of these 5 Rule Breakers picks is worth $244,576 today.

Rule Breakers Stock Picks (2004 to 2024)Return*Annualized Return
E-commerce Company9,501%35%
Robotic Surgery Company7,364%25%
Electric Car Company6,914%41%
Fast Casual Company4,635%29%
Salesforce Company3,828%27%

Click Here to See the Latest Rule Breakers Picks (as part of the Epic Bundle)

Recent Performance

We know that Rule Breakers has had some huge all-time picks, but how have their more recent picks performed? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Top Rule Breakers Picks From 2016 to 2022

Rule Breakers Stock Picks (2016 to 2024)Return*Annualized Return
E-commerce Company3,214%54%
Advertising Tech Company2,154%54%
Cloud Database Company917%46%
Semiconductor Company904%33%
Cloud Software Company810%77%

Q4 2019 – Rule Breakers Stock Picks

The Q4 2019 Rule Breakers picks have beat the market by 4.2X with an average return of 227% compared to 55% for the S&P 500.

Rule Breakers Stock Picks (2019 to 2019)

Return*Annualized Return
Cloud Monitoring Company270%34%
Fitness Equipment Company.81%15%
Online Marketplace Company60%11%
Medical Device Company-10%-2%
Fitness Company-81%-32%

Latest Rule Breakers Picks

The latest Rule Breakers pick was released on April 9th.

  • Discount Store Company (2024-04-09) -5.82%
  • Sandwich Delivery Company (2024-04-09)
  • Athletic Apparel Company (2024-04-09)
  • Advertising Tech Company (2024-04-09)

Next Rule Breakers Pick

The next Rule Breakers pick will be released on April 25th.

Rule Breakers Release Schedule

Release DateNew Stock Pick
Apr 11, 20245 Best Buys Now
Apr 18, 2024New Stock Pick
Apr 25, 20245 Best Buys Now
May 2, 2024New Stock Pick

Click Here to See the Latest Rule Breakers Picks (as part of the Epic Bundle)

Stock Advisor is best suited for:

  • New investors looking to build a new portfolio
  • Investors looking for whole market, moderate to high growth companies, not entirely focused on tech
  • Investors looking for long-term returns
  • Investors looking to really grow in their investing knowledge and experience

Rule Breakers is best suited for:

  • Investors with established portfolios
  • Those looking for a concentration of companies which are first-movers or innovators
  • Those who can stomach market volatility
  • Those with a 5 to 15 year investing horizon

What You Can Expect:

Both services have the same general structure for how they are run and what they provide. 2 new stock recommendations per month along with research reporting and video where the team's analysts discuss the picks and sometimes answer questions. Typically each release provides current market guidance providing context for investing during the current market conditions. 10 timely stock recommendations per month (only 5 for Rule Breakers). The timely stocks were previously called "Best Buy Now" stocks are simply the best stocks from the current portfolio of recommendations to invest in right now. This can be helpful to new members of the service who may have missed a big recommendation from 2 months ago. That big recommendation could get re-recommended as a timely stock giving you a 2nd chance at building out a position in it. 10 foundational stocks, which are often updated quarterly. These stock recommendations are to help build a diversified portfolio.

Related Resources:

  • Motley Fool Investing Services
  • Motley Fool Discount
  • Motley Fool Epic Bundle Discount & Review
  • The Motley Fool's Best Stock Picks

Cost: Stock Advisor vs Rule Breakers

The normal price for Stock Advisor is $199/year and comes with a 30-day membership-fee-back guarantee. New members can currently get the service for just $89*. The normal price for Rule Breakers is $299/year and also comes with the 30-day membership-fee-back guarantee. Winner on Cost: Stock Advisor

Bundle Offer: Stock Advisor + Rule Breakers + Everlasting Stocks + Real Estate Winners. 1 Year for $319

Stock Advisor is cheaper than Rule Breakers but both services are still affordable considering other services charge $50-100 per month. I find the cost of either service to be well justified considering the value they provide, particularly for those who take advantage of all the content they provide.

Performance: Rule Breakers vs Stock Advisor

What everyone wants to know is which service has the best track record of performance. We analyzed every recommendation from each service from 2016 through 2021 and here is what we found. Both services handily out-performed the market but Rule Breaker's results particularly at the 4-year return mark handily even out-performed Stock Advisor.

New Recommendations Performance

New Recommendations - 2016 to 2021Stock AdvisorRule BreakersWinner
1 Year42.53%42.48%Tie
2 Years100.13%113.27%Rule Breakers by 13%
3 Years153.44%152.91%Tie
4 Years208.65%342.65%Rule Breakers by 64%
Blended Average126.19%162.83%Rule Breakers by 29%

For performance of new stock recommendations, Rule Breakers beat Stock Advisor for 2-year returns by 13% and 4-year returns by 64%. Both handily out-performing the S&P 500. The Winner is: Rule Breakers

Foundational Stocks Performance

Foundational Stocks - 2016 to 2021Stock AdvisorRule BreakersWinner
1 Year33.51%32.06%Stock Advisor by 5%
2 Years78.12%60.28%Stock Advisor by 30%
3 Years102.04%107.44%Rule Breakers by 5%
4 Years114.30%237.32%Rule Breakers by 108%
Blended Average81.99%109.28%Rule Breakers by 33%

For performance of foundational stocks, Rule Breakers won the 3 and 4-year periods by 5% and 108% respectively. In 1 and 2-year returns Stock Advisor's 5% and 30% out-performance just wasn't enough to outshine Rule Breakers. The Winner is: Rule Breakers

Best Buy Recommendations Performance

Best Buys - 2016 to 2021Stock AdvisorRule BreakersWinner
1 Year40.31%45.13%Rule Breakers by 12%
2 Years82.85%85.72%Rule Breakers by 3%
3 Years98.04%104.47%Rule Breakers by 7%
4 Years119.69%155.74%Rule Breakers by 30%
Blended Average85.22%97.77%Rule Breakers by 15%

For performance of "Best Buy" or timely recommendations, Rule Breakers won in a clean sweep for all 4 years. Winning by an average of 15%. The Winner is: Rule Breakers

Conclusion About Performance

Between the two services, Rule Breakers produced better returns through all periods. This is not to say that Stock Advisor didn't perform well, because it performed exceptionally well. During this period from 2016 through 2021, both services have done exceptionally well identifying high-growth companies that deliver great results for shareholders. It's hard to go wrong with either service, really the best option is to use both as they have proven in this comparison to deliver strong market-beating results.


If you are looking for quality high-growth investment ideas and research both Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers fit the bill, providing great value for the money. The historical performance of their picks speak for themselves. They have had a knack for finding great investment opportunities. Both services are complementary to each other, so using both side-by-side is a good way to go. However, for new investors who are just getting started investing and want to test the waters with a paid service Stock Advisor is probably the best place to start. Their picks come from a more whole market type of perspective and generally are less volatile than the Rule Breakers picks. Both services provide great articles and videos and webcasting content to really help equip you with great knowledge about the current market, trends and Motley Fool recommendations. We think either service is worth the subscription price even without any stock recommendations. The additional resources are really that good, for those who actually are eager to learn and become a smarter investor.

Bundle Offer: Stock Advisor + Rule Breakers + Everlasting Stocks + Real Estate Winners. 1 Year for $319

More Stock Market Resources:

  • Best Stock Advisor Websites & Services
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  • Motley Fool Epic Bundle
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  • Motley Fool Rule Breakers
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  • Re-evaluating your investment horizon regularly, especially after significant life changes, can help keep your financial goals on track?
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Quotes of the Day:

"The most successful investors are those who are able to stay disciplined and stick to their investment plan." - Charles Brandes
"The most successful investors are those who are able to control their emotions and stay disciplined." - Edward Lampert
"The stock market is a great place to make money, but it's also a great place to lose money if you don't know what you're doing." - Julian Robertson
"The stock market is a giant distraction to the business of investing." - Edward Owens
"The key to successful investing is to be patient and disciplined." - Michael Steinhardt

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