The Motley Fool is a premium stock picking service that analyzes and recommends different stocks to buy and sell. To date, it's outperformed the S&P 500 returns by more than two times its return (sometimes more, depending on the premium service you subscribe to).

They have had multiple premium content services over the years, two of which are Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers. The Motley Fool readers can subscribe to either of these services (or both) to get exclusive stock recommendations with detailed analysis and reviews.

What's the difference between The Motley Fool Stock Advisor VS Rule Breakers? One approaches investing with a more “well-rounded” approach, while the other focuses on investing in high-growth companies. One has an overall higher average return than the other, and both beat the stock market as a whole.

Stock Advisor VS Rule Breakers: What's The Difference?

What type of investor are you? Do you prefer to invest in high-risk, high-reward companies? Or are you an investor seeking a well-rounded investment portfolio comprised of companies with solid fundamentals?

Stock Advisor has been around since 2002 and is focused on finding solid companies with market-beating potential growth. Tom Gardner and David Gardner lead the Stock Advisor with their monthly stock recommendations and detailed analysis.

Rule Breakers came after Stock Advisor, starting in 2004, and focuses on discovering disruptive companies with the maximum growth potential.

Both services are premium stock-picking subscriptions and provide access to The Motley Fools platform and tools like its stock screener, stock simulator, and the like-minded community.

All subscribers to any service by The Motley Fool get access to helpful tools and resources such as:

  • Favorites: track your favorite stocks.
  • Simulators: Two exclusive Motley Fool simulators that calculate your probability of positive returns and your estimated profit value.
  • Allocation: A descriptive tool that helps investors identify their investment objective/stage and the respective type of portfolio allocation you should pursue.
  • Stock Screener: A detailed stock screener to narrow down your ideal companies to invest in.
  • CAPS: A platform for rating stocks among The Motley Fool readers. You can look at a company's CAPS rating based on what readers have rated it as, and you can see readers' CAPS rating on how well their recommendations have been.
  • Linked Brokerage Account: You can link your investment account to your Motley Fool account. So when you want to buy a stock, you can select “buy now” in The Motley Fool, and it will take you to your broker website to make the purchase.

Overview of Stock Advisor

Stock Advisor has quadrupled the market since 2002. Its goal is to “help [its] members on their path toward financial freedom!”

Rather than having to spend so much time analyzing the stock market and picking long term profitable companies to invest in, Stock Advisor does all the leg work while you can put your trust in their analysis. Simply buy when they tell you to buy and sell when they tell you to sell – or pick and choose according to your preferences.

Stock Advisor Features & Benefits

As a premium subscriber to Stock Advisor, you'll be equipped with the following tools and resources:

  • Exclusive stock recommendations from both Tom and David Gardner that seek to outperform the market.
  • Access to “Best Buys Now” recommendations, which is a list of 10 best buy stocks recommended by Tom and David Gardner each month.
  • Access to “Starter Stocks” recommendations updated yearly to provide a trusted list of best stocks to buy for beginner investors or investors starting a new portfolio.
  • Premium educational content, including seven “Foolish” principles to follow as a Stock Advisor member.

And much more! Wall Street Survivor has recommended Stock Advisor as the #1 stock newsletter. It's also been reviewed and stated that “Zero. Nada. Goose egg,” mutual funds have performed better than Stock Advisor over the last 15 years.

Overview of Rule Breakers

Rule Breakers is lead by one of The Motley Fool co-founders, David Gardner. He picks two new stocks each month that come with a detailed analysis and risk profile. These stock picks are selected using David's “6 Signs of a Rule Breaker” – making them prime picks for disruptive companies with explosive growth potential.

Rule Breakers Features & Benefits

As a subscriber to Rule Breakers, you get access to helpful tools and resources like:

  • Exclusive stock recommendations that are considered “disruptive companies.”
  • David's “Best Buys Now” recommendations, which are 5 top Rule Breaker stocks to buy now – updated monthly.
  • Access to “Starter Stocks” recommendations for new subscribers to the Rule Breakers investment service and strategy.
  • Premium educational content, including six “Signs of a Rule Breaker.”

In short, the Rule Breakers investment strategy seeks to find companies that may be considered outliers (or Rule Breakers, haha) that have signs of potential disruptive growth.


To make things easy and visual below is a table comparing the two different services:

FeaturesStock AdvisorRule Breakers
Average Returns VS S&P 500530.6% ( Stock Advisor) VS 111.1% (S&P 500)301.9% (Rule Breakers) VS 94.7% (S&P 500)
Investment StrategyGrowth, value, and market beating stock picksDisruptive companies with rapid growth potential (high risk – high reward)
Best Buys Now10 picks monthly among the Stock Advisor recommendations5 picks monthly among the Rule Breakers recommendations
Stock RecommendationsTwo stock picks monthlyTwo stock picks monthly
Starter StocksIncluded – updated annuallyIncluded – updated annually
Launch Date20022004
Lead ByTom & David Gardner and their team of analystsDavid Gardner and his team of analysts
Allocation ToolIncludedIncluded
Stock ScreenerIncludedIncluded
CAPS RatingsIncludedIncluded
Linked Brokerage AccountIncludedIncluded
Price$199 per year (subject to price changes, occasional promotions available)$299 per year (subject to price changes, occasional promotions available)

So, what's the real difference between Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers? They are simply different stock picking services based on a different investing philosophy.

Stock Advisor aims to build a well-rounded portfolio that beats the market – with recommendations from both Tom and David Gardner. On the other hand, Rule Breakers seeks to invest only in industry-leading disruptive companies with recommendations from David Gardner and his analyst team.

Which Is The Best Option For You?

What service should you subscribe to? I have personally subscribed to BOTH and highly recommend you do the same. However, if you have a budget and can only choose one, it all depends on your risk tolerance and investment objective.

Are you a high-risk taker that is okay with high portfolio volatility with the potential for higher rewards? Then Rule Breakers is the way to go.

Are you an investor seeking to outperform the market and build wealth with a well-rounded approach and strategy? Then you won't regret signing up for Stock Advisor!