Motley Fool
4.7 of 5 84 reviews
www.fool.com Alexandria, VA 150 to 499 Employees

Motley Fool Reviews

Updated Apr 01, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.7 84 reviews

                             

100% Approve of the CEO

Motley Fool CEO Tom Gardner

Tom Gardner

(56 ratings)

95% of employees recommend this company to a friend
84 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "great place to work, smart co-workers, great atmosphere, excellent work life balance"
    in 5 reviews
  • "Strong commitment to a fun and productive work environment"
    in 8 reviews
Cons:
  • "Those who are used to a clear career path and formal feedback might have a hard time navigating the Fool's informal style and fast moving pace"
    in 5 reviews
  • "You will have to adapt to the continually changing environment"
    in 3 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
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Pretty amazing

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Alexandria, VA (US)

I have been working at Motley Fool full-time for more than 5 years

ProsI really like the challenging and stimulating work, as well as the accommodating vacation policy. Especially enjoy the interaction with our customers. I like that management wants you to work where your strengths lie and where you're most comfortable.

ConsPeople change teams and roles and it's sometimes hard to keep track of who is the best person to talk to on a particular topic. Advancement can be slow.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Too much play, too many egos

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Motley Fool full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe founders are the sweetest guys in the world and have a lot of integrity. Their mission is true and they are passionate about it.

ConsVery large egos, especially in tech. Totally agree with the reviewer who cited the lack of privacy and professionalism. Nice guys finish last, the truth hurts your career, and they have a nasty way of sidelining and marginalizing people who disagree with their direction. It was such a relief to leave this place and work with grown-ups again.

Advice to Senior ManagementTry sitting in the tech department for a week and see how long it takes to get sick of the nerf pellets flying onto your lap, into your head, onto your keyboard. Take a look at the quiet ones who are working hard and getting ignored while the mouthpieces get promoted. The 'cuteness' actually starts to feel offensive when you realize how insincere and callous some people really are.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great for freelancers

Freelancer (Current Employee)

I have been working at Motley Fool

ProsSite allows potential writers easy access to CMS and resources, which is really useful when starting out. There is a lot of information on writing and sources. Editors respond in a timely manner with useful and constructive feedback. They are very interested in publishing posts written from many points of view; if you make a compelling argument, it's fair game.

ConsImpossible for a freelancer to know how many other people are working on a post on the same company(ies) or topic. Other than that, no real cons.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Best Job I've Ever Had

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Motley Fool full-time for more than a year

ProsTMF has changed my life in many unexpected ways. In addition to earning a living wage, I have been able to pay off my credit card that lingered from graduate school and am chipping away at my student loan debt. I've learned about and started to invest with the guidance if TMF, and always feel comfortable asking questions and seeking advice if need be. I'm consistently surprised by the generosity of the company. I feel grateful every day that this company had changed me for the better- financially and otherwise. The emphasis on health and wellness has led me to incorporate even more healthful measures into my life. I love my colleagues and feel valued and respected at work. Through various programs, the company encourages reading and life long learning. Employees are treated like adults, given freedom with their schedules, and encouraged to determine their own job descriptions based on their skills and preferences. I've never worked anywhere where the morale was so high.

ConsSometimes the environment can be disruptive or chaotic. It's important to have areas people can retreat to in order to work quietly/undisturbed. Sometimes there are too many hands in a project and it can get unwieldy.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep it up!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Challenging, interesting, fun

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Motley Fool full-time for more than 8 years

ProsThis is overall a happy, supportive environment. People, leadership included, really care about others and making this a great place to work, while remaining intense and challenging.

ConsYou need to cultivate a lot of self discipline here-- to manage distractions and to keep yourself from working 24/7 because there is so much to be done and it's all so interesting. I also agree with the reviewer that duplicate efforts crop up because the environment is so fast paced.

Advice to Senior ManagementI know you are reading this and paying close attention, and that's what makes the Fool a great place to work. One suggestion might be to define leadership team's roles and goals more clearly and more often.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Energetic work environment, but fast-changing model makes feedback fickle.

Contractor (Current Employee)
Alexandria, VA (US)

I have been working at Motley Fool as a contractor for more than a year

ProsEnergetic environment, refreshing voice in the financial community, results-based

ConsSparse feedback, team communication can be difficult, shifting incentives structure

Advice to Senior ManagementMore consistent and constructive feedback from bureau chiefs would be wonderful.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Singular vision executed (mostly) well

Writer and Analyst (Current Employee)

I have been working at Motley Fool as a contractor for more than 10 years

ProsTerrific culture populated with genuinely good human beings. Management prizes tenure and seeks to keep the best for as long as possible.

ConsFits of experimentation can prove disruptive over short periods, but that's also the price of working in any high-growth, entrepreneurial environment.

Advice to Senior ManagementYours is an increasingly distributed organization. Be unafraid to use technology to better communicate and collaborate with workers across the globe.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great Internship, Better People

Investing Intern (Former Employee)
Alexandria, VA (US)

I worked at Motley Fool as an intern for less than a year

ProsFriendly work environment, people are very open to talking to you and helping you (everyone), not the kind of internship where you are expected to get coffee and pizza for people, many other perks that include pizza days, omelets breakfasts, and desserts

ConsThe investment internship is loosely structured, although the career advancement opportunities are minimal since the internship does not allow opportunity for further advancement usually

Advice to Senior ManagementYou're doing great Tom and David! Keep it up.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Contractors make the business but they aren't always treated fairly.

Contributor (Former Employee)

I worked at Motley Fool as a contractor for more than a year

ProsThe Motley Fool really takes their mission and core values seriously, and for the most part, they tend to deliver. While on-campus, you are allowed pretty much free reign over your schedule, and it got to the point that we would only come in when we had a meeting or some other event scheduled. Not too shabby.

Free pizza, cake, and other foodstuffs are always a bonus too.

ConsAs a contractor, I felt that I was never given an accurate picture of what my deliverables were for the company, other than a target number of articles to hit each month. "Coaching" to correct deficiencies often felt more negative than positive, and only made me question my ability as a writer, instead of encouraging me to do better. It got to a point where I would stress after hitting the submit button, that my article would have to undergo numerous additional revisions before publication, and therefore I would not be able to move onto other articles and increase my productivity.

I'll admit that most of this was perhaps my failure to adapt to the life of a freelance writer, but I also felt like my particular bureau had favorites among their stable of writers, and if you weren't among the handful of favorites, it was harder to get your stuff published in a timely manner. Furthermore, comparisons to the "favorites" seemed to do the opposite of building a strong bureau, instead pitting each writer against the others in a battle for top favorite.

Advice to Senior ManagementWith a strong stable of contract writers, maybe it is not necessary to give all the same boilerplate contract? If some are more comfortable writing less, and producing good product, maybe let them dictate the amount they write (and get paid for) instead.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Needs to improve overall employee satisfaction and morale

Professional (Former Employee)

I worked at Motley Fool full-time for more than a year

ProsDuring the honeymoon period (first 2 months of starting the position), everything is wonderful. They bend over backwards to help you, and most of all they talk up how great Motley Fool is to work for, and how fortunate you are for them to have chosen you to be with them. It makes you feel very special to be the "chosen one".

ConsAfter about 2 months to a year, you start to realize who you are truly working for. The managers personalities finally reveal themselves and the culture creeps up on you. Unfortunately, it wasn't positive for me. Since the culture is "play as much as you like", and the desks with no cubicle walls to separate you from hundreds of others, you begin to realize how unprofessional this place really is. It was like a huge playground, with very poor management emotional intelligence (speaking of my three direct managers). Absolutely zero privacy, and every single phone call to your spouse, doctor and friend, was overheard by 10's of people, including your strange managers, who then all asked you about what you talked about on the phone with your spouse and doctor! I was horrified each time. When I was working on certain projects and needed a few others to complete their part of the project in order for me to continue on with my portion of the project, those other people were consistently no were to be found. Where were they each time I went look for them? In the game room, or "running late" for work. Sometimes they showed up at 1pm, sometimes at 11am. No one knew. It was especially frustrating for a professional like myself. I could go on about all of the problems with this company, but there isn't enough time and space. They desperately want you to believe it's the best company to work for (and continually tell you that while you work there) but in reality, it was the one of the worst. (I found it disturbing to have been told repeatedly that I'm "...lucky to have been chosen to work at the Motley Fool," etc., etc.)
I quickly severed my employment with the Mostly Fool when I found an established professional company to work for. I'm still working for the same established professional company to this day. "Professional" makes all the difference.

Advice to Senior ManagementPerhaps hire a professional firm to oversee your management staff. You need to foster a professional level atmosphere. Hire not just intellectually competent management staff, but also hire emotionally intelligent individuals too. The "play as much as you want" culture is very disconcerting when you're working there and trying to be a professional. You wouldn't need to continually try and convince employees that it's "the best place to work in the world", if it truly was the best place to work.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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