Motley Fool Reviews

Updated 10 September, 2014
Updated 10 September, 2014
103 Reviews
4.5
103 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Motley Fool CEO Tom Gardner
Tom Gardner
73 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • There is good work/life balance (in 8 reviews)

  • The open office work environment allows you to communicate with and learn from different aspects of the company (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Also, if you want a linear career path with clean and tidy lines from one role to the next, that management philosophy is not embraced here (in 6 reviews)

  • The Fool is a very fast paced environment which may not be for everyone but it wouldn't be where it is today if it weren't (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

5 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 7 people found this helpful  

    Great people, good ideas, poor execution, weak leadership.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Alexandria, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA (US)

    I have been working at Motley Fool full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The Fool houses some of the brightest, most talented people with whom I've ever worked. The employees truly aspire to greatness, and I've never been a part of a team that didn't collaborate effectively and from which I didn't learn tremendously.

    The company does not have clear career paths, and I consider that a major plus. If you are curious and driven, you can develop a variety of skills and sculpt nearly any role you can think of for yourself within the business.

    The benefits, mentioned in many reviews, are certainly wonderful. For smart, hard-working people (including many Fool employees), though, such benefits have become commoditized. Nearly any company I'd consider working for has comparable benefits. They are not the draw.

    Cons

    The leadership team oscillates between providing a top-down vision for the company and empowering teams to craft a strategy of their own. Either approach is valid, but oscillating between the two is dangerous, demoralizing, and ineffective. It is difficult to maintain a sense of ownership over your work when its direction -- and your role in shaping it -- frequently change.

    Foolish leaders have a strong case of "not invented here" syndrome, which manifests itself in both new product ideas (partnerships, in which we'd give up some control, are anathema) and how we allocate people. Our executive team seems to believe that, for any possible new business or project on which we embark, we already have within the company the ideal set of employees for it. Promoting from within, when the desired skill set is available, is surely preferable -- but when the desired skill set is not, top-tier companies go out and hire the best. This TMF does not.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Apply a critical eye to the composition of the leadership team and board. Is each group structured to seek disconfirming evidence and empowered to play devil's advocate? Is each member well-suited to lead the company over the coming ten years (rather than the past ten)?

    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 13 people found this helpful  

    Outgrown the CEO's ability to lead.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous
    Current Employee - Anonymous

    I have been working at Motley Fool full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Amazing people to work with. If you're in an administrative, tech-support, or HR role this is a great place to work because you'll be relatively over compensated and you'll be valued.

    Cons

    If you like working toward a longterm vision or developing a career, this is not the right place for you. Expect to "reorg'd" often and without input even if you are leading a team. Most leaders spend most of their emotional energy "protecting", "blocking", or "shielding" their direct reports from the vacillating whims of a passionate and disconnected CEO and leadership team. Your 1st year here will be amazing, but disillusionment follows as you climb the ranks. Most managers joke that they won't have a team or job to return to after they take vacation --better monitor email at night and when away.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We need a heart to heart conversation with our CEO and Board of Directors. In fact, we've out grown his ability to lead. A strong co-CEO might work, (works for Whole Foods) but that CEO would need real support from the board or that will become a revolving door too. It's telling that our CEO is in NYC while we're in Alexandria, VA... AND we fear when "Tom's in town" no matter how fun the randomness is.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 10 people found this helpful  

    Great, if you drink the Kool-Aid

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Definitely no shortage on perks, whether you are in house or a contractor. The company encourages a casual, fun-first atmosphere. Freedom to chase down your own ideas and initiatives.

    Cons

    The culture here is cult-ish, and if you show anything less than undying love for all things 'Fool,' you are met with the antithesis of what the company claims to represent. Though the Motley Fool encourages a wide range of opinions, it is not the case if you are an employee. You must bow down to the chosen darlings and blindly champion the rhetoric they consistently ooze. Egos are a problem here, and management seems to support it fully. The company's ultimate goals are to capture email addresses for the marketing department.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get back to focusing on the best investment advice possible, and take a close look at the editorial staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    Needs to improve overall employee satisfaction and morale

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Professional
    Former Employee - Professional

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

    Pros

    During 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".

    Cons

    After 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 ManagementAdvice

    Perhaps 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 8 people found this helpful  

    Don't be fooled by this place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Alexandria, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA (US)

    I have been working at Motley Fool

    Pros

    You can obtain valuable knowledge about investing while working for this company. The company tries really hard to make it a cool and hip place to work, after awhile it does get weird.

    Cons

    Management at the company is like working from within a concentration camp. Everything is very top-down and your input will be ridiculed constantly by you management. There's a lot of nepotism within the organization making politics a very big part of everyday.

    Privacy is not an option at this company. Desks are right up against each other, so that the company can pack as many people possible onto a single floor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'm sorry that things didn't work out for you at AOL.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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