In the Oxford Club vs. Motley Fool battle, which suits your investing style better?
For sure, there are a lot of factors involved in your choice. Are you attracted to the old-world charm of The Oxford Club? Or are you leaning towards the more modern style of The Motley Fool?
These characteristics extend beyond each company's look and feel. If you look at their services, you'll see the difference as well.
The Oxford Club has traditional advisories on microcaps, penny stocks, and the like. Meanwhile, Motley Fool has services on artificial intelligence, AI, and 5G.
Moreover, the latter is run by Tom and David Gardner, while the former is founded by Gary Scott and Bill Bonner.
We highlight these because these personalities are influential and controversial. We have written about the Gardners and Motley Fool in our past articles:
- Motley Fool vs Zacks
- “Death of Twitter” Stock
- Motley Fool vs Stansberry Research
- “10X Turnaround” (aka “10X Sweet Spot”)
Similarly, Bonner has been the subject of our investigative articles. We have looked at his history, The Agora, and his investing philosophy.
- Is Bill Bonner A Scam Artist or An Investing Expert?
- The Agora – Scam Company or Legit?
- “America’s Nightmare Winter” Predictions And Picks
We hope you can read the articles above. They contain helpful pieces of information to help you decide where to subscribe.
But for this article, we will specifically compare and contrast The Oxford Club and Motley Fool.
- Name: The Oxford Club | The Motley Fool
- Founders: Gary Scott and Bill Bonner | Tom and David Gardner
- Website: www.oxfordclub.com | www.fool.com
- Service: Investment Research Advisory
In this review, we will closely look at major details of The Oxford Club and The Motley Fool. Both offer various investment research newsletters.
However, they differ in their presentation, approach, and focus. If you want more traditional investments, The Oxford Club may be your cup of tea. Even their look and feel are old-school.
Or do you want a mainstream yet modern vibe and stock choices? Then you might be more comfy with The Motley Fool.
We will discuss more about the services you can expect from each below. Their websites provide the information you need, but we add all the details you need, so keep reading.
The founders and team behind the two have a vast network. The Oxford Club is associated with The Agora, while the Motley Fool has offices in other countries.
We believe all these details provide a deeper understanding of each company. When you know more about them, the better your decision will be. After all, it is difficult to know who to trust these days.
The Investor as a Member
So what are the two companies really all about?
The Oxford Club is peculiar in that it markets itself as a membership club. Supposedly, you can only enjoy the benefits of exclusive research if you join them.
The company brands itself as an elite members-only circle. You can only have insider access to wealth-generating information if you're a part of it.
Supposedly, members receive unique "club keys to a richer life." This is what their website says:
- Monetary gain and financial freedom
- Extraordinary experiences
- Personal achievement
- Ways of giving back
- Strong relationships with successful and independent-minded people
For the club, being wealthy means having all these keys in your life. As a member, they will help you get all these.
However, it seems being a member just means you have an active subscription. If you have paid for a service, you are already a part of the club.
So is being a member just a fancy way of saying you are a subscriber? Is it just a marketing gimmick?
Well, apart from getting investment information from its experts, a member also has other benefits. A major come-on for them is the events they regularly hold for networking.
This is a major part of its branding. As a club, it is aggressive in letting you know you can meet other successful investors.
According to the website, they have great opportunities for exchanging ideas with like-minded individuals. As well, you can personally get to know the people behind the company.
As of this writing, the events on the website are:
- Investment U Conference in Ojai, California
- Exploration trip to Israel, Jordan, and Egypt
- 2023 Private Wealth Seminar in Lake Taho
Aside from this, members also have exclusive rates and perks on partner properties and resorts. These include:
- The Ivy Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland
- Hidden Hotel in Paris, France
- Rancho Santana, in Rivas, Nicaragua
- Xenia Poros Image Hotel in Neorio, Greece
So overall, it looks like there is something substantial to being called a member. There are perks you can enjoy.
As well, what we can see here is that these destination trips and venues look expensive and high-end. Not everyone will be able to afford all these, consistent with its exclusive theme.
But as an everyday investor, what do these communicate to you?
For us, it can be a double-edged sword.
On the positive side, it is aspirational. If I want to have this kind of lifestyle, I want to listen to their experts. It would help me if I network with the people who may have gotten rich because of the club's services.
But on the flip side, it can be intimidating. For regular investors, the luxury the club presents can be a stumbling block. Some may feel the service may be too posh for them.
If something seems so unattainable or too high, maybe some will think it's not for them.
After all, not everyone is in it for the grand displays of wealth. There are those who just want to save and have a comfortable life as a retiree.
So it really depends on your taste.
The Investor as a Fool
This is true for Motley Fool as well.
Its branding as a modern, hip, and stylish investment research firm may also not be for everyone. As we have observed, a substantial number of subscribers are elderly people.
Typically, many of them prefer something that "looks" more traditional, formal, and credible. This is not to say Motley Fool is not any of these. In fact, we consider its recommendations to be quite "mainstream."
Many old-school investors may not warm up to something that looks more like an advertising firm than a serious financial institution. That's just how it can come across.
After all, we are talking about money here. People are serious about their hard-earned money. For someone who's on the traditional style, they might be apprehensive about following the advice of a "fool."
Obviously, Motley Fool's presentation is more "current" than most advisory firms. After all, its founders were inspired by a court jester in a Shakespearean play.
The Gardners say they are like the "fool" who's honest to the king. Motley Fool will say things as they see them, despite the consequences. They will always tell the truth, even if it's controversial or unpopular.
As for its investing philosophy, the firm believes you should:
- Buy 25+ companies over time
- Hold stocks for 5+ years
- Add new savings regularly
- Hold through market volatility
- Let your winners run
- Target long-term returns
Aside from the core service, Motley Fool also has affiliates. The group has an asset management arm, as well as a team handling wealth management.
The LLC also has Motley Fool Ventures, Lakehouse Capital, and 1623 Capital. If you are interested to know more about these, you may visit their website.
As you can see, each has justifications for why they are the way they are. What do you think about them so far?
According to its website, Gary Scott and Bill Bonner are the main founders of The Oxford Club.
Scott founded the group in the 1970s as The Merchants and Brokers Exchange. Apparently, Scott founded it as an international businessman's club.
At the time, many traders wanted to know more about doing business in Hong Kong because of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In fact, from the United States, the group expanded to London, as per the website.
In the 1980s, Oxford Club's website says Scott turned over the group to Bonner. The latter then renamed the organization to The Passport Club.
So how did that turn into The Oxford Club that we know today? In 1991, Bonner bought a growing newsletter company with that name and combined the two companies. The rest, as they say, is history.
As mentioned, the mention of Bonner's name can be controversial for some. The man has a lot of baggage around him. Based on our research, he seems to have employed questionable marketing practices.
Moreover, subscribers report the same problems under some newsletters under The Agora, his umbrella company. Readers report issues with credit card charges, refunds, and auto-renewals.
For this reason, we always encourage our readers to be more diligent. Here are our past articles about the subject:
Here at Green Bull Research, we want you to have all the information you need. This way, you can make informed decisions about your subscriptions.
Of course, people can have different experiences. So our job here is to just present the facts, even both sides of the debate. In the end, you will still have to decide for yourself. Weigh all options based on your analysis.
At the moment, Alexander Green and Marc Lichtenfeld lead the experts running the club. Julia Guth serves as CEO and Executive Publisher.
Green, the Chief Investment Officer, handles four advisory services. These are The Oxford Communiqué, The Momentum Alert, The Insider Alert, and Oxford Microcap Trader.
In the past, Green Bull Research has already written about him. Since many ask if he is a fraud, we decided to write an in-depth article on Green.
Read our past article to know what warranted the inquiries on how legit he is. To help you, we have included various complaints in the article.
Meanwhile, the club's Chief Income Strategist is Lichtenfeld. He's in charge of The Oxford Income Letter, Technical Pattern Profits, Penny Options Trader, and Oxford Bond Advantage.
The two write all the newsletters the club offers. Moreover, any website visitor can clearly see who the proponents are.
In Oxford Club's case, a unique role is that of an Event Director. Mostly, investment advisory companies do not have this. But since the club uses events as a hook for subscribers, it has one on its roster.
As for Motley Fool, its website only prominently features Tom and David Gardner.
We will not be able to know who the editors are unless we click on each service. In fact, there are some newsletters where you won't know who the writer is.
However, the company seems to proudly display its Board of Directors:
- Tom Gardner
- David Gardner
- Suzanne Frey (Google, Vice President, Product, Android & Play Security and Privacy)
- Teresa Kersten (Former VP of Consumer Marketing, LinkedIn)
- Marthe LaRosiliere (The Motley Fool, General Counsel)
- John Mackey (Whole Foods Market, Co-Founder and CEO)
- Randi Zuckerberg (Zuckerberg Media, Founder and CEO)
Based on the names and companies here, you wouldn't wonder why they want to show you who they are. Obviously, this is a power group. Thus, Motley Fool wants you to know it means serious business.
Based on its website, The Oxford Club has two main categories for its services.
First, it has three newsletters. These are The Oxford Communiqué and The Oxford Communiqué Pro from Green, and The Oxford Income Letter from Lichtenfeld.
If you are interested, you may refer to our previous Oxford Income Letter Review. In the article, we discuss everything you need to know about the newsletter.
Second, the club has eight "VIP Trading Services" focusing on different opportunities. Green authors Oxford Microcap Trader, The Momentum Alert, and The Insider Alert.
Meanwhile, Lichtenfeld has Small Cap Select, Penny Options Trader, Technical Pattern Profits, and Oxford Bond Advantage. In The Oxford Centurion, Kristin Orman joins the two as editors.
For its services, Motley Fool has more services. Currently, there are 28 that are available for subscriptions. For the other 10, you need to call them directly and ask if they can still accommodate you.
Based on the website, the services they promote the most are Stock Advisor, Rule Breakers, and The Ascent.
Further, they have "featured investing trends" for more adventurous investors. These concentrate on 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and the like.
Track Record, Issues, and Reviews
Green Bull Research has already written previous articles on The Oxford Club.
In fact, we exposed the club's "#1 Oil and Gas Royalty Play for 2023." The teaser said you can get up to 25 times your money with the investment.
Upon examining the clues, we learned what Lichtenfeld's number one oil and gas royalty pick is. Apparently, he was teasing Permian Basin Royalty Trust (NYSE: PBT).
The editor seems to be on to something here. Here's what we said in our previous article:
Over the past five years, Permian Basin Royalty stock is up 150% and if I included monthly cash distributions, it would be much higher.
So a quality oil and gas royalty trust can definitely live up to its promise.
PBT is a quality trust with no debt, a monthly cash distribution, and long-producing royalty interests in Texas’ Permian Basin, which is still in its prime.
Meanwhile, the Oxford Microcap Trader has a review page on Stock Gumshoe. The service from Green has a 4/5 rating from 32 votes as of this writing. Just double-digit votes and no comments.
Compared to other services, this does not seem to be too popular.
In fact, the former has 4.4/5 stars from almost 2800 votes. Meanwhile, the latter has 4.6/5 stars from more than 3900 votes. Given the volume of feedback, these are pretty decent numbers.
Based on some comments, people seem to be impressed with The Oxford Communiqué.
Great recommendations that have done well for me. Some are good and others, great. I do judge for myself through every recommendation.
I have enjoyed The Communique for a number of years. The writing and logic behind Alex's recommendations are very much appreciated.
Another commenter also said friends and family would also benefit from the service.
This is a glowing review of Green and his service. For someone who has been a member for a decade and a half, the user seems credible. If true, the commenter's history with The Oxford Communiqué speaks volumes.
Having 4.4/5 stars from almost 2,800 votes is a mean feat. This is a very well-liked service from Stock Gumshoe commenters.
Of course, not everyone will be pleased.
In the comment above, the user narrated how he was disappointed in the service after a while. However, due to the positive reviews, the commenter is now wondering if the advisory has recently improved.
In addition, "Brian" said he was annoyed at Green's intellectual dishonesty. According to him, reports only include the winners. Obviously, this would mean a consistent "winning" portfolio.
For us, the comment is spot-on. This is why in all our reviews, we try hard to show you all the details so you can judge for yourself. We agree with the comment because readers deserve the truth at all times.
Though most of the more recent comments are positive, there were still negative feedback:
I joined this Oxford Club thinking it would be worthwhile; yet now having read the materials it appears to be worthless.
Oxford’s newsletter is mainly to “Sell” you higher costing “Services” that you thought you were going to get when you subscribed originally. A great tease and a LOT of BULL.
Meanwhile, what do commenters say about the highly-rated Oxford Income Letter? For sure, many will praise the service that got 4.6/5 from almost 4,000 votes.
Before we go to the comments, we'd just like to note something quite odd. In Stock Gumshoe, there's a significant number of them that address Marc Lichtenfeld. To us, it initially appeared like spam comments.
However, the website editor addressed the concern:
So, what do they say about the newsletter?
The Oxford Income Letter is right on target in suggesting income-producing stocks and bonds, and provides concise actionable information in every issue.
Have been a member for just under a year. So far I have learned so much! The team at the Oxford Club has been Great! I have increased my retirement account by over 35%!
Pretty good picks with mostly dividend growers and safe dividends. I like it too that he has 3 different portfolios to choose from; depending on your situation.
In addition, the last comment above said subscribers need to be patient as well. The recommendations are long-term holdings so you need to plan ahead.
Now, what about Motley Fool? What kind of feedback do they get from subscribers?
Unfortunately, the review page for Rule Breakers: Energy Insider does not have any comment yet. However, the service got a 4.1/5 rating from 11 votes by the time we published this piece.
Meanwhile, Digital Explorers was able to only get 2.6/5 stars from less than 20 votes.
As for the Motley Fool service devoted to rapid-growth stocks, Rule Breakers: Blast Off received 2 out of 5 stars.
Commenter "huntermd" did not have a pleasant experience:
My BlastOff 2021 results of investments from Jan. 2021 to 07/21/2022: Total Gain -54.03% vs. NASDAQ -15%
Meanwhile, Motley Fool One was able to get a better rating from Stock Gumshoe. The service got a decent 3.7/5 rating from around 110 votes.
Commenter John Watson said he didn't have a good experience with the newsletter. Further, he was annoyed by the constant upsells so current subscribers will get the more expensive services.
Similarly, Rule Breakers also received 3.7 out of 5 stars from around 500 votes. "Michael," a subscriber for two years, gave an insightful review on Stock Gumshoe:
The good is that they expose you to companies you never heard of and present some logical reasons to buy based on research and market-related conditions.
The bad is that since they invest for the long term they usually do not provide an explanation for poor performance over a quarter until the impact of that performance decline has already appeared in the stock price.
Meanwhile, "Linda McVarish" said this about her experience:
Their newsletters are a great read, the recommendations are all solid companies, not penny stocks or anything. A lot of them are biotechs, technology, and consumer products and services.
Not every stock has performed well, but most have vastly outperformed the market.
As for the downside, we found one user saying that Rule Breakers has very poor customer service.
Now, what about Stock Advisor, Motley Fool's banner service?
From around 1,200 votes, the service got (another) 3.7/5. Knowing Stock Gumshoe, the three 3.7s may just be a coincidence. Clearly, subscribers seem to love the newsletter.
We believe the comment below is worth highlighting:
Since the user has been a subscriber for many years, he would know best. However, there are still some who do not appreciate the upsells.
This service is pretty bad any way you cut it. I agree with the fact that they are pretty much just a marketing machine and know how to sell.
Since I joined their selections have been mostly losers even when the market has bounced back some recently.
All in all, both The Oxford Club and Motley Fool have good and bad points. In the end, you just need to know as much information as you need. Obviously, the comments do not reflect 100% of subscribers.
Weigh all your options, then decide for yourself based on your preferences, comfort, and investing goals.
Pros v Cons
- The Oxford Club and Motley Fool have had years of experience in the industry. There's a proven track record for both.
- Different types of investors will find a service that suits their needs.
- The Oxford Club has networking events for those who want to meet like-minded individuals.
- Motley Fool is not intimidating to new and young investors.
- The Oxford Club has ties to Bonner and The Agora, known for questionable marketing practices.
- Motley Fool also gets complaints about spam mail and frequent upsells.
Conclusion - Which is the better choice?
In the Oxford Club vs. Motley Fool debate, which suits you better?
As mentioned, the two are vastly different. The Oxford Club says it wants to evoke an old-world charm in its approach to investing. In addition, the company has events where members can network.
Another perk you can have if you're part of the elite club: special rates. The company has partner properties in various parts of the world. If you're a jet-setting investor, this one's for you.
But if you're into something more modern in presentation, Motley Fool would appeal to you. Even the name itself seems irreverent. Who would dare put the word "fool" in a financial research firm? Only this one.
In terms of services, we are certain you would find one that you prefer in either. But looking at what they offer, Motley Fool's the one with interest in more trendy investments.
As for the reviews, we have gone through an extensive analysis of what subscribers have to say. In the end, you have to decide for yourself and trust your gut and analysis.
So, to whom will you side on the Oxford Club vs. Motley Fool battle?