Book Review: The Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio


I realize that most readers of this blog are primarily traders and not investors. As such, the subject of investing in the stock market doesn’t really appeal to many (see The Difference Between Trading and Investing). That said, however, there are those (like me) who do sometimes look for investing opportunities. With that in mind, when I was offered the opportunity to pick up a free copy of The Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio I took it, figuring a review would be useful for at least some portion of the readership.

Alas, I cannot recommend this book, even for new investors. I’m not saying it’s horrible or anything like that. I just think there’s better.

First of all, the whole book is an advertisement. The reader is constantly being sold on Motley Fool services of one kind or another. Of course you know going in that the book is going to promote Motley Fool, but it doesn’t need to be so continuous.

Secondly, as I highlighted in my Motley Fool Acting the Part post, there is a painfully obvious error (or rather set of errors) made at the outset of Chapter 3 when the authors are trying to preach the advantage of buy-and-hold investing over active trading. Such obvious mistakes makes me wonder about the attention to detail of the Fools, a problem when you consider company analysis and stock picking is their purported focus.

Thirdly, while there are some good elements to what the book says, most of it is stuff that’s been said before many times in other places. If you’re really interested in the subject of stock investing, the first place I would go is One Up On Wall Street, by Peter Lynch. I read that book back when it first came out – a looonnnggg time ago. There’s a reason it’s one of the best selling stock investing books of all time. Of course there are also loads of Buffett books, but I’m not going to recommend any of those because frankly there aren’t many who can invest the way Buffett does.

If you want to see a good breakdown of the book’s contents and set-up, J.D. over at Get Rich Slowly has posted a review with that sort of detail. He thinks more of the book than I, though he’s admittedly only begun really looking at things from the individual stock (vs. index investing) perspective. He’s also interviewed one of the book’s authors recently.


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About the Author
John Forman, author of this blog, has traded for more than 20 years, is a professional market analyst, and authored The Essentials of Trading. He is an active participant in trading forums, consults for trading related businesses, as published literally dozens of trading articles, and has been quoted in a number of books and in the media.
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  1. Pingback: Reviews of Trading Books | The Essentials of Trading

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