The Motley Fool has a new service launching on February 21st called Motley Fool Total Income. Here’s a description from the Total Income marketing home page:
Total Income is run by former hedge fund manager Ron Gross and noted financial planner Robert Brokamp (we call him Bro).
Motley Fool Total Income combines all the best income strategies we’ve developed over the past 23 years and brings them all to you in one place.
I didn’t find a lot of detail about the service, but did find this from a Motley Fool Income Investor forum (emphasis mine):
Total income is specifically for those who need to live off their investment income, whether you be retired or for other reasons.
The goal of Total Income is to provide multiple strategies to earn income from your investments, not to just focus on dividend stocks. Rather than recommend dividend paying companies each month, the service will seek to highlight the best opportunities from across the Foolish Recommendation Universe. Members can pick from one or more of six strategies that not only include dividend paying companies, but also options and bonds.
Unlike Income Investor, Total Income will not provide regular recommendations or follow up with ongoing analysis, nor will it offer a Best Buy Now list. Instead, it will simply highlight the best timely opportunities from across the Foolish Recommendation Universe – dividend-paying companies from Hidden Gems, Income Investor, Inside Value, Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers, as well as covered call opportunities from Motley Fool Options.
My initial reaction to this new service is negative.
First, this seems like another premium service designed to target a specific niche, but seemingly overlapping significantly with Income Investor, and probably for a much higher price (although I was not able to actually find pricing for Total Income). I also think there is a ton of overlap in concept with a service like Motley Fool Pro, whose stated purpose is to make money in any market environment. Finally there is Supernova Phoenix, which is geared toward retirees and provides actual portfolio management advice, with excellent performance.
Second, with all due respect to Ron Gross, he’s also the same advisor who ran Million Dollar Portfolio and the recently shuttered MDP Deep Value with terrible results. So it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
Third, if this new service is just aggregating existing recommendations, with some content and strategy layered on top, I don’t think this will be very helpful to most retired people in actually executing the right strategies for their portfolio to generate income. Not to mention that the average retired investor is probably a) not equipped and/or b) not interested in employing covered options trades as part of their retirement investing strategy (covered options are relatively conservative strategies, but options trading in general is complex and it’s very easy to make mistakes if you don’t know what you’re doing).
So for all of the reasons above, I’m not optimistic about the value this service will offer for the target audience.
If you have more information or opinions on the Motley Fool Total Income service, including pricing information, leave a comment.
Special thanks to reader Tom for alerting me to the existing of Motley Fool Total Income.