Introducing the Fool’s New Career Site!

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 4.22.17 PM

As the reader, you’re likely already familiar with our company. Of course we have, but the People Team runs this site – our Culture Blog. Here we’ve posted tons of articles about workplace culture, collaboration, and innovation. As our company grows, hiring the best new Fools has become a top priority. We decided that prospective Fools deserved a site of their own, so a team formed to develop The Motley Fool’s Careers Site …and it’s now live!

We hope this resource will help applicants envision how Fools work individually, cross-departmentally, and as a company to achieve goals.The Culture Blog will stay updated, but one thing that’s moving is our job feed. Going forward, you’ll be able to find all our open positions on the Careers Site!

We’re currently hiring, so there’s no better time to learn what life at The Motley Fool has to offer. Take a look here, and please pass along to anyone that could be a potential Fool!

FoolHQ is Worthy of “Office Envy”

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 11.59.59 AM

Are we the coolest office in DC? Well, Fools sure think so – but it doesn’t hurt that DC Inno just profiled our Alexandria headquarters as part of their Office Envy series! We take pride in maintaining a dynamic workplace that appeals to many different personalities. These featured photos also show that Fools love board games (we stock a collection on the 4th Floor!); working on the balcony in nice weather rules; couches are used for working (not sleeping!); and wellness really plays a huge part in Foolish productivity.


A big thanks to DC Inno for visiting the Fool. Take a minute to “Step In” and check out our space now!

The Fool Goes To SXSW (With Your Help!)


A premiere launching pad for new creative content, The South by Southwest Conference & Festivals plays host to a variety of media, music, and film features every March. SXSW also presents conference panel discussions as forums for learning and global networking opportunities.

This annual event unites industry leaders with innovative minds in Austin, TX – and we think it’s time to add some Foolishness into the mix! That’s right – we’ve applied through SXSW’s PanelPicker process for our very own Nate McMahon to speak on workplace culture in March 2016.

Nate’s presentation would “show the principles at play behind our award-winning culture including how to: 1) Focus on the analytics that matter, 2) Scale your employee coaching program effectively, and 3) Unleash your people to achieve their highest potential—all while keeping them engaged and fulfilled on the job.” Check out our proposal page, where you can vote in our favor!

More about the Voting Process

Thousands of people submit proposals for speaking at SXSW – it’s competitive, to say the least. Public voting (from readers like you!) accounts for 30% of the total score; 40% comes from Programming Committee voting; and 30% comes from SXSW Staff scoring.

How You Can Help

Our proposal, Unlock the Max Potential of Your Superstars, is up for voting RIGHT NOW! Signing up for an account is easy – we promise! We’d really appreciate your vote before Friday, September 4 (11:59 PM CT). It’s time for more people to know what our culture is all about!

Thanks in advance for your support – and Fool On!


Terrors of the Ballpit

Fools like to be different, so our unique workspaces here at FoolHQ shouldn’t be all that shocking. In addition to beanbags and height-adjustable desks, we also house a ball pit. Yes – an old-school ball pit that Fools actually use for meetings and work. In fact, it moves around the office because it’s pretty popular.

No matter how much we innovate office aesthetics, our goal of sustaining a productive culture stays put. We keep work fun, which sometimes means that pranking is involved. The most recent scene of the crime was the ballpit itself…

A Foolish Farewell to our Summer Interns


From our Foolish Recruiting Team:

Here at FoolHQ, it’s our first week of the summer without interns.  The office is a little quieter, the game room is a lot emptier, and the preparation for next year is already under way.  A few of our interns have been crowned full time Fools and most returned to their college campuses… but they all made a significant footprint in our business that will help us help the world invest – better.

An internship at the Fool is a lot like full time employment with the Fool.  We work on hard problems, we are immersed in cross-functional teams, and we strive to deliver the highest impact and best solution to our members.  One of our software development interns helped design and build a centralized platform that will allow peer-to-peer sharing of investing research.  When she wasn’t publishing articles to our Canadian site, our international intern researched the regional stock market that links the exchanges of Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and Chile so the team could better understand the Latin American market.  Our investing interns wrote articles for when they weren’t preparing for team-wide stock pitches, podcast recordings, and 10-K challenges. 

In addition to team-specific goals, the intern cohort spent lots of time together #collaborating and #learning.  They graduated from Fool University after taking classes on business valuations, retention marketing, global operations, how to build a computer from scratch, and several other courses.  They also spent a lot of time together learning what toppings to put on ice cream sundaes, which surface is most practical for a high volume of push-ups, which of the nine pizza shops make the best pie on pizza day, and how to scale a mountain in West Virginia.  We’re serious about that last one- check out the pics below!

While the Fool’s Summer 2015 Internship program has come to an end, the magic is in the works to make next summer’s adventure even better.  If you’re interested in spending a summer interning with us, stay tuned for details over the coming months.  We’ll be hosting an open house during winter break so you can talk to the various teams that host interns, learn more about our business, check out our unconventionally sweet office space, and maybe- just maybe- leave with some Fool swag.  To get on the VIP list for that open house, be sure to include the phrase “robots float on clouds” when sign-ups become available.  Trust us, you’ll know it when you see it.

365 Days a Foolish Investor

After a year at the Fool, Rana Pritanjali – a recent graduate of our Analyst Development Program – reflects on her experience. Her takeaways speak not only to Foolish investing principles, but also our workplace culture. Keeping an open mind is perhaps the best way to adapt to a new role – and learn how to be Foolish.

“How I Became Foolish in One Year”
Rana Pritanjali

One year ago …

It’s my first day in the Fool’s Analyst Development Program, and I’m taking in my HQ surroundings. I notice placards hanging from the ceiling — big signs with the names and logos of the Fool’s best-performing recommendations. I am surprised by the companies; hardly any of them seem like the right picks from a conventional point of view. To top it off, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is among The Motley Fool’s highest-conviction stocks. As a value-focused investor, it’s a surprising day. I head home and tell my husband: “I simply don’t get it. Seriously, Facebook?”

One month ago …

I find myself explaining to my husband how advertisers can use Facebook’s platform to connect with their audience. How the anticipated double-digit growth in advertising revenue comes from changing consumer trends and Facebook’s seamless transition to mobile advertising. How the huge opportunity to connect with the world gives Facebook the potential to emerge as a big winner.

In the past year, my career followed a great but steep learning curve. I might be a bit biased, but I think the Fool’s Analyst Development Program is most beneficial to investors who come in with a serious value bent. It challenges your thinking by showing you a completely different way of investing — one that’s even backed up with an amazing track record.

I still support my investment theses with valuation, but I’ve learned to apply other qualitative frameworks, too. Here are lessons that have improved my analysis and made me a better investor:

Management matters: Like many investors, I used to think that the quality of a company’s management team is baked into the stock price, so I never cared much about the leaders running the ship. But I was completely wrong.

At the Fool, leadership plays a key role in evaluating a company. After going through many case studies in my classes, I realized that having excellent management gives a company (and its shareholders) huge optionality and that the chances of a good business evolving into a great one are way higher when leadership is strong. On the flip side, bad management can screw up a great business. So here are two things I’ve learned to never ignore: Who is running the show, and how is he incentivized?

A good work culture translates into high productivity: Similarly, I never understood the importance of work culture until I started working at Fool HQ. Working with the right set of people in an employee-friendly environment keeps your morale high, accelerates your learning curve, encourages you to give your best, and motivates you to get better every day. Because a company is made up of employees, if each employee shares in the positivism, the overall productivity and performance of the business will probably improve.

A flexible mind-set goes a long way: Having a curious and flexible outlook goes a long way. Valuation is still an important part of business analysis for me, but giving equal weight to more qualitative components helps me understand the whole story. What’s more, working on the edge of your circle of competence is good for slowly but steadily widening your circle. You can always decide what works and what doesn’t for you — and at least you’ll be making an educated decision.

Learning how to merge valuation analysis with these more qualitative approaches takes time, but in my opinion, it’s worth it. You get the best of both worlds.

Here’s to many more years of learning!

Rana (TMFBuild)
*Originally published July 8, 2015 on TMF’s Inside Value members-only website.

Learn more from Rana and other Fools in our most recent ADP cohort:

Foolientation Secrets from a Recruiter


What’s a new hire’s first day like at your company? We hope its awesome, and that you have enough excitement in your orientation program to last at least 90 days. If you’re asking why, it’s because multiple reports reveal stats proving the first 3 months in a new job are crucial to an employee’s happiness, success, and retention. We take onboarding very seriously here at The Motley Fool, as Foolish Recruiter Cheryl further explains:

When it comes to Foolientation – our term for Fool Orientation – we’re constantly testing new ideas and trying to top it. It’s important that we stay innovative by brainstorming and continuing to seek fresh feedback.

Foolientation is all about making sure we’re setting new Fools up for success, and the first step in the right direction is to personalize their journey with us. Before a new Fool even starts, we send them a questionnaire asking about their favorite things (foods, sports, movies, vacation spots, etc.), hobbies, investing experience, and more. We then seriously deck out their desk; for example, a new Fool who loves traveling may get a scratch-off map or a book about the best places to visit in the world.  



Not only is this experience fun for the new Fool (Who doesn’t love gifts?), but it also gives everyone passing by a snapshot of their personality. This paves the way for Fools to identify mutual interests, which can make a new hire feel even more at home. In addition, the new Fool’s manager calls them before their first day on the job to congratulate and answer any questions.

On a Fool’s first day, which is always a FRIDAY, they receive a “First Day Survival Kit,” filled with Uno cards, Silly Putty, candy, and a Nerf gun. Paperwork and Benefits are certainly important, but here at the Fool we like to save that for Day 2 – the following Monday.  Part of a new Fool’s first Friday includes an office tour led by a Leadership Fool highlighting our high performance culture; lunch with Fools outside of their department to make connections; and a team party to round out the day. Instead of saying goodbye for the weekend, we tell them to “Treat Yo Self” with $100 to spend on dinner with their family and friends.

On our second day of Foolientation – the more exciting version of a Monday – the new Fool has an interactive Office Operations tour to learn how the office functions. Later in the day, the Fool meets their Fool Buddy – a tenured Fool who will regularly check-in to answer questions about our company, culture, or processes. Together they also complete a Foolish Scavenger Hunt, solving riddles and searching for clues about our company’s services, culture, and history FoolHQ.

img_20150327_110620_1024 (2)

As for our dress code, anything goes! We only have three types of unacceptable dress here at the Fool. Seriously – Fools can rock jeans, shorts, jean shorts, sweatshirts… and the list goes on! But we don’t hesitate to send you home if you’re wearing a viking helmet with a strapless evening gown; plaid with polka-dots; or more than three colors not found in nature.


We encourage you to check out our monthly Workplace Foolosophy Tour. Sign up to start with a tour of FoolHQ where you can see full-time Fools in the flesh working, innovating, creating, and plain ole’ being Foolish. We end with a 30 minute Q&A joined by Fools on our People Team. It’s the perfect opportunity for us to share Foolish best practices for you to bring back to your office! Please keep in mind that we don’t hire or take applications during this time – because we created a Jobs place specifically for that purpose!

A first day on the job leads to your first impression of the company. The Fool makes every attempt to make this experience Foolishly fun, informative, and welcoming. So tell us – what’s your onboarding experience like for new employees?

Push-Up to Wellness Wonders


Do you ever wonder how many push-ups you could achieve at any given moment? Get down and give us 20! In all seriousness, take a few minutes to count the number you’re able to reach. Is it 5? 10? 142? Now – if you’re not too tired – think about how many push-ups your entire company could collaboratively log. We actually answered this question for ourselves during June’s Fool-wide Push-Up Wellness Challenge.

This competition definitely showed off more than muscle. At the start of June, Wellness Coordinator Sam Whiteside challenged Fools to sign up for push-up brackets of 500; 1,000; 3,000; 5,000; and 10,000. All Foolish health challenges are optional, with the goal being for each Fool to attain their personal goal in 30 days. Over 80 Fools signed up for June’s contest, pausing daily to push-up during meetings, stand-ups, and (naturally) Sam’s wellness classes.

To help Sam reach her own participation goal for this competition, People Team Fools cooked up a surprise plan. On June 30, we launched Push-Up to Pamper Sam, a one-day challenge that unlocked prizes for Sam at set tiers. The categories kicked off with a tiny solar plant and breakfast delivery, soon escalating to gift cards at Port City Brewery, Sugar House Day Spa & Salon, and Zweet Sport. The amounts gave room for Sam to bring along other Fools, too.

Throughout the day, Fools everywhere pushed – literally and figuratively – to unlock the tough tiers. Progress was monitored with a spreadsheet while Fools sent regular updates on a Slack channel. As the day rolled along, a total of 189 Fools participated – and the challenge didn’t stop once office lights dimmed. Fools were active online even after midnight, all encouraging one another to do more for the team.


We finished with an impressive count of 31,043 push-ups in one day. Fools surpassed all seven tiers in the 7a-11:59p Push Up to Pamper Sam challenge, contributing to a final count of 170,198 Fool push-ups in June. Do your arms hurt yet?

June 30 didn’t turn out to be a typical Foolish Tuesday. On the final day of our June wellness challenge, Fools all over the world seriously rallied. Such support symbolized how well Fools can come together to make major things happen for the love of our company or, in this case, a fellow Fool. We’re adding this record to the books!

We Can’t Be “ON” 24/7 – WorkHuman 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 8.57.55 PM

Erin Miller, an Executive Coach here at the Fool, was lucky enough to attend this year’s WorkHuman conference in Orlando, FL. And she even started a trending hashtag – #OperationRobLowe. But back to the point – for those unfamiliar, this event’s mission was to educate participants on workplace engagement; creating a culture of happiness; and finding a place for purpose and meaning at work. Speakers included Arianna Huffington, Rob Lowe (yes, that Rob Lowe), Shawn Achor, and Brigid Schulte (a friend of the Fool!).

Our People Team joined Erin once she returned to hear all about her experience. Takeaways from Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post; Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology at UC Davis; and best-selling author Adam Grant were particularly intriguing. If you, too, are all about workplace innovation, we hope these reflections will be inspiring.

0920_huffingtonArianna Huffington, Co-Founder & Editor-In-Chief of The Huffington Post

As if it wasn’t common sense, modern science proves that humans require downtime. History defines success as money and power, yet health and wellness have been missing from the equation. Since there’s little separation between work and life, Arianna stressed that we don’t need to work more – just make work betterNo human being should be forced to be “ON” 24/7.

So how does The Huffington Post ensure that employees avoid burnout?

  • They have 2 nap rooms instead of more coffee machines.
  • An email policy is enforced. When employees finish work, they’re not expected to be on email – they’ll be texted if it’s urgent.
  • Management watches billable hours and, if an employee gets too high, there’s an “intervention.”

0813_favprof_630x420Adam Grant, Wharton’s Top-Rated Professor & Best-Selling Author

You could say that Adam Grant’s resume is impressive, to say the least. His book Give and Take earned immediate praise as Wall Street Journal’s Favorite Books of 2013; The Washington Post’s 2013 Books that Every Leader Should Read; and even Oprah’s list of riveting reads.

During the conference, Adam focused on 3 Fundamental Styles of Interaction and how they impact success. These styles play a role in both recruiting and management. Who do you want to hire? What type of boss would you rather work for? There are Takers, Givers, and Matchers, but Adam argued that what we really need is a culture of “help seekers.” We should encourage employees to ask questions because, despite the stigma, being curious is not a burden. In more difficult conversations, Grant recommends focusing on the behavior – not the person.
Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology at UC Davis and Founding Editor-In-Chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology
Gratitude plays a huge part in our lives. Emmons shared the impact of practicing gratitude in the workplace. A few of Emmons’ points on the importance of gratefulness included:
  • It increases emotional well-being.
  • Grateful people achieve more.
  • Grateful people get along better with others.
  • Grateful people pay it forward.
  • Grateful people are less depressed.

The future is co-created. In order for us to grow into innovative workplaces, the suggestions from those who spoke at WorkHuman are important to consider. Will you be a workplace that follows these trends?

Colorado Gets Foolish


We get a lot of questions during First Friday Fool HQ tours about our – shall we say unique – office design. How do Fools work so well in an open layout? Where did you buy this furniture? Who gets a standing desk? Are bicycle desks comfortable? Our Office Operations Fools, also in-house experts on workplace design, never miss a beat. From Fool HQ renovations to scouting spaces in New York and Australia, this team truly understands the importance of workplace ambience.

Research shows that the right professional environment can ignite creativity and encourage focus. According to one study, wall colors are also a factor: “Test-takers surrounded by red walls were better at skills requiring accuracy and attention to detail, while workers in blue environments were more creative.”

After months of planning, we’re excited to share photos of our new office in Colorado. Appropriately dubbed Foolorado, this space houses just a few internal Fools for now. The goal was to create an office mimicking Fool HQ but with a new vibe tailored to Colorado.


A team of 4 Fools made the trip to unpack, move, arrange, rearrange, and finally perfect the space’s look. Tech Fools also tagged along to set up the best remote connections and ensure that Internet access was on par.




Are you renovating space or even moving to a new office location? Leader of the Ops team Melissa Malinowski has some advice: “Talk to employees who practice many different types of working styles. Ask people what they love about their current work environment and what could be better. Create a view-book and ask for input on colors and styles. Everyone works in the environment every day. You want people to feel safe, comfortable, healthy, and more effective or productive than they would be if they stayed home.”

It’s another plus that beautiful mountain views are what Fools will see at work – instead of a blank wall or dreaded cubicle. Foolorado On!