With close to 30 years of history under their belts, the Co-Founders of The Motley Fool reflect on their successes and what is needed for society and for the company. They discuss the newly formed Motley Fool Foundation and its purpose of making the pathway to financial freedom more accessible for all.
Can you tell us a bit about the history of The Motley Fool?
David: My brother Tom and I founded The Motley Fool nearly 30 years ago in a backyard shed. Looking back on it, it’s hard to believe that The Motley Fool grew from such humble beginnings to become a trusted advisor to millions of people and helping them realize the wealth-building power of the stock market.
Tom: Our family instilled in us a passion for investing, the wisdom in taking the long view, and an enthusiasm for learning. All of that--plus a good dose of levity--came together to create The Motley Fool.
What brought about the decision to create The Motley Fool Foundation?
David: I’m proud of the work The Motley Fool has done to make the world smarter, happier and richer, but we realize we have much more work to do, and now we have the resources to start to do it.
Tom: The stock market is one of the most powerful wealth creation tools in the world. But for many people who struggle daily to make ends meet, this tool is financially out of reach. Personal finance truisms can only go so far when one is also fighting systemic racism, unconscious bias, an education gap, and many other roadblocks to building wealth.
What role do you see Fools around the world playing in the Foundation?
Tom: Over our company’s history, I have seen our community of Fools come together, not just as investors, but as philanthropists in support of many worthy causes. We ask them to join us now on the next leg of the journey in support of the Motley Fool Foundation and its mission.
With David at the helm as Chairman of the Foundation and Jennifer Gennaro Oxley as our Executive Director--combined with the support of our global Foolish community--the Foundation will achieve remarkable, lasting change for the benefit of millions.
David: Thanks Tom, that means so much coming from you. The Foundation wouldn’t be where we are today, if it weren’t for your conscious and empathetic leadership as our CEO.
What do you hope to achieve with The Motley Fool Foundation?
David: One of my guiding investing principles is this: “Make your portfolio reflect your best vision for our future.” I know many of you share this thinking and find investing not only personally enriching but also a way to create a better world for all.
We are about to welcome a LOT more people to the campfire; the warmth we will show them will lead to global betterment, and the stories they will tell will fashion a lasting legacy for our Motley Fool community!
Co-Founders of The Motley Fool, Tom Gardner (left) and David Gardner (right)
The Motley Fool has a long-held tradition in philanthropy (or Foolanthropy as we like to call it). In fact, The Motley Fool launched the first-ever group giving campaign on the internet back in 1997, rallying immense support from our fervent online community of individual investors. Since then, Fools-employees and members together--have raised more than $4 million for partner charities.
We are now taking Foolanthropy to a higher level, and are pleased to announce the creation of The Motley Fool Foundation - the next step in fulfilling the company’s purpose in making the world smarter, happier and richer. It demonstrates our long-term commitment to helping a broader population of the world thrive financially.
We’ve spent the last year talking to hundreds of experts and front-line community organizers, Fool members and staff, reading thousands of pages of research and reports, and delving deep into understanding the challenges that prevent so many people from having the ability to attain financial freedom. Through this research and your support, we hope to set forth in achieving The Foundation's core purpose: unlocking financial freedom for all.
As with our very first campaign back in 1997, our success depends on our community and our collaboration in making positive change happen.
Jennifer Gennaro Oxley
Executive Director, The Motley Fool Foundation
Jennifer Gennaro Oxley, Executive Director, The Motley Fool Foundation