David and Tom Gardner

How David and Tom Gardner built the Motley Fool financial company

American entrepreneurs David and Tom Gardner are most famous for creating the Motley Fool. The company offers a wide range of financial services designed for different types of customers. The brothers’ biographies are interesting because they had no financial training but were able to build a successful business.
David was born in 1966 and studied art at Brown University. Tom is two years his junior. He studied at the University of Montana, specialising in linguistics and geography. It is worth noting that the Gardners did not enter the world of finance by chance. From 18, the Gardners dabbled in investing but never became significant players. Nevertheless, the brothers never saw themselves in the role of those trying to make it on Wall Street.

Starting a business together

In 1993, David started his own investment newsletter, which was not very popular. Tom became interested in his idea a year later and posted a flyer on America Online. It was the dawn of the Internet age, but the Gardners immediately saw its potential. In 1994, they launched Motley Fool, an AOL-based website. The entrepreneurs published analytical articles about the financial market and recommended the best tools for investing. They set up their information hub in David’s barn and ran the whole business from there.

David and Tom Gardner Motley Fool The brothers advised their subscribers and played the stock market themselves. The businessmen’s portfolio grew steadily. In their first year of investing, the Gardners outperformed the Standard & Poor’s index by 40 points. At the same time, their business was growing. They rented office space and hired staff. David and Tom developed a unique trading strategy and positioned it as:
– a tool to change the dominance of large investors and brokers in the market;
– a solution that is accessible to everyone;
– a simple and successful approach to trading stocks and building wealth.
Gardner’s philosophy resonated with many ordinary people. The personal success of the businessmen also inspired the website’s users.

Further development of the company

By 1996, Motley Fool had become the most popular site on AOL. The company grew rapidly:
– in 1997, the brothers partnered with Universal Press, where they published their own column;
– the Motley Fool website won a Webby Award for best financial website;
– a radio show of the same name, launched in 2001, ran until 2006.
The Gardners have also published several bestselling books. In them, David and Tom share their approaches to investing and trading.
Since then, Motley Fool has grown into a large multimedia company. It has several divisions, including Motley Fool Asset Management.