Our Favorite Investing Tool


Over the past decade, all three Brians have held many roles at The Motley Fool. One of the most challenging tasks we’ve ever faced was to vote on which stocks should be called “Best Buys Now.” The assignment was to sift through hundreds of past recommendations and nominate five compelling opportunities each month.

At first, this was a daunting task. How was it possible to sift through hundreds of stocks each month to pick out just five?

While challenging at first, all three of us found that this task became much easier over time.

A key reason why is that regular voting forced us to develop systems for ranking stocks rather than relying on our memory.

We each independently developed our own investing checklists that focused our attention on variables that mattered most to us.

  • Stoffel developed his “Anti-fragile” investing framework, which emphasizes competitive advantage & optionality.
  • Feroldi created his “Quality Checklist,” which emphasizes revenue & profit quality.
  • Withers created his investing checklist which emphasized growth, management, and valuation.

To say our checklists became our favorite investing tool would be an understatement. These checklists continually forced us to focus on the factors that matter most to us. And because our scores were saved and updated over time, we were able to evaluate more companies at a faster pace while battle-testing our decisions with real-world data.

Looking back, it’s a head-scratcher as to why it took so long for us to create our checklists. Investors have to track many variables when picking individual stocks. Trying to keep everything in your head is not only impossible, but it’s a recipe for poor decision-making (we know first-hand).

Instead, we should have taken inspiration from the investing greats we admire so much. After all, Warren Buffett has built his own investing checklist. So has Charlie Munger, Pat Dorsey, Seth Klarman, Howard Marks, Joel Greenblatt, Peter Lynch, Lou Simpson, Jim Chanos, Bill Ruance, Sam Zell, Tom Gaynor, Jeremy Grantham, John Templeton, Chuck Akre, Francois Rochon, David Gardner, and Philip Fisher.

If all these super-investors rely on investing checklists, shouldn’t you?

Wishing you investing success,

– Brian Feroldi, Brian Stoffel, & Brian Withers

P.S. In 2024, members of our Long-Term Mindset Community will be building their own personalized investing checklists from scratch. If you’re interested in learning more about the premium community, click here to get on the waitlist to be notified as we release details.

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One Piece of Timeless Content:

2022 was a terrible year for the 60 / 40 portfolio – (60% stocks / 40% bonds). Many are now dismissing this investing strategy altogether. Ben Carson, an analyst at Ritholtz Wealth Management, shares the history of this strategy and disputes the naysayers.

One Thread:

Need help building an investing checklist? This mega-list of investing questions is a great place to start:

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Brian Feroldi (????,????)

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Warren Buffett. Peter Lynch. Charlie Munger. Philip Fischer. All of these super investors use checklists. I spent hours studying their criteria. Here’s the ultimate list of investing checklist questions (all yours for free):
8:32 AM • Mar 24, 2023

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Sieva Kozinsky is a rare breed. He co-founded Enduring Ventures, a long-term holding company that “buys exceptional businesses and builds them to last forever.” Luckily, for curious investors, he shares his insights in a weekly newsletter; click here to check it out.

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