Most of the screening sites that have vanished were free services, only to be replaced predominantly by subscription-based services with ties to print-based publications serving individual investors—Investors.com, Kiplingers.com, SmartMoney.com Select, and Value Line Investment Survey Online.
Investors.com is tied to the Investor’s Business Daily newspaper and William O’Neil’s long-running data service. The site is fee-based and sells a collection of research tools for $1,000 per year. The analysis on the site is geared toward investors looking to follow the growth and momentum strategies featured in Investor’s Business Daily, such as CAN SLIM.
Kiplingers.com has taken the tools that Thomson Financial used to offer and provided additional content from its publications and writers.
SmartMoney.com is run by Dow Jones which also publishes the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s. SmartMoney.com has provided a useful and slightly different set of financial tools for some time, but lacked an on-line stock screening tool. Now with its fee-based Select subscription, subscribers have access to a very capable screening tool that surpasses free tools available on the Internet.
Finally, Value Line Investment Survey Online offers Web access to Value Line’s reports and research coupled with a Web-based stock screening tool. Value Line still continues to sell a disc-based stock screening program (Value Line Investment Analyzer) that offers updates via the Web or CD-ROM and is tied to the Web-based service, but we feel the software program itself offers a better interface for screening and company analysis.
While a number of sites still offer free screening that is good, the market is showing that it will pay for compelling data and features.