After our review of Eye in the Sky trading platform, a Computerized Investing subscriber asked us to review Stock Rover, an online equity research platform designed for individual investors, by individual investors (who are also software engineers). We appreciate the recommendation, and we encourage subscribers to email us regarding websites or programs that you would like to see reviewed.
Though this is technically a Featured Download column, we are reviewing Stock Rover, a Web app, for two reasons. First, we want to respond to requests as soon as possible. Second, financial services seem to be moving away from programs in favor of websites. The “cloud” is perhaps the most notable example of this shift.
Stock Rover is a Web-based application that uses advanced Web 2.0 technology to produce something like a hybrid between a website and a program. The Web app provides both the benefits of a program, such as customizability, and the benefits of a website, such as compatibility and accessibility. More importantly, Stock Rover works exceptionally well and is completely free to use.
To start using Stock Rover, simply go to www.StockRover.com and sign up. Sign-up is free, easy, and requires no personal information (aside from an email address). To run Stock Rover, users only need an Internet connection and a modern browser; no downloads or installations are necessary. The Web app has been tested and is supported on up-to-date versions of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.
Not only will Stock Rover run on both PCs and Macs, but users are also able to access their customized data from any computer by simply logging into their Stock Rover account. Since everything is automatically saved, users will find everything just as they left it when they log in again.
Once logged in, users can access the platform by clicking Launch Stock Rover in the upper right-hand corner of the website. Users will notice five windows: Categories, Views, Tickers, Chart, and Insight. The Categories window groups stocks and allows users to view them by sector, investment type, index, screens, user watchlists and portfolios. Stock Rover starts with some interesting samples in each category, such as Warren Buffett in portfolios or small-cap value in screens. However, users can add, remove or change any category and the information within it.
The Views window allows users to quickly switch the information they see. Again, Stock Rover comes with preset views, such as Returns and Growth, which show some of the most common information used to analyze companies based on the selected view. For instance, selecting the Valuation View will display typical valuation ratios, such as P/E, debt/share and forward PEG.
Perhaps more importantly, users can create their own views, such as the view I created and named “How I See Things.” To add a view or category, select New in the desired window. The Tickers window also allows users to apply filters (that is to say, screens) and sort the list of tickers by any column.
The Chart window allows users to compare a company’s chart to a benchmark, such as a major index, the industry, or even a portfolio. Available charts include price (dollar, percent and logarithmic) and candlestick. Users can even add events, such as dividends and earnings; technicals, such as Bollinger bands and RSI; and fundamentals, such as P/E and debt/equity ratios.
However, the more indicators and overlays added to a chart, the more crowded it becomes, which makes it difficult to read and understand.
Therefore, the Chart window has a feature that allows the user to make any ticker’s chart the baseline for the whole graph. To do this, simply click on the tiny graph icon next to a ticker, indicator or overlay. For instance, the S&P 500 as the baseline turns its graph into a straight line and recalculates everything else in proportion to the new baseline. Now, it is much easier to see where, when and by how much a certain stock beats the S&P 500.
Because the Chart window allows users to add multiple tickers, it is not automatically linked to the Tickers window. That is, selecting a ticker will not automatically load that company’s chart. Rather, users have to type either the company’s name or its stock’s ticker into the Chart window’s search bar or right-click on the ticker in the Tickers window and select Add to Chart. Therefore, users can research without worrying that Stock Rover will alter their preset chart.
Finally, the Insight window provides a more in-depth analysis of every company, broken down into six sub-tabs: summary, news, detail, peers, research and notes. The summary tab provides the company’s details, grading, access to SEC filings and more. The news tab displays both the market’s top stories and headlines specifically related to the selected company. News sources include Yahoo! Finance, Bloomberg and TheStreet, among others. The detail tab breaks down the company’s financials and provides analyst estimates. The peers tab lists the selected company’s competitors. The research tab provides links to websites that may offer further insight, such as Seeking Alpha Transcripts, which provides transcripts of most companys’ conference calls. Clicking a link will open a user’s default browser to the selected company’s page. The notes tab allows users to make notes within the program so that everything they need is in one convenient place.
Quite honestly, Stock Rover is a great website for any investor. The fact that it is free, easy to use, and convenient makes it an outstanding value.
System Requirements: Internet connection; Chrome 9.0 or higher, Firefox 3.0 or higher, Internet Explorer 8 or higher or Safari 4 or higher