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Computerized Investing > Third Quarter 2010

The Top Web-Based Stock Screening Services

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by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

Many individuals forgo investing in individual stocks because they simply don’t know where to begin. With over 10,000 stocks traded on U.S exchanges alone, it is not surprising. Some investors attempt to chase after the latest “fad” stock being touted on financial blogs or investment newsletters, only to find they have come late to the party.

However, individual investors have the tools at their disposal to quickly and effectively isolate promising investment candidates if they have the time and patience to devote to the endeavor. The tools are called stock screeners, and with them you can select various parameters to isolate stocks meeting your criteria. These parameters may be technical in nature, such as finding stocks trading above their 50-day moving averages and with relative strength index RSI values above 90. Alternatively, you can create filters based on fundamental criteria, such as book value per share that is less than two-thirds the stock price and an average return on invested capital value over the last five years of at least 20%.

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