Computerized Investing > Third Quarter 2010

The Top Web-Based Stock Screening Services

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by Wayne A. Thorp

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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Steve from WA posted over 7 years ago:

This article says, "For an expanded comparison grid of other noteworthy screeners, be sure to check out the online version of this article."

Where is the expanded comparison grid? I'd like to see the information you gathered on other screeners.

Robert from CA posted over 7 years ago:

This is disappointing.

Stock Investor Pro is better than the 3 you mention above, IMO.

What about Reuters, Zacks? There are probably others.

Yes, Zacks costs $1800/yr, but you can back test and they have some screens that do 100% per year.

Please do an articled on EXPENSIVE stock screening programs.


Robert from CO posted over 7 years ago:

Senior Thorp:

I strongly agree with Texas Robert above. There are more than enough "rooky" investment tools available on the internet. Enough already, get on with the class acts of investment tools. And, while your at it, make Stock Investor Pro capable of easy data base export to Excel for serious screening abilities.

Have you heard of XBRL (extensible business reporting language)? Add that to SIP also - now, we are talking professional.

Colorado Bob

Wayne from IL posted over 7 years ago:

To the Roberts: This comparison covers what I consider to be the top online screening services. Expensive does not translate into the best. I have looked at Zacks and I don't consider it worth the cost. It's backtesting, once you really start using it, is very limited. The vast majority of the data available for backtesting relates to earnings estimate revisions and surprises. There is very little financial statement, ratio data available for backtesting.

Barry from AZ posted over 7 years ago:

It would be interesting to know what other services were looked at. Did you review or, for example?

Christopher from VT posted over 7 years ago:

""I have looked at Zacks and I don't consider it worth the cost. It's backtesting, once you really start using it, is very limited...""

""Overall, I do believe the price of Research Wizard is warranted, given its features and depth of backtesting data...""

Mr. Thorpe, I am unclear whether you have changed your opinion about the Zacks Research Wizard, or whether there is some difference in context between your different statements above? Please clarify.

Actually, anyone can test the Zacks program free with 2-year data and see for themselves whether they like the features. So I am not so concerned about the Zacks features, as about whether the Zacks program is basically a reputable product? I.e., is the Zacks program actually doing what it is supposed to be doing, and not giving anomalous results?

I.e., have you perhaps taken some Aaii screen formulas that the Zacks program is capable of running, and tested whether the Zacks produces similar output? That might be a good test of the accuracy.

Christopher from VT posted over 7 years ago:

P.S.--you also seem to imply there are other backtesting programs which are not so "limited"? I would be happy to be referred to a list of such programs. (All other programs that I could find seem to emphasize technical indicator data for backtesting, as you also seem to imply in your other article which I referenced above.)

Robert from MA posted over 6 years ago:

How about the stock screener at Google Finance?

Wayne from IL posted over 6 years ago:

The Google stock screener is limited in its capabilities. We only focus on what we consider to be the best online screeners for this article. Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

Evans from MI posted over 6 years ago:

I've heard some people use

Wayne from IL posted over 6 years ago: doesn't offer the same level of fundamental screening as the services we highlighted in this comparison (only 29 fundamental screening elements). Again, the ones we covered, in our opinion, are the best available for fundamental stock screening and research. Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

Mayank Dhebar from IL posted over 5 years ago:

How do you compare Investools and Vectorvest?

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