The stock market can be overwhelming for retail investors. Besides thousands of listed stocks in the US, there is a wide selection of publicly traded companies in other countries to choose from. Each company also has a tons of financial data reported every quarter, ranging from market price data to fundamental data.
That is why having a powerful stock screener is so crucial for every retail investor. It will help you filter through a vast amount of data to identify the best stock options based on the filters you provided. It does not matter whether you are a value investor who is looking for undervalued stocks with stable cash flows, or you are a growth investor who are interested in companies with exponential revenue growth, a good stock screener should be able to take your investing criteria as inputs and produce the best stock candidates.
In this article, we explore 5 stock screeners that we think are the best on the market, both in terms of functionalities and pricing. All of these screeners are heavily used by Columbia students in their classes and investment clubs.
If you are a value investor who usually use fundamental metrics to scan for stocks, ValueInvesting.io is best option undoubtedly. While their core product is the valuation platform which provides DCF and Intrinsic Value calculations for global stocks, their screener is also state-of-the-art. It supports more than 300 filters and metrics, ranging from fundamental ones like revenue, net income, gross profit to market metrics like stock returns, Altman Z-score, trading volume, etc... Investors also have an option to display a specific period of a metric or a historical range of that metric, a feature that not many other screeners support. Another reason why we use ValueInvesting.io a lot at Columbia is it is lightning fast no matter how many filters you add to your screener, which is nice because nobody like waiting too long for their stock screener.
Besides their valuation services and screener, ValueInvesting.io also provides short interest data via API, gurus' portfolios and advanced charting functionalities. It is very comprehensive and reliable investing platform, highly recommended.
Pricing: starting at $14.99/month
Finsheet is different from other screeners in this list as it is the only one which offers the stock screening functionality in Excel and Google Sheets instead of on the web. If you mainly conduct your research and trading in spreadsheets, Finsheet is a perfect option for you. Using their customized functions, investors can import financial and market data directly to their spreadsheets and build the screener from there. With 30+ years of historical data available, the possibilities for the filters and metrics that you can use are truly endless.
Pricing: starting at $20/month
Benzinga Pro has built its reputation in the financial market as a leader in providing real-time financial and market news. It is very common for investors to receive alerts from Benzinga Pro about market developments earlier than other competitors. Besides news, Benzinga Pro also offers other services like stock data, stock fundamentals, chat rooms and especially a powerful screener. Besides standard financial metrics, its screener is extremely well-known among the swing trading community, whose strategy is to take advantage of short-term price movements due to news and earnings results.
A couple finance professors at Columbia use Benzinga Pro to get real-time news and insights as inputs for their in-house models. They have nothing but positive feedback for the product so if their pricing is within your budget, Benzinga Pro is a definitely solid investment platform to subscribe to.
Pricing: starting at $140/month.
If you ever read a stock research report in the U.S., it most likely came from Zacks. Founded 45 years ago, Zacks Research is undoubtedly the go-to source for high-quality stocks rankings and recommendations. At Columbia, we have a Yahoo Finance premium subscription which gives us access to Zacks Research's research reports. They are extremely in-depth, comprehensive and can provide investors a 360-degree view into a company's valuation and financial positions.
Zacks also has a stock screener which is very to use and has a slick user interface. While the selections of metrics and filters are somewhat limited (100 for free, 250 for premium) compared to other screeners on the list, Zacks' screener works extremely reliably and the ability to incorporate their own ratings into your screener as a filter is a huge plus.
Trade Ideas is pretty unique among the options recommended in this list. Their screener relies on AI not only to speed up the scanning process but also to search for alternative non-traditional metrics to provide investors the best candidates given their search criteria. Trade Ideas is also the only platform in this list that supports live trading and even has an AI bot, Holly AI bot, which assists you in making trades using its proprietary strategies. Some of their in-house strategies are Alpha Predators, Bon Shorty (Short) and Buyers Stepping.
Even though Trade Ideas is usually considered pricey for retail investors, some of our students, especially the ones who day-trade frequently, do find the subscription worth it thanks to the amount of tools and insights it can offer via its Artificial Intelligence technology.
Pricing: starting $118/month
While there are many stock screeners available on the market, we truly believe the 5 listed above are the most well-rounded and solid ones. However, every investor's need is different so make sure to check them out to see whether they can help you achieve your investing goals.