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Is Gurufocus worth paying for?
Can it really help you improve your investment performance?
Are there any other better alternatives?
Gurufocus: Pros & Cons
Gurufocus is a stock research platform that is specially designed to help you track the portfolio holdings of institutional investors as well as company insiders’ transactions.
It’s based on the premise that you could achieve better investment results by following some of the best fund managers (i.e. Warren Buffet, Bill Ackman, George Soros, Carl Icahn, Seth Klarman, etc) as well as following the transactions of the company’s insiders such as CEOs and Directors.
Personally, I follow some of the best fund managers myself to get investment ideas.
Because I believe that one of the best ways to get the results I want to achieve is to model the people who have done it.
Also, it’s like having all the best fund managers to help you do the stock research.
For example, if you are a Warren Buffet fan and have been tracking his investment portfolio, you would have achieved very good returns by following him to buy Apple shares, American Express shares, Chevron shares, and BYD shares.
With Gurufocus, you can easily find out what stocks Warren Buffet has been buying or selling in the latest quarter.
Apart from Warren Buffet, you can also easily track other investment gurus or top mutual funds using Gurufocus’s search function.
If you are looking for stock ideas, Gurufocus also has a fundamental stock screener that allows you to mix and match all sorts of fundamental metrics to identify stocks that meet your criteria.
Gurufocus also allows you to backtest your stock screener with financial data since 2006.
But, if you are not sure what criteria to look for, Gurufocus also provides pre-defined stock screeners for you to choose from.
Whether you are looking for dividend stock ideas or value stock ideas, you will find these preset stock screeners very useful.
Another advantage of using Gurufocus is that it allows you to track insider transactions very easily.
By the way, insider transactions are also publicly available online for free.
Personally, I pay a lot of attention to the insiders’ transactions because the insiders know best when it comes to how the company is doing.
So, it’s fair to say that insiders know whether their company’s stock is overvalued or undervalued.
Below is an example of why it makes sense to monitor the insiders’ transactions.
As you can see, multiple insiders purchased the stock when the stock was trading in the range of $21 to $26.
If you look at the stock price chart below, you can see that they bought around the historical low and the stock has gone up by more than 50% since they bought.
The converse is true as well.
Company insiders tend to sell at a time when their company stock is overvalued.
Satya Nadella, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos all sold a large portion of their respective company shares around Dec 2021, just before the market crash in the first half of 2022.
What good timing!
So, it’s worth paying attention to what the insiders are doing, especially if multiple insiders are buying or selling a significant number of shares around the same time.
By the way, if you want the fastest news on insider transactions (especially multiple insider purchases), I also recommend Benginza Pro ( there is a risk-free 14-day trial with no credit card information required).
Benzinga Pro has many advanced tools to help you trade with actionable news in real time.
One of these tools is “Insiders” which is specially designed to track insider buys and sells in real time as shown below.
Try Benzinga Pro For Free( no credit card required)
Pricing-wise, Gurufocus is not cheap.
It has three different pricing plans:
- Premium: $69/month (or $499/year)
- Premium Plus: $169/month (or $1348/year)
- Professional Pro: $299/month (or $2398/year)
Why do I feel it’s not cheap?
First of all, you can actually get all the investment guru’s 13F holdings for free online.
These are all publicly available information.
Secondly, these investment gurus are only required to file 13F every quarter.
So, the stock trade information could be delayed by up to 3 months.
Basically, you are paying Gurufocus to put together and organize this publicly available information in one place to help you save time.
If following other investment gurus’ portfolios is your main investment strategy, then it might be worth paying for the annual subscription to make your research easier and faster.
But, if you don’t, then I think there are other more affordable and value-for-money stock research platforms that you can use.
I personally use the following:
So, here’s a recap of the pros and cons of Gurufocus.
Gurufocus Vs Seeking Alpha
So, what is the main difference between Gurufocus and Seeking Alpha?
Gurufocus is specially designed to help you track institutional investors’ holdings, insiders’ transactions as well as mutual funds’ top holdings.
It also provides you with 30 years of financial data for individual stock research and a customizable stock screener to find stock ideas.
On the other hand, Seeking Alpha does not give you information on institutional investors’ holdings, insiders’ transactions as well as mutual funds’ top holdings.
But, Seeking Alpha is designed to help you research and analyze individual stocks by giving you everything you need in one place (e.g. stock screener, financial data, quant ratings, research reports, company news, peers, earnings, analyst ratings, and estimates, etc)
One of its most popular tools is Quant Rating.
So, what do I like about Quant Rating?
First of all, it helps you find fundamentally strong companies with long-term growth potential ( Value, Growth & Profitability Factors).
At the same time, it also helps you identify the right timing to start buying these stocks by looking at Momentum and EPS Revision factors.
Finding good companies to buy is very important.
But, buying these good companies at a good price at the right time is equally important.
No one wants to see the stock price keep falling right after they have bought it.
Now, let’s compare the performance of Seeking Alpha Quant Rating and S&P 500 from 2010 to 23rd May 2022.
By the way, Seeking Alpha’s market performance is based on a backtested hypothetical portfolio of all the daily ‘Strong Buy’ ratings.
[Note: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Therefore, you should not assume that the future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy will be profitable or equal to corresponding past performance levels.]
As you can see from the above, Seeking Alpha’s Strong Buy recommendations have beat the S&P 500 every single year since 2010.
If you had invested $10,000 based on Seeking Alpha’s Strong Buy Recommendations, you would have a total return of $170,274.
On the other hand, the same $10,000 investment in the S&P 500 would only give you a total return of $34,039.
That’s a HUGE difference.
Pricing-wise, Seeking Alpha is also much more affordable than Gurufocus.
For Seeking Alpha, there are three types of pricing plans:
- Basic: Free
- Seeking Alpha Premium:
- Seeking Alpha Pro: $2400/ year (mostly for hedge fund managers)
Gurufocus costs $499 per year.
So, I would highly recommend that you try out Seeking Alpha risk-free for 14 days to see if it’s a good fit for you.
Gurufocus Vs Morningstar
So, what is the difference between Gurufocus and Morningstar?
The key difference is that Morningstar is designed to help investors find fundamentally strong companies with a competitive advantage and long-term growth potential that are currently undervalued.
It provides you with proprietary stock research reports as well as stock ratings.
On the other hand, Gurufocus is designed to help you track investment gurus as well as company insiders.
So, Morningstar is more suitable for active value investors who want to find undervalued and good companies for long-term investment while Gurufocus is more suitable for investors who want to simply invest in the same stocks that other investment gurus also invest in.
Pricing-wise, Morningstar Premium memberships are available at the following term lengths and prices:
$249/year$199/year (i.e. $16.5/month)
It’s much cheaper than Gurufocus which is priced at $499 per year.
On top of that, you can give Morningstar Premium a try for free for 7 days!