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Is it worth it to subscribe to MarketWatch?
Can you really use it to help you make good money and investment decisions?
Recently, I subscribed to MarketWatch and Barron’s to give it a try.
In this review, I will share with you all the pros and cons about using MarketWatch and help you make a well-informed decision.
Free Vs Paid MarketWatch Subscription
So, what do you really get from your paid MarketWatch subscription?
What is the difference between a free and paid version?
Let’s take a look at the FREE version of MarketWatch first.
To access the free version, all you need to do is to sign up for a free account on its website.
After that, you will get access to the following:
- Daily Article limit: very limited access to news coverage
- Market Data: real-time (or delayed) pricing, global historical data, financial statements and advanced charting
- Watchlist: Track your stock picks and see related MarketWatch stories to stay up-to-date on your investments
- Newsletter: Get information, analysis and actionable ideas to help you reach your investment goals.
- Virtual Stock Exchange: test trading strategies in a real world setting
Below are the screenshots for market data (btw, I notice that data for non-US markets is delayed) as well as the stock financial data.
Below is the MarketWatch stock watchlists.
You can add the stocks that you want to monitor to the watchlist.
The good thing is that it is not limited to just US stocks.
After you are done adding the stocks, it will automatically show you the sector allocation and asset allocation for the entire watchlist.
On the right hand side, it shows you all the news related to the stocks on your watchlist.
MarketWatch also provides a very basic stock screener.
It allows you to filter stocks using price, volume, PE, moving average indicator, Market Capitalization, Exchanges & Industry.
As for MarketWatch Newsletter, I find subscribing to too many newsletters very distracting.
If it is a newsletter that gives you a summary of all the major news for the day, then it’s not really worth cluttering your inbox because you can easily glance through the headlines on any one of the major financial news websites.
Personally, I prefer stock picking newsletters that are meant to give you good and actionable investment ideas based on in-depth research and analysis.
Now, what is the difference between paid MarketWatch subscription and the free one?
The key difference is that for paid MarketWatch subscribers, you get unlimited news coverage, member-exclusive content and also unlimited access to MarketWatch across devices (i.e. phone, laptop, tablet,etc) and platforms with fewer ads.
MarketWatch Subscription Pricing
So, how much does MarketWatch subscription cost?
Is it worth paying for MarketWatch subscription?
Right now, you can subscribe to MarketWatch & Barron Digital Access at $1 dollar for 4 weeks and then renew at $12.99 per month thereafter.
Alternatively, you can subscribe to MarketWatch Digital Access at only $1 dollar for 4 weeks and then renew at $9.99 per month thereafter.
So, is it worth paying for MarketWatch subscription?
It all comes down to the value that you put on the unlimited access to the articles on MarketWatch.
Can you really make use of these articles to make better investment decisions?
I doubt so.
No one can predict the market in the short term, so there is no point getting yourself overwhelmed with market news.
Also, you won’t be getting any specific and actionable investment ideas from reading these news articles.
So, I feel that you will find more value in in-depth research and analysis of good companies.
If you are an investor, you want to ignore the short-term volatility in the stock market and buy good profitable businesses that will grow in the long term.
This is because the stock price of good companies will eventually go up in the long term.
MarketWatch Vs Seeking Alpha
The key difference between MarketWatch and Seeking Alpha is that MarketWatch is primarily a news website that provides latest stock market, financial and business news while Seeking Alpha is primarily focused on helping you discover new investment ideas and make better investment decisions by providing you with proprietary stock ratings, crowd-sourced analysis and latest market news.
With 300+ articles published daily, Seeking Alpha’s stock coverage is one of the best in the market right now.
You can also easily check the author’s track record before considering their advice! (Seeking Alpha Premium charts the performance of the author’s every call)
For each article, you can also find the latest Seeking Alpha Premium ratings on the stock:
- SA Author Ratings ‒ ranging from Strong Buy to Strong Sell
- Wall Street Ratings – consensus and price targets on the stock by Wall Street Analysts
- Quant Ratings ‒ based on over 100 metrics, updated daily
The most interesting of all is its proprietary Quant rating.
It was developed by CressCap, a quantitative analytics and data platform that was acquired by Seeking Alpha.
So, what exactly is Quant Rating, and also how does it really work?
Quant rating is derived by comparing over 100 metrics for the stock to the same metrics for the other stocks in its sector.
These metrics include the company’s financial data, stock price performance, and analysts’ estimates of future revenue and earnings.
There are five types of Quant ratings:
- Strong Sell (i.e. a score of 1)
- Sell (i.e. a score of 2)
- Hold (i.e. a score of 3)
- Buy (i.e. a score of 4)
- Strong Buy (i.e. a score of 5)
So, how exactly is Quant Rating calculated?
Quant Rating is derived after taking into account of the following five “Factor Grades”:
- EPS Revisions
The Factor Grade is determined by comparing the relevant metrics for the factor for the stock to those for the other stocks in the same sector.
For example, to determine the grade for the “Growth” factor, metrics such as past sales growth, projected earnings growth and stock price performance for the stock will be compared to the same metrics for the other stocks in the same sector.
Then, each factor is assigned a grade, from A+ to F.
Grade A+ means that the stock has the highest growth potential compared to its peers in the same sector.
On the other hand, a grade F means that the stock has the lowest growth potential compared to its peers in the same sector.
So, how do you use Seeking Alpha’s Factor Grades?
The value, growth and profitability grades give you a snapshot of the stock’s fundamentals, while the momentum and EPS revisions grades tell you if the stock is gaining momentum.
So, if you are looking for value stocks, you just filter out all the stocks with a “Value” Grade of A or A+.
After that, you further research analyse these value stocks one by one.
The advantage of Factor Grade is that you get a very quick idea of what type of stock it is. (e.g. a value stock? a growth stock? momentum stock?)
Apart from ratings, you can also get tons of useful financial and fundamental information (i.e. Earnings, Valuation, Growth, Profitability, Peers, Dividend, etc) and news and analysis on the stocks you are researching on or stocks that you own in your portfolio all in one place.
Let’s use Apple as an example to go through the stock research and analysis tools inside Seeking Alpha Premium.
Seeking Alpha Premium makes it very easy for you to quickly find all the “fastest growing growth stocks”, “top value stocks”, “top technology stocks”, “top dividend stocks”, “top yield monsters”, “top small cap stocks” and “top REITs” by providing a pre-filtered stock list (updated daily) for each category.
So, regardless of what type of investor or investment style you are, you can always find investment ideas that are suitable for you.
One of Seeking Alpha’s most popular investment tools is its “Top-Rated Stocks”.
Personally, I think that just this list of Top-Rated Stocks is like a gold mine that could potentially help you increase your investment returns significantly.
Below is the performance comparison between Seeking Alpha Strong Buy Recommendations 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 from 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 S&P 500 would only give you a total return of $34,039.
That’s a HUGE difference.
MarketWatch Vs Motley Fool
Now, what is the difference between MarketWatch and Motley Fool?
MarketWatch is a market news website that provides latest stock market, financial and business news.
On the other hand, Motley Fool Stock Advisor is a subscription-based investment service that gives you specific stock recommendations every month.
Let’s look at what you get from your Motley Fool Stock Advisor subscription:
- You will receive two stock recommendations every month, as well as their monthly “Best Buys Now” :
- On the first Thursday of the month, you will receive your first stock recommendation
- On the second Thursday, you will receive your first New Best Buys Now
- On the third Thursday, you will receive your second stock recommendation
- and on the fourth Thursday, you will receive your second New Best Buys Now
- You will receive a real-time email notification when it’s time to sell, so you are never left wondering what to do
- You gain instant access to all past Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor recommendations
- You gain instant access to all of their stock reports
- The Motley Fool’s Top 10 Best Stock to Buy Now report that features some of their recent picks that still offer the best potential return.
- The Motley Fool’s Top 5 Starter Stock features the ideal stocks that should be the foundation of new investor’s portfolios.
Now, when it comes to stock picking services, one of the most important things that you should look at is its track record.
So, can Motley Fool Stock Advisor help you achieve market-beating returns in the long term?
Below is the performance comparison between Motley Fool Stock Advisor and S&P 500 between 2002 and 1st Jan 2022.
As of 4th Feb 2022, average Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations have returned over 502.5% since inception while S&P 500 has returned 136.5%.
So, what does that mean?
If you had invested $10,000 in the stocks recommended by Motley Fool Stock Advisor since its inception, your investment portfolio would be worth more than $300,000.
On the other hand, if you had invested $10,000 in S&P 500 index funds, your portfolio would be worth about $50,000.
In short, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor has beat the market 5 to 1.
That’s a HUGE difference in returns.
Now, what about the performance comparison between Motley Fool Stock Advisor and S&P 500 for the past 5 years?
|Year||Motley Fool Stock Advisor
(Average Return to 23 Jul 2021)
(Average Return to 23 Jul 2021)
So, in terms of overall performance, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor has beat the market every single year for the past 5 years. (Note: Performance is calculated from 1st Jan of each year to 23rd July 2021)
[*Returns as of 23rd Jul 2021. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Individual investment results may vary. All investing involves risk of loss.]
But, what about its individual stock picks?
This metric is important because you might not be buying every single stock recommendation made by Stock Advisor.
Below is a table that shows you the performance of individual stock picks over the years.
As of Dec 2021, Motley Fool Stock Advisor has had 177 stock recommendations with 100%+returns.
What that means is that you would have easily doubled your money if you had invested in any of the 177 stock picks by Motley Fool Stock Advisor.
Here are just some of their best-performing stock picks:
- Amazon: it’s up 19,806%*
- Netflix: it’s up 23,901%*
- Walt Disney: it’s up 632%*
- NVIDIA: it’s up 16,423%*
- Shopify: it is up 4,107%*
- United Health Group: it is up 2,338 %*
[*Returns as of 31st Dec 2021. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Individual investment results may vary. All investing involves risk of loss.]
Just imagine that you actually found out about these great stocks way before everyone else did.
So, if you are looking for specific stock recommendations for your portfolio, then Motley Fool Stock Advisor would be a good option.