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Which is better to help you make good investment decisions, Seeking Alpha or Benzinga?
Having tried both Seeking Alpha Premium as well as Benzinga Pro, I would like to share with you my experience, so you can make a more informed decision.
Benzinga Vs Seeking Alpha: News Feed
Let’s first take a look at the news feed provided by both Benzinga Pro and Seeking Alpha Premium.
For Benzinga, it is specifically designed to deliver fast actionable market news to traders because stocks typically make huge moves during news such as ipo, merger & acquisition, trial results, earnings results and product launch.
Benzinga delivers news through both live audio news as well as text news headlines.
On the other hand, Seeking Alpha generally delivers market news a bit later than Benzinga.
For example, we all know earnings release is very important and can cause huge moves in stock price.
The earlier you get the news, the sooner you can act before others do.
Below is the timing of Apple’s recent earnings news report by Seeking Alpha and Benzinga respectively (as shown in the screenshot below):
- Benzinga news feed: 4:30:17 pm (With Benzinga Squawk box, you would get the news slightly earlier via audio.)
- Seeking Alpha news feed: 4:31 pm
There is a time difference of 43 seconds.
It might not seem long to you, but timing is everything in trading.
You could miss a good trading opportunity even if you are late by just a few seconds.
However, if you are not trading news, then this small time difference would not matter to you.
Another key difference between Benzinga Pro and Seeking Alpha is that Benzinga Pro provides you with a lot of tools to help you profit from news events.
Inside the Benzinga platform, you can use the feature called “News Feeds” to pre-configure the types of news that you want to see.
There are many different filters that you can mix and match.
For example, you can choose from Sources (i.e. SEC, Press Release, etc), Categories (i.e. Economics, M&A, Analyst Rating, IPO, FDA, etc), Screener (i.e. Sector, Market Cap, Price, Volume, etc), and Watchlists.
Benzinga also lets you color code it, so you can quickly identify which type of news it is.
Furthermore, you can easily customize alerts in the Benzinga Pro Newsfeed with different sounds for different categories.
If you prefer a desktop notification to pop up on your screen or email notification, that can be done as well.
On the other hand, Seeking Alpha divides its news feed into different categories:
- “Top News”,”Trending News” and “Market Pulse” will give you a quick sense of market action.
- “Dividend news” is segregated into “Dividends – stocks” and “Dividends – funds”
- “Buybacks”, “Guidance” and “Debt/Share issuance” for value and growth investors
- “Notable Calls” covers important stock picks by Wall Street Analysts, fund managers, and high-profile investors
Although Seeking Alpha provides you with relevant news such as IPO, M&A, Analyst Calls, Buybacks, SEC Filing and press releases, it does not have advanced filters as well as alerts to help you get the news you want quickly.
Benzinga Vs Seeking Alpha: Stock Screener/Scanner
Both Benzinga and Seeking Alpha provide you with tools to find stock ideas.
For Benzinga, it provides you with a real-time stock scanner to find good day trading opportunities.
Benzinga Pro Scanner allows you to scan for stocks that fit your specific criteria in real time.
You can use filters like price, market cap, volume, float, relative volume, short interest, shares outstanding, and more to scan for stocks.
If you don’t want real-time scans, you can also choose refresh rates of 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, or no refresh rate to create a static list.
Combined with the real-time news feed as well as data and charts provided by Benzinga Pro, you can easily and quickly create and execute your trading plans.
Benzinga Pro real-time stock scanner is more suitable for day traders or swing traders.
In addition to the stock scanner, Benzinga Pro also provides you with a pre-defined scanning tool called “Signals” that alerts you to price or volume-related events in real time.
The Signals are the following:
- Price spikes
- Options activity
- Block trade
- Opening gap
For example, if you see a large options order that sweeps the QQQ call option on the ask, that is a bullish signal.
If there is a big gap up(or down) at the open, you can look out for a “close the gap” trading opportunity.
On the other hand, Seeking Alpha does not have a real-time stock scanner.
But, Seeking Alpha has a good stock screener that helps you find stock ideas for short-term trading as well as long-term investing.
There are a large number of advanced filters that you can mix and match to find stocks that fit your criteria.
If you don’t have your own screening criteria, you don’t have to worry.
Seeking Alpha also provides pre-defined stock screens based on its Quant Ratings of Strong Buy or Buy.
Before we go through the stock screener, let’s first talk about what Seeking Alpha stock ratings are and how they work.
Seeking Alpha offers the following stock ratings:
- 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)
The advantage of this method is that you can use Seeking Alpha Quant Rating to find the best performer of any particular industry or sector.
So, how exactly is Quant Rating calculated?
Quant Rating is derived after taking into account 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, if you are looking for value stocks, you just filter out all the stocks with a “Value” Grade of A or A+.
So, which one is better?
That really depends on your situation.
Benzinga Pro is a better choice if you are a day trader while Seeking Alpha is a better choice if you are investing for the long term or you are doing position trading.
Benzinga Vs Seeking Alpha: Stock Research & Analysis
When it comes to stock research and analysis, Seeking Alpha seems to provide more in-depth stock analysis than Benzinga.
There are thousands of contributors (authors) on Seeking Alpha who regularly publish their independent research and analysis on stocks that they follow.
What is more, is that you get to read the stock analysis from both the bullish camp as well as the bearish camp.
Personally, I love this because I love to hear from people who hold opposite opinions from me.
If I am going to invest my hard-earned money in stocks, I want to know that I have considered all the potential risks involved.
Let’s say that you are interested in Apple.
Below is the screenshot of all the stock information that Seeking Alpha can provide you with:
- In-depth Stock Analysis from various contributors
- Stock specific news
- Earnings call transcripts
- SEC Filings
- Press releases
As you can see at the bottom, some recommend “Buy” while others recommend ” Sell” or even “Strong Sell”.
If you are holding Apple stocks in your portfolio, I think it’s worth your time to go through the bearish case being laid out against Apple.
Maybe it might help you re-evaluate the risks of your stock holdings.
Unlike Seeking Alpha, Benzinga Pro does not provide you with detailed stock analysis or stock ratings to help you make long-term investment decisions.
Instead, Benzinga gives you all the information and data necessary to help you make trading decisions in the short term:
- Insider Transactions
- Short Interest
- Key data
Benzinga Vs Seeking Alpha: Pricing
Now, how much does Benzinga Pro cost?
There are three different pricing plans for Benzinga Pro:
With Benzinga Pro Basic, you get delayed Nasdaq market data, a Full Newsfeed without advanced filtering, chat, Movers, Watchlist alerts, and Benzinga Premium Articles.
On the other hand, Benzinga Pro Essential gives you everything included in Benzinga Pro Basic plus much more.
You get real-time Nasdaq market data, Advanced Newsfeed (filtered by Technicals such as Price, Volume, and Float), Real-time Scanner, Audio Squawk (equity & options), Calendar, Signals, and Usual Options Activity.
If you are a serious trader, then I would recommend Benzinga Pro Essential because speed is everything in trading.
When you act too slowly, you would miss out on the perfect trading opportunities.
Generally, big market moves driven by news happen in a matter of seconds.
So, you need to take advantage of the real-time actionable audio news by Benzinga Pro Essential.
I strongly recommend that you sign up for a free trial of Benzinga Pro and test it out by yourself.
Every now and then, Benzinga will have very attractive promotional offers emailed to their free trial users. So, if you decide it is a good fit, then you can take advantage of these great offers when they come
Try Benzinga Pro For Free( no credit card required)
For Seeking Alpha, there are three types of pricing plans right now:
- Basic: Free
- Seeking Alpha Premium:
- Seeking Alpha Pro: 2400 per year (mostly for hedge fund managers)
With the basic free version, you can only get very limited access to Seeking Alpha stock in-depth news and analysis.
You also won’t get access to Seeking Alpha Author Rating and Quant Rating, Top-rated stocks, and all the premium stock analyses.
So, is it worth paying for Seeking Alpha Premium?
The usual annual subscription is priced at $239 per year.
For a limited time only, you can have a 14-day free trial to test-drive Seeking Alpha premium to see if it works for you.
So, which one is better for you, Benzinga Pro or Seeking Alpha?
It really depends on whether you are a day trader or a long-term investor.
If you are a day trader, then Benzinga Pro is definitely the better choice because of the fast actionable news feed and real-time stock scanner.
On the other hand, If you invest in the long term or you do position trading (i.e. holding the stock for weeks or months), then Seeking Alpha might be the better choice for you because it provides excellent stock research and analysis tools.