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Are you looking for the best stock research and analysis platform to help you make better investment decisions?
Which one is right for you, Yahoo Finance Plus or Morningstar or Zacks Research or Finviz or Seeking Alpha?
After trying and testing every single one of them, I am going to share with you all the pros and cons of these stock research and analysis platforms to help you save both time and money.
Yahoo Finance Plus
With Yahoo Finance Plus, you can basically do three of the following things:
- Monitor and analyze your investment portfolio
- Find investment ideas
- Do fundamental analysis and research on stocks
If you have an existing investment portfolio, you can easily monitor and analyze your portfolio through your Yahoo Finance Plus by directly connecting to different brokers such as Robinhood, Ally Invest, Interactive Brokers, TradeStation, Fidelity, Etrade and even Coinbase.
So, what can you do with Yahoo Finance Plus portfolio analytics tools?
Basically, it can help you analyze your investment portfolio in the following four areas:
- Your portfolio performance against different benchmarks such as Dow or Nasdaq or a specific stock over your chosen time period
- Portfolio risk profile (e.g. is your portfolio aggressive or conservative? Yahoo Finance Plus determines your portfolio risk level by looking at its beta as well as its volatility)
- Valuation of your stock holding based on fair value data provided by Yahoo Finance Plus (e.g. you can have a quick overview of how many stocks in your portfolio are overvalued, undervalued or near fair value)
- How diversified your portfolio is across different industries and sectors (e.g. are you too heavy on technology stocks?)
So, are Yahoo Finance Plus portfolio analytics tools the best in the market?
Personally, I think these tools are very basic.
But if you are looking for the more robust and advanced portfolio management and analysis software, I highly recommend Stock Rover (by the way, I use it myself).
Stock Rover offers so much more in terms of portfolio analysis and management.
It not only provides in-depth portfolio analysis tools, correlation tools, trade planning and re-balancing facilities, but it also sends you real-time alerts when something happens (to your portfolio) that you need to know.
As investors, you know the importance of portfolio re-balancing to help maintain your target asset allocation.
If you don’t like to do portfolio re-balancing manually, then you can use M1 Finance to help automate your portfolio re-balancing.
Now, let’s move on to check out the other two main features of Yahoo Finance Plus.
On the dashboard, you will see the research reports as well as fair value of all the stocks that you follow.
Apart from that, you also have a quick overview of the technical chart patterns of the stocks you follow:
- Short term bullish or bearish
- Mid-term bullish or bearish
- Long term bullish or bearish
These ideas are more for short-term traders.
If you are looking for new investment ideas, you can also find them inside Yahoo Finance Plus by simply clicking on the tab called “Investment Ideas”.
To make things easier, you can even filter all the investment ideas by ratings, sector, trade type (fundamental or technical), term (short term, medium term or long term).
Also, for all the investment ideas, you will see its price target.
If you see any interesting stocks that you want to find out more, you can then dive deep into each one by clicking the stock ticker.
That will show its profile, financial data, valuation measures, historical data, chart, company outlook and analysis.
Basically, this gives you a general idea of how the company is doing financially.
If you are a serious fundamental investor, then the fundamental and financial data provided by Yahoo Finance Plus might not be good enough for you.
Personally, I use Stock Rover to do all my fundamental analysis on US and Canada stocks.
Stock Rover has one of the most powerful stock screeners with over 650 metrics for you to choose from.
To put it in perspective for you, the FREE stock screeners that you can easily find online provides you with much much fewer metrics (i.e. less than 100).
Stock Rover’s metrics cover a wide range of areas such as:
- financial strength
- capital efficiency
- price performance
- analyst ratings
- stock ratings
Basically, you have ALL the financial and fundamental data on any US & Canada Stocks in one place.
So, when it comes to fundamental analysis, that’s everything you need right there.
Lastly, let’s look at Yahoo Finance Plus pricing.
There are three type of pricing plans:
- Yahoo Finance Essential: $35/month (or $350/year)
- Yahoo Finance Lite: $25/month (or $250/year)
So, what’s the real difference between Yahoo Finance Plus and the free version?
With the free version, you only get real-time news and stock quotes, multiple linked brokers for portfolio tracking, interactive charts for performance monitoring and unlimited custom portfolios and watchlists.
By the way, you can get all these free features easily from elsewhere such as Stock Rover’s free plan.
Only when you upgrade to the paid plans, then you can get access to the following:
- Daily trade ideas based on your interests
- Fair value analysis for stocks
- Advanced portfolio performance analysis tools
- Enhanced alerts on stocks that you follow
- Research reports from Morningstar & Argus (Only for Essential)
- Enhanced charting with auto pattern recognition(Only for Essential)
Unique company data (Only for Essential)
- Historical financials & statistics with CSV export (Only for Essential)
- Live chat support
So, do I think Yahoo Finance Plus worth the money?
To answer this question, let’s take a look at Stock Rover‘s pricing plans:
- Stock Rover Essentials at $7.99/month (or $6.67/month if billed annually)
- Stock Rover Premium at $17.99/month (or $15.00/month if billed annually)
- Stock Rover Premium Plus at $27.99/month (or $23.33/month if billed annually)
Try Out Stock Rover Risk-Free For 14 Days Now (No Credit Card Required)
Yahoo Finance Plus Vs Morningstar Premium
Now, let’s compare Yahoo Finance Plus with Morningstar Premium.
Both Yahoo Finance Plus and Morningstar Premium provide portfolio analytics tools, stock research tools, charting tools as well as stock research reports.
By the way, the research reports inside Yahoo Finance Plus apparently come from Morningstar analysts.
So, what are the key differences between them?
First of all, Yahoo Finance Plus lets you directly link your brokerage accounts to track and analyse your investment portfolio in real-time, but Morningstar does not have that.
That means you have to manually update your portfolio inside Morningstar.
Another key difference is that Morningstar provides research and ratings on stocks, bonds, mutual funds and index fund while Yahoo Finance only focuses on stock research and analysis.
Also, when it comes to stock research and stock investment ideas, Morningstar adopts a stock-picking approach that focuses on long-term advantages and intrinsic value while Yahoo Finance broadly covers both stock trading (i.e. technical analysis) and stock investment (i.e. fundamental analysis) in a non-in-depth way.
If you are a fundamental investor who invests in stocks for the long term, then Morningstar will be a better choice than Yahoo Finance.
Inside Morningstar, I find the following ratings the most useful:
- Five Star Stocks (i.e. these companies are all trading below what Morningstar analysts think they are worth)
- Wide Moat Stocks (i.e. the highest-quality companies Morningstar cover)
- Wide Moat & Undervalued Stocks (i.e. High-quality companies at a good price according to Morningstar)
- Wide Moat Focus Index ( i.e. the index is composed of the most undervalued (trading at the lowest current market price/fair value ratios), highest-quality companies)
By the way, Morningstar’s ratings for economic moat capture how likely a company is to keep competitors at bay for an extended period.
Why is it an important characteristic?
It’s because one of the keys to finding superior long-term investments is buying companies that will be able to stay one step ahead of their competitors.
So, the best way to make good use of Morningstar Premium is to go through these stock ratings and picks mentioned above and build a diversified stock portfolio based on it.
Personally, I love a good high-quality company at a discounted price.
That’s why I would put the “Wide Moat & Undervalued Stocks” on my watchlist and add them to my existing stock portfolio whenever I see fit.
Lastly, if you invest in bonds, mutual funds and ETFs, then you might find Morningstar ratings quite helpful.
Morningstar Premium memberships are available at the following term lengths and prices:
- $29.95 for monthly
- $199 for annual plan (i.e. $16.58/month)
- $349 for two-year plan (i.e. $14.54/month)
- $449 for three-year plan (i.e $12.47/month)
It’s considerably cheaper than Yahoo Finance Plus.
Is Morningstar Premium worth it?
If you are a fundamental investor who invests for the long term, Morningstar Premium is definitely a better and more affordable choice than Yahoo Finance Plus.
Try Morningstar for free for 14-Days
Yahoo Finance Plus Vs Zacks Research
Now, what about Yahoo Finance Plus vs Zacks Research?
Here’s the key difference between Yahoo Finance Plus and Zacks Research.
Zacks Research is mainly focused on giving recommendations on stock trading picks that would likely go up in the next 30 to 90 days.
So, it’s very short term oriented.
Now, how does it come up with its trading picks?
How accurate are these trading picks?
Zacks Research use something called Zacks’ Rank to determine whether the stock would likely go up or down in the next 90 days.
Here’s the idea behind Zacks’ Rank.
According to Zacks’ Founder and CEO, Len Zacks, “Earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices.”
So, what that means is that if the stock’s earnings estimate is revised higher, then the Zacks’ rank of the stock will be high.
Conversely, if the stock’s earnings estimate is revised lower, then the Zacks’ rank of the stock will be low.
Now, what does Zacks get all the stocks’ earnings estimates?
It collects and analyzes the stocks’ earnings estimates from all the brokerage analysts that follow the stocks.
Then, it uses a mathematical formula to calculate the Zacks’ Rank of the stock.
There are a total of 5 different ranks:
- Zacks Rank #1 (i.e. Strong Buy)
- Zacks Rank #2 (i.e. Buy)
- Zacks Rank #3 (i.e. Hold)
- Zacks Rank #4 (i.e. Sell)
- Zacks Rank #5 (i.e. Strong Sell)
Basically, these are NOT specific stock trading picks with entry price, exit price, and cut loss point.
It’s just a tool (i.e. Zacks Rank) that you can use to help with your own stock trading analysis.
So, can Zacks Rank really help you make money?
According to its website, it says that it has more than doubled the S&P 500 with an average gain of +23.5% per year from January 1, 1988 to May 4, 2020 with Zacks #1 Rank stock list.
Personally, I find this claim a bit confusing.
First of all, let’s say its subscribers buy the stocks immediately the minute it appears on the Zacks #1 Rank.
Then, when do they sell the stock?
Do they sell it immediately when it gets kicked out of Zacks #1 rank, or when it appears on Zacks #5 rank (strong sell)?
Let’s say that you have to sell it immediately once the stock’s Zacks Rank is no longer #1.
Depending on how many stocks there are with a Zacks #1 rank as well as how fast the stock’s Rank changes, you might be overwhelmed with all the transactions.
Also, it might be very time-consuming for you as the Zacks Rank is updated daily.
How much does Zacks Premium cost?
It costs $249 per year (i.e. $20.75/month) with a free 30-day trial period.
So, is Zacks Premium worth it?
For Zacks Premium, its short term stock-picking strategy is essentially based on one single indicator called ” Earnings estimate revisions”.
Do you firmly believe in this trading strategy?
Because that’s basically what you are paying for.
Personally, I think that long term investing is the way to go for most people unless you are a professional stock trader with a profitable trading system.
Yahoo Finance Plus Vs Seeking Alpha Premium
So, how is Yahoo Finance Plus compared with Seeking Alpha Premium?
There are two key differences between Yahoo Finance Plus and Seeking Alpha Premium.
The first difference is that Seeking Alpha Premium offers you unlimited access to contributors’ articles and investing ideas, while the second one is that Seeking Alpha Premium offers proprietary ratings on stocks,
Seeking Alpha has many contributors with different backgrounds and experience publishing investing ideas on its website.
These contributors are NOT employed by Seeking Alpha, but quite a number of the contributors are leveraging Seeking Alpha’s platform to promote their own products (e.g. subscription-based investment service) of which Seeking Alpha takes a percentage of the sales as well.
So, are these contributors good?
Is it worth subscribing to Seeking Alpha Premium to read their articles?
Personally, I don’t think it’s worth paying to get access to the contributor’s articles.
These contributors might have specialized knowledge and experience in certain areas such as REITs investing, commodity trading or dividend stock investing.
But, does reading ALL the articles and investing ideas help you make a sound plan to achieve your investment goals?
I doubt so.
It would probably overwhelm you with too many ideas.
To succeed in investing, it’s not just good investing ideas.
It’s also good risk management, good portfolio management and good asset allocation.
Now, let’s move on to the second difference between Yahoo Finance Plus and Seeking Alpha Premium.
There are three types of ratings provided by Seeking Alpha Premium:
- Quant Rating
- Seeking Alpha Authors Rating (i.e. ratings given by Seeking Alpha article contributors)
- Wall Street Rating (i.e. ratings given by Wall Street equity analysts)
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.
Essentially, the Quant Rating evaluates the stock in relations to its peers in the same sector, not the rest of the stock market as a whole.
There are five types of Quant ratings:
- Very Bearish (i.e. a score of 1)
- Bearish (i.e. a score of 2)
- Neutral (i.e. a score of 3)
- Bullish (i.e. a score of 4)
- Very Bullish (i.e. a score of 5)
So, how is Quant Rating being calculated?
They derive Quant Rating by looking at the following five “Factor Grade”:
- EPS Revisions
To determine the Factor Grade, the relevant metrics for the factor for the stock are compared to those for the other stocks in the same sector.
Then, that factor is assigned with a grade of A+ to F.
By the way, Quant Rating is NOT an average of the five “Factor Grades”.
Instead, some Factor Grade might be given a greater weighting.
Here’s an example of what Quant Rating Breakdown looks like inside Seeking Alpha Premium.
So, can Quant Rating help you invest better?
There is no actual performance track record for Seeking Alpha’s Quant Rating.
But, the performance results shown on Seeking Alpha website come from a backtest (i.e. testing the trading strategy based on historical data)
According to the result of Seeking Alpha’s backtest, below is the performance comparison for the time period from 2010 to 2020:
- Quant Rating Performance: 1156.7%
- S&P 500 Performance: 363.8%
The back-test results certainly look impressive.
BUT, there are a few problems.
The back-test is based on the trading strategy consisted of being fully invested in Seeking Alpha’s Very Bullish recommendations that were equally weighted, re-balanced daily, and with zero transaction costs.
First of all, this stock portfolio will require very active re-balancing every day because the “Very Bullish” recommendations are updated daily (i.e. changing constantly).
In other words, you will be making lots of buy and sell trades every single day.
This might not be suitable for investors with full-time jobs.
Secondly, the performance period selected for back-testing is from 2010 to 2020.
Ever since 2008, the stock market has been on one of the longest bull run of the history.
So, I would be interested in the back-testing results for a longer time period that has actually included the 2008 financial crisis.
Because it’s very easy to make money and achieve great returns when the stock market keeps going up.
It’s the stock market crash that actually separates the good investment strategy from the rest.
For example, one of the stock investment newsletters that I have been subscribing to is Motley Fool Stock Advisor.
Below is the performance comparison between Motley Fool Stock Advisor and S&P 500 between 2002 and June 2021.
As of June 2021, average Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations have returned over 592.5% since inception while S&P 500 has returned 132.3%.
The difference between Motley Fool Stock Advisor and Seeking Alpha is that Motley Fool’s track record is based on actual results, not back-testing.
Lastly, in terms of pricing, Seeking Alpha Premium costs $19.99/month (i.e. $249/year).
Basically, you are paying it for different kinds of rating such as Quant rating, Wall street analyst rating and author rating.
Is it worth it?
Personally, I think there are better and much more affordable alternatives.
For example, AAII’s (American Association of Individual Investor) A+ Investor also gives you access to all the factor grades (i.e. value, growth, momentum, EPS estimate revision, and quality) of stocks as well as Wall Street Analyst ratings and much more for an annual subscription of $149 (or $99/year if you sign up for the 3-year plan).
That’s almost half the price of Seeking Alpha Premium.
By the way, AAII A+ Investor also comes with an any reason 90-days money back guarantee.
Try AAII A+ Investor Out For Just $1!