Researching stocks is a critical part of building a successful portfolio. Whether you’re interested in trading, value investing, or growth investing, it’s important that you have the right tools to analyze companies and put stock prices in context.
We’ve tested out dozens of stock research tools, both free and paid. Based on our experience, these are the five best research tools for traders and investors:
- Best for Basic Analysis – Yahoo Finance
- Best for In-Depth Research – Stock Rover
- Best for Analysis and Ratings – Seeking Alpha
- Best for Stock Picks – Motley Fool Stock Advisor
- Best for Charting – TradingView
Best Stock Research Tools
Let’s take a closer look at the five best stock research tools and what makes them great.
Best for Basic Analysis – Yahoo Finance
Yahoo Finance is far from the most in-depth stock research tool we tested. But for investors who want a tool that is simple, understandable, and free, it’s hard to beat.
Yahoo Finance offers an in-depth analysis dashboard for thousands of companies in the US and around the world. At a glance, you can see a company’s P/E ratio, one-year price target, trading volume compared to average, and next earnings date. You also get a stock-specific news feed that aggregates stories from major outlets like Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Investor Place, and Barron’s.
There’s more to Yahoo Finance, including detailed company financials and interactive charts, but the stock overview is where most investors will spend their time. Yahoo also offers fair value analysis with a Yahoo Finance Plus subscription ($249.96 per year), but for most investors this is money that could be better spent on more advanced research tools.
- In-depth stock dashboard with key fundamental data
- Stock news feed with stories from major outlets
- Most features are free to access
Best for In-Depth Research – Stock Rover
Stock Rover has set a new bar for fundamental stock research. There are many fundamental-focused stock research platforms. Very few offer the same depth of tools as Stock Rover, and almost none can compete with Stock Rover on price.
Starting at $79.99 per year, Stock Rover offers more than 260 fundamental and financial metrics for analysis and stock screening. You can use the platform’s tools to build custom tables, compare industry peers head-to-head, and project out your future income from custom portfolios.
Stock Rover also enables you to plot fundamental data and ratios. We especially like that you can plot the same financial ratio for two stocks over time, making it easy to visualize diverging trends.
Stock Rover’s screener is one of the best fundamental stock screeners we’ve tested. The range of metrics is unparalleled and the platform puts few restrictions on how you can combine them. Stock Rover comes with a handful of premade screens, but investors should be prepared to spend time building up screens of their own.
- 260+ fundamental and financial metrics
- Plot fundamental data for multiple stocks
- Highly customizable fundamental stock screener
- Stock ratings and financial health checklists
Best for Analysis and Ratings – Seeking Alpha
Seeking Alpha is a great research platform for investors who want to dive deep into stocks from both fundamental and technical perspectives. The platform brings a lot to bear, so we’ll focus on some of the highlights.
First, Seeking Alpha’s stock screener is incredible. It’s not quite as comprehensive as Stock Rover’s screener for purely fundamental screens. But if you want to find, say, stocks that are both undervalued and showing positive technical momentum, it’s one of the best tools for the job.
Another major highlight of Seeking Alpha is the platform’s stock-rating system. Seeking Alpha uses algorithms to rate every stock across value, growth, profitability, and momentum categories on an A-F scale. On top of that, Wall Street analysts, Seeking Alpha contributors, and a proprietary algorithm weigh in to give each stock a score on a 1-5 scale. Seeking Alpha puts top-scoring stocks into a list so you can easily find new investment ideas.
Finally, Seeking Alpha’s opinion articles are a terrific resource. You can read both the bull and bear cases for a given stock, plus hear from analysts with completely different approaches to stock analysis.
Most of Seeking Alpha’s features require a Premium subscription, which costs $49 for the first year and then $239 per year.
- Outstanding stock screener that combines technical and fundamental metrics
- Value, growth, profitability, and momentum ratings for every stock
- Analysis articles from a wide range of contributors
- Only $49 for the first year
Best for Stock Picks – Motley Fool Stock Advisor
The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor is a great option for long-term investors who prefer receiving ready-to-buy stock picks over doing extensive research on their own. The service offers two stock picks each month and has outperformed the S&P 500 by a wide margin over its 20-year history.
Stock Advisor typically focuses on explosive growth stocks. Examples of past picks include Amazon, Tesla, and Costco. Importantly, the service has a long investment horizon. Investors should be prepared to hold stocks for at least three years, and possibly as long as a decade.
In addition to the two monthly stock picks, Stock Advisor offers a list of best buy stocks that investors can add to their portfolios at any time. There’s also a list of starter stocks for investors who want to get a new portfolio off the ground. Each pick is accompanied by a brief research report, but don’t expect in-depth analysis or DIY research tools from this service.
Stock Advisor costs $199 per year.
- Two long-term growth stock picks each month
- Lists of best buy and starter stocks to invest in anytime
- 20-year track record of beating the S&P 500
Best for Charting – TradingView
TradingView is a stock charting platform with an immense range of features for both traders and investors. There’s a good chance you’ve run into TradingView charts when using other stock research platforms. They’re so well-designed and customizable that tons of platforms have integrated them instead of offering their own charts.
The default TradingView charts are nice to look at on their own, but the real power of this platform lies in its indicators. Traders can overlay hundreds of common indicators or build their own using the platform’s script editor. TradingView also supports charting financial data and makes it easy to compare key financial ratios between peer companies.
TradingView has a community forum where traders can make their custom indicators available for anyone else to use. The number of trading strategies you can overlay on your charts for free is astonishing. The platform also supports complex, chart-based alerts that are perfect for investors looking for the perfect entry point into a stock.
TradingView offers a lot of features for free, but you can only have three indicators per chart. Paid plans start at $14.95 per month.
- Highly customizable technical charts
- Build custom indicators or import them from the community
- Chart financial data for multiple companies
- Supports complex, chart-based alerts
What to Look for in a Stock Research Tool
Choosing the right stock research tool comes down in large part to your strategy and goals. Some research tools are tailored for fundamental investors while others are tailored for traders who focus on technical performance.
When comparing stock research tools, think carefully about the types of information that are most useful for you. If you prefer summary statistics and grades, then look for research tools that assign stock ratings or grade companies based on their growth, value, and momentum prospects. If you prefer discovering stocks based on a custom strategy, look for platforms that offer stock screening tools with filters that are applicable to your strategy.
Keep in mind that more expensive stock research tools aren’t necessarily better. These tools are useful only to the extent that they provide you with data you can actually use. So, focus on picking stock research tools that you understand and that offer metrics or filtering tools that are relevant for how you invest.
Is a Stock Research Tool Right for You?
It’s also worth thinking about whether a stock research tool is the best type of investment tool for your needs. Research tools are designed for self-driven investors who are willing to put in work to find stocks that fit their strategy. This can take a lot of time and attention, and not every investor will find the research process to be rewarding.
If you’re not sure that doing your own research is the right approach for you, consider a stock-picking service like Stock Advisor instead. Stock Advisor offers research reports so you can understand the research process and choose whether to invest in a given stock. But it also offers ready-to-buy picks that don’t require a lot of analysis.
FAQ: Best Stock Research Tools
How do I use stock research tools?
Stock research tools provide information about stocks’ technical and fundamental performance. These tools are meant to guide investors towards stocks that fit their investing strategies, not necessarily to tell them what to invest in. So, stock research tools are best for self-driven investors.
What are the best free stock research tools?
Some of the best free stock research tools include Yahoo Finance and TradingView. Yahoo Finance can provide basic information about a company’s financials, while TradingView can be used to chart technical price movements. Most advanced stock research tools cost around $5-$30 per month.
How do I research what stocks to invest in?
Stock research tools like Yahoo Finance, Stock Rover, and Seeking Alpha can help you understand companies’ fundamental and financial strengths and weaknesses. Researching stocks takes a lot of work, but it’s important to understand what you’re investing in. Investors who want to find stocks to invest in without spending a lot of time researching can use a stock-picking service like The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor.