In order to beat the market, you need to know not only how to invest smartly, but also how to spot opportunities and keep a diversified portfolio. It’s a fair amount of work, but an investment service that matches your strategy can make it much easier to boost your returns.
In this guide, we’ll explain the benefits of using an investment service and highlight the seven best investment platforms to use today.
How Can Investment Services Help You?
Investment services cover a lot of ground. Most offer multiple tools for stock analysis, idea generation, investor education, and more. Here are some of the key ways that a professional service can help you get more out of investing.
Learning the most you can about how to invest is at the root of investing success. It’s a common refrain from guru investors like Warren Buffet, Charlie Munger, and Peter Lynch that education is the best investment you can make.
Investment services that teach you the principles of investing or a specific investment strategy unlock your full potential. The more you know, the better you can evaluate companies, spot hidden opportunities, and manage your investing risk.
Many investment services center around helping you generate investment ideas. This is extremely helpful because finding potential opportunities is one of the most challenging—and time-consuming—parts of investing.
Idea generation tools can include stock screeners, stock recommendation services, and stock news services.
Once you have an investment idea, you need to be able to analyze it to determine if it’s a smart investment. Investing services that focus on analysis offer tools to help you evaluate companies’ financial health or market edge. They can also give you access to analyst insights, stock comparison tools, and more.
There are tons of different investment analysis services. Many investors use multiple services so that they can examine a stock from several different angles.
Keeping a diversified portfolio can protect you from the ups and downs of the market. Investing services can help you achieve diversification by giving you insights into companies across a wider range of industries or by enabling you to try new investing strategies.
There are also portfolio analysis tools available that offer metrics about how diversified your portfolio is. These services can highlight opportunities for further diversification.
Best Investment Services
Now that you know why it’s worth using an investment service, let’s take a closer look at seven of our favorite platforms.
(explain what each offers, who it is good for, and how it benefits investors)
Seeking Alpha is a stock research platform that’s ideal for self-directed stock investors. The platform offers in-depth fundamental data about companies, enabling you to dive deep into a company’s financial health and valuation. Seeking Alpha also has a powerful fundamental stock screener that you can use to find stocks that match your investment criteria.
One of the most unique aspects of Seeking Alpha is that for every stock, you’ll find a handful of opinion articles from professional investors, analysts, and financial bloggers. These articles look at the same stock from different angles, giving you deep insights into whether it has potential as an investment.
Seeking Alpha costs $4.95 for your first month, then $239 per year.
Motley Fool Stock Advisor
Stock Advisor is the flagship stock picking newsletter from Motley Fool. It has an outstanding track record of recommending explosive growth stocks. Since Stock Advisor launched in 2003, it’s returned 454% (as of June 2023) compared to 122% for the S&P 500.
With Stock Advisor, you get two new stock recommendations each month. You also get a ranking list that highlights the 10 best stocks already in the portfolio to double-down on. Stock Advisor is primarily focused on growth stocks and has an investment horizon of five years. There’s almost no self-directed research required, so this is a great service for investors who want to keep the process of investing as simple as possible.
Stock Advisor costs $199 per year.
IBD Leaderboard is a stock picking service designed for swing traders and active investors. With this service, you get weekly recommendations for stocks that are about to make a significant move higher. The recommendations are based primarily on technical analysis and most trades play out in a few weeks.
One of the best things about IBD Leaderboard is that the trades are planned out for you. You get entry and exit points, plus annotated technical charts that show the patterns you’re trading. These annotated charts can be especially valuable as an educational tool for new investors who want to learn more about technical analysis.
According to IBD, Leaderboard returned 35.6% compared to 18.8% for the S&P 500 from 2020 through 2022. The service costs $69 per month, but you can try it for four weeks for $39.
Stock Rover is a fundamental stock research platform with a huge range of features to help investors learn about stocks they want to buy. The service offers a research report for each stock, customizable charts of fundamental data, and a powerful stock screener.
Stock Rover especially stands out for its portfolio analysis features. You can import positions from multiple brokerages to track your performance and see how diversified you are. You can also get assistance rebalancing positions and look at projections of your future dividend income. The software even simulates how your portfolio stats will change based on trades you’re thinking about making.
Stock Rover offers a free plan with access to basic portfolio analysis tools. Paid plans start at $7.99 per month.
GuruFocus leans into the idea that you can beat the market simply by mimicking the investments of the world’s most successful investors. The platform shows you what’s inside the portfolios of investors like Warren Buffett, Bill Ackman, Carl Icahn, and others. It also highlights which stocks many different gurus are buying at the same time.
In addition to famous investors, GuruFocus also covers corporate insiders and politicians. A screener helps you narrow down ideas to stocks that fit your strategy and that gurus you follow hold in their portfolios.
GuruFocus starts at $499 per year. You can try out the platform free for seven days.
Morningstar is one of the best investment services for ETF and mutual fund investing. The platform offers incredibly detailed analysis of funds, including benchmarks so that you can see at a glance how a fund stacks up against its category in terms of price and performance.
Morningstar also keeps lists of top-rated funds in categories like small-cap funds, “inflation fighters,” and foreign funds. The rating lists make it easy to build a diversified portfolio of funds without much work.
Morningstar’s portfolio analysis tools are designed to work with funds. The platform looks at the holdings inside your funds to help you understand whether you’re adequately diversified across industries, countries, and market caps.
Morningstar costs $34.95 per month or $249 per year. You can try it out free for seven days.
TipRanks looks at what Wall Street analysts, financial bloggers, and professional investors think about stocks to help you find investment ideas. The platform offers a list of the most highly-rated stocks according to analysts and insiders.
You can follow individual analysts on TipRanks, which is helpful for keeping track of analysts who cover stocks you’re interested in or who have a similar investing strategy to your own. When researching individual stocks, you can see the 12-month consensus price target from all analysts or the consensus price target from only top-performing analysts.
TipRanks starts at $30 per month and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Conclusion: Investment Services
Investment services can help you find and analyze new ideas, diversify your portfolio, and teach you about new investing strategies. The top seven investment services we highlighted are powerful tools to take your investing to the next level and boost your returns.