Zacks Ultimate Review – Is This Service Worth Using?

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By Theo Madsen

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Zacks Ultimate Review

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Zacks Ultimate Review

  • Quality
  • Value
  • Ease of Use


Zacks Ultimate is a premium stock picking service from Zacks Investment Research designed to help users find actionable opportunities. This service includes access to 20 model portfolios with nine options designed for short-term trading, six options for longer-term investors, and five focused on specific themes. Zacks Ultimate also includes daily commentary, special reports, and access to Zacks Premium. Learn more about this stock picking service by reading our full Zacks Ultimate review.


  • 20 model portfolios for short-term and long-term investing
  • Daily portfolio commentary
  • Quarterly reports with top stock picks
  • Includes research tools from Zacks Premium
  • Email and SMS trade alerts
  • 30-day trial


  • Very expensive compared to other stock picking services
  • Difficult to directly compare the performance of each portfolio

Zacks Ultimate is a premium stock picking service from Zacks Investment Research. The service offers 20 actively managed model portfolios that are designed for both short and long investment horizons. It also includes access to Zacks Premium, a comprehensive stock research service for investors who want to dig deeper into companies’ financials and analyst assessments.

In our Zacks Ultimate review, we’ll take a closer look at what this service offers and help you decide if it’s right for you.

Zacks Ultimate Homepage

Zacks Ultimate Pricing Options

Zacks Ultimate costs $299 per month or $2995 per year. It includes a Zacks Premium subscription, which on its own costs $249 per year. You can try out Zacks Ultimate for 30 days for $1.

Zacks Ultimate Portfolios

Zacks Ultimate provides investors with access to 20 different model portfolios. Most of the portfolios are handpicked and actively managed by Zacks analysts, although there are a few computer-generated portfolios as well.

Of the portfolios, nine are designed for short-term trading. Positions in these portfolios are typically held for one to three months at a time. Trading portfolios include Headline Trader (news-based stock picks), Counterstrike (stocks that are temporarily oversold), Surprise Trader (stocks for which Zacks expects earnings to beat consensus estimates), and more. There’s also an Options Trader portfolio, which focuses on long call options, and a Short Sell List portfolio.

Six of the portfolios are designed for longer-term investors and have position horizons of one year or longer. The Home Run Investor portfolio focuses on explosive growth stocks, the Income Investor portfolio focuses on dividend stocks, and the Value Investor portfolio focuses on value stocks. Zacks Ultimate also includes a single ETF portfolio.

Zacks Ultimate Home Run Investor Portfolio

The five remaining portfolios are focused on specific themes, including blockchain, technology, healthcare, marijuana, and commodities.

Importantly, investors aren’t meant to try to copy all of the Zacks Ultimate portfolios at once. Rather, you can pick one or more portfolios that match your trading style to follow, and keep an eye on the others if you want additional investment ideas.

Portfolio Performance

Zacks Ultimate provides performance details about all past positions for each of its portfolios. However, it doesn’t tally up an overall or annualized performance, making it somewhat difficult to compare the portfolios to one another or to other stock picking services. In the Home Run Investor portfolio, which is comparable to The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor portfolio, the all-time best-performing pick returned 361%, and the all-time worst performing pick returned –60%.

Zacks Ultimate Additional Features

Daily Commentary

Zacks Ultimate includes a daily market update that covers the market, additions and removals from each of the portfolios, and a brief commentary about each portfolio’s performance. In addition, analysts offer commentary within each portfolio anytime a stock is added or removed to explain the reason for the change in more detail. 

Zacks Ultimate Market Commentary

In addition, the Zacks Ultimate team issues a more in-depth commentary on the market once per week. This update focuses less on the individual portfolios and more on the trends that are driving the overall market right now.

Special Reports

Once per quarter, Zacks Ultimate releases a special report on “5 Stocks Set to Double.” These reports feature one stock pick from each of the five analysts, along with brief explanations of why they recommend those stocks.

Zacks Premium

Zacks Ultimate includes a Zacks Premium subscription, which means you have access to all of the stock research available on the Zacks platform. You can use the tools available in Zacks Premium to research any stocks in the Zacks Ultimate portfolios. Zacks Premium includes in-depth analyst reports, competitor analysis, fundamental data charts, stock rankings on a 1-5 scale, and earnings estimates.

Customization and Layout

Zacks Ultimate doesn’t provide many customization options. However, you can turn daily summary emails and SMS buy and sell alerts on or off for any model portfolio. This is nice because you’ll only get updates on the specific portfolios that you want to monitor, rather than all 20 of the model portfolios.

Zacks Ultimate Alerts

Zacks Ultimate Platform Differentiators

Zacks Ultimate is a stock picking service that doesn’t box you into a specific investment style. With this service, you get access to 20 different model portfolios that span a wide range of investment themes and strategies, and it’s up to you to pick which portfolios you want to follow. You can focus on value and dividend stocks, on explosive growth stocks, on short-term trading opportunities, or a combination of all of these.

Importantly, Zacks Ultimate includes a huge amount of research on every stock pick through the included Zacks Premium subscription. The daily market commentary offers a little insight into the rationale behind a pick, but investors who want to know more can easily find the in-depth Zacks analyst report on that stock or dig through the company’s financials.

What Type of Trader is Zacks Ultimate Best For?

Zacks Ultimate is best suited for investors who want a varied and flexible stock picking service. The highlight of this service is that you get access to 20 different portfolios and can choose which ones you want to follow or combine in your own portfolio.

Zacks Ultimate is very expensive compared to other stock picking services, so it’s worth considering whether you might be better served by subscribing to several alternative stock recommendation platforms. For example, The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor offers long-term growth stock picks for $199 per year, while GorillaTrades offers short-term trade recommendations for $499.95 per year. On its own, Zacks Premium costs only $249 per year.

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Theo Madsen

Theo has been actively trading the forex markets since 2013. Over the past five years, he has gained experience trading currencies, stocks, options, and futures. Theo's trading experience led him to test out over one hundred different trading services and he shares his insights in reviews to help other traders.

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