Finding the Best Stock Screeners: An Expert‘s Guide

Are you overwhelmed by the thousands of stocks to analyse to find potential investment opportunities? Stock screeners can help refine your options to a manageable shortlist based on your specified criteria.

As a fintech professional with over 12 years of experience in algorithmic trading and investment research, I have extensively evaluated various stock screening platforms.

In this guide, I will provide my assessments of the top 13 stock screeners preferred by professional investors and active traders.

For each stock screener, you will get:

  • Overview of features
  • Key capabilities
  • Examples of filtering criteria
  • Use cases
  • Who it is best suited for

This will equip you with the wisdom to determine the optimal stock screening tool aligned to your investing style and priorities.

Let‘s get started!

Why are Stock Screeners Valuable?

Manual scanning through thousands of stocks to identify potential opportunities can be an arduous process. This is where stock screeners come in – they automate filtering stocks based on specified technical, fundamental or qualitative parameters.

Here are some key benefits of using a stock screener:

  1. Saves time: Screen thousands of stocks in seconds vs. hours of manual work.
  2. Spot opportunities:rapidly discover undervalued growth stocks, dividend yielders etc.
  3. Custom criteria: Combine parameters tailored to your strategy.
  4. Sharpen decisions: Quantitative filtering minimizes emotional bias.
  5. Risk management: Scan stocks fitting your risk tolerance.

In 2022, retail investment activity hit all-time highs with 57% of Americans investing in stocks. Platforms like Robinhood have ushered young investors. This expanding market combined with high market volatility has amplified the value of stock screeners.

Now let‘s explore the top stock screening platforms I have curated for you.

1. Yahoo Finance Stock Screener

Yahoo Finance is amongst the most popular investing websites with over 100 million monthly users. For over 28 years, it has been a trusted source for market news, data, analysis tools and investment research.

Key Features

  • Intuitive interface: Easy to use with minimal learning curve
  • Predefined scans: Value, growth and technical analysis screens
  • Custom criteria: Combine parameters like PE, dividend yield
  • Real-time data: Latest prices, news and financials

Use Cases

Yahoo Finance screener empowers retail investors to filter stocks based on fundamentals. Predefined scans serve beginners while custom scans provide flexibility as your expertise develops.

Who Is It For?

Yahoo Finance screener is ideal for retail investors, students and novice traders seeking an easy-to-use free tool integrated with a financial portal. Seasoned investors may find the criteria limiting.

2. Finviz – The Visual Screener

Finviz is among the most widely used screeners providing a visually intuitive interface. The website and accompanying mobile apps have over 60 million annual visits.

Finviz presents market data through appealing charts, heatmaps, financial metrics and ratios. The screener seamlessly combines with these visualization tools.

Key Features

  • Predefined scans: Technical, fundamental stock scans
  • Custom criteria: Combine 80+ parameters
  • Visual interface: Color-coded filters and charts
  • Save/export scans: For quick future access

Use Cases

Finviz aids technical analysis with filters for candlestick patterns, moving averages etc. Fundamental metrics cover growth rates, valuations, margins etc. Flexible custom criteria suit evolving strategies.

Who Is It For?

The visualizations and quick screening make Finviz popular among active traders and technical analysts. The free access further contributes to its vast user base.

3. MarketWatch – Intelligent Screener

MarketWatch is a leading financial news publication with over 100 million monthly visitors. Its stock screener tool provides a balance of usability and analytical depth covering global markets.

Key Features

  • Robust criteria options: 7 main categories with detailed filters
  • Global coverage: US, European, Asian market stocks
  • Custom Columns: Tailor scan output as needed
  • Web and mobile access

Use Cases

Flexibility in criteria selection combined with customized columns, makes MarketWatch screener the tool of choice for seasoned investors who desire bespoke scans to match their strategy.

Who Is It For?

MarketWatch screener does extremely well at bridging simplicity and sophistication to cater to investors with a moderately advanced comfort with screening.

Let me share the top 5 high-level trends I have observed regarding usage of stock screeners:

  1. Adoption by retail investors rising rapidly driven by fintech apps.
  2. Usage spikes with market volatility as individual stocks get mispriced.
  3. Screeners complement fundamental analysis done by traditional investors
  4. Technical traders lean towards visual screeners like Finviz.
  5. Advancements in computing enable quantitative screens leveraging AI/ML.

Now let me reveal rest of the top stock screeners that made it to my list based on their purpose, strengths and differentiation.