We live in a new era of trading and investing. Commission-free brokerages, fractional share ownership options, and mobile apps have introduced the newest market movers to stocks: the retail investor.
The retail, or non-professional investor, seeks to gain financial freedom and independence through self-managed investing and due diligence. The latter is difficult, even though research information is more accessible than ever.
Financial accounts on Twitter promote pump-and-dump penny stock schemes, and the innumerable Discord gurus promoting their paid subscription aren’t much better. Whom can the average retail investor turn to when looking for a viable, reliable, and trustworthy research resource? Let’s look at the best stock research websites.
1) Motley Fool
Motley Fool is one of the longest-running best stock analysis websites available. Motley Fool’s original paid research and service, Stock Advisor, provides specific stock picks they see as viable candidates for holding over time. While the average investor can choose to purchase the recommendations, there is value in Motley Fool’s underlying justification for selection.
By seeing and understanding the what and why behind the professionals’ stock selections, you can begin to see what works… and doesn’t. This will help guide your investing journey as you develop your strategy. Motley Fool also exercises transparency and publishes contrary analyst opinions to their selection to give you the full range of information.
Suppose you’re newer to the market and investing. In that case, Motley Fool also offers many educational resources to get you started, including stock-sector introductions (growth, value, small- and large-cap, etc.) and industry overviews to get you acquainted with all of the options available. The best news is that, although the specific-stock research is only accessible through a subscription, they’ve made their educational resources available for free.
Click here for our exclusive new member pricing for Motley Fool’s research services.
2) Zacks Investment Research
Zacks is one of the most well-pedigreed research firms available. Founded by an MIT graduate in economics, Zacks research and analysis focus on the predictive power of statistical models. Zacks gathers data from third parties to create a meta-analysis of stocks along four criteria:
Agreement – how much analysts agree with each other or how closely aligned they are.Magnitude – the amount by which analysts revise earnings estimates with an assumption that a greater degree of revision margin movement means a proportional underlying stock movement (this was the founder’s cornerstone thesis behind the firm and holds today).Upside – a comparison against Zack’s “favorite,” or in their view, most accurate analysis against the crowd consensus analysis.Surprise – the likelihood of unexpected earnings beat or falling short of projections.
From these criteria, Zacks ranks stocks into five categories from Strong Buy to Strong Sell.
Since Zacks effectively outsources analysis and research to professionals and makes that research available to investors alongside their proprietary ranking, you can see the full extent and scope of upsides and downsides for specific stocks.
Zacks’ subscriptions start at $249, but you can get an idea of their methods with free reports and research here.
Morningstar is the industry standard for professional stock analysis and is now available for the average investor. Morningstar mainly focuses on analytics and data-driven research.
Morningstar’s proprietary, algorithmic approach coupled with qualitative analysis from over 150 independent and unbiased industry experts, means that the information you’re using to inform your investments is vetted, reliable, and accurate.
To make it even easier, Morningstar uses a system of stars and gold/silver/bronze legends to make it easy to see what’s worth investing in immediately AND offers screening tools – this means that you can pre-select some of your preferred stock qualities and Morningstar generates a research list to narrow the scope of your analysis.
Morningstar’s full research suite is subscription-based, but they offer a free plan to check out what they have to offer before committing.
Click here for our special introductory Morningstar pricing.
4) Seeking Alpha
Seeking Alpha is unique amongst its best stock analysis and research peers because it relies mainly on crowdsourcing research. While they offer some in-house research options, the crème of the crop comes from access to its unprecedented research community.
Seeking Alpha’s substantial professional community feeds data, insights, and inputs into its research. This means that you can generally rely upon any equity or investment vehicle with that same crowd rallying behind it. And, if there is information or advice that falls short of perfect, the experts in the community are sure to point out the flaws and correct the record. Even though it can be overwhelming due to sheer scope, having that kind of community is invaluable.
Seeking Alpha focuses on a numbers-based analysis and generates a “Quant Rating” from that perspective. The benefit of quant research is that numbers are irrefutable.
Seeking Alpha’s premium community access and research tools costs $29/month, but you can get your first month free here.
If you’ve invested time into investment research, chances are you’ve come across Benzinga.
The premier financial news provider that distributes timely, breaking, and relevant news across many brokerage platforms, Benzinga also offers Benzinga Pro for those looking for a little more depth in their research.
Benzinga Pro’s offerings are like the primary service but much better:
News – the bread and butter of Benzinga, this service is invaluable in that Benzinga employs its own team of researchers and reporters, rather than relying on other media outlets, so the information you get is timely. Since so much information is constantly flowing from the market, Benzinga Pro lets you narrow your news feed’s focus
to concentrate on many selection criteria like stock, sector, events, etc.
You can also use their beta filtering feature, essentially a stock screener for news. For example, if you were interested in shorting a logistics company whose workers were going on strike but didn’t know if any companies fit the bill, you could search “strike” in the title and filter news results by ticker’s market cap, average volume, stock price, and others.Calendar – this gives you an at-a-glance view of earnings releases and analyst updates, SEC filings, dividend distribution dates, and other vital events where timeliness is a concern.Newsletters – straight to your inbox, so you don’t miss a thing; Benzinga Pro’s newsletter can filter by your preferences and deliver what you need right on time.Squawk Box – if reading is too slow, Benzinga’s Squawk Box is for day traders who don’t have enough eyes to see all their charts – this Squawk Box issues breaking, last-minute audio alerts, and news.
The best choice for sophisticated traders and investors is Benzinga Pro Essential, which is very expensive at $249 a month, but you can check it out commitment-free with a free trial here to see if it’s right for you.
TrendSpider is a stock research firm that takes an AI-led, algorithm-driven approach to its analysis.
TrendSpider, unlike many of the options listed, focuses more on the technical charting of stocks rather than fundamental analysis. This means it monitors stocks forming specific patterns that day traders and other short-term traders use to predict price movement.
TrendSpider’s software consists of charting tools that allow you to customize the overlay with your chosen indicators like MACD, RSI, stochastic oscillator, and others. Technical analysis is very complicated, so if this is confusing, then TrendSpider may not be your best research tool.
In addition to standard indicators, TrendSpider offers AI-ran indicators like:
Automated trendline analysis that helps identify more subtle trends.Automated heatmap to help identify support and resistance points and relative strength.Multi-timeframe study to overlay indicators from different periods over the same chart.Candlestick pattern detection helps traders identify classic candlestick chart patterns like the falling wedge and bull flag before they might be apparent to a human eye.
TrendSpider is built for the more advanced trader, and its technical research tools reflect this. TrendSpider is priced at several different points:
$39/mo: all analysis features but no alerts, and data is delayed (better for longer-term traders or investors)$69/mo: includes real-time data and up to 15 alerts.$119/mo: their master level tier offers over-the-counter stock data, pre-market data, and after-hours. This level also includes up to 25 alerts.
Budding technical day traders can get a seven-day free trial here.
TradingView is a collectivized community charting service that acts like a social media network. TradingView also takes a charting/technical approach to stock research and analysis; their charts are top-notch.
TradingView’s charts are built on HTML5, which means they are adaptive to your device and allow for great customization, including drawing your trendlines directly on them. This is not typically offered by charting software, so with TradingView, you aren’t restricted to a pre-determined series of trendlines and indicators.
Suppose you’re newer or need help with your technical research. In that case, TradingView has analysis tools that can help predict a stock’s price action so you can see what predictive models say could happen and either act on this information or use it as context to guide your research. TradingView also offers paper or simulated trading, so you can get used to applying your research without real money at stake.
Another great feature is the research community behind TradingView. The community forums feature analysis and Q&A between newer investors and experts – and you can even watch the pros at work in their investor live streams.
TradingView’s free option includes one chart, one alert, and three indicators. Paid options increase these quantities and range from $9.95 to $59.95 a month, but you can try it for free here.
8) Stock Rover
Stock Rover provides research and stock screening tools that are metric and quant-based. They publish reams of financial data organized into thousands of unique stock reports and analyses.
These reports are essentially “living documents,” as a report exists for a specific stock and is updated as information changes. This means that when you access a report, you access historical information for the lifespan of the report and a current assessment.
Since Stock Rover focuses on financial data, like return efficiency, comparables analysis, valuation, and others, the reports can be somewhat dense to a newer or uninitiated investor. Luckily, Stock Rover collates all of this information into an overall rating from the agency itself.
Even better, if you aren’t yet comfortable analyzing or researching stocks you’re interested in or already hold, you can import your existing portfolio and watchlist, and Stock Rover’s team of expert portfolio managers can assist in your research journey.
Stock Rover offers a free research option, but the depths of their data require a subscription. Click here to see which research option from Stock Rover is best for you.
Best Free Stock Research Websites
Of course, even with all the best research websites we’ve listed, some may want to go with an entirely free option. In that case, some of the best free stock research websites include:
StockTwits is modeled after Twitter and is a social media platform devoted to stocks, trading, and investing. StockTwits offers an earnings calendar and newsletter for stock research, but the main draw is the community-guided research. Be warned, however – since there are no screening criteria for investment advice on StockTwits, some information should be taken with a grain of salt before acting on it.
2) TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade offers many options for free research, and not all are available only to clients. Some free research and analysis tools include:
thinkorswim: this is probably the best free technical analysis and research tool and offers many indicators and screening options for technical daytraders. If you’re a client of TDA, you can also trade within the program.ResearchTeam reports: these reports are amalgamated and consolidated third-party reports that TDA uses as meta-analysis to rank stocks using proprietary algorithms. This is a great tool to get a snapshot of what the industry thinks of a stock and is a good starting point for research.
3) Yahoo Finance
Yahoo Finance is, perhaps ironically, the search engine leader in financial research options. Yahoo Finance is the first stop for many professional investors. It quickly lays out many data points and research paths, including financial ratios, historical returns going back decades, up-to-date news, and others. Yahoo Finance gives you the information, so newer investors may need some experience before they are comfortable drawing conclusions from the research.
As you can see, there many fantastic, vetted, and popular investing research and analysis websites. Although there is much noise in the market between ill-informed investors with a platform, scams, schemes, and plain lousy information, the new retail trader and investor can rest assured that the vetted and Modest Money-approved options on this list can be your go-to option for stock research.