AAII Stock Investor Pro

Stock Investor Pro, the database of fundamental information offered by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII), is probably the most complete set of data available to the average investor.

With over 2000 data fields for each of the 8000+ companies, it provides a wealth of timely information to support investment decisions. Database updates occur weekly and are available on the AAII site. No online screening is available.

AAII recently announced that daily updates will be available.

It is more than just a database. AAII identifies over 50 investing strategies complete with supporting rationale. It is the “Cliffs Notes” of investing strategies and is a great tool for investor education.

Screener “must have” features

All the “must have” features of stock screeners are included. With few exceptions, the data set is adequate for every fundamental investing strategy I have examined. 

Going beyond typical investor education, the product comes with a screen for each of the investing strategies. The monthly performance of each screen is published starting from January 1998.

The pre-built screen for David Dreman.

Stock Investor Pro David Dreman screen

These pre-built screens can be the basis of a custom screen, or a custom screen can be created from scratch.

Custom screens can be saved by name and are added to the list of 50+ pre-built screens.

The tickers of any screen can be saved (also by name) in the portfolio included with Stock Investor Pro. In the above example, tickers of the 28 passing companies can be saved in a Portfolio with a descriptive name - perhaps "Dreman 2016-12-16" in this case.

Results, including data, can also be exported to a spreadsheet. The data view selected in the export process determines which data fields are included in the export. A data view explicit to a screen can be created using the "Make View" button.

Perhaps most important of all, the date of the data for each company is a screenable field.  If you want to ensure the timeliness of the results, you can identify the latest acceptable date as a criterion in the screen.

Screener “nice to have” features

When examined against the list of “nice to have” features in our checklist, several are missing. As noted above, it is not possible to use one of the operators to limit the number of results and AAII supplies no technical analysis functionality.

Neither is there capability within the product to rank results by more than one factor or to weight factors for importance.

However, because you can download the results of the screen and any passing companies, the multi-factor ranking can be accomplished in a spreadsheet. Weighting can also be applied to the ranking in the spreadsheet.

Both “AND” and “OR” logic are included and the operators are adequate.

The screener is unusual in that it allows a factor (multiplier) of a criteria. For example, if you want the PE to be no more than twice the PE of the database you can simply enter a 2 in the factor and select the PE of the database as the operand.

Custom formulas allow users to create derived data fields. Enterprise value is an example. In “The Little Book that Beats the Market”, Joel Greenblatt describes Enterprise Value. Although it is not a data field in Stock Investor Pro, using the existing data fields and the formula in the book results in a custom data field saved as Enterprise Value. This custom field is available in a screen.

Click here to get the Stock Screener Feature Checklist

The number of industry relative and sector relative data fields available as criteria and the percentile ranking of the data fields reflect the richness of the data set. Almost every data field pulled from an SEC filing is used to derive an industry relative, sector relative and percentile ranking field for screen criteria comparisons.

The view of company data is definable independent of the screening criteria. Any data field in the database is view-able. Sorting by any field (ascending or descending order) is possible by right clicking the column heading.

There is a user forum on the AAII site as well as videos specific to Stock Investor Pro. The live webinars are archived if you are unable to attend. Even though I have been a subscriber for many years, I often learn about an existing feature by attending the webinars or watching the videos.

Stock Investor Pro "Advanced" features

The advanced features are what separate Stock Investor Pro from most other stock screeners.

Because the database exists as a set of point-in-time snapshots of fundamental data, it can be used to back-test investing strategies. It is clumsy, but possible.

Free stock screeners limit the screen to the online database.  Stock Investor Pro screens run against the database, the results of a preceding screen (when stored in a Portfolio), or an imported list of tickers. The ability to run against a custom Portfolio list allows a "sell" screen to be created and applied to current holdings.

AAII supplies no proprietary ratings.

There is no automation of a screen and no direct connection to an online broker.

Implementing investing strategies

Your personal investing strategies identify the data and logic needs of the best stock screener for you.  If you need Net Payout Yield (e.g., the New Dogs of the Dow), it is not available as a data field. But you may be able to create the financial metric you need with the custom formulas.

The Tiny Titans investment strategy discussed elsewhere on this site illustrates a stock screen implemented in Stock Investor Pro. In addition to the pre-built screen supplied with the system, see the implementation of a variation of Tiny Titans with SI Pro.

Conclusions

Stock Investor Pro includes every “must have” and many of the stock screener nice-to-have and advanced features and has extensive fundamental data. The learning curve to take advantage of the features is steeper than the learning curve for a simpler screener but it offers more. You can learn more at AAII.

It delivers high value and is a complete tool to support your investing needs. Keep in mind that AAII is an investor education organization. Even if you are not interested in a stock screener, you should consider subscribing just to improve your understanding of investing strategies.

Although the original product provided monthly updates on CD mailed to subscribers, weekly and end-of-month (and soon, daily) updates are downloaded directly from the AAII site.

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Updated Jan 2017