The best stock screener is the one that enables you to build and manage your investing strategies and is affordable. So the best screener for you may not be the best screener for me.
In fact, I use several screeners. For the Investing Strategy Special Interest Group (SIG) I lead for the local AAII chapter, AAII Stock Investor Pro (SI Pro) is best.
The SIG is designed to teach the process of developing personal stock investing strategies by analyzing the published work of investing legends. So the 50+ detailed sample investment strategies in SI Pro are a natural. And it has most of the features a good screener needs. Plus, the downloaded database means I do not need to rely on an adequate internet connection for the meeting.
But SI Pro is not best for some of my personal strategies.
One way to identify the best stock screener for you is to develop a score for each screener you think will work for you using multi-factor ranking.
Start by identifying the features you want (our Stock Screener Feature Checklist may be helpful) and list them in a spreadsheet. Don’t bother with features you don’t care about. Then, assign a value of 1, 2 or 3 to the feature where 3 means you really want the feature – i.e., it is a “must have” for you.
Next, rate each screener you are considering for how well they implement the feature. Again, assign a value of 1, 2 or 3. If the feature is not available, assign a value of 0 or leave blank.
The following is an example of how I could score SI Pro for my SIG. Notice I only listed the features that mattered for the SIG. Also, I added two features not on the checklist:
The score for each feature in the evaluation is calculated as the product of the feature importance and the screener implementation value. For example, sample screens have an importance of 3 and SI Pro gets a mark of 3. The score for the feature is 9. The individual feature scores are totaled.
A pretty easy way to rank usefulness (and a pretty easy way to rank stocks you are considering for purchase).
Go ahead, review the screeners and pick the best one for you.
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