Basic, the free stock screener from Stock Rover, is a mature product with lots of desirable features. If nothing else, their presentation of relevant information is second to none. But it takes more than just a pretty face.
And if you like Morningstar Ratings, you are really going to like Stock Rover.
Registration is free. Once you register, you have access to the system.
As always, the data requirements of your investing strategies are the primary consideration. The free version of their screener offers almost 300 financial metrics covering both fundamental and technical criteria. Companies traded on US exchanges and Toronto exchanges are included.
After signing-in you are presented with the following screen:
Notice there are 5 different presentation panels (which are detachable).
In the Navigation panel, there is a section for Screeners. This is where you build/save your custom screens for later recall/use. Without this feature, even a free screener doesn't have much value. Custom screens can also be created by modifying the predefined screens provided in the panel.
The insight panel displays the company data for any ticker highlighted in the View. There are several tabs. As can be seen in the above example, the summary tab provides the filing dates of the company data enabling you to determine the freshness of the data.
Although it is not possible to export the results of a screen, it is possible to print the screen results using the "action" button on the top right of the view. In addition to predefined views, you can create a custom view. Any data points in the selected view are included in the printout. Another possible action is to save the results of the screen to a portfolio or a watch-list. The ticker list can be exported from a portfolio or watch-list. The portfolio is date sensitive but does not include fundamental data.
Yes, there is help in the form of documentation and videos. Webinars are offered and you will be able to attend the webinar or watch an archived version at your convenience.
There is no User Forum.
Screen performance can be tracked by updating the holdings (number of shares and cost) in a portfolio. Of course, this means you must manually enter the data or import it from a spreadsheet. As mentioned above, the portfolio can also be created directly from the screen.
The screen shot below is the portfolio view of holdings based on the results of a dividend growth screen. The screen was built by modifying a predefined screen to include only companies traded on the NYSE, AMEX or NASDAQ whose Morningstar Financial Health grade was an A or B.
It is not possible to restrict the number of passing companies within the screen, so if we are going to limit this to 20 stocks, we may need to do some additional filtering or manual ranking at some point. You can sort the results by any criteria in the view.
Although the screen we selected does not use any percentile ranking, some of the profitability criteria are relative within an industry or sector. In the free stock screener, you cannot assign a weighting to any of the factors in the screen, rank by more than one factor or create custom formulas. Only "AND" logic is available.
NOTE: All these features are available in the Premium version of the screener.
The fundamental data for each company is supplemented by technical data, primarily as moving averages and performance relative to a benchmark over various time periods.
OK, it does sound a little crazy to describe "Advanced" features for a "Basic" screener. But this free stock screener does have advanced features.
In fact, it includes an implementation of every advanced feature except back-testing, simulation and automation.
One feature, unique to Stock Rover, is a composite chart of the companies currently passing a screen for a variety of time frames. See below for a composite (equal weighted) chart of the 17 companies passing the "Dividend Growth US Only" screen.
To be clear, this is not back-testing, but it does give you a feel for the recent performance of the passing companies. It will be interesting to forward test some strategies and keep one of the composite charts for reference. No other free stock screener offers anything close to this.
For proprietary indicators, Morningstar Ratings (the Financial Health, Growth and Profitability grades) are included. They did improve the performance shown on the composite chart for the modified screen shown above.
A custom list can be created or imported as a portfolio or watchlist and used as a universe to screen against. There is no automation of the screening. That is, the screener does not automatically run the screen and update the portfolio. But the system does send an email each week detailing the performance of the portfolios you are tracking.
Simulation is not available. As with most screening tools, you will need to create a sell or hold screen and run it against the portfolio if you want to do something other than modify your portfolio to match the screen results.
A direct connection to online brokers is implemented and available to Basic users at no cost.
For a free stock screener this is probably as good as it gets. Register for free to give it a try. Please remember to watch the getting started video to begin. And keep in mind that the right mouse button is used extensively to provide quick access to a lot of the tools and features.
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