The two main exchanges in the United States have over 5,500 stocks. Also, thousands more can be found in the over-the-counter markets. It is therefore necessary to use a powerful tool to sort through the tons of stocks so that you can find he perfect stocki that akigns with your requirements. This is where stock screeners come in.
This article will shed light on stock screener. I will share my experience with FinViz (which, in my opinion, is the best free stock screener around) and how you can use it.
What is a Stock Screener?
As an investor that’s in search of the perfect investment opportunity, you may be discvouraged when you come across the huge number of stocks on the market. For iknstance, the world’s largest exchange- NYSE, has about 2,800 companies while over-the-counter markets have thousands more.
In order to narrow down these huge volume of stocks, you need some help. A stock screener can offer this kind of help. Stock screeners are softwares that are developed to narrow down stocks with respect to the criteria that you want.
Stock screeners work the same way you use an online tool to find used cars. With a car-finding tool, you can easily find the perfect car that matches your criteria from a list of cars with just a click of one button. The same thing applies to stock screeners.
FinViz (also known as Financial Visualizations) is a powerful, easy-to-use scanning tool that all new traders need to have in their toolbox. The most effective stock scanners enable traders to quickly narrow down through thousands of stock by making use of their own criteria. This is what makes FinViz preferable and unique. By inputing your speciifc criteria, FinViz wil cut your research time from hours to seconds. It is very affordable, effective and will save you lots of research timke while preparing for the market.
FinViz is more than just a mere stock screener. It is a visually-oriented website and has top gainers and losers, as well as stocks with unusual volume in the homepage. It also lists stocks that are trading near support and resistance.
The screener categorizes stocks into three main sections namely:
The easy-to-use stock screening tool enables you to set requirements for volume, performance targets, dividend yields and company strength. You can also choose from a number of preset signals like most volatile, new high/ low or recent insider buying/ selling.
How To Use Finviz
To demonstrate how FinViz works, I’ll use an apparel company as an example. Let’s assume you are interested in an apparel company that’s on the NYSE with a P/E ratio ubder 25, EPS growth of over 10% over the last 5 years and a debit/ equity ratio over 0.1, searching for compaines that meet these criteria would have taken days without a stock screener like FinViz. With FinViz, getting a company that meets these criteria is easy.
Here’s how the screener looks when we put in the criteria above:
Once we enter these criteria, we will get the companies that meet our needs. The figures shown below were correct at the time they were searched. However, they can change when stock prices fluctuate and new financials are reported.
With these results obtained from FinViz stock screener, we can further analyze the candidate obtained (provided we are confident in the criteria that we used as well as the values chosen).
Does FinViz Actually Work?
Yes. However, you need to understand what FinViz is and what it is not. FinViz is a research tool and not a trading software. It finds consistent patterns in the past and then presents you those patterns to sue to your advantage.
Here are some charts on FinViz:
Pros of FinViz
Easy To Use
FinViz is ideal for beginners as they don’t need to know any detailed scanning language or Wall Street insider language before using this stock screener. It has easy-to-use menu with lots of options that you can use in the dropdown menus. With just few clicks, you can filter through over 7000 stocks to a workable list wihtin seconds.
Ability To Save Settings
I also prefer FinViz because it enables me to save my settings. With this, I don’t need to enter my criteria whenever I come to the site to use it.
Presentation of Scan Data
FinViz gives you a choice of 14 different ways to get information from the results of the scan dependikng on what you are searching for. The daily charts that you are presented with are pre-populated with 20, 50 and 200 SMA’s and ascending and descending support and resistance lines drawn.
The platform also identifies different chart patterns like ascending and descending triangles, wedges and channels. With these, you will be able to have a quick glimpse of the patterns and analyze the chart so that you can take the necessary action.
The best part is that FinViz is free. As a new trader that’s just getting started, it is important to keep your monthly expenses on tools and subscriptions down to prevent them from eating into your profits.
Although FinViz has a paid subscription referred to as FinViz Elite, you can still fkind anything you need as a new trader with the free version.
Cons of FinViz
Inability To Customize Screening Parameters
Although FinViz has a vast number of parameters that you can use daily to screen stocks, the major hinderance associated with it is the inability to customize the screening parameters.
For example, if you need to search for stocks that are up a particular percentage on the day, your choices will be something like +5%, +10% and +15%. This hinders you from entering custom values like 3% or 6%.
The issue of delayed data suffices if you run your stock screener at night while searching for trade candidates for the next day. To get real-time data and search for stock on the move in the real-time, then you need to upgrade to FinViz Elite which has lots of additional features.
These cons are nothing compared to the numerous benefits associated with using FinViz.
FinViz is a powerful, affordable and easy-to-use stock screening tool. It gives you virtually every metric that you can imagine to use. While sorting, it gives you the latest price for the stock at a glance and also gives you free access to charts and quotes. If you have established yourself as a swing trader, then FinViz may be the only stock screener that you will ever need.
In my humble opinion, I believe FinViz is one of the best free stock screeners on the web.
Click Here To Visit FinViz
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