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As a stock trader, you know that taking time to research stocks and funds you want to trade gives you an advantage, so do you use tools and subscription services that can help you trade more effectively?
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite trading tools that can help you maximize your profits, minimize losses and master the stock market.
Main Types of Stock Research Tools
There are multiple types of stock research tools available. The best ones to use will depend entirely on your trading strategy and personal preferences. Here are some of the most common types of research tools.
- Stock screeners. Stock screeners scan the entire market and give you information on average trading volume, price, chart patterns and more. You can set a predefined set of criteria. For example, you could set for stocks trading under $1 that have an average volume of at least 1 million shares. The screener will show you stocks that fit your specifications.
- Charting software. Charting software shows you the performance of a stock, fund or index over time. Charts may be shown using lines or candlesticks. Many day traders use candlestick charting software to decide when they should buy or sell.
- Stock simulators. Paper trading accounts, dummy accounts, stock simulators — whatever you’d like to call them — allow you to practice your fundamental analysis or test out trading strategies without wasting actual money. It’s a good idea to test the waters using a stock simulator first if you’re entering the market for the first time.
- Trading newsletters. Trading newsletters are expertly-crafted email or print messages that tell traders about unusual market movements, new developments and innovations and offer expert opinions on how stocks will move. Newsletters may be sent out as sparsely as every quarter or as frequently as every morning.
There are a few essential features to look for when you decide which stock research tools you want to use.
- Real-time data. If you’re a frequent trader, having the most up-to-date information is crucial. A stock’s value can change at a second’s notice, so it’s important that you have the most recent information on price, movement, charting pattern and volume. Look for stock research tools that offer real-time market streaming and charting. If you’re looking for a dummy account, look for one that allows you to trade in real time alongside the actual market — this will give you the most accurate and authentic experience.
- Customizable tool. Every trader is different. Because trading strategies vary so drastically, it’s possible to interview 10 traders and get 10 completely different answers when asked what makes a good research tool. Look for research tools that allow you to customize your experience and data.
- An easy-to-use format. The best research tool is useless if it’s too hard for you to use. Most major charting and scanning software providers allow you to enjoy a limited test run of their products before you invest in the full set of features. Run a few trades or scans with the demo version first before you buy. If your tool or app doesn’t offer a free trial version, make sure to read plenty of reviews and pay special attention to what the reviewer thought about the platform. See if you can find a free version or sample issue online. Read through it to see if you enjoy the tone and subject of the newsletter.
Now that you know what you’re looking for, consider testing out one of these top picks for stock research.
1. Finviz Stock Screener
- Who it’s for: All levels
- Price: Free for the basic version, $25 a month for Finviz Elite
By far one of the most intuitive and easiest stock screening tools available on the market, Finviz is an asset for both beginning traders and seasoned professionals alike.
The name Finviz comes from a combination of the words financial and visualization, referring to the site’s wide array of candlestick charts and easy-to-comprehend visuals that tell you how the market is doing with a single glance.
Finviz’s stock screener is impressive, sorting and scanning stocks with over 60 technical, descriptive, and fundamental…