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People who are used to crowd sourced materials will have no trouble grasping the deal with Seeking Alpha. It collects readers’ input and makes it available to anybody looking for information on the investment world. That contains some obvious advantages: instead of having to search multiple websites, discussion boards, blogs and so on to access a range of views, they are brought right to you on Seeking Alpha. Of course, it’s harder to do quality control as a reader and understand which opinions to give heavier weighting to. While some Seeking Alpha content is free, the platform does offer most of its best information through subscription-based services that come with advanced tools.

Bullish Growth – For the Website

The website has evolved considerably since its founding in 2004. It now boasts more than 20 million monthly users and thousands of regular written contributions that serve as the basis of discussion and debate among users looking to make their own decisions on the stock market and specific stock picks. While it does contain authoritative top-line recommendations on the strength of a particular buying or selling decision, a lot of its value comes from being a platform that offers as much information as you have the ability to digest in the pursuit of making your own decisions. A lot has been written about it, and what follows will try to summarize and highlight some of the features.

Seeking Alpha’s wealth of data can result in what some might call “information overload” for new users – especially new users who happen to also be new investors. Frankly, it can be challenging to orient yourself, and easy to drown in the flood of content. The sheer volume of information available certainly is one feature distinguishing it from other sites.

Rigorous Review Process

It’s natural that investors will be hesitant to make decisions based on the recommendations of seemingly random members of the public, so perhaps a bit of context to explain how Seeking Alpha selects and approves content will be helpful. The website does have its own editorial standards and process, and all articles submitted for approval face scrutiny. In particular, recommendations for small cap stocks (defined as trading under $1 and/or market cap under $100 million for this purpose) face a higher level of scrutiny and higher editorial standards before being published.

There is also a written disclosure that is required of all authors so that readers are aware of any personal conflicts or vested interests behind the recommendations that the website is making. With all these standards and barriers, it might seem unlikely that much content will make it through to publication – but that’s far from the case as January 2022 statistics show an average of 7,000 active authors who produce more than 10,000 articles per month.

A Membership Level for Everybody

Understanding the sheer volume of content available through Seeking Alpha, it is smart to look at the difference membership and service levels to determine what will offer access to the right kind of information. Free membership is known as “Basic” and it does not give readers access to much – it basically covers charts, news alerts and the Wall Street Rating for every stock.

A step up is the Premium level, which you can pre-pay for a year and have it work out to $19.99/month or $238.99 for the year. If you go by month it costs $29.99 instead, or an extra $120 for the year. With Seeking Alpha, it pays to pre-pay. The Premium service obviously still offers everything covered under the Basic plan but it also contains Seeking Alpha author ratings, which is a very important tool in determining which opinions to give the highest weighting to.  It also gives access to Seeking Alpha’s Quant Rating¸ which is a numbers-based assessment of each stock that considers only financials, historic prices and professional analysts’ views. This is a great way to complement and confirm the information that is offered in contributors’ opinion articles.

The highest level of Seeking Alpha membership is Pro. Like Premium, it has a cost break for purchases that prepay an entire year. It costs $199.99 per month when an entire year is bought but jump steeply to $299.99 if you want to pay for the Pro service on a month by month basis. Pro offers all of the content of Basic and Premium but includes some perks and special features such as exclusive portals and VIP Services. Notably, the level of ads displayed on the site decreases with higher membership levels – Basic has the most, Premium is considered ad-lite and Pro is ad-free.

Wrapping Up

Seeking Alpha is a powerful tool – as mentioned earlier, there is so much information that a new reader can quickly become overwhelmed. But for an investor craving data and access to information, it is hard to beat.

Looking at results is a great way to consider value too – and the facts are that Seeking Alpha’s strongest rated buys have greatly outperformed the market over a significant period of time. Sometimes, the proof is in the pudding.

New investors need to make sure they are choosing the right tools to set themselves up for success. Experienced investors need to consider what will help take them to the next level. With careful consideration, Seeking Alpha can satisfy both.

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