Individual investors are at a disadvantage, at least when compared to institutional investors. Even the most successful and advanced investors don’t have the seemingly never-ending funds to constantly purchase and upgrade their investing tools. This means that the individual investor must be especially smart when preparing to implement their investment ideas
You’ll need the best stock research tool to help you execute your trading strategy successfully. Although a stock picking service—like Motley Fool Stock Advisor—can help by recommending individual stocks, these types of services don’t offer much in the way of research.
If you’re hoping to analyze the stock market at large (and perhaps branch off into other asset types like mutual funds) then you’ll need a tool that offers a wide range of information. Both Seeking Alpha and Zacks can show you stock prices and help you formulate stock ideas, but which service is the superior option for you?
By the end of this article, you’ll have an answer!
Unlike Motley Fool’s stock-picking service, Seeking Alpha is a dedicated stock research tool optimized for more advanced investors. The platform offers a wide variety of premium services for fundamental analysis, including a stock screener, stock grading system, portfolio alerts, and analytical articles written by professional investors.
Of course, the company offers basic information like stock prices and earning estimates as well. However, you’ll be able to learn far more than just the average return of individual companies with Seeking Alpha!
The service’s plethora of information—including financial statements and other types of historical data—allows you to use fundamental analysis to create your own stock research report. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to formulate new investment strategies and investment ideas.
Seeking Alpha PRO gives you unlimited access to this exclusive data, with only a few minor limitations. Although the platform will allow you to research any stock or exchange-traded fund, it doesn’t cover mutual funds. This could be a deterrent for some investors whose investment strategy relies on these types of funds.
If you’d like a platform that falls somewhere between a stock screener and more advanced investment research services, then Zacks premium services may be of interest to you. While the service can definitely be used for fundamental analysis, it also provides a simple way to compare stocks with rankings!
Zacks ranks stocks in the following order:
- Strong Buy
- Strong Sell
Simply glancing at a stock’s score will give you an idea of how much potential Zacks’ thinks a stock does—or doesn’t—have. The creator of the company, Len Zacks, came up with a proprietary system that ranks stocks based on four different factors. The company still uses this same system to this day,
However, Zacks Premium (as well as the other premium plans) offers many other premium investment services beyond simple stock rankings. Depending on your plan level, you’ll have access to a portfolio tracker, up-to-date news stories relevant to companies you’re investing in, a daily newsletter, and a variety of portfolio analysis tools.
Zacks Investment Research data is especially useful for technical analysis of both current and potential assets for their investment portfolios. The portfolio tracker—alongside other portfolio management resources—allows one to track the progress of their investing strategies.
Seeking Alpha has two subscription services: “PRO” and “Premium” membership. Currently, both premium membership options offer 14-day free trials that give you unlimited access to all of the plans’ features. This limited-time offer should provide you with enough time to test out the stock-picking service and see if it’s right for you.
Seeking Alpha Premium costs $239 per year. While it doesn’t include all the features offered by “PRO,” you’ll still be able to access a lot of stock market information using this plan. Newer investors will find the Quant stock ratings especially helpful; seasoned investors can use the data visualizations and peer comparisons to identify growth potential amongst their favorite stocks. You’ll also have instant access to the premium articles from Seeking Alpha.
“Pro”—which costs $839.88 per year—includes all of the benefits from “Premium,” but adds a variety of exclusive features including Top Ideas, short ideas, VIP customer service, and the idea screener (a proprietary stock screening tool).
You can check out this Seeking Alpha review for a more detailed breakdown of which features are offered by the individual plans.
Zacks offers three types of pricing plans: Zacks Premium, Zacks Investor Collection, and Zacks Ultimate. “Premium” offers access to all the platform’s basic services including Zacks Rank, equity research reports, and premium screens.
“Investor Collection” builds upon Premium, adding more premium investment services like ETF Investors, Stocks Under $10, Top 10 Stocks, and Income Investor to your list of exclusive access services. “Ultimate” unlocks all the investment research services offered by the company, such as Black Box Trader, Majorijuanna Innovators, and Headline Trader.
Currently, all three subscription services offer a 30-day free trial, which you should take advantage of before committing to an annual subscription. “Premium” costs $249 per year, “Investor Collection” costs $495 per year, and “Ultimate” costs $2,995 per year.
Seeking Alpha vs. Zacks: A Summary
The bottom line is you should go with the service that most closely aligns with your individual investing goals. If your strategy focuses largely on mutual funds, then you’ll be limited to Zacks. Outside of that, both offer similar services in terms of stock recommendations and analyst ratings.
If you’re still not sure, we’d recommend trying out both services to see which one will give you the most long-term advantages over your fellow active traders. Click here to enjoy a 50% discount on Seeking Alpha Premium, or here to get Zacks “5 Stocks Set To Double” for free!