Stock screening software is a value investor's bread and butter, because your investment tools should be helping you identify which stocks are undervalued and which can be secure long-term investments.
If you’ve not yet setup your portfolio, then before you go on this stock screening software hunt, it’s best to first identify your investor’s profile. Knowing this will help you understand exactly what it is that you’re searching for in the features of different investment tools, such as: Cost, Functionality, Scope, and Analysis.
The first thought on everyone’s mind is bound to be, “What’s it going to cost me?”. It’s a good thought, because there are some deals out there, but there are also some tools that are just not worth it.
It’s difficult to outline what a good price is, as each tool will be (hopefully) entirely unique and you’ll be paying for different features. So weigh up the cost with what you expect to get out of the software, and whenever possible try to buy one or two year plans (as these usually offer a discount to the monthly pricing plans).
A software’s functionality feeds right into your time management. The easier an investment tool is to understand, the quicker it is to use, and the less time you need to spend using it.
How straight-forward is the dashboard and individual tools? Do you have to configure anything yourself? Does the software offer automatic alerts and reminders? How quickly can you find what you're looking for? These are all questions that need to be asked. There's bound to be some element of personalisation to these questions and the answers that you want, but no investment software should be overly complex. If any tools offer a trial or a demo session, then use that as an opportunity to play around with the platform and test its logic.
Perhaps one of the most important questions to ask is, “What stocks and territories does the software screen?”.
There’s no point in buying into a stock screening tool that doesn’t cater to your particular value investing needs. So, if you’re investing into hard-to-trade countries and emerging markets, make sure your chosen tool enables you to investigate these stocks and territories.
The general rule would be: the more, the better. Even if you’re not planning on trading in emerging markets or hard-to-trade countries, you can’t be sure that you never will. It’s always good to be prepared for the future, so choosing investment tools that allow you this flexibility in time, is not a bad idea. However, be sure to avoid compromising this over a tool's functionality (as always, wasted time is wasted money).
Then there's also the consideration of how much differentiating each software does between a company's assets. Sure, it might have a broad range of stocks to screen, and even cover hard-to-trade territories... but can it report on each of these sufficiently?
4. Reporting and analysis
Perhaps the most important aspect of stock screening software and any of the investment tools that you use, is reporting and analysis. You need a broad range of features to analyse effectively, and to your specific investor profile's requirements.
Here's where the bonus features of each software will come into play. You don't only want a stock-standard comparison tool or basic analysis screener, you want items like:
- Fundamental stock analysis built right into your portfolio planner
- An understandable scoring system that cuts through the nonsense
- A comparison charting function
- A watchlist
- Dividend ratings, and more!
You might be saying to yourself, "I don't need all that... all I need is a basic screening tool." But, what if you want to change your analysis approach after six months of investing? You don’t want to have to cancel a subscription and look for a new platform, you want your current platform to offer you the flexibility you need to become a successful value investor. That's why you should be looking at software that offers you the most at the most affordable price.
If you want to dive right in, you'll be glad to know that STRIDE is an investment tool with all of the features we've covered in this blog. So click below to schedule a free live demo and start screening top quality value stocks.