• Discounts and special offers
  • Subscriber-only articles and interviews
  • Breaking news and trending topics

Already a subscriber?

By signing up, you accept Moneywise's Terms of Use, Subscription Agreement, and Privacy Policy.

Not interested ?

LIPTOVSKY MIKULAS, SLOVAKIA MARCH 9, 2021: A man holds a phone in his hand and trades in cryptocurrencies on the stock exchange.

9 of the best free stock picking services and screeners to consider

Nataly Gejdos / Shutterstock

Fact Checked: Cadeem Lalor

🗓️

Updated: March 11, 2024

Partners on this page provide us earnings.

A stock picking service can help you reduce your list of thousands of possible stocks to the few you may want to buy.

Here are the pros and cons of the top free stock picking services, so you can pick the stock winners for your portfolio in 2024.

What is a stock picker or stock picking service?

Stock picking services are services designed to help investors choose the best stocks for their portfolio. They come in a variety of forms and price points.

Some popular paid stock pickers include: Dow Theory, Jason Bond Picks, and Jim Cramer's Action Alerts Plus from The Street. These services all employ human investment professionals who analyze and report to members which stocks they recommend. These services are a great way to learn about the stock market.

Free stock picking services are generally not as comprehensive as paid ones (sometimes you get what you pay for). But they can still help you screen through the noisy markets to choose the right investments for your portfolio.

What is a stock screener?

Stock screeners are tools that allow you to input a specific set of criteria to create a list of qualifying stocks. From there, you can do an individual stock analysis to decide which should go on your buy list.

Best free stock pickers and screeners

Here are our picks for the best free stock pickers and stock screeners you can use to help guide you along your investing journey.

Just note that many services that offer free stock picks use a freemium model, so you get some content for free but have to go premium if you want more in-depth research and analysis.

The Motley Fool

The Motley Fool — Founded in 1993, The Motley Fool is an investment education website that provides a variety of free and paid content. Its primary service is the Motley Fool Stock Advisor, which provides stock picks. According to the company’s website, Stock Advisor has quadrupled the S&P 500 over the past two decades.

When you sign up, you’ll get two stock recommendations per month, top 10 timely buys chosen from over 300 stocks, and foundational stock recommendations. You’ll also have access to a library of educational materials and community of fellow investors. The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor has an introductory price tag of $99* the first year, and will renew at the regular rate of $199 a year afterward.

You can also visit The Motley Fool's website for free stock reports and picks. But you have to pay for Stock Advisor or its many other services for more premium research.

*Based on $199/year list price. Promotion for new members only. Membership will renew annually at the then-current list price.

Morningstar

Morningstar — This large investment research organization provides information on a variety of assets, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs. Morningstar offers many stock picks for its free users, but even more content for its Morningstar Premium members.

When you sign up, you get access to in-depth research on hundreds of thousands of securities, as well as a list of the best stocks. Unlike other stock-picking services, Morningstar doesn’t give you a tailored list of stocks to add to your portfolio. Instead, it provides in-depth research on many stocks, as well as the tools to track your portfolio.

Morningstar offers a seven-day free trial. After that, you’ll pay $34.95 for a monthly subscription or $249 for an annual subscription.

MoreMotley Fool vs. Morningstar

Seeking Alpha

Seeking Alpha — This mega investing site includes a vast array of free articles. And much of the content comes from their own community of investors, so you can read a wide range of takes and research.

Their writers' analyses include detailed stock market reporting and tips on why specific stocks look good right now. You can also read about the investment strategy and market news.

If you upgrade to Premium, you'll get access to a suite of proprietary stock-picking tools including: author ratings and performance, Quant ratings and stock dividend grades.

You can get a seven-day free trial of their Premium plan, after that new subscribers pricing is $199 a year.

StockRover

StockRover — A robust investment screening and analysis website, StockRover members have access to various tools, including investment data, charts, research reports, ratings, customizable screeners, and custom alerts. The research focuses on stocks, ETFs and mutual funds.

It goes beyond the typical free screeners on large investment data websites. There are 140 prebuilt screeners and screeners can be customized with over 500 different criteria. The free account is extensive but their paid versions will give you access to even more bells and whistles.

The three paid versions (Essentials, Premium, and Premium Plus) range from $7.99 to $27.99 for monthly subscriptions.

TradeStation

TradeStation — This investing platform caters to active and experienced traders. Its desktop platform is where TradeStation shines, providing customizable charting and advanced order types you don't get with basic investing apps.

You can scan and monitor up to 1,000 stock symbols in real-time, allowing you to identify trading opportunities.

Zacks

Zacks Trade — A well-known stock research company, Zacsk Trade offers a stock screener that allows you to quickly sift through U.S.-based stocks using an array of fundamental metrics. One included metric is book value per share, a favorite metric Warren Buffett uses to value companies for Berkshire Hathaway.

A paid subscription adds a few features, but the free version is a top stock market screener.

Zacks' Stock Screener

Yahoo Finance Stock Screener

Yahoo! Finance logo

The Yahoo Finance stock screener has a clean and user-friendly design. It doesn't have as many filters and features as some of the other names on this list.

But it's quick to use and has a familiar, interface that Yahoo Finance users know and love.

Yahoo Finance stock screener

Stansberry Research

With more than half a million subscribers, Stansberry Research is one of the top stock research companies. They provide actionable investment recommendations for hands-on investors. The company has several membership options to choose from, offering original research and recommendations, an online position-size calculator, and lifetime access to several in-house publications.

You can choose a membership subscription that best fits your investing style to ensure the recommendations are actually a good fit for you. Stansberry offers a 30-day free trial, followed by a yearly subscription of $199.

Investor’s Business Daily (IBD)

Founded in 1984, Investor’s Business Daily specializes in stock lists and research to help you build your portfolio. When you sign up for IBD’s Leaderboard, you get 10-15 of the strongest stocks expected to see huge price humps.

You’ll also get a specific trading plan, including exact buy and sell points. Leaderboard has a monthly cost of $29, then $69 thereafter. You can also purchase IBD’s stock lists, which include the IBD Top 50, IBD Big Cap 20, and IPO Leaders.

What are social stock picking services?

If you want to cast a wider net and learn what other investing enthusiasts are up to, you can join a social investing service. Here are two free and fun options to connect with other excited investors.

  • KINFO — Join KINFO and connect your existing brokerage account to get started with this free stock picking app. Once you log in, you can compare your portfolio to those of professional investors and hedge funds and get other details on stocks you own and ones you are interested in. You can also browse other user portfolios, including some well-known personal finance bloggers.
  • StockTwits — If KINFO is Facebook for investing, StockTwits is certainly Twitter for investing. Instead of the common hashtags used to create a #topic on Twitter, StockTwits uses dollar signs to help you follow stocks by their ticker symbols. Watch the real-time feed or click on a specific stock to see what people have been saying about it. Sign up to track your portfolio in StockTwits, and create a watchlist for particular stocks.

Should you buy individual stocks?

It is essential to address the elephant in the room. Should you even buy individual stocks? After doing your research, you may find that you want to skip buying stocks and instead invest in index funds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Warren Buffett won a 10-year bet that the S&P 500 would outperform hedge funds, which are run by full-time investment professionals. Over the last 15 years, 92.2% of large-cap funds underperformed compared to the S&P 500. In mid-cap and small-cap funds, only about 5% of fund managers beat the markets.

If these people, who spend their entire professional career in the stock market, can't beat the markets, why do you think you can do better? I have a small portfolio of single stocks. I use techniques I learned, earning two finance degrees to decide if I should buy or sell shares. But even with my background, I still have some big losers in the portfolio. Think very hard before you rush to invest in single stocks. In most cases, investing in index funds is a better decision.

That said, if you do want to get into the world of buying single stocks, these stock picking services can help you get off to a better start in finding those undervalued stocks that are poised to make your portfolio pop.

Bottom line on using a stock picker

Before the internet, you had to read a book to learn about investing. These days, you can type a stock into Google to get a plethora of knowledge at your fingertips. And there's a ton of free investment information out there, ranging from freemium resources like The Motley Fool or Seeking Alpha to good old fashioned news headlines.

When looking at these free stock picking services, don't forget about the research and information your broker provides too. As long as you approach your investments with common sense, detailed analysis, and a healthy dose of caution, you are setting yourself up for investment success.

Free stock advice and stock picker FAQs

  • What criteria do stock-picking services use to select stocks?

    +

    Stock-picking services may use financial analysis, market trends, company fundamentals, and technical indicators to select stocks.

  • How often do free stock-picking services update their recommendations?

    +

    Free stock-picking services services might update less frequently than paid ones, ranging from daily to monthly recommendations.

  • Can I trust the recommendations from free stock-picking services?

    +

    Trust varies among free stock picking services so look for stock pickers with transparent methodologies and track records.

  • What is the difference between paid and free stock-picking services?

    +

    Paid stock picker services may offer more in-depth analysis, personalized advice, or exclusive picks.

  • How should I incorporate stock picks into my investment strategy?

    +

    Diversify and consider using stick picks as part of a broader, balanced investment strategy rather than sole guidance for all of your investments.

  • Are there any hidden costs or fees associated with free stock-picking services?

    +

    Some "free" stock picking services may have upsells, ads, or use your data for marketing so use these with caution.

Larry Ludwig Freelance Contributor

Larry Ludwig is a freelance contributor for Moneywise.

Disclaimer

The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.