What are the best ways to screen stocks to find the best value before I purchase?

If you invest in individual stocks, and especially if you are an active trader, having a good stock screening tool is one of your most important tools.

There are more than 3,600 company stocks listed on the US stock exchanges. And an even greater number of foreign stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds. A good stock screener like the one provided by VIG will help you filter the companies you want to invest in, based on the criteria you choose.

Whether you are a buy and hold investor or an intraday trader, a good stock screener will help you make better investment decisions. To help you find the one that’s right for you, we’ve put together this list of the best stock screeners. But before we get into the list, let’s first take a look at the most basic information about stock screeners.

What is a stock screener?

We can probably thank computers for this, but there is an almost limitless amount of information available on every stock trade on national and international exchanges. For whatever security you want to invest in, there are dozens of data points that are important to help you make the right investment decisions. A stock screener will allow you to analyze those data points for whatever security you are considering investing in. You can narrow down a list of 100 potential stocks to just three or four based on the criteria that are most important to you.

Some of the criteria you can use to evaluate potential investments with stock screeners include:

Specific industrial sectors

Geographic location

General company information

Earnings per share (EPS)

Price-benefit ratio (P / E)

Future P / E ratio

Sales and profit growth estimates

Market capitalization

Trading range

Trade volume


Price level: current vs. target

Security against market or industry benchmarks

The above list is just a sample of the criteria you can use. Most stock screeners can be customized to allow you to specifically focus on the categories that are most important to you. Stock filters are also available in free and premium versions. Naturally, you should expect the premium versions to come with more features and tools and even easier to use. What you choose will largely depend on how much you trust your own stock analysis and how often you trade.

A free stock screener can do the work for you if you only do a few trades per year. But if you are a frequent trader, and especially if you are an intraday trader, you will almost certainly want a premium stock rater.

The best stock screeners

Rather than ranking the raters in a specific order, we simply list those we think are the best of a very large group. There is no one best stock appraiser for all investors, and the decision will depend entirely on which one will work best for you. But based on our experience, this is the ranking of the best stock screeners for now:

  1. VIG

For us, this platform is the best stock screener ever made. VIG will help you further analyze the stocks recommended by investment experts, so you can make your own informed decisions. Using VIG’s stock screener, you can make sure you’re not buying the “wrong stock”. You can minimize your mistakes before you actually buy. There is so much information provided from various sides, making sure any stock you research will not hide anything from you.

  1. Stock Rover

Stock Rover was launched in 2008 and is comprehensive and easy to use. The service is available for desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. In addition, it offers integration with its brokerage platform. It can be used for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as well as individual stocks.

  1. Morning Star

Morningstar has the advantage of being one of the most recognized and respected names in the entire investment universe. Not only does it offer stock filters for individual investors, but the company is an established source of investment information among many of the world’s largest brokerage firms and financial news agencies.

  1. FINVIZ * Elite

FINVIZ * Elite, short for Financial Visualizations, is one of the best stock raters available. It offers real-time quotes, charts, pre-market data and provides email alerts. It works with both technical analysis and fundamental data. Perhaps one of the coolest features is the ability to backtest your business with historical data (and includes 16 years of historical data).

  1. Yahoo! Finance

Yahoo! Finance isn’t one of the most comprehensive stock appraisers on this list, but it does have the advantage of being free to use. And he’s one of the most popular stock raters at that, particularly among new and more casual investors.

Ready to use one of the screeners above?