Finviz Stock Screener Review – What is Finviz and Who is Finviz For?
Finviz is a browser-based stock screener that provides traders and investors with charts, maps, news, performance data, and other types of company and financial information to help pinpoint ideal stocks, sectors, and markets to trade and invest in.
How you specifically choose to use Finviz will depend upon your personal preferences and overall trading and investing strategies. But what it does, generally speaking, is provide you with an efficient all-in-one research platform for your operations.
To provide some background and perspective on the Finviz platform, it was created well over a decade ago and has millions of site visitors each month. Since it launched in 2007, the core features haven’t really changed besides becoming more robust over time.
The Finviz website might not look like much at first glance, but it provides a ton of information for traders to get a comprehensive view of markets. And when you dig deeper into the main features, there’s quite a bit of room for personal customization.
- Take a 3-Minute Guided Tour of the Finviz Website
- Check Out the Finviz Home Page and Get Started Researching
Especially when it comes to the screener, Finviz provides a ton of value to market participants for free. Through numerous descriptive, technical, and fundamental filters, you can easily find specific tickers that fit your trade and investment parameters.
In essence, Finviz provides the tools to reduce the overwhelming list of available stocks into just a handful of the best opportunities.
How to Use Finviz For Beginners – How Exactly Does Finviz Work?
As with anything new, the Finviz platform is going to take time to get used to. But the learning curve is actually quite short compared to other trading software, platforms, and services that I’ve experienced. It’s extremely user-friendly and intuitive.
If you navigate to the Finviz website, you’ll find the Finviz logo in the top-left corner with a search bar for finding any company or ticker right below it. Once you enter a company or ticker, you’ll see a daily candlestick chart with a bunch of company data right below it.
This information includes not only performance metrics and key financial ratios, but analyst upgrades and downgrades, recent news, financial statements, and insider trading transactions as well. So you can go as deep as you want with your fundamental research.
Before digging too deep into each feature that Finviz has to offer, it’s important to understand that there are three different levels of Finviz service – two of which are free (Free and Registered) and one of which costs money (Finviz Elite).
Many Finviz users get by just fine with the free and registered versions, but there are some limitations. The free version is available to anyone who visits the site and the registered version opens up even more functionalities for those who create accounts.
Then there’s Finviz Elite for $299.50 per year – which offers real-time quotes, intraday charts, backtesting, email alerts, and more.
Finviz Main Features – Screener, News, Maps, Insider, and More:
Finviz offers a handful of features including news, hot/cold maps, portfolio tracking, insider transactions, backtesting, and more. But in my personal opinion, these are all secondary to the screener – that’s where the bulk of the value is provided.
The Finviz Screener is where I’ve put the most miles on my own Finviz account by far. I certainly use the other features from time-to-time, but mainly as a supplement to the screener. I screen first to find stocks to trade, then dive deeper with the other tools.
One of the factors that makes trading difficult is that there are so many stocks to choose from on a daily basis – there are thousands of them. So trying to manually track every single one would not only be overwhelming – it would basically be impossible.
There are plenty of opportunities out there, but you simply can’t capitalize on all of them. So what a stock screener like this allows you to do is easily reduce the giant list of five to ten thousand stocks down to just about 10 or 20 with the most potential.
Based on your own particular trading strategy (oversold, momentum, breakout plays, etc.) you can use the price, volume, market cap, float, and numerous other filters so that the screener only returns tickers that fit your individualized criteria.
As a short-term day or swing trader, this is how you can create meaningful watch lists and stalk only the best handful of opportunities. You can even label and save custom screens for future use, which is extremely convenient for traders and investors of all kinds.
The Finviz platform also provides news from popular outlets like Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Reuters, CNBC, Fox Business, BBC, New York Times, and CNN. It even offers content from blogs like Zero Hedge and Seeking Alpha.
You have the option to view news articles and blog posts by time or source. So if there are only a few sources that you trust and prefer over the others, you can focus on only those. But if you want to see everything in order, you can view by time.
When it comes to day trading based on news, I personally prefer Benzinga Pro for its speed. But for swing trading and longer-term plays, the Finviz news feature can be highly beneficial. For any type of trader or investor, news can play an important role.
For example, I used to trade a lot of penny stocks when I first started. And there was this certain small company that traded around ten to twenty cents per share that would almost always spike 50-100%+ leading up to the next Apple iPhone release.
The reason this happened was due to hype that this small company’s technology might be used in the new iPhone. Even though the technology might not actually be used, the speculation from various blogs and news sources drove short-term price movement.
Finviz Maps are a unique feature that provide great visual snapshots of how specific sectors, industries, and markets are performing at any given time. It’s possible to view performance on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis.
In the S&P 500 map, for example, stocks are broken down into sectors like technology, financial, healthcare, and energy – and then specific industries within those sectors like semiconductors, credit services, drug manufacturers, and oil & gas.
Each company within these categories is then given a box that is representative of their market cap, so larger market cap stocks are bigger and easier to see on the map. Each square is also color-coded to show if the stock price is up (green) or down (red).
When you hover your mouse cursor over a specific ticker within the map, you’ll see information and performance data in relation to that company’s main competitors. And if you double-click on a ticker, it will bring you to a separate chart window.
This explanation might sound a bit complicated, but when you actually see the maps and start interacting with them, they’re quite simple to understand. It’s a feature that offers a ton of information (both broad and specific) in an easy-to-use format.
Finviz Insider is another great feature that allows you to track transactions made by high-level company executives like directors, vice presidents, presidents, chief operating officers, chief financial offers, and chief executive officers.
Insider trading is often talked about in regard to the illegal kind – when corporate directors and officers use confidential, non-public company information that nobody else has access to in order to reap large rewards within the financial markets.
But there are legal insider transactions that take place all the time that aren’t based on privileged information and are properly reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) through a Form 4. This is the information that Finviz provides.
The reality is that most company directors and officers are given common stock, derivatives, warrants, or some form of equity as part of their compensation packages. So at some point in the future, they do have to liquidate their holdings for various reasons.
As a retail trader or investor, these insider transactions can potentially be meaningful and provide clues on how executives are feeling about current company performance and future prospects. One transaction alone might not mean much, but more can be telling.
What’s Included With a Finviz Elite Subscription – Added Functionalities and Benefits:
The free versions of Finviz are great – don’t get me wrong – but Finviz Elite takes the features to a whole new level.
There are certainly some people, depending on their particular trading and investing style, who can get away with using one of the free versions forever. But there are many additional benefits to a premium Finviz Elite subscription.
For starters, you receive access to a completely ad-free layout. This might not seem like a big deal, but there are quite a few banner and pop-up ads to deal with when you have a Free or Registered account. So that annoyance goes away with Finviz Elite.
In addition to that, the stock quotes you receive on the home page, maps, and charts will be real-time instead of 15-20 minutes delayed. You also get access to intraday charts (1min, 3min, 5min, etc.) and extended hours data (premarket and aftermarket).
More overlays, indicators, drawing tools, and comparison charts also become available. Correlations and backtesting features are now at your disposal. And the screener becomes even more powerful with customized filters, statistics view, and data export.
You can even set up email notifications triggered by stock prices, analyst ratings, new tickers that fit your screener criteria, and more.
Finviz Pros and Cons – Is Becoming a Free, Registered, or Elite User Worth it?
I don’t really see a situation where a trader or investor wouldn’t be able to get value out of the free or registered versions of Finviz – those are absolutely worth it. So the question really comes down to whether or not Finviz Elite is worth the cost.
At $39.50 per month or $299.50 per year (which is a $174.50 savings from paying monthly), Finviz Elite is one of the cheapest trading tools of its kind. It costs less than $1 per day. In my experience, these types of tools will typically be in the $1,000 per year range.
|FINVIZ PROS||FINVIZ CONS|
I think the best approach would be to check out the free version first. Then if you like it, sign up for a registered account for additional benefits and functionalities. And if you like that, then consider a full-on Finviz Elite subscription.
There are no free trials offered for Finviz Elite, but you can essentially test out most Finviz features with the free and registered versions at no cost. If Finviz helps you make just one or two great trades or investments, the cost is a mere drop in the bucket.
In my personal opinion, there are far more advantages than disadvantages to using Finviz no matter what version – free or premium.
Finviz User Reviews and Testimonials – Is Finviz a Scam or Legit?
Since Finviz offers free versions that give you a pretty good idea of what to expect with a premium Finviz Elite subscription – and also because Finviz Elite really doesn’t cost all that much – I really don’t see any basis for calling it a scam.
Finviz is a tool that I’ve personally been using for close to a decade mainly for running custom scans with the screener feature, but the news, maps, and insiders features are some of my favorites as well. It’s just a great tool overall.
I can see how some users might not be happy with the pop-up advertisements while using the free versions, but they can always upgrade to Finviz Elite in order to avoid that. You can’t expect a free platform to not monetize itself in some way (usually with ads).
There might also be some individuals, depending on their trading and investing styles, who aren’t completely satisfied with certain features and functionalities. But that’s more due to personal preferences than Finviz being some sort of scam.
Overall, most complaints I’ve seen in regard to Finviz have been about the ads – which is easily rectified with a Finviz Elite subscription.
Best Finviz Alternatives – Finviz vs. Trade Ideas and Benzinga Pro:
To give an idea of other top-rated trading tools out there on the market, I think it’s a good idea to compare Finviz to Trade Ideas and Benzinga Pro. All three are great tools, in my opinion, but they have varying strengths and weaknesses to be aware of:
FINVIZ vs. TRADE IDEAS
Trade Ideas is a powerful all-in-one trading software that offers an artificial intelligence engine called Holly, a backtesting tool called OddsMaker, a demo trading platform called Simulation Mode, and even broker integration capabilities through Brokerage Plus.
I personally think that Trade Ideas has better backtesting and scanning capabilities than Finviz Elite, but you have to weigh that with the additional cost. Trade Ideas Premium (which includes all the features mentioned) is $228 per month or $2,268 per year.
There’s also no free version of Trade Ideas available. They do offer Test Drive opportunities every few months – which is about $10-20 for a couple weeks of premium access – but other than that you can’t test things out for free like you can with Finviz.
For serious scalpers and day traders, I think Trade Ideas is a better option than Finviz – mostly due to the scanners. The Trade Ideas scanners are dynamic, meaning that they refresh and update in real-time – no manual running of the scanner/screener required.
FINVIZ vs. BENZINGA PRO
Benzinga Pro is a browser-based trading tool best known for its fast and reliable newsfeed. But it also has a customizable screener much like Finviz as well. In addition to that, it offers unique features like calendars, signals, and audio squawk.
Calendars allow you to track important events like economic data releases and earnings announcements. And one of the most popular Benzinga Pro features is the audio squawk, which provides important market updates throughout the day (like a radio station).
But my personal favorite feature, besides the newsfeed, is signals. These signals provide data on unusual options activity, for example, which can help you pinpoint where the “big money” institutions (large banks, hedge funds, etc) are placing their bets.
But again, you need to weigh these features with the cost. Benzinga Pro does offer a free 2-week trial (no credit card required), but Benzinga Pro Essential is $177 per month or $1,404 per year. Both Trade Ideas and Benzinga Pro are at least 4X the cost of Finviz Elite.
Conclusion – Does Finviz Elite Offer the Best Online Stock Screener?
As a free tool, you really can’t go wrong with Finviz. The stock screener is certainly one of the best free ones available online – and I personally used it daily in order to run custom oversold, short squeeze, momentum, and breakout plays for several years.
For what I used it for (mainly 2-10 day swing trades), I never felt limited in terms of what the free Finviz screener and other features had to offer. But when it comes to a Finviz Elite subscription, you have to make the decision for yourself if it’s worth it.
If you’re looking to buy and sell stock positions within the same day (also known as day trading), then the free versions probably aren’t going to cut it. Because without real-time stock quotes, you’ll be making decisions based on outdated information.
But at a cost of less than $40 per month or $300 per year, there’s really not much risk in checking it out to see if it suits your needs – especially in comparison to other trading tools that can easily cost as much per month as Finviz Elite costs per year.
Overall, I do think Finviz offers the best free and premium online stock screener. But you have to take into account the additional features that Finviz and other tools have to offer, the costs of them, and how well they match your trading style and preferences.
Please leave your thoughts, questions, and experiences in regard to Finviz in the comments section below.
Written by Matt Thomas (@MattThomasTP)
- What is Finviz Elite? Powerful Real Time Charting Software
- Benzinga Pro Review – Is it the Best Live Stock Market Newsfeed?
- How Does Benzinga Pro Work – Is the Platform Worth it?
- Trade Ideas Review – Top Rated Stock Trading Software or a Scam?
- What is TradingSim.com? A Comprehensive TradingSim Review
Finviz/Finviz Elite From Free Up to $299.50 Per Year
Finviz is a free tool that I think every trader and investor should at least check out to see if the features complement their personal strategies and preferences. With a free or registered account, there’s absolutely nothing to lose. If you decide that Finviz doesn’t fit your needs, then you can quickly move on to some other tools that might work out better. But if it does fit your needs, then you have a great free tool for tracking news and insider transactions, and running your own customized scans – among many other things. And if you want even more customization and functionality, then you can upgrade to Finviz Elite for less than $1 per day. Overall, Finviz is one of the most powerful, efficient, and cost-friendly trading tools currently available online.