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Stock Screener Traits

When you search for investment candidates it is good to use stock screeners. They facilitate your work by filtering companies by predefined criteria.

You can use one of the many free from charge stock screeners that are available online. In order to facilitate their analysis, stock screeners narrow the companies to a reasonable and manageable number.

However, you should remember that stock screeners will not show you winning stocks. They just make you be more focused over your investment goals and thus be a more successful investor. They tend to eliminate companies that don't meet your criteria and leave the companies that meet them.

Each stock screener possesses different characteristics. Some of them are more user friendly than others.

What you should look for in a stock screener is a rich database of information on the companies it includes. The data should be at least for the last five years.

Additionally, a good stock screener includes both absolute and relative data. This means that the screener should provide information on the changes in the stock value over the years. This is so, since absolute numbers are less telling than percent changes over periods of time.

You have the opportunity of presetting the screens that possess parameters that are already in place to screen by determined criteria.

This option is especially useful to beginner investors, since it provides them with the possibility of seeing how variables change in order to reach the results they seek.

Some of the stock screeners give you the opportunity to specify value ranges instead of entering greater than or less than variable. So, you can search for companies that are of certain size. This will further narrow your options and thus facilitate your decision making process.

To sum up, a good stock screener should possess the following characteristics:

  • Ease of use
  • Rich database
  • Preset capabilities
  • Relative and absolute data
  • Flexible parameter setting
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