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Picking stocks on your own is a very challenging task, even for experienced traders and investors. With thousands of publicly-traded companies in the US, there's a good chance you will feel overwhelmed if you try to pick stocks on your own.
The good news? You don't have to. There are several quality stock picking services that regularly publish a list of their favorite stocks. All you have to do is subscribe.
Most of them are affordable, and many come with a free trial. However, you may not know which stock picking service is right for you. Read on to find out which ones are our favorites.
Best Stock Picking Services
While index funds are widely recommended in the personal finance community, not everyone wants to invest all their money in them, for one reason or another. Whatever the reason might be, it's not always easy to know which companies to invest in.
With so many factors to consider, such as the company's fundamentals, its competitors, and much more, there is a lot to think about.
Thankfully, this is where stock picking services come in. They do all of the work so you don't have to. And if you are working full-time, that's good news as this sort of analysis is indeed a full-time job in and of itself.
Of course, you also have to pick a stock picking service, funny enough. And that's what we'll do here: give you a list of the best stock picking services so you can save as much time is possible.
Sound good? Let's get to it.
Motley Fool Stock Advisor
It should come as no surprise that one of those most popular stock picking services is also one of our favorites. Indeed, Motley Fool Stock Advisor is as good as they come. It was created in 2002 and has rightly been their most popular service ever since.
Stock Advisor gives members access to the program's stock picks as well as articles, a community forum, and even a members-only live stream. In reality, you'd be anything but a fool for subscribing to of Stock Advisor.
Stock Advisor Performance
It's one thing to simply say a service is great; it's a whole other to see the real numbers. One of the best things about Stock Advisor is they are very transparent with their history. While they have mostly had wins, you can see the historical performance of every recommendation they have made since the start of the program.
Let's take a look at Stock Advisor's best picks and see what they would have done for your portfolio if you invested at the time of recommendation (which is usually recommended).
Return on $250 Investment
Booking Holdings (BKNG)
Walt Disney (DIS)
Indeed, an investment of just $1,250 would have turned into nearly $200,000 in less than 20 years. Of course, these results are far from typical. Stock Advisor's average return is usually around 5x the market, and they recommend holding a bare minimum of 15 stocks.
What Members Get With Stock Advisor
Monthly stock picks - Two new stock picks every month, along with an in-depth analysis of the company. Remember, they don't hold back; Tom and the team let you know the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Stocks to buy today - List of 10 of Fool's most recent recommendations; these are the 10 best new stocks to your portfolio.
Starter stocks - Just getting started? This is a list of 10 stocks that can be used to anchor any portfolio for years. TMF recommends holding at least 25 stocks.
Transparency - The Motley Fool doesn't hide anything. They give you access to all of the numbers in terms of both current and historical performance.
To learn more about Stock Advisor, read our Motley Fool review.
Motley Fool Rule Breakers
Rule Breakers is another stock-picking service from The Motley Fool and features high-growth companies that are changing the game. Previously run by David Gardner, this service will be picked up by the Motley Fool team as David transitions to a new role within the company.
The idea behind Rule Breakers is to get in on the ground level. These are up-and-coming companies that have excellent potential but perhaps haven't reached that potential yet.
Think if it like this: Netflix's stock has had over 20,000% growth, which is fantastic. But its stock is not likely to grow another 20,000% anytime soon; that is just the nature of the game.
The good news? Rule Breakers could help you find the next Netflix of the investing world.
Since this service started in 2005, it has had a cumulative return of 301% compared to 111% for the S&P 500. Other than that high-growth potential, it works much the same as Stock Advisor with two stock picks per month.
The regular price is a bit more than Stock Advisor ($299/year vs. $199/year), but you can sign up for the same price as a new member, and it comes with the same 30-day money-back guarantee.
Best for day traders, Trade Ideas uses an AI engine called Holly Grail to analyze millions of trade scenarios. In doing so, it presents subscribers with a list of trade recommendations to boost their returns.
While the first two services we covered were aimed at long-term, passive investors, Trade Ideas features a full suite of tools aimed at those looking to make a living as a day trader.
In fact, Trade Ideas has over 70 algorithms under its hood to help it analyze over 1 million potential trades each night, before the market opens the next day. As a result, it is able to recommend of trades to subscribers, complete with when to enter and exit the position.
You can even trade directly on the platform, unlike some of the other services here, which require an outside broker. It even has a live chat room where traders can discuss their trading strategies.
The service isn't exactly cheap, starting at $1,068/year or $2,268 per year for access to Holly Grail. However, it is an excellent service and we believe it's worth the price.
To learn more about Trade Ideas, see our Trade Ideas review.
Mindful Trader provides subscribers with swing trade alerts informing them of the best swing trade opportunities at the moment. The founder, Eric, does this by focusing only on trades that have a statistic, quantitative edge.
He uses specific code sets that he uses to find winning trades. He also has over 20 years of data to back up his approach. Plus, he has tracked his returns since 2001, and while the beginning years only had modest returns, he has never had a negative return for the year.
Mindful Trader only has one price, which is $47/month. To learn more about the service, read our Mindful Trader review.
Another service that focuses on day trading, Warrior Trading has become one of the largest trading communities online. Founded by Ross Cameron, Warrior Trading offers excellent education and a live chat to keep you up to speed.
In addition to its chat room, Warrior Trading offers a number of useful tools, including a a day trading simulator, stock market scanners, and a free day trading course. You can also view screen shares of Warrior Trading mentors as they execute trades in real time.
In addition to the free intro course, the site offers two additional educational programs, Warrior Starter and Warrior Pro. The former comes with one e-course, while the latter includes five different courses.
Both programs give you access to plenty of other tools while Warrior Pro includes more, as you might expect. Both tiers give you access to the live trading room.
Pricing for each tier is as follows:
From a stock-picking perspective, the main tool Zacks offers is its #1 Rank List. The stocks on this list are, as you might expect, those Zacks ranks as number one (strong buy) stocks. Thse stocks are those it considers among the top 5 percent in terms of growth potential.
As a result, the average return for these stocks from 1988 to 2021 has been 25.6% - more than double the S&P 500, which averaged 11.2% over the same period of time.
The list is updated regularly; in fact, Zacks recommends checking the last at the start of each trading day. It also assigns stocks A through F grades for value, growth, and momentum stocks.
While Zacks is a great service, it can get very technical and doesn't feature a lot of educational resources for newer investors and traders.
The cost for Zacks Premium is $249 and a 30-day free trial is available.
As a member of MarketWatch premium, you gain access to lots of perks. That includes access to 1 million+ watch lists created by MW members, a stock exchange simulator, and its premium newsletters. It has four different premium newsletters:
You can subscribe to MarketWatch All-Access digital for $1 for the first four weeks or get a 30-day free trial of any of its four premium newsletters.
Yahoo! Finance Plus
This service gives you access to everything you need to stay ahead of the game. For instance, you get real-time news and stock quotes, interactive charts, and even personalized, daily trade recommendations.
Here is a quick rundown of a few of its features:
The cost to unlock all of Yahoo! Finance Plus's features is $35 per month or $350 per year. There is also a Lite plan that costs $25/$250, and a free plan with a handful of features. A 14-day free trial is also available.
Benzinga pro is all about keeping you in the know about all of the latest developments in the market. Benzina has its own dedicated news team delivering you the latest news with lightning-quick efficiency.
Why does that matter? If you are trading actively or perhaps day trading, it's important to stay updated on every market condition down to the finest minutiae. Benzinga's team helps you do just that.
Aside from just a news feed, Benzinga Pro includes a stock screener and a squawk box. The latter provides incredibly fast audio alerts that give you information from multiple charts at once so you don't have to constantly click around.
Benzinga Pro comes with two pricing tiers, $99 per month and $249 per month. There is also a 14-day free trial.
To learn more about Benzinga Pro, read our Benzinga Pro review.
Read to Get Started? Try Our Favorite Stock Picking Service
As I mentioned earlier, our favorite stock-picking service is Motley Fool Stock Advisor. Why? Simply put, it has some of the best performance of any of these services and it's also one of the most affordable.
Really, that is tough to beat. At the end of the day, what we all want is great performance without needing a huge investment up-front. If that sounds like you, Stock Advisor is baout the best you can do.
If you are ready to dig in, get started with Stock Advisor for $99 for your first year.