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If your investment portfolio includes individual stocks, you need the best research to invest successfully. You can assemble your research using analyst reports and information from news outlets, but the DIY approach to stock research can be time-consuming and tedious.
Fortunately, you have many choices when it comes to investment research platforms.
Seeking Alpha has a long history of providing investment advice. Free content on the Seeking Alpha site offers access to the largest investing community in the world. Fueled by crowdsourcing, the platform has millions of experienced investors who connect to share investing ideas, discuss breaking news, and help each other make solid investment decisions.
Here, we’ll evaluate Seeking Alpha’s Premium tier of services. The service targets intermediate and advanced traders. It requires a small financial investment compared to some high-profile competitors and has a long track record of success.
In this post you'll learn:
What is Seeking Alpha?
More than 7,000 contributors publish over 10,000 articles about funds, asset classes, and specific stocks on the Seeking Alpha platform. You can receive investing newsletters about topics like market sectors, individual tickers, and market headlines. Users can also monitor portfolio performance, read market news, and see earnings call transcripts.
Seeking Alpha’s stated mission is “Power to Investors.”
SA’s in-house team of editors vets all research. They seek to empower investors to make intelligent investing decisions using Seeking Alpha’s stock research tools. Diverse opinions on individual stocks allow readers to make informed decisions about whether to invest in a stock, when to sell, and how a stock’s future earnings may contribute to a portfolio’s overall growth.
The data available on the Seeking Alpha platform connects any investor to professional-caliber tools. Quant ratings and factor grades summarize an individual stock’s characteristics, while author ratings offer snapshots of various contributor’s opinions.
Seeking Alpha Membership Tiers
With Seeking Alpha, there are three membership tiers.
- Basic: Free.
- Premium: $29.99/month (14-day trial available). $19.99/mo if billed annually.
- Pro: $299.99/month. $199.99/mo if billed annually.
New investors and those with intermediate experience find everything they need to level up their investing game with the free and premium tiers. Seeking Alpha Pro is best for professional investors and those managing significant portfolios. It provides high-level investing ideas and research from all sectors and industries.
Who is Behind Seeking Alpha?
David Jackson, a Wall Street analyst, founded Seeking Alpha in 2004. Frustrated by the lack of coverage of small-cap companies by Wall Street, Jackson invented the crowdsourced stock research platform as an alternative to relying solely on analysts from Wall Street for information.
He wanted to highlight companies that were too small to get the attention of high-profile analysts. The site now has more than 10 million visitors monthly (200,000 of which are paying for a premium subscription) and enjoys partnerships with CNBC, Marketwatch, Yahoo! Finance, and MSNBC.
What Information Can I Get With A Seeking Alpha Premium Subscription?
Upgrading to Seeking Alpha Premium means you’ll have instant access to thousands of articles to help you decide where to put your investment dollars. Most investing idea articles remain accessible on the site for ten days from publication. After that, they go behind the Premium tier paywall.
Premium members can access Seeking Alpha’s easily searchable database of articles no matter when they were published. Many users subscribe to Seeking Alpha Premium and Motley Fool Stock Advisor to find specific investor articles about the regular monthly stock picks from the Motley Fool Stock Advisor.
Here’s the breakdown of everything you get with Seeking Alpha Premium:
- Market Intelligence: Small-cap stock information and analysis not available on other investment sites.
- Superior Analysis: Published ideas, research, and analysis plus insights from peer networking outpace in-house investing results.
- Actionable Ideas: Daily actionable ideas from SA’s in-house experts.
- Advanced Filters: Easily and quickly construct new investment ideas using SA’s market cap, country, long/short, and investment style filters.
- Professional Community: SA is a crowdsourced investment platform encouraging members to exchange ideas, offer feedback on expert analysis, and provide direction to new investors.
Seeking Alpha authors attach a rating to an ETF or stock:
- Very Bullish
- Very Bearish
Ratings are visible to Seeking Alpha’s Premium tier and Pro tier subscribers only.
The “Bulls and Bears say” section provides a snapshot of why a stock may be worth buying, why you may want to avoid it, or why it may be time to sell your shares.
The sidebar on each stock rating offers even more valuable information while helping to reduce the time you spend evaluating a stock:
- Stock price chart
- Stock rating from the article’s author
- Seeking Alpha scoring models ratings using proprietary models
Earnings and conference call transcripts: Listen to recorded earnings and conference calls; print and download transcripts and presentation slides. Basic members have read-only access to transcripts. Here are a few other tools reserved for Seeking Alpha Premium tier members:
Ten years’ worth of financial statements for individual stocks: Basic members can access five years’ worth.
Earnings forecasts: Extra factors such as earnings estimates and surprises. Basic members can see only stock ticker’s dividend payment schedules and earnings reports.
Notable calls from Wall Street and fund managers: Understand how top investors manage their cash.
Portfolio monitoring: Get timely news on your investments. Monitor performance and receive alerts.
Sync brokerage accounts: Link US brokerage accounts to the Seeking Alpha platform to monitor multiple accounts in one place. Basic members can track their portfolios by manually entering each stock.
Personalized alerts: Get breaking news for all of your portfolio holdings. Read the alert from your email inbox. Basic members must visit SA to read alerts.
News dashboard: Read market headlines and news with enhanced capabilities for a deep dive into the research. SA’s news dashboard is an excellent alternative to Barron’s or The Wall Street Journal.
Earnings Calendar: View a list of upcoming reports and calls from your stock portfolio. Access EPS revision scores and the latest company reports as the market adjusts.
Seeking Alpha Returns
Stocks rated as a “Strong Buy” by Seeking Alpha have done historically well when benchmarked against the S&P 500.
Since inception Seeking Alpha’s “Strong Buy” stock picks have produced average annualized returns of 29% to investors.
Here’s a breakdown of their “Strong Buy” rating track record:
Seeking Alpha VS Motley Fool
The Motley Fool is an investment advisory newsletter service and one of the most popular in the industry. Their history stretches 20 years and in that time they have picked some of the most successful stocks.
Here’s a look at their popular subscription offers and the annual returns those picks have provided investors since inception to give you an idea:
|Motley Fool Service||Inception||Returns||S&P500|
Seeking Alpha Media
Seeking Alpha’s Premium tier includes access to several contributors offering subscriptions to their investing newsletters. These newsletters provide model portfolios and in-depth analysis not available in the Investing Ideas articles.
Seeking Alpha also offers eight investing podcasts covering daily market activities, investing in ETFs, and trading stocks.
Choose from 15 free newsletters such as focused sectors and the morning market headlines.
The Stock Ideas feed organizes articles according to their theme. You’ll find the most-read articles on the seeking Alpha homepage.
The Investing Strategy collection of articles helps investors shape their portfolio investment strategy to feed long0term financial goals. While much of the content is for financial investors, individual investors may also find the information useful.
Seeking Alpha FAQs
What is a Seeking Alpha author rating?
Contributors who submit investing ideas have a long-term track record attached to their profiles to help you decide if their long-term predictions pan out.
Subscribers can see an author’s rating history and their favorite stocks. Some Seeking Alpha contributors also work for high-profile investment firms, so their investing advice offers valuable insight into their overall investment strategy.
How Can Investors Use Seeking Alpha’s Stock Screener?
The Stock Screener, reserved for Premium tier subscribers, allows users to customize filters, including market caps, author ratings, and momentum or growth ratings. Premade screeners help find top-rated ETFs and stocks quickly.
Here are some examples of screeners already set up within Seeking Alpha’s Premium tier:
- Dividend stocks: above bullish rating yielding a minimum of 2%
- Growth stocks: minimum $1 billion market cap
- Value stocks: minimum $1 billion market cap
- Best stocks by market sector: consumer staples, technology, etc.
Does Seeking Alpha Premium Provide Quant Ratings?
Yes. The proprietary quant rating system on the Seeking Alpha platform helps everyday investors understand the more complex aspects of investing. Investors can use SA’s quant ratings to analyze large volumes of data in a short amount of time. Quantitative analysis helps professional investors manage their portfolios and research stocks.
Seeking Alpha’s quant score uses these factors:
- Stock price momentum
- EPS revisions
Backtesting helps calculate final quant ratings.
What is the Seeking Alpha Factor Scorecard?
The factor scorecard assigns a letter grade from A+ to F for each of the following factors:
- EPS revisions
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) also receive these ratings:
- Funds from Operations (FFO)
- Adjusted Funds from Operation (AFFO)
Factor scorecards help investors evaluate stocks by offering detailed information about the stock’s performance. If you click on any of the stock’s ratings, you’ll get details about why the stock received that particular rating along with the underlying data.
For even more specific information, use the Dividend Stock Scorecard to help you avoid investments with unsustainable yields.
Seeking Alpha Pros and Cons
- Find market analysis, predictions, and news on one platform
- Unlimited access to investing articles and ideas
- Track entire investment portfolio in one place
- Reviews include most ETFs and stocks
- Contributors are expert analysts and traders
- Provides exposure to new investment strategies
- Casual investors may find the volume of information overwhelming
- It can be challenging to keep up with the in-depth analysis of multiple stocks
- The monthly cost may be too high for everyday investors
Seeking Alpha Premium Subscription Costs
The Seeking Alpha Premium subscription comes with a free 14-day trial, which investors can use to evaluate every aspect of the service. After the trial, the service costs $29.99 per month plus applicable taxes. If you decide to purchase a yearly subscription for $239, the cost breaks down to $19.99 per month.
If you think that price tag is a little steep, then keep your eye out for specials and discounts. Seeking Alpha regularly runs these promotions usually on Holidays or other noteworthy days. Here’s an example of a 50% off deal from President’s Day, February 21, 2022.
Contact customer service or log into your account settings if you want to cancel during your free trial.
Seeking Alpha sends a reminder email two days before the end of every free trial to remind new users that their cancellation window is closing.
Is Seeking Alpha Premium Any Good?
Yes. The Seeking Alpha Quant System regularly beats the market. They’ve outperformed the market four-to-one every year since 2010.
Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
Here are three stocks that the Quant System identified as Very Bullish, along with their performance as of March 2021:
- Tupperware: Up 571%
- Cassava: Up 1,085%
- Novavax: Up 1,188%
Seeking Alpha Reviews From Verified Users
According to Sitejabber, Seeking Alpha has a consumer rating of 3.5 stars from 190 reviews indicating that most customers are generally satisfied with their purchases. Seeking Alpha ranks 39th among Stock Trading sites.
Positive reviews (last 12 months): 73.9%
Is Seeking Alpha worth it?
July 9th, 2021: Verified purchase
“I have used both the free and the fee services of SA. I believe it is very much worth the $’s and the time spent in reading the articles. Not all of them will apply to your investment plan. But even the ones that don’t give you a perspective on other investment opportunities. As an investor whose goal is dividend yield and growth, I have the opportunity to read those authors’ that will provide me with good information. Readers’ comments are also useful for new ideas and as a check on an author’s support of an investment.”
Seeking Alpha a sweeping breadth of information
July 2nd, 2021: Verified purchase
“I have been following many of the writers on Seeking Alpha for many years. I recently became a premium member and use the information everyday. It gives me perspective on stocks from several authors with different opinions, which I find very useful when I am evaluating purchasing a new position. I use this in combination with other services including Stansberry, Oxford Club, Sure Dividend and Kiplinger.”
Is Seeking Alpha Worth It?
Seeking Alpha Premium is suitable for swing traders and intraday investors who want independent perspectives on companies. To get the most out of Seeking Alpha Premium, you’ll need a solid understanding of stock analysis.
Subscribers who find the most value in Seeking Alpha Premium have the following attributes in common:
- Serious investor with at least five individual stocks
- Enjoy researching ETFs and stocks
- Require access to Seeking Alpha’s content that’s older than ten days
Seeking Alpha is a powerful research tool offering the buy and sell reasons for individual stocks. Investors must decide which stocks to buy and when, however.
Active investors who require in-depth research to make money by investing in the stock market may find Seeking Alpha Premium a smart use of their money.
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