Updated May 19, 2024

Best Stock Picking Services

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Looking for recommendations on which stocks to invest in? Then you might like a stock picking service. Read on to learn about some of the best.

Choosing the right investments is hard. You have to do research, know the market, read earnings reports...

Who has the time?

Luckily, stock picking services exist. These help you find the right stocks to invest in, based on extensive data and analysis.

But which is best? Below, take a look at some of the top stock picking services and how to choose the right one for you.

What Does a Stock Picking Service Do?

Stock picking services do exactly what the name suggests: they help you pick stocks. These services use a range of algorithms to identify companies that are worth investing in.

They'll look at extensive data and review metrics like market share, quarterly earnings, and more. By doing this, stock picking services can help you understand the financials of a company better than doing it on your own.

Many stock picking services operate as subscription newsletters, apps, or private websites. While a lot of data analysis goes into stock picking, they don't provide personalized recommendations like a financial advisor would.

Are stock picking services worth it?
Stock picking services are definitely worth the expense to the right consumer. If you're the type who enjoys the act of research, then you might be better off saving the money and choosing the stocks yourself. But if you're not interested in devoting a lot of time to stock picking, then using a service may be a good investment.

What to Look for in a Stock Picking Service

Choosing the right stock picking service takes a bit of digging. But there are some key metrics you can look at to help identify the best stock picking services out there.

Track Record
Find out how the service's recommendations have performed over time. How do their returns compare to the market as a whole? If this information isn't available, or if they have a history of mediocre picks, you might want to give them a pass.

What is your risk appetite for stock investment?

Not everyone is certified as an institutional investor, and high-net worth individuals are privy to opportunities that normal folk aren't. Make sure that the stock picking service you choose isn't recommending trades that you're incapable of making.

Institutional investors may get access to the same stocks at lower prices than everyone else, making the recommendations viable for them, but lead to losses for normal investors.

Of course, you don't want to scrimp on a stock picking service and get bad recommendations. But keep in mind that the more you spend on a service, the more you'll need to earn just to break even.

Make sure that you're not spending more than you're earning. If two services offer the same quality of advice, choose the less expensive one.

Learning Opportunities
Many stock picking services offer educational materials that will help you become a more effective investor. Peruse them at your leisure, but don't miss the opportunity to further your investing education.

The Best Stock Picking Services for Every Investor

Now that you know what to look for in a stock picking service, let's take a look at some of the best.

Find the service with a price that suits your budget, features that you like, and even trials and promotions to help you save.

Motley Fool Stock Advisor - Best Overall

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor is a newsletter published by the Motley Fool. Since its inception in 2002, the service has consistently outperformed the S&P 500 with its stock picks.

Following their recommendations, a subscriber could have potentially turned an initial $10,000 investment into $350,000+.

There are two benefits to signing up for a Stock Advisor subscription, and the first is the stock picking itself. Each month, you'll receive two new stock recommendations, selected by the Motley Fool team.

But that's not all. You'll also get access to a database detailing every historical recommendation that the Stock Advisor has made.

That means, if you're the researching type, you'll be able to pick apart the Motley Fool's strategy and learn to implement it yourself. It's an excellent learning opportunity for investors of all experience levels.

Ideal for: Buy-and-Hold investors
Price: $199 per year
Free trial/promos available:

Who has the best stock picking record?
The Motley Fool Stock Advisor has an outstanding record of picking the right stocks, with returns as high as 4x that of the S&P 500 from 2002 to 2021. If you had invested $10,000 in the stocks they recommended back then, by now you'd have turned it into over $350,000.

Morningstar - Best for Mutual Funds and ETFs

Morningstar's scale for rating mutual funds is so well-respected that it's used by many top brokerages.

While the Morningstar Premium membership offers up a wealth of knowledge, it will be more suited to investors willing to do a bit of research. Morningstar mainly offers detailed instead of specific picks.

Membership comes with access to detailed metrics on over 600,000 different stocks, as well as a list of "Best Investments," which can help you narrow down the companies worth exploring. Their interface is easy to navigate and is invaluable for investors of all experience levels.

Ideal for: Active Investors

  • $34.95 per month
  • $249 per year

What's the best free stock picking service?
While you will have to pay for access to the Motley Fool Stock Advisor content, the Motley Fool has a fair quantity of free material available as well. If you're looking for advice on picking stocks that aren't locked behind a paywall, the Motley Fool is a good place to start.

Seeking Alpha - Best for Research and Recommendations

Seeking Alpha has both free and Premium content for investors to take advantage of. Their premium service is geared toward investors with a bit of experience under their belts, and includes a range of news, recommendations, research, and analysis to help track the market and pick the best stocks to invest in.

Whichever service you choose, they offer something for both investors who want quick picks and those interested in putting in some time to do research on their own.

Seeking Alpha users get access to thousands of different takes on different stocks, including analysis from a variety of experts and other traders. By being able to see a range of opinions on a given stock, users can form a more well-rounded view of its worth.

Users can even see how Seeking Alpha authors have performed in the past, and so can easily recognize whose opinion is the most trustworthy.

They give you access to unlimited articles, company financials, top stock lists, compare six stocks and six ETFs side by side and a range of other features. Paying for Premium will also reduce on-site ads.

Ideal for: Research-Oriented Investors

  • Premium: $239/year
  • Pro: $2400/year

Free trial/promos available:

Trade Ideas - Best for Day Trading

Some think that stock picking is an expert's game. But Trade Ideas thinks it's a job for AI. Using a proprietary market scanner, Trade Ideas' AI, Holly, identifies stock picks automatically and sends alerts to subscribers.

You can choose to take advantage of Holly's 70+ running algorithms, or set your own parameters and tweak the advisor to provide alerts for stocks that match your own specific criteria.

With frequent updates and adaptive recommendations, both day traders and long-term investors can get valuable insight from Trade Ideas. They also provide a paper trading account to let you see how the recommendations perform in the market without actually spending anything.

That said, full access to Trade Ideas is fairly expensive, and may price out lower net worth investors.

Ideal for: Day Traders and Long-Term Investors
Price: $999 per year for Standard; $1,999 per year for Premium plan
Free trial/promos available: 15% any subscription or upgrade

What is the best day trading service?
Trade Ideas may be the best stock picking service available for day traders. Its proprietary AI and numerous algorithms run around the clock to identify trading opportunities that may go missed by a merely human observer. It comes with a sizable price tag, but if you're looking for the biggest edge as a day trader, Trade Ideas may be worth it.

Zacks - Best for Fundamental Investors

Every day there are people claiming they've come up with a new strategy for picking stocks that will blow all other investors out of the water. Most of the time what those people are offering is risk in disguise.

But there's one strategy that's been recommended since people started writing about the stock market: understanding the fundamentals. That's what Zacks Investment Research is offering to its subscribers.

It may not be as flashy or exciting as a stock-picking algorithm, but it's what some of the most well-regarded investors in history have done.

Zacks subscribers get access to their #1 Rank List, their Industry Rank List, Focus List covering long-term stocks, research reports, premium screens, their Earnings ESP Filter, and their #5 Rank List.

Ideal for: Fundamental Investors
Price: $249 per year for Premium
Free trial/promos available: 30-day free trial

Mindful Trader - Best for Swing Trading

Buy and Hold isn't for everyone. For swing traders looking to take advantage of medium- to short-term price changes, Mindful Trader is worth checking out.

This data-driven stock picker sends about 15 trade alerts per week to subscribers, via text or email. By signing up, you'll also get access to the list of stocks the creator of the service is watching and holding, and the ability to see historical data about trades made since Mindful Trader was started.

If you're looking for specific, targeted advice on when to open positions and when to close them, real-time, by a data-driven team, then Mindful Trader may be the right stock picking service for you.

Ideal for: Swing Traders
Price: $47 per month

Warrior Trading - Best for Small Cap Day Traders

If you're looking to learn more about day trading, but don't have piles of money to throw around, you might want to take a look at Warrior Trading. This platform provides stock picking insights and learning opportunities for traders who are still finding their feet in the market.

Warrior Trading provides investors with interactive content, trading screens, and access to a chatroom with a video and audio feed, so that you can follow along and learn, get to know other traders, share strategies, and get your questions answered.

If you want to see just what you're getting into, you can check out Warrior Trading on YouTube, where they post free educational content and daily recaps, making it one of the more transparent stock picking services on this list.

Subscribers will get a list of stocks to watch every day.

Ideal for: Small Cap Day Traders

  • Warrior Starter: $997 (one-time)
  • Warrior Pro: $3,997 (one-time)
  • Warrior Pro Special: $6,202 (one-time)

Free trial/promos available: 7-day free trial

More Trading Websites Worth Checking Out

The stock picking services we discussed above provide great content for investors, but they're not the only services available. Below, we'll take a quick look at some other popular investing services that may be worth a look. Let's see what they have to offer.

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is a popular trading platform used by investors of all styles and levels of experience. They have trading platforms for web, desktop, and mobile, along with a range of insightful informational tools.

TD Ameritrade users get access to third-party research tools and financial news, expert-level analytical tools, educational content to help them become better traders or help them find their feet when they're just starting out, and more.

Their trading platforms are intuitive and easy to use, with customizable interfaces so that you can build the setup that works best for your trading style. Their accounts are free to sign up for, and charge no annual or inactivity fees.

Yahoo! Finance

While Yahoo! might not be the biggest name in search anymore, Yahoo! Finance is still a powerful resource for investors looking to keep up to date on the state of the market.

On Yahoo! Finance, you'll find a range of content including market stats, recent financial news, and commentary on the latest developments in the business world. You can use it to track your portfolio as well as see what stocks are trading most actively day-to-day.

If you're interested in more exclusive content, consider signing up for Yahoo! Finance Plus, where you get access to reports and other information not available to free users. Plus Essential is $29.16/month billed annually.

What is the best stock alert service?
If you're looking for real-time stock alerts, consider Trade Ideas, whose proprietary AI scans the market for signals to identify good investments. Trade Ideas stock alert services don't come cheap, but if you can afford the price, you may be able to get access to insights you couldn't get from a mere human advisor.

Pilot Trading

Pilot Trading is a mobile app that claims to let you see into the future of the stock market—just five minutes, but for active traders, that might as well be an eternity.

What Pilot Trading is really doing is tracking behavior on the market: scanning for trades, seeing what people are buying and selling, looking for patterns, looking for trends.

By knowing what people are doing, you can make informed decisions on what to buy and sell yourself. It's free to download with a 30-day trial, after that it costs $19.99 per month.


Scanz is another popular market scanner and trading platform. They offer a range of data and news content, including columns from experts, real-time notifications, streaming charts, and custom layouts.

You can integrate up to 2 brokers, with more in the works, and their scanner gives access to data from the NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX. They offer level 2 depth, unlimited watchlists, breakout alerts, and more.

Scanz offers a 14-day free trial, after that it costs $169/month. And for an additional $15 per month, you can have access to their OTC Markets with complete OTC penny and sub-penny stock data.

What are the Best Strategies in Picking Stocks?

There are probably about a million strategies out there for picking stocks, and everyone will tell you that theirs is the right one.

Plenty of them have their merits, but be wary of anyone telling you they can predict the stock market. That said, there are strategies that you can employ to improve your chances of picking good stocks. Let's take a look at a few:

When trying to identify a company worth investing in, earnings are an easy metric to use. While increased earnings term-over-term isn't a guarantee of long-term growth or success of a company, it is a sign that they're doing something right, at least for now.

Understanding a company means understanding it in the context of its competitors. No company exists in a vacuum.

By identifying the strongest companies in a specific industry, you can effectively pick the best stocks within that market.

Slow but consistent growth of dividends paid by a company can be a good indicator of long-term prosperity and help you identify companies that are in it for the long haul.

Be wary of companies whose dividend payouts increase dramatically over a short period, as this can be a sign that they are in financial trouble and are trying to attract new investors to plug gaps.

Search for a company led by strong leaders with clear goals. This will give you confidence that the management will make smart decisions for the company's future and growth.

Consider their executives' experience, the length of their tenure, and how transparent they are about the company's business with shareholders.

Bottom Line

Picking the right stocks can seem like a challenge, but with the right tools and the right help, it doesn't have to be.

If you're in the market for a stock picking service, there are some out there for every style of investor. Whether you're looking for someone to tell you exactly what to buy and when to sell, or simply access to a wealth of raw data, there are services that offer each.

And the same goes for whether you intend to buy and hold or trade hourly. Once you've found the right stock picking service, you'll be well on your way to a solid investment career.

Jeremy Harshman is a creative assistant at CreditDonkey, a personal finance comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at jeremy.harshman@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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