Best Stock Picking Services (Ranked & Reviewed)

Investing
Updated: 18th Jul 2021
Written by Drew Cheneler
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July 18, 2021
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The stock market used to be a wealthy man’s game, something only meant for those who had more money than what they knew what to do with.

With the modernization of the stock market, however, and the ease of access to financial information across the internet, stock market trading has become more accessible than ever.

Plenty of websites allow you to buy and sell stocks without the need to have a dedicated stockbroker.

They give you the tools in convenient packaging, like flashy websites and user-friendly applications.

However, this doesn’t mean that the average user can predict the market and understand what the next big stock will be. That’s totally okay, though! There’s a solution for that.

Whether you don’t know enough about the market to make predictions, or you have some spare funds that you’d like to invest in a stock that will help that money grow, a stock picking service can be an invaluable asset.

If you need a stock-picking service, then you’ll need to know all that there is to know about the competing companies on the market.

We’ve gathered all of that information for you here to make choosing the best stock picking service a breeze.

What Is a Stock Picking Service?

As the name implies, a stock-picking service chooses stocks for you to invest in without you having to do the research yourself.

They tend to choose stocks that are predicted to outperform the rest of the market.

They then provide this information to you, allowing you to pick what stocks to invest in based on their recommendations or ignore if you’re inclined to.

There are similar services available on the market, and it’s important to know their functions.

They are often confused with stock picking services, and the information that they provide differs from a stock picking service.

  • Stock Screeners: Stock screeners take criteria from you, the investor, and filter down the countless stocks on the market, giving you a select few based on your preferences.
  • Stock Scanners: These are another online investing tool that provides stock-related data to users in real-time. They can also provide alerts to users.
  • Stockbrokers: These are the actual websites that allow users to buy and sell stocks.

Often, these services overlap with one another. Many screeners offer scanning tools, while some stockbrokers provide access to both screeners and scanners. None of these, however, should be confused with stock picking services, though.

How Do Stock Picking Services Work?

Stock picking services lean heavily on professional investors and teams of data analysts to make their services work.

These teams of professionals will review stock market data in large sets. Often, they’ll compile information on quarterly earnings, market share, and company endeavors when reviewing potential stocks to pick.

Then, once the information has been reviewed and the numbers have been crunched, they’ll provide their top picks for stocks to invest in to their subscribers.

Using a stock picking service requires a subscription for the service in nearly all cases. Free services, such as stock screeners, are not as insightful as a stock picking service.

As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. It rings true when it comes to financial services and tools related to investing, without a doubt.

Who Should Use a Stock Picking Service?

Using a stock picking service may not seem like it’s for everyone, but we can assure you that to some degree, it should be.

Stock picking services should be used by investors who are looking to put their money in stocks that are more likely to have a higher return on investment but who may not have the time or expertise to research candidates themselves.

They’re also great for people who aren’t sure where to invest their money and want to make sure that they’re doing it wisely.

Best Stock Picking Services

#1. The Motley Fool Stock Advisor

  • Price: $99/year for the first year, $199/year afterwards

The Motley Fool is a name that you should already be familiar with if you’re buying and selling stocks. The company has been around for nearly 30 years and is at the top of most people’s lists when it comes to the best available stock picking service.

The best stock picking services

The Motley Fool can back this number one spot up by providing data on their Stock Advisor picks. The stocks that the Stock Advisor has recommended have seen nearly 5 times the returns that the S&P 500 has since April of 2021.

The return on the S&P 500 was 129%, while the stock picks that The Motley Fool has recommended have a cumulative 578%, which is impressive, to say the least.

This stock picking service is designed for investors who plan to buy and hold shares, as illustrated by the investing principles they provide upon enrolling.

  1. Own at least 15 stocks
  2. Hold stocks for at least 5 years
  3. Expect market downturns every 5 years

Subscribing to the Motley Fool provides a plethora of benefits, such as four monthly newsletters, “sell” recommendation emails in real-time, and access to The Motley Fool’s top 10 stocks list and the 5-starter stock list for new investors.

>> Learn More: Full Motley Fool Review

#2. Stock Rover

  • Price: From $139.99/2 years

Stock Rover prides itself on being a company built on the demands of stock investors. As such, they market themselves to all investors, not just those who are already familiar with the market.

They provide powerful investing tools that outperform the tools of many other investing sites and focus on a user-friendly approach over everything.

Stock Picking Services

When you subscribe to Stock Rover, you’ll be granted access to:

  • Screening – Stock Rover has a powerful screening tool that most people are initially attracted to
  • Comparison – A tool that compares competing investment options through a number of different criteria
  • Research Reports – The company provides easy to understand, in-depth research reports on the most popular stocks available
  • Portfolios – The portfolio tool displays real-time metrics regarding your portfolio and its performance
  • Charting – Charts on Stock Rover have been built to analyze and compare screeners, portfolios, and any benchmark you can think of

There are three membership levels on Stock Rover, the Essentials package at $139.99/2 years, the Premium package at $319.99/2 years, and the Premium Plus at $479.99/2 years.

All plans include comprehensive information and data, as well as educational resources. However, the depth of information provided increases with every tier.

>> Learn More: Stock Rover Review

#3. Morningstar Premium

  • Price: $199/year

MorningStar is a well-known investing company that provides a plethora of information on the most popular stocks available on the market. Some of these services are investment tracking, managed portfolios, and of course, stock picking.

When subscribing to MorningStar Premium, users are granted access to exclusive research, ratings, and tools.

They provide not only their top picks for stocks but for mutual funds and ETFs as well. Each pick comes with a massive amount of information that provides support on why they’ve chosen it.

In addition to the Premium subscription service they provide, MorningStar also provides Investor Newsletters for an additional subscription fee.

While these aren’t a stock picking service, they pair well with the Premium subscription, depending on how much information you’re looking for regarding the stocks you’re interested in.

Each newsletter provides a wealth of information and data, including analysis, watchlists, and reports. There are 4 newsletters to choose from, depending on your interests: StockInvestor, FundInvestor, DividendInvestor, and ETFInvestor.

These newsletters are costly but worth it if you need more information than the standard information.

>> Learn More: Full Morningstar Review

#4. Seeking Alpha

  • Price: From $19.99/month

Unlike the other choices on this list, Seeking Alpha is actually an app available on iOS and Android platforms.

Additionally, they’re a crowdsourced stock analysis program, and they pay for the highest quality research and analysis of stocks.

This provides to their subscribers the advantage of information and variety in opinions given, allowing for more well-rounded stock picks.

Rather than being a stream of information from one source, they allow investors to read information from different sources, something that’s highly recommended when investing.

One of the unique products that this service provides is conference call transcripts from companies. This allows you to read information straight from the mouths of CEOs and other executives, something that you can’t get elsewhere.

This, along with the large amount of information they provide in relation to many stocks, makes them a great stock news app and stock picker.

They have 2 plans available, the Premium and Pro plan. On each, you can get a discount if paying for the subscription annually rather than monthly.

That being said, the Premium plan is $19.99/month if paid for in a single annual installment, or $29.99/month if paid for on a month-to-month basis. The Pro plan is $199.99/month if paid for in a single annual installment, or $299.99/month if paid for on a month-to-month basis.

#5. Zacks Research

  • Price: From $249/year

Older than The Motley Fool, Zacks has been providing research since the 1970s. Since then, they’ve been a trusted resource in the investing community and provide insightful information for day traders, buy and hold investors, and research enthusiasts.

While the platform has a free membership, it doesn’t provide the Premium and Ultimate memberships’ stock picking service.

In order to get the most out of Zacks, especially if you’re a research enthusiast, you’ll need to pay for the Premium or Ultimate Memberships.

Zacks Research provides all of the following, with some features being limited to Premium and Ultimate memberships only:

  • Daily newsletters
  • Free articles
  • Basic research
  • Email alerts
  • Portfolio tracker
  • Stock and funds rankings
  • Industry rank (Premium)
  • Equity research reports (Premium)
  • Premium screens (Premium)
  • Recommendations and picks (Premium)
  • Top 10 stocks (Ultimate)
  • Stocks under $10 (Ultimate)
  • Short sell list (Ultimate)

This isn’t even close to all of it if we’re being honest. The list goes on and on. If you’re looking for more information than you can shake a stick at, Zacks Research is an excellent choice.

>> Learn More: Full Zacks Research Review

#6. Pilot Trading

  • Price: $19.95/month

In addition to the traditional trading options available on the stock market, Pilot Trading takes it a step further, offering access to far more fintech options than their competitors. Pilot offers information regarding cryptocurrencies and forex, which isn’t something that every service on this list provides.

Pilot has made themselves indispensable on the market due to their focus on providing services to the active trader, not just the buy and hold trader.

They monitor the activity of all traders in real-time and will alert you when they believe the market is about to change direction.

They’ll also send a push notification to your phone once an opportunity arises to either buy or sell a stock.

Once you’ve got the app downloaded to your phone, you can set your watchlists and connect your supported brokerage accounts for a one-stop-shop application.

Using Pilot will also allow you to discover new opportunities and provide you with their recommendations for stocks.

One of the parts that’s the most likable about the Pilot app is the simulated trading section. They allow you to practice trading and learn from the scenarios that play out in the simulated environment.

Pilot is a service made for newer investors that like to be highly active with their funds and stocks.

#7. Trade Ideas

  • Price: From $118/month

Trade-Ideas is another unique service on our list. They’re marketed towards active day traders, which isn’t the part that’s out of the usual. The part of their service that’s unique is that it’s based on Artificial Intelligence, or AI for short.

The AI that Trade Ideas employs takes all of the data from data to run the night before and provides recommendations and picks to subscribers based on it before the trading day starts.

These recommendations and picks are provided in real-time. They include the best-forecasted entry and exit points for your trades. This gives you more data to make better decisions when it comes to your investing.

Trade Ideas has two plans, a Standard plan that will set you back $118/month and a Premium plan at $228/month.

Both plans provide access to software that can be downloaded onto any Windows computer and plenty of features like:

  • Simulated trading
  • Alert windows
  • Chart windows
  • One-click trading
  • News stories

#8. Mindful Trader

  • Price: $47/month

Mindful Trader is a swing stock picking service that provides alerts to users via email and text message. All the recommendations are based on data-driven research that allows you to take advantage of short-term movements in the market.

When using Mindful Trader, you’ll need to be in the mindset of a swing trader, as the entire platform is based on this methodology of trading stocks.

When subscribing to Mindful Trader, users can expect between 5 and 15 messages a week regarding the stocks they’ve got an interest in.

They’ll also be provided clear guidance on when to open and close positions, access to the creator’s watchlist and live positions, and historical data with trades conducted since being founded.

The creator of Mindful Trader, Eric Ferguson, believes in his algorithmic and statistical analysis and publishes it for subscribers on the website. The data included pertains to stock trades, futures trades, and options trades.

#9. AAII Dividend Investing

  • Price: From $199/year

The American Association of Individual Investors, or AAII, is committed to doing all of the income investment due diligence work for you.

Using their proprietary processes for both stock picking and screening, AAII helps you ensure that you’re targeting stocks that combine yield and asset quality.

AAII’s model Dividend Investing portfolio is managed using the association’s best practices. These best practices help to minimize risk while generating higher income potential.

Their portfolio targets a mix of Consumer Staples, Financials, and US Markets. The chosen equities have been proven to have healthy cash flows, like Utilities and Health Care Services.

AAII’s services are provided in annual increments, with price breaks when multiple years are enrolled for at one time. Pricing is as follows: $199/year, $359/2 years, $399/3 years.

#10. Scanz

  • Price: $79/month for News. $99/month for Scanner, $149/month for Bundle

The appeal of Scanz comes from its simplicity. Rather than having users pay attention to multiple screens, windows, or charts, Scanz allows their users to set up alerts based on specific criteria.

This is an excellent way of preventing information overload, and why Scanz is such a valuable tool for all investors.

Once signed up with Scanz, users will be able to set up alerts based on stocks and companies that they want to see.

Some of the alerts that users can set up are for significant News regarding a company or companies, changes in price, changes in volume, and percentage changes. These can all be set to specific thresholds, allowing you to see only information that’s relevant to you.

There are two different services offered by Scanz that provide these alerts.

  • Scanz News Streamer – Alerts users to News and SEC filings on AMEX, NASDAQ, and NYSE; provides users with streaming charts and two broker integrations
  • Scanz Trade Scanner – Scans Level 1 and Level 2 data on AMEX, NASDAQ, and NYSE; features breakout alerts, unlimited watchlists, streaming charts, and more

To truly get the most out of Scanz, both products should be subscribed to, as it allows users to have a full view of the stocks they care about and all the News that may affect them.

How To Pick the Best Stock Picking Service

Picking the best stock picking service comes down to your individual needs. You’ll want to analyze what kind of trader you are, as not all stock picking services are geared towards the same demographic.

Most stock picking services tend to aim at providing information to buy and hold investors. If that’s the way you tend to invest, then you’re in luck.

However, if you are more of a day trader or trade in cryptocurrencies or forex, you’ll need to look at some of the more specialized stock picking services available.

After you’ve looked at what kind of investor you are, to pick the best stock picking service, you’ll need to look at the following categories.

Reputation

The reputation of a stock picking service is key. When looking for your stock picking service, you’ll want to know that they’re a major player in the investing world, and that they know what they’re talking about.

Looking for good reviews, a long-standing history, and clear information regarding their past picks and investments are great ways to determine a service’s reputation.

Cost

If you’re not trading or investing in large amounts of money, then choosing a stock picking service with a premium price tag attached doesn’t make much sense.

Choose a stock picking service that fits within your budget and continue to monitor whether or not the cost yields results that make it worth it.

If you’re spending more on stock picking than you’re making from investing, there’s a good chance that the service isn’t the one for you.

Services Offered

The more services, the better, for the most part. It’s almost always better to have access to too much than not enough.

Stock picking services that come with other services attached are always more useful than those without extra information.

Robust Capabilities

The capabilities of a stock picking service matters. You’ll want a reliable service and capable of providing and displaying all of the information that you need to make informed decisions.

This can include charts, screens, and alerts. Make sure it fits the standards that you have set.

Active & Lively Community

The option of getting involved with other investors and enthusiasts is always a plus. Exposure to opinions from all sides of a position can help you make the best decisions when it comes to investing your funds.

Multiple Forms of Content

Now more than ever, it’s important that the content provided by a service is multifaceted. Solely text-based operations can be dry and difficult to consume.

Educational content, trading simulators, and even videos make a stock picking service more enjoyable, making you more inclined to use it.

Tailored Services to Your Needs

Your stock picking service should be able to be customized to your needs. The best options out there allow for unlimited watchlists, individualized alerts, and compatibility with your brokers, making them a one-stop-shop.

What Is the Best Stock Picking Service?

When it comes to the best stock picking service, the number one choice is The Motley Fool, hands down.

The Motley Fool has been around for roughly 30 years, and they’ve proven their worth in the investing world by providing picks that have been nearly 5 times as profitable on returns than the S&P 500. If you need someone to help you pick your stocks, pick The Motley Fool.

What Is the Best Stock Advice Website?

Again, we’re giving this to The Motley Fool. The founders of the company, David and Tom Gardner, are experts in the investing field.

They’ve written four bestselling books, worked on investing podcasts, and partnered with NPR for segments about NPR.

When you subscribe to The Motley Fool, you’ll be given advice by each brother in newsletters that they’ve written personally. If you need advice, look to The Motley Fool.

Is a Stock Picking Service Worth It?

It can be, yes. However, to make sure that it is, you’ll need to analyze your budget and your expectations. Generally, a lower-priced stock picking service will be more quantifiably “worth it.”

The reason for this is that to justify the cost of the service, you’ll need to make money off of it.

The lower the price, the more easily you can make your money back based on the stocks they’re telling you to pick, so long as they’re successful investments.

Do Stock Picking Services Guarantee Results?

It should be noted that there are never guarantees when it comes to the stock market and investing.

Unforeseen events can cause what looks like a sure thing to flop and allows for underdogs to rise to the top unexpectedly.

That being said, while there’s no guarantee that you’ll see results, it’s likely that you will when you use a stock picking service.

Is It Safe to Use a Stock Picking Service?

Using a reputable stock picking service is generally safe. However, in order to be sure that it’s safe, you’ll want to do your due diligence and make sure that the service is reputable.

There are “services” online that are really just well-disguised scams. If you’re choosing any of the services from our list, your information will be in good hands.

Bottom Line: Best Stock Picking Service

When picking the best stock picking service, you’ll need to find a reputable company that gives you all of the information and capabilities that you want.

There are plenty of options online for all types of traders, but overall, we firmly believe The Motley Fool is the best stock picking service available.

They’re reputable, affordable, and allow for an overall positive experience when researching investing. If you’re ready to start investing more heavily but need direction, look no further than The Motley Fool for all of your stock picking needs!

Drew Cheneler
Drew Cheneler
Drew is a recognized Credit, Small Business, and Personal Finance Expert. He has been quoted in CNBC, Fox Business News Section, The Huffington Post, Business.com, Moneyunder30, US Chamber of Commerce, and more. He is known for breaking down complex personal finance topics into action-oriented advice, so you can make the most of your hard-earned money.