Finviz Screener Review
The Financial Visualization, a.k.a. Finviz screener is a popular scanning and research tool. Members can screen stocks based on chart patterns, candlesticks, fundamental accounting ratios and insider activity.
The screener has a wide variety of presets based on commonly used fundamentals and technical patterns. By using the right combination of presets and tabs, a trader can quickly discover hidden gems. For instance, if I choose the "news" tab, select the "recent insider buying" preset and then sort descending based on earnings date, I can see stocks with upcoming earnings announcements coupled with insider buying. This is an excellent tool on its own, however, since I also chose the news tab, I get to see automatically generated technical analysis (if a pattern is detected), useful fundamental information, analyst price target, and all recent news announcements and articles regarding the company from respected sources such as Zacks and Motley Fool.
Technicians will also love the Finviz screener as it allows users to save up to 100 custom presets. In the image below, you can see a result of a custom preset I setup. I wanted to see only stocks that were travelling in an up channel and also not overbought on the RSI.
In addition to stock screening, Finviz also offers the ability to backtest strategies using a large number of indicators and 16 years of historical data. There are some presets with excellent theoretical returns that you can view, or you can create custom backtests. For example, if you would like to know how the S&P 500 or Russell 2000 performs after posting a certain type of candlestick pattern, simply plug that information into the backtester and find out. Below you can see a table of statistics for one of the preset strategies:
You can also run backtests on single symbols. Check out the RSI related strategy I setup for JP Morgan and Chase stock in the screenshot below. I ran the backtest from 1996 to 2015 and discovered that it produced a decent return overall. I have a lot of experience backtesting forex strategies on my desktop computer and the Finviz backtester is lightning fast in comparison. The result of my backtest popped up in my browser in just a few seconds, and no programming is required. Notice how the Sharpe and Calmar ratios are calculated as well.
Finviz insider trading information is perfectly legal and results from the U.S. government's disclosure requirements. People who are close to a company must disclose their stock sales and purchases. The insider trading activity section can be quickly and easily filtered to include only significant insider buying and selling activity such as large orders from significant corporate officers. There are also settings to include the most recent insider activity as well as activity from only top 10% owners. However, I find that top corporate officers and board members have the best information about a company. Therefore, I find it very useful to have a preset "top insider" scan available. See some of the information provided in the screenshot below:
Using the Groups tab gives a trader access to sector activity. At-a-glance a trader can see fundamental ratios of a sector as a whole. This is particuarly useful for investors who trade based on fundamentals because many fundamental ratios are only useful when compared to the ratios of companies within their sector or to the sector as a whole.
Shorter-term traders will also find the Groups tab useful. By selecting the "bar chart" sub tab, a trader can quickly view a heat map of sector performance. This information is very important to traders trying to time cyclicals. Look at the screenshot below to view the sector bar chart.
Heat maps can be generated for the S&P 500, ETFs and world stocks. You can generate heatmaps for performance on multiple time frames such as daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. However, what I find far more useful are heatmaps of analyst ratings. Check out the screenshot below to see a heatmap I generated to show analyst ratings on S&P 500 stocks, sector by sector. FYI: The same sort of map can be generated to show dividend yield and a wide variety of useful fundamentals such as forward P/E. You can also color code symbols based on their earnings date to quickly see when earnings are due to be announced.
Alerts can be setup to inform you when a wide variety of conditions occur. A trader can setup an alert to inform him/her that there has been news about a symbol, an analyst rating change or if price has risen above or dropped below a certain price. It is also possible to receive an alert when a new symbol match is found for a pre-existing custom scan setup with the screener. For example, I can choose to be alerted when any stock above X dollars reaches an extreme state of overbought on the RSI, or I can be informed when a bullish golden cross occurs in the healthcare sector. The possibilities are endless. I find this to be a very useful feature because it allows you to be informed when rare, high probability setups occur. In my opinion, this feature is worth the membership fee by itself.
I really can't live without the pre-market dashboard. After breakfast I sit at my computer ready to start another day of trading, and on a single page I have everything I need to find day trades when the market opens. On the dashboard page elite.finviz.com you can find information about pre-market trading activity on each major index. You can also see a news feed, a sentiment meter populated with user sentiment information, an economic calendar, an earnings calendar and a variety of symbols that are showing signs of technical patterns such as wedges, head and shoulders etc.
Finviz offers a generous free option but it does not allow you to receive alerts or many other features described in this review. You simply need to register for a free account.
Paid subscribers can choose the elite plan by paying $299.50 annually or pay a monthly subscription fee of $39.50. The site owners also offer a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the service.
Finviz Review by: Kyle Mason