When 28-year-old Roshni wanted to dig a little deeper on a mid-cap stock she wanted to own, the Bengaluru-based techie found the way existing data is displayed on stock exchanges to be unwieldy, not easy to find and very basic in nature. She then turned to a stock analytics website that offered financial data and tools, thanks to guidance from a fellow investor friend.
Roshni represents a growing army of do-it-yourself investors who have come to rely on stock analytics websites such as Trendlyne, Ticker by Finology, Screener.in, ValuePickr, Equitymaster, Investing.com, Trade Brains, Tickertape and Go India Stocks. Here is a lowdown on such platforms.
Good interface, handy tools
Stock analytics websites have reinvented the way data and analytics is accessed by investors, especially retail segment. In doing so, they have come up as credible alternatives for financial data that equity investors often look for. Typical stock exchange websites show security/stock specific data with a bias on trading numbers with little or no visually appealing charts/tables.
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Display of fundamental data about stocks/companies is generally basic in nature. Charting/technical analysis data or useful tools are present but not in a way that will appeal to all strata of investors. Literature and documents pertaining to analyst/investor concalls and transcripts are submitted by companies to bourses, but are lost in the vast sea of ‘corporate announcements’. Lastly, discussion forums and interaction about IPOs, stocks, sectors and ideas with investors are absent on exchange platforms.
Enter, stock analytics websites. While these platforms also rely on reported numbers without adjustments, the way they present it is more eye-catching. One could well argue that analysing reported numbers without adjusting them for various one-offs doesn’t lead to usable insights. Nevertheless, the USP of these websites is good user interface and focus on user experience. They just don’t show data, but also interpret them in the same screen. For instance, many websites just don’t show a specific stock’s returns, but also compare it with a benchmark/sector. If price to earnings or price to book valuation measure is presented, it is also contextualised by qualifying it as cheap/expensive or in relation to peers.
Value-adds such as screeners, average broker target price, valuation scores, easily accessible research reports, checklists, analyst earning estimates, F&O level data, ability to create stock-specific alerts, facility to run backtests, wide range of fundamental ratios (not just financial data) etc. provide a much more comprehensive stock market data analysis of a stock. Stock discussion forums, threads dedicated to individual companies and online interaction between investors adds the ‘social’ element to equity investing. Apart from these, educational resources, webinars, and tutorials are also made available to enhance knowledge and skills in research and analysis.
While beginner-level research and analysis tools are free, paid subscriptions are undoubtedly for serious investors. These subscription services typically start from ₹100-1,000 a month, typically provide additional features, advanced analytics, premium content, and enhanced functionality beyond what is available in their free offerings. For instance, if the basic plans give holding details about superstar investors, the paid plans allow you to export the data in form excel sheets. Earnings estimates or data forecasting are part of paid plans. While daily alerts is a basic feature, hourly alerts — suited to active traders — is sold as part of premium plans.
Premium plans, which can be of different types depending on the website’s offerings, provide access to advanced features, comprehensive data sets, and additional research tools. They may offer more extensive stock screeners, customisable watchlists, historical data download and analysis, and advanced charting capabilities. Some websites provide detailed insights, investment recommendations, and market outlooks prepared by their in-house research teams, just like stock brokers do.
With DIY investing picking up pace, many websites in their paid plans offer premium screens and large number of custom filters to arrive at stock ideas. With an overload of information, though, filtering useful information from noise rests squarely with investors. All of this cannot or should not replace one’s own intuition about stock outlook.
Advanced portfolio tracking and portfolio analysis are also often made a part of paid plans. Subscription plans also provide access to a large number of real-time or delayed market data, news alerts about stock price levels, earnings announcements, and other timely information for active investors/traders. These are difficult to do manually, especially if you are trading, and platforms use technology to deliver the same.
Generally, annual subscription plans may be 10-20 per cent cheaper than monthly packs.
If you are a new investor, basic/free plans can help you at this stage. When you gather experience and sophistication, paid plans may make more sense, especially if you build and manage portfolios or trade at a large scale.
The specific offerings and pricing structures may vary across different websites/platforms. Some of them have launched mobile-friendly apps, given that trading is moving from laptops to tablets and smartphones in a big way. It’s advisable to review the details of each platform’s subscription services to determine the value and suitability for your investment needs.
Before signing up for any service, try to read up about what existing/previous customers have posted to social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit etc. You can also check out the reviews of mobile apps on Playstore or Apple App Store.
Note that stock analytics websites may use different formulas for calculating key ratios and the veracity of such data should be independently confirmed.