Investment research tools

When it comes to the stock market and the economy, it often seems like everyone has an opinion and everyone acts like an expert. And with a growing number of sophisticated yet easy-to-use broker platforms, it’s easy to feel like one. However, your gut feelings, luck and friends’ advice will only get you so far. If you want to take long-term investment seriously, at one point you’ll need to start doing your own analysis and base your investment decisions - such as what to buy and when to buy - on more than just random rumors. Here’s where investment research tools come in.

Stock research tools

Research tools at brokerages come in many forms. Some of them involve explicit trading advice by in-house or third-party analysts; but here, we’ll focus on research tools that arm you with the information and knowledge you need to confidently make and execute your own investment decisions. There’s no exact definition of what a research tool is, as it may include everything from news to charts and screeners. So let’s go over these one by one.
News tools: Following the news is essential if you want to know what’s going on with the companies behind your stock investments and the industries they operate in. Many brokers offer news feeds of varying quality, but if you really want to dive in, it’s a good idea to check out some big providers such as Yahoo! Finance, Google Finance or Bloomberg. In addition to browsing news and checking stock prices, you can set alerts and filters, so you’ll get quick and easy access to the information that is relevant to your investment goals.
Charting tools: Charts are essential for technical analysis - that is, the practice of using past stock price patterns to predict future price movements. Most brokers have some charting functionality, but if you’re looking for something more sophisticated and/or user-friendly, there are many free or freemium tools out there. Some of the most established charting tools are part of market news sites (like CNN’s real-time stock charting tool). More recently, some standalone charting providers have also emerged. One of the best and most popular is TradingView, which is often the main charting tool used in stock analysis videos you see on YouTube.
Portfolio tracking tools: These are online tools that allow you to keep a tab, real time, on the performance of your investments. They are especially useful if you hold accounts at multiple brokers. Some portfolio tracking tools require you to enter your investments manually, while others can be linked to your brokerage accounts.
Screeners: Screeners are like search bars on steroids - they allow you to find the right stocks or ETFs among the tens of thousands available out there, by narrowing your selection with the use of various filters. Criteria may include industry, company size, fund cost or share price level, but a growing number of brokers now also filter for ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria for ethically conscious investors. Many online brokers have fairly good screeners; if yours doesn’t, there are great tools on the web such as or justETF.
Demo trading account: Making an investment decision is one thing, but executing it is quite another. Demo accounts provided by online brokers are a great way to learn how the trading platform works and where certain functions are located; so you can react quickly (and not make any errors) when a good trading opportunity arises. Demo accounts can help you learn how various order types such as limit orders or stop-loss work; and you can also feel out your attitude to risk as your virtual funds grow (or evaporate).

Research tools and materials offered by brokerages

Ideally, your broker should provide all the research tools and materials you may need for your independent stock analysis. In reality, the amount and quality of research resources varies greatly among brokers, so you should pick wisely if doing your own research is important for you.
Fundamental data
Fundamental analysis is, well, fundamental to understanding how stocks behave and whether it’s a good idea to invest in a particular stock. Fundamental data such as earnings, balance sheets and company valuations (like price-to-earnings) are publicly available for every listed company, but having them all in one place in a convenient format at your online broker can be a huge plus. See below what popular brokers reviewed by BrokerChooser have to offer.
Educational materials
Online brokers are a mixed bag when it comes to the quantity and quality of educational materials. Some offer next to nothing, while others provide you with a full palette of tools including articles, videos, webinars, platform tutorials and demo accounts. Check the list below to find out what’s available at your broker of choice.
Charting tools at brokerages
Technical analysis is mostly the territory of short-term forex and CFD traders, but you can gain valuable insight from charts even as a long-term stock investor. All brokers offer basic price charts (it’s probably the first and most prominent thing you’ll see in your trading platform), but beyond that, there’s great variation in usability and features. See what charting tools are available at the brokers we have reviewed and how we rated their quality.
Stock screeners
Finding the right stocks to invest in can be exhaustive and time-consuming. This is where stock screeners help, by letting you search and filter among the thousands of stocks available, so that you can narrow your search and zoom in on which stocks you want to do deeper research on.


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