Finviz Review – Free stock market scanner for professional traders and investors

Professional stock finder tool for screening the stock market to find the best stocks to buy

Finviz is one of the most popular stock screeners around. The free version is very useful to traders and investors alike, while the elite version includes features for more serious traders and investors. Our Finviz review takes a deep dive into what this trading tool is and what features are included. You’ll learn how you can use Finviz to find stocks to buy and sell and what the different subscription plans include.

What is Finviz?

Finviz Review / Stock Screener
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Finviz is a stock screener and trading tool for creating financial visualizations. It is one of several stock research sites used by professional traders to save time. It allows traders and investors to quickly find the stocks they are looking for. Finviz includes a few tools for stock traders to get an overview of what is happening in the stock market.

The tool includes a comprehensive stock screener to find stocks that match certain parameters and a detailed page for each stock. Our Finviz review covers everything you need to know to get started with this popular stock screener. The site offers free access, without the need for registration, so you can get started screening the market right away.

What kind of traders and investors use Finviz?

Professional Traders
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Finviz is useful to both professional traders and investors. Traders use it to find stocks that have a high probability of experiencing greater than normal price moves over the next few days or weeks. Sometimes these are stocks that are in the news, and sometimes they are stocks seeing increased volume or volatility. As a stock screener, Finviz is of most value to stock and equity index traders. While it’s of far more value to traders of individual stocks, those who trade index futures, options and ETFs do find it useful as they can see what is driving index price levels.

  • Day traders use Finviz to find stocks that other day traders will be focussing on.
  • Swing traders can use the Finviz app to find stocks that are oversold, or overbought, but trading within a clearly defined channel. Therefore the stock market scanner is ideal to identify new trading ideas.
  • Momentum traders can find the stocks that have performed best over a predetermined period.
  • Technical traders can use the stock finder to find stocks that have crossed moving averages or are setting up classical chart patterns. This is especially helpful for beginners to save time during technical analysis.
Stock Market Trader / Investor
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To help traders get the most out of the stock scanner, this Finviz review includes a section to help traders find the stocks that suit their trading style. Investors use Finviz to find stocks that conform to certain fundamental characteristics. Investors can also use the site to combine technical and fundamental criteria, or to time their entries and exits using price action. The Finviz stock market scanner is suitable for various types of investors.

  • Value investors can identify value stocks using price to earnings ratios, price to book ratios, and other similar valuation measures. That way value investors can easily find undervalued stocks.
  • Growth investors can use the stock market scanner to find stocks with high earning growth rates, or stocks that have been upgraded by analysts recently.
  • Momentum investors can use price performance to identify stocks with momentum, and then filter by quality, earnings growth or value. This can be helpful for investors to find new trading ideas.
  • Penny stocks investors that focus on small companies can use Finviz as a penny stock screener by filtering by market cap. They can use the stock market scanner to find the best penny stocks on the market.
  • Dividend investors can find stocks with high dividend yields, and then filter a list further to weed out low quality stocks. This is ideal for investors who are looking to build a portfolio for passive income.

Different types of investors can use the Finviz stock market scanner to find stocks that match their investment strategy. Later in this Finviz review we will cover some of the criteria investors might use to find stocks to invest in.

Finviz features and services

Finviz Homepage
Image Source: Screenshot – Finviz.com

Finviz is primarily used to scan the market for stocks that meet a set of parameters. However, there are several other features that are usefull to traders and investors. These features are accessed from the menu that runs across the top of the home page. Two very useful features that we’ll cover in our Finviz review are Heat Maps and Groups.

Finviz Heat Maps

Finviz Heat Map
Image Source: Screenshot – Finviz.com

Heat Maps which can be configured by performance, valuation, and other metrics, are intuitive tools to quickly get an overview of what’s happening in the market. Stocks are divided by sector, and the block sizes represent the market value of each stock. The colours of each stock will reflect the metric that has been specified. A useful feature for traders, who can use a heat map to identify stocks with the highest volume relative to their normal trading volumes.

Finviz Groups

Finviz Groups
Image Source: Screenshot – Finviz.com

The Groups page allows users to view the performance of groups of stocks. Groups can divide stocks by sector, industry, country, and market capitalization. Performance is shown for periods ranging from 1 day to 1 year. This page gives users a quick indication of how money is moving from one part of the market to another over the short, medium and long term. As a result, this feature can help investors weighing up their investment decisions.

Other features include heat maps for the Forex and Crypto markets, as well as tools only available to premium subscribers. For example, this includes a portfolio tool and a back-testing tool. In the next part of this Finviz review we will go into more detail on how you can use Finviz to find the types of stocks you are looking for.

How to use the Finviz stock screener

Trader Planning
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To get the most out of the Finviz stock market screener, it helps to be quite specific about what you want. With so many parameters to scan the stock market, there is a risk of becoming distracted. Therefore, you should have a clear idea of the type of stocks you are looking for based on your investment strategy. To access the stock market scanner, click on the “Screener” tab on the menu at the top. The screener starts out with a list of over 7,000 stocks. These stocks are not all US companies, but they are all listed on one of the US stock exchanges.

This list of stocks can be narrowed down by including only those that match the criteria you choose. The stock screener app allows you to use over 60 different metrics, or factors, to narrow the list down. These metrics are divided into three sections; Descriptive, Fundamental and Technical, with each section including 20-30 different metrics.

Basic Components Finviz Stock Screener
Image Source: Screenshot – Finviz.com

To find a list of stocks with the characteristics you are looking for, you go through the three sections and set the Finviz screener settings to match your parameters. In this Finviz review we’re now going to walk through an example of how to use the stock screener. This is just an example and doesn’t represent any particular trading or investment strategy. On the first page, which includes descriptive metrics, we select only stocks that:

  • are included in the S&P 500 index,
  • have a market cap of over $10 billion,
  • trade over 2 million shares a day on average,
  • are in the technology sector,
  • and are rated “Buy” by at least one analyst.

These filters have reduced the list from 7,400+ to 34 stocks. (on this page we could also filter by the date of the next earnings release, price, country and other descriptive data)

Finviz Descriptive Data Fields
Image Source: Screenshot – Finviz.com

Next, we can move to the Fundamental field which includes parameters from the income statement and balance sheet of a company. We are going to further filter the list of 34 stocks by including only stocks with an ROI (return on investment) above 15%. As a result, this has reduced the list to just 15 stocks.

Finviz Fundamental Data Fields
Image Source: Screenshot – Finviz.com

Finally, we move to the Technical section. This includes data fields based only on the movement of the price. In this case we will filter the remaining 15 stocks by including stocks with:

  • a price trading below the 50-day moving average, and,
  • a price trading above the 200-day moving average.

These filters now include only stocks in a long-term uptrend, but a medium-term downtrend. This leaves just 4 stocks.

Finviz Technical Data Fields
Image Source: Screenshot – Finviz.com

Once you have narrowed the list down to a manageable number of stocks that match your criteria, you can look at each stock individually. If you click on any stock in the list, you will be directed to that stock’s page. Each stock page includes additional information about the company and trading related data:

  • A basic stock chart (more advanced features are available to premium subscribers.)
  • Over 60 data points for each stock.
  • Analyst recommendations.
  • Company news.
  • A description of the company.
  • A list of trades related to insider transactions.
Finviz Stock Details
Image Source: Screenshot – Finviz.com

You do not have to register on the site to use the Finviz screener. However, registered users can save their favourite screens to reuse in the future. In the next section of this Finviz review we will briefly look at some of the parameters investors and traders can use to identify the stocks that suit their trading style.

Useful parameters for traders and investors

Fundamental Analysis
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Investors and traders will use a stock analysis website in very different ways. While investors are concerned with fundamental factors like earning’s growth and valuation, traders are concerned with supply and demand in the short to medium term. The following are some of the factors investors may want to consider when doing a stock search:

  • Market capitalization: Value and growth investors will often look to smaller companies which have the potential for higher percentage gains.
  • Insider trading: The transactions made by company directors can give investors a good idea of what those close to the company think of its prospects.
  • ROI (return on investment): An ROI above 15 percent is a good indication that a company has healthy margins and is financially sound.
  • Valuation: There is no perfect measure of valuation. However, the price-to-earnings, price-to-book and price-to-sales ratios will give investors a good idea of how cheap a stock is when compared to other stocks.
  • Price/Free Cashflow: Comparing the stock price to the free cash flow can give you an idea of how reasonably a share is priced relative to the actual cash flow it is generating. This is a good tool for comparing companies within the same sector.
  • Forward PE: The forward PE compares the stock price to the average analyst earning forecast for the next 12 months. If the forward PE of a stock is below the current PE, the stock is likely to appreciate.
Busy Traders / Office
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Short term traders use stock screeners like Finviz to find stocks that are “in play”. In play stocks are those that are attracting increasing attention from other traders, hedge funds and even institutional fund managers. They can be in play due to corporate activity, earnings releases, product announcements or if they have breached important technical levels. These are some of the parameters short term traders will look at:

  • Earnings Date: Finviz allows you to search for stocks that have released earnings data in the last day, week, or month, or companies that are due to release data in the coming days or weeks.
  • Relative Volume: When stocks are in play, their average trading volume is usually higher than normal. The relative volume parameter allows you to search for stocks with volume that is anywhere from 1.5 to 10 times the average volume.
  • Float Short: When a lot of traders hold short positions in a stock, a short squeeze will often trigger a large rally in the stock. Traders will usually keep an eye on stocks when short positions hold more than fifteen percent of the outstanding shares.
  • Moving average crossover: Short term traders can look at stocks that have crossed above or below their 20 and 50 day moving average. A moving average crossover can signal that a stock is experiencing a short or medium trend change and may be accompanied by increased momentum.
Investment / Chart Analysis
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This Finviz review wouldn’t be complete without a few tips for traders who look at longer time frames. Longer term traders are primarily concerned with trends and large chart patterns:

  • Patterns: Finviz can alert traders to classical chart patterns that have been formed by a stock’s price. Once a trader has identified the pattern they will set a price alert to signal that the price is breaking out of the pattern.
  • Moving average crossover: Long term traders will usually look for stocks to cross above or below the 200-day moving average, and then watch the stock for confirmation of the new trend.

The last section of this Finviz review covers the additions features available to premium subscribers.

Finviz subscription plans and pricing

Finviz Elite Features
Image Source: Screenshot – Finviz.com

The Finviz free stock screener is adequate for most traders and investors. However, for professionals and those who take their stock analysis seriously, Finviz Elite offers even more powerful features. Subscriptions to Finviz Elite cost $39.50 a month, or $299 for a year. Finviz Elite subscribers have access to real time quotes and data, as well as pre-market price feeds. This is of particular importance for day traders. The premium subscription also includes access to advanced charting features, and the ability to include fundamental data in a chart.

Also available are tools for back testing and calculating correlations between stocks. An advanced screener is also available, and allows users to export the results of a screen to an Excel spreadsheet or text file. Finally, Finviz Elite premium subscribers can create email alerts to receive a notification when a specific stock matches a set of predetermined criteria. This can be especially helpful if you’re watching a large number of stocks.

Finviz Review – Conclusion: Professional stock market scanner

Is Finviz the best stock screener? That depends on your own style of investing, but most agree that it is one of the best around. The free version includes most of the features amateur investors and traders will need, while the Finviz Elite subscription includes powerful features to help serious market participants gain an edge.

That concludes this Finviz review. You don’t even need to register to begin using Finviz, so you start exploring the market right away. Do you like Finviz or do you even have a Finviz Elite subscription? Are you using other trading software as well? Please let us know your thoughts and feedback in the comments below?

About Richard Bowman
Richard Bowman is a writer, analyst and investor based in Cape Town, South Africa. He has over 18 years’ experience in asset management, stockbroking, financial media and systematic trading. Richard combines fundamental, quantitative and technical analysis with a dash of common sense.

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