How to Use Advanced Stock Screeners: A Trader’s Guide

Daniel Penzing
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What Is an Advanced Stock Screener?

A stock screen is a way to search for stocks to fit a certain criteria or profile. There are many types of stock screening strategies but stock screening software usually has a minimum of three primary characteristics.

Screeners should include at least three of these characteristics. The three characteristics are listed as follows:

Searching for stocks that have “met the criteria”

{1}. The search should be able to be at a global level and be “customized” by region, sector, and industry.
{2}. The search should also be filtered by stock market exchanges and market capitalization.

Screening for stocks can also be done by specific dates, such as “screening for stocks in the year 2014” or “screening for stocks that were performing poorly in the year 2005”.

Depending on the style of screener and the screener you choose, there are varying levels of criticism, scrutiny and inherent limitations that can be overwhelming for even the most experienced, educated, and highly skilled traders and investors.

Advanced Stock Screener Fields

Symbol, MktCap, P/E Ratio, EPS P/E Ratio, TTM P/E Ratio, Forward P/E Ratio, P/S Ratio, Dividend Yield, Payout Ratio, ROA, ROE, 5-Year EPS Growth, Price/Sales, Return on Assets, Beta, PEG Ratio, P/B Ratio, P/CF Ratio, Yield, QP Ratio, Net Margin.

Create Your Own Filters

To get started, we’ll create a new filter for our search. The easiest way to do this is to go to the right-hand side of the screen, where your pre-defined filters are saved.

Click on the + sign to add a new filter.

A little pop-up box will appear, and we’ll start by naming our filter in the purpose column. It’s important to name the filter so you can quickly reference what that filter does for you. It can also be very important for other traders who have access to your watch list.

For this filter, we’ll name it “Next Day P/R Rises.” Now we can focus on the main part of this filter, which requires us to dig around in the financials (SQRL & EPS) and fundamental (P/E) columns to define what “next day P/R rises” means.

You Can Find That Needle in the Haystack

Stock screening is the act of using certain criteria to filter out investment opportunities from the rest of the universe, allowing you to focus on companies that are more likely to make you money. Since there are more than 7,000 stocks trading in the United States, this act is essential for any investors who want to make real money from stocks and make the time spent looking at financial statements and company fundamentals worthwhile.

Stock screens work by allowing you to set specific parameters for finding decent investment opportunities. You pick the criteria that is most important to you — such as price, yield or volatility – and a stock screener such as the free screener provided below will search the market to find companies that meet all your criteria.

The big problem with stock screens is that it is easy to let yourself get overly picky. The more sieve-like your stock screen is, the greater the chance that you’ll end up with companies that are not worth the valuable time you’ve spent reviewing them. Consider the table below:

Example Screen: