ETF Research Center Review
Ease of Use
When it comes to trading or investing in ETFs, the right research and analysis can make a world of difference. ETF Research Center is a fund research platform designed to offer in-depth data, analysis, and screening tools for ETFs. Its features include a fund focus tool to help break down individual funds as well as an ETF screener, a stock locator tool, a fund overlap tool, and more. Find out if this service truly fits your needs by reading our complete ETF Research Center review.
About ETF Research Center
ETF Research Center is a fund research platform that offers in-depth data and screening tools. It’s a powerful service for investors who want to build a portfolio of high-performing ETFs, although it doesn’t offer any tools for adding individual stocks or mutual funds into your portfolio.
So, is this platform right for you? Our ETF Research Center review will cover everything you need to know.
ETF Research Center Pricing Options
ETF Research Center offers three subscription plans: Basic, Individual, and Professional.
The Basic plan is free and includes a free fund screener, charting, and a single watchlist. However, it’s very limited in scope, and the data available is comparable to what you can get for free from Morningstar or Yahoo Finance.
The Individual plan costs $29 per month and offers ETF fundamental and valuation data, complete holdings list for all ETFs, full screener access, and two portfolios. The Professional plan costs $99 per month and adds PDF tear sheets for individual funds, up to 40 portfolios, and customizable portfolio reports.
You can try out the Individual and Professional plans with a one-month free trial (credit card required).
ETF Research Center Features
ETF analysis is one of the most basic, but essential functions of ETF Research Center. The Fund Focus tool breaks down an individual fund, offering details about its assets under management, past performance, and legal structure. Paid subscribers get a complete list of holdings as well as details about how exposed a fund is to different countries and market cap groups.
ETF Research Center provides a level of analysis that most fund research tools don’t offer. For example, you can see how a target fund compares to dozens of other funds in terms of annualized returns and annualized volatility. You can also dive into an ETF’s aggregate fundamentals, including how a fund’s average earnings per share, dividend yield, and return on equity have changed over the past 5 years. Key valuation metrics, including average price-to-earnings ratio and price-to-sale ratio, are projected forward for one year and compared against peer funds in charts.
The platform also summarizes this research in several ways. First, each ETF is rated across six categories: size, value, yield, momentum, volatility, and quality. Second, each ETF is given an overall score that’s compared against the average score for the fund category. This can be a little confusing because the scores are given as percentages, not numbers on a 0-100 scale. But ETF Research Center also delivers a buy/sell/hold rating based on these relative scores.
One thing to note about this analysis is that you can’t customize what category or specific funds an ETF is compared against. For example, when analyzing the iShares U.S. Technology ETF (IYW), ETF Research Center automatically rated it as overweight based on comparison against all US Equities ETFs. There’s no way to compare the ETF only against technology-related funds or international tech funds.
The ETF screener takes all of the data available for fund analysis and makes it searchable. You can screen funds based on characteristics like how much exposure they have to a certain market sector or market cap group. You can also screen based on performance, correlation to the S&P 500, valuation ratios, or ETF Research Center’s ratings.
Results are displayed in a searchable table, but you can’t export the results or modify the data columns. The screener itself also isn’t very flexible. There’s no way to screen based on how metrics change year-over-year or to include or exclude ETFs that contain specific stocks.
Other ETF Analysis Tools
ETF Research Center includes several additional tools for analyzing ETFs. The Stock Locator tool identifies all funds that contain a specific stock. The Fund Overlap tool enables you to enter two funds and see what stocks they share in common, as well as how the weight of these stocks compare across the funds. Finally, the Total Cost of Ownership tool allows you to compare the cost of two ETFs after accounting for expense ratios and bid-ask spreads.
The Portfolio Builder is a powerful tool for analyzing a portfolio that contains multiple ETF holdings. Once you create a portfolio, you can see your total exposure by country, market sector, and individual stock.
You can also create a custom benchmark for comparison – your benchmark can be an individual ETF or another portfolio. You can easily see how your portfolio’s performance compares against the benchmark’s in terms of returns and volatility, as well as sales, earnings, and dividend growth. ETF Research Center also calculates overall scores for both your portfolio and the benchmark.
It’s important to note that the portfolio builder does not support adding individual stocks or mutual funds to your portfolio, even though these may be relevant to your analysis.
Customization and Layout
ETF Research Center doesn’t offer much in the way of customization features. You can only have one watchlist, even with a paid account. There’s no way to save custom screens, and the only data that can be exported to Excel is the list of holdings inside an individual ETF.
ETF Research Center Platform Differentiators
ETF Research Center offers significantly more in-depth data about ETFs than most comparable fund research platforms. You can dig into how funds’ average valuation ratios have changed over time, how ETFs compare to competitors in terms of volatility as well as return, and more. The ETF screener also offers an impressive range of filter parameters that aren’t typically available in fund screening tools.
However, ETF Research Center isn’t as flexible as we’d like. The screener doesn’t enable you to include or exclude funds with specific stocks, and the portfolio builder doesn’t support individual stocks or mutual funds. These shortcomings may be minor for investors who stick solely to ETFs, but they can be problematic for investors who like to blend ETFs with individual stock picks or mutual funds.
What Type of Trader is ETF Research Center Best For?
ETF Research Center is best for long-term ETF investors. The platform’s unique valuation data is most helpful for investors with investment horizons of at least one year. For investors who mainly focus on individual stocks and invest in sector-specific or market-wide ETFs primarily for diversification, ETF Research Center’s tools can be helpful, but might not be worth the price.
- In-depth valuation metrics for ETFs
- Scoring system with buy/sell/hold ratings
- Advanced ETF screener with valuation and correlation filters
- Tools to compare your portfolio against a benchmark
- Inflexible data tables and screener filters
- Doesn’t support stocks or mutual funds for portfolio analysis