Seeking Alpha Review
Ease of Use
Stock news and research platform, Seeking Alpha’s, goal is to give its users an easy way to watch their stocks. With features like unlimited portfolios, stock articles, strategies, and more is Seeking Alpha everything you want or is it too overwhelming? Read our in-depth review to find out.
About Seeking Alpha
Seeking Alpha is a stock news and research platform that gives traders an easy way to keep track of the stocks they’re watching. The platform was originally founded by David Jackson and has since grown to feature hundreds of contributors. The site, self-touted as the “world’s largest investing community”, uses a crowdsourcing model to draw short news headlines and longer articles from around the Internet, typically featuring experienced Wall Street investors and analysts.
Compared to news services like The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha’s content tends to be more technical and in-depth, often featuring investment ideas and investment advice for both serious and casual investors.
The Seeking Alpha website features an extensive selection of content, idea generation tools, and stock analysis tools.
Is it worth paying for a Seeking Alpha premium subscription? Keep reading our Seeking Alpha review to find out.
|📈 Features||Stock Research, Ratings, Scanners, and More|
|💰 Pricing||Starts at $19.99/month|
|⭐ Plans||Premium and Pro|
|✅ Best For||Research-driven Investors|
Seeking Alpha Premium Subscription Pricing
Seeking Alpha offers a large amount of content and resources for free, including access to most recently published articles and the ability to curate portfolios to customize your news feed. However, some of the information on articles, including the author’s rating of the stock in question and the author’s historical performance, is hidden for free users. In addition, free users cannot access content older than about 10 days.
Seeking Alpha offers two types of paid services. The site features a Marketplace of premium investing services that individual investors and companies offer. Seeking Alpha is not the actual provider of these services – they simply facilitate the transactions, allowing providers to sell premium content. Each of these services is unique and could warrant its own review, so today, we will be looking at the premium services offered by the company itself.
Seeking Alpha offers premium subscriptions that allow users to extend the features on the site. There are three subscriptions available:
- Free (The standard Seeking Alpha experience)
- Premium – $39.99/month or $239.88/year
- Pro – $299.99/month or $2,399.88/year
The Premium plan is the basic step up from the free plan. It offers unlimited access to premium content, which includes much more in-depth analysis. In addition to being able to see authors’ stock ratings, users get access to all of the analysis features that Seeking Alpha offers. That includes individual stock pages with detailed fundamentals and earnings tracking and ratings from bearish analysts. The main benefits of the Premium plan are:
- Unlimited access to content
- Fewer ads
- Additional stock ratings (quant ratings, grading, etc.)
The Pro plan is the next step up from the Premium plan, and it is far more expensive. The main advantage of this service is one-week early access to top long and short ideas from Seeking Alpha’s editors. You also get access to a stock filter that includes fields based on Seeking Alpha’s ratings. However, it’s hard to justify the high annual cost of this subscription compared to dedicated stock recommendation platforms. The main benefits of the Pro plan are:
- Unlimited access to content
- Early access to content
- Access to exclusive content
- Stock screener
- No ads
Let’s take a look at some of the features you can expect from a paid membership.
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Seeking Alpha News and Commentary
The majority of Seeking Alpha’s platform is focused on stock news and commentary. This isn’t your typical news aggregator like Yahoo Finance. All of the news is original.
Similar to Benzinga, Seeking Alpha pays thousands of contributors, many of whom are well-respected investors and analysts, to contribute articles to the platform. These articles are typically approachable for experienced traders and investors, but the majority of them are not written for beginners. Expect to find technical language and charts used as evidence for arguments.
The articles are designed to offer investing ideas and trading ideas that can help you make investment decisions. The quality of the analyses varies by contributor, but overall the research is solid. SeekingAlpha is so popular that the articles may even impact stock prices if the investment ideas are juicy enough.
Seeking Alpha Content
Seeking Alpha covers a lot of relevant stock market information. Seeking Alpha content includes:
- News Stories
- Stock Analysis (by Seeking Alpha Contributors)
- Earnings and Conference Call Transcripts
- Investing Ideas Articles
- And More
Free and Premium members will have differing levels of access to articles. Free users can read the most recent articles within 10 days but do not have access to more dated content. In addition, whereas free account holders only see the article itself, Premium subscribers get a wealth of additional analytical information. This includes the author’s rating of the stock being covered in the article, charts and fundamentals about that stock, and a chart showing the average analyst rating on that stock across Seeking Alpha.
If you are looking for in-depth research, news, and analysis, Seeking Alpha has the best selection we’ve seen. On top of that, every article has a bulleted summary at the top, making it easy to get to the main points quickly. While this may just seem like a nice “perk”, it actually adds a ton of value to the platform. It streamlines the research process when you are in “stock discovery” mode, analyzing dozens of opportunities at once.
This leads to our next point.
In order to make the most use of the platform, you need to find a good way to comb through the content that is relevant to you. Seeking Alpha content is well organized. Let’s take a closer look at the best ways to navigate the platform.
Seeking Alpha Premium offers a massive amount of content, which is good if you can harness it and overwhelming if you cannot. As a result, much of the platform is designed around ways to help you organize content to easily find the news and commentary relevant to the stocks you are interested in.
There are three primary ways in which you can view the content:
- Through the homepage
- By Seeking Alpha authors you are following
- By portfolios (or model portfolios) you have created.
The homepage is an algorithm-driven content curator that makes it easy to get an overview of the entire market. The page begins with trending articles and headlines, any of which are available to free and paid users alike. On the right-hand side, you’ll find quick quotes for the stocks in your customized portfolios. As you scroll down the homepage, you will see recommended articles based on your portfolio content and the authors you follow. Finally, you’ll find lists of the top gainers and losers across the market and in specific sub-industries that you have watched in the past.
Seeking Alpha also incorporates a social aspect by allowing you to follow specific authors. This is where having a premium subscription comes in handy since you can actually see what stocks an author is covering with ratings when choosing to follow them. Keep in mind that many Seeking Alpha authors have their own subscription services for additional analysis and premium articles, which are priced separately from the main subscription.
Finally, the Portfolio view is among the most useful ways to sort stock news within the website. Here, you can get all articles, comments, and StockTalk related to the stocks that you are interested in following. Essential subscribers can create an unlimited number of portfolios, with each portfolio receiving its own stock news feed.
Seeking Alpha Stock Analysis Tools
The other major component of Seeking Alpha, which is largely restricted to premium subscribers, is stock analysis. Seeking Alpha uses the stock ratings curated by its contributors and editors to make stock recommendations and help develop investing ideas.
There are a lot of investment research tools you can use for analyzing stocks. You will find basic information that you would find on sites like Yahoo Finance and Stock Rover, but there are also a few unique analysis tools. For example, there are quant ratings, SA Author ratings, and Wall Street analyst ratings for stocks. There are also comparison tools that allow you to see how a stock ranks compared to other peers in the sector.
Seeking Alpha’s analysis content starts with its individual stock pages. The basic price charts and lists of news and analysis related to that stock are available to all users. However, only premium members will find quant ratings, SA ratings, and information from sell-side analysts to go along with this information.
More important, Seeking Alpha premium users get access to a wealth of historical financial information, which is unavailable to free users if it is more than five years old. Subscribers can also view the history of analysts’ earnings expectations for a stock, and forecasts for upcoming earnings reports. Seeking Alpha also gives grades to a stock for its value, growth, and profitability, which can be important indicators for investors on the fence about a particular company. These quantitative analysis metrics make it easy to analyze a stock quickly.
The individual stock pages provide a lot of valuable information for analyzing stocks. Seeking Alpha stock pages are one of the best places to start your research on a company. Along with the features mentioned above, investors have access to metrics for:
- Earnings Summaries
- Earnings Estimates
- Earnings Call Transcripts
- Earnings Forecasts
- Financial Statements
- SEC Filings
- Stock Splits
- Dividend Yield
- Ownership Breakdowns
- Peer Comparisons
- Valuation Metrics (Market Cap, Proprietary Valuation Metrics, etc.)
- Profitability Metrics
- And much more
It’s worth taking a moment to discuss Seeking Alpha’s Quant Ratings, since this feature is embedded in many of the other tools on the site (including analysis articles, screeners, stock pages, etc.).
What exactly are Seeking Alpha’s quant ratings?
Quant Ratings are algorithmic ratings used to rate stocks based on a variety of factors. The main factors include:
Each of these factors is ranked on a scale from “F” to “A” (like grades in school). The aggregation of these factors informs the overall “Quant Rating” which is presented as a typical analyst recommendation on a scale of “Strong Sell” to “Strong Buy.”
This rating actually encompasses quite a bit of data. If you want details on each factor, you can view a breakdown.
For example, the valuation factor accounts for metrics like:
- Price-to-earnings (trailing)
- Price-to-earnings (forward)
- And more
The growth rating accounts for factors like:
- Revenue growth year-over-year
- EPS growth
- Cash flow growth
- And more
These ratings are excellent data summarization tools that are particularly beneficial during the stock discovery process. For example, if you are combing through dozens of investment ideas, it would take a lot of time to go through the books on every company, analyze the charts, and so on.
Quant Ratings are a great starting point for your research (keyword “starting point”). While you shouldn’t make any trade decisions based solely on a quant rating, you can use these ratings to filter through opportunities efficiently.
You should also keep your investment style in mind when analyzing these ratings. For example, the “valuation” factor may be relevant to value investors but less so to growth investors. Similarly, the “momentum” factor may be relevant to investors who want to buy breakouts and less so to investors who want to scoop up undervalued stocks.
We’ll continue to touch on the value of Quant Ratings and how they are incorporated into some of the other tools on the platform as we continue with our Seeking Alpha review.
Seeking Alpha Investing Ideas
While Seeking Alpha is great for researching individual stocks, it can also be helpful for idea generation. You can find stock ideas that fit your portfolio investment strategy using the tools Seeking Alpha provides.
Investors can find new investment ideas in a few ways.
The first would be a manual, time-intensive approach. Investors can generate investing ideas by reading the articles and opinion pieces on the site. If you comb through trending news stories and other headlines, you will likely find some investing ideas that fit your investment strategy.
While this approach is effective, it is also tedious. It is a lot easier to start with Seeking Alpha’s top-rated stock lists. These lists can serve as a great starting point for finding sinvestingtock ideas that you can research further on your own.
Premium members have access to lists for:
- Top Rated Stocks
- Top Dividend Stocks
- Top REITs
- Top Tech Stocks
- Top Growth Stocks
- Top Value Stocks
- And more
Each list features a table of stock ideas sorted by the quant rating. Here is an example list (with stocks blurred out of respect for the premium content):
The summary table shows the top stocks with key quantitative analysis metrics for:
- Quant Rating
- Seeking Alpha Rating
- Wall Street Rating
- And other automated metrics
Subscribers can also choose different table views that include other metrics. For example, the “Dividends” view acts as an effective dividend stock scorecard for investors looking for worthwhile dividend stocks.
The different views can be used to analyze investment ideas with your personal investment strategy in mind.
Keep in mind that the quant ratings are algorithmic and should only serve as a starting point for your research.
Premium members can also utilize the Seeking Alpha stock screener to find investing ideas. Seeking Alpha offers both pre-built screeners and customizable screeners. The pre-built screeners generate top stock lists like the ones we discussed above. Here are some examples:
Active investors can also create their own custom scans to fit a unique strategy. You can combine a variety of metrics ranging from the metrics you’d expect to find in any screener (i.e. fundamentals, performance, etc.) to proprietary Seeking Alpha ratings (i.e. Quant Rating, Seeking Alpha Author Rating, etc.).
The stock screener is particularly valuable for investors who want to do thorough investment research based on a very specific strategy. If you enjoy customizing stock screeners, you will get a lot of value out of the screener.
We’ve reviewed dozens of stock screeners and many of them share the same features. Seeking Alpha has a few screen filters that make it particularly useful for investors and swing traders. There are some great fundamental filters and quant filters you won’t find in other platforms.
ETF Investing Ideas
While Seeking Alpha is primarily geared towards investors who want to research stocks, the premium service also offers tools for ETF research.
These tools include:
- Editor’s ETF Picks
- ETF Performance Analysis by Sector, Country, and Market Cap
- ETF Screener
The ETF research tools are not as comprehensive as the stock research tools, but they are a nice addition to the premium service.
Additional Seeking Alpha Premium Features
The majority of Seeking Alpha features fall into the three categories we reviewed above (News, Stock Analysis, and Investing Idea Generation). There are a few other features available to Seeking Alpha Premium subscribers that are worth mentioning.
Access to Exclusive Content
Seeking Alpha Premium members get access to more content than free members. Additional content includes:
- Earnings and Conference Call Recordings
- Exclusive Interviews
- Exclusive Articles
Seeking Alpha Premium members also have access to performance tracking metrics that can be helpful for gauging the quality of a particular opinion or analysis from a Seeking Alpha author. There are two key performance metrics:
- Investing Idea Performance
- Seeking Alpha Author Ratings History
Both of these metrics are actually very helpful for investors who want to better analyze the legitimacy of an investing ideas article (or the author who wrote it).
The performance metric is shown in the article summary:
This metric shows how the stock performed since the time the article was written (which is particularly helpful when reading older articles).
Premium members can also check the author’s rating history for older pieces to see how accurate their analyses are.
In the world of investing, the source of information matters. The author ratings feature can help members gauge the credibility of the ideas in the investing ideas articles (i.e. can you trust the author?).
Dividend investors can get access to dividend grades for dividend stocks. These include:
- Dividend Safety
- Dividend Growth
- Dividend Yield
- Dividend Consistency
Each category can be further broken down to explain the overall rating. These are particularly beneficial for investors looking to build dividend portfolios as part of their investing process.
Seeking Alpha Premium offers a few added features for portfolio monitoring. While all members (free and paid) have access to basic portfolio monitoring tools, premium members have access to a few additional features.
As a premium subscriber, you can see ratings for each stock in your portfolio or model portfolio (quant ratings, Seeking Alpha author ratings, and Wall St. ratings). You will also be alerted to any upgrades or downgrades on the stocks in your portfolio.
Members can create multiple portfolios to track different groups of stocks. While the term “portfolio” implies a portfolio of owned stocks, these are the same as watch lists. It’s helpful to create different watch lists by theme (i.e. sector, type of trade, etc.).
Usually, the “watch lists” feature of a research platform isn’t worth discussing since most of them are the same. Seeking Alpha’s watch lists have some unique features worth noting.
First, you can choose from pre-defined views or build your own. Each view provides a different set of metrics related to a general theme, such as:
- Company Profitability
- Quant Ratings
- Company Growth
- Stock Momentum
- And more
While you can often set these metrics up on other platforms, Seeking Alpha makes it easier by having pre-built options that you can click through without any setup.
There are two particularly helpful views for momentum traders who follow a lot of stocks or have diverse portfolios.
The “Earnings” view can be used to keep track of upcoming earnings for stocks you watch or invest in. You can sort by earnings dates to see when the companies you follow are reporting.
The “After Hours” view is another particularly helpful view. This view shows you the performance of stocks after hours, and you can sort by “percent change” to see if any stocks are making big moves.
The “Change %” column shows the after-hours performance only, making it easy to identify true momentum. For example, if a stock moves 2% intraday and 10% after hours, the % Change column will show a move of 10%, indicating that there was an after-hours catalyst worth looking into.
Paid members are shown fewer ads on the Seeking Alpha website. Premium members are shown limited ads and PRO members are not shown any ads at all.
Is Seeking Alpha Premium Worth It?
At this point in our Seeking Alpha review, you should have a good understanding of what you can expect as a paid member. So, is Seeking Alpha Premium worth paying for?
The short answer is, yes.
Seeking Alpha is one of the most extensive investment research platforms we have reviewed. The site features an impressive amount of information from a broad range of experienced contributors. Seeking Alpha is more than just a stock market news website. The website features a lot of proprietary data to help investors generate investing ideas, make sense of financial statements, and find companies to invest in.
If you are new to the platform, start by checking out the free subscription. You can get a good feel for the site and determine whether or not the paid subscriptions are right for you.
At only $19.99/month ($230 paid annually), the Premium membership definitely justifies the cost.
The PRO subscription is definitely a big jump in price at $199.99/month ($2,400 paid annually). This subscription is likely a better fit for active investors, fund managers, and existing users who feel limited by the Premium plan. We recommend going from tier to tier to determine which plan is right for you (i.e. start with free, move to Premium, then move to PRO if needed).
Every plan comes with a free trial so you can test out the service before you pay.
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Is Seeking Alpha Reputable?
Whenever we review a financial service, we want to determine if the sources of information are credible. As part of our Seeking Alpha review, we will do the same.
So, is the information on the website credible?
There are two parts to this answer.
As a whole, Seeking Alpha is a reputable news source. They have tons of credible contributors with different specialties.
That said, the credibility of the articles should be judged on a case-by-case basis. Certain contributors are more reputable than others. Additionally, many of the articles contain an “opinion-based” component. This doesn’t mean that the articles are not rooted in facts; it simply means the contributors add their own perspectives. For example, if Apple releases a new product, there are facts and opinions. Some people may think Apple is set up to take over a new industry, while others may feel like the company is on its way out. When reading these types of segments, investors should use some discretion and incorporate their own analysis before making any investment decisions.
Seeking Alpha Platform Differentiators
Seeking Alpha stands out from stock news platforms like Benzinga Pro and Trade the News by focusing on high-quality and in-depth articles from thousands of contributors. While you’ll find headlines within your feed on Seeking Alpha, instantaneous news is not the focus of this platform. This platform is focused on helping investors with stock market research that can be used to uncover hidden gems in the market.
That makes stock analysis platforms, as well as some stock recommendation newsletters Seeking Alpha’s biggest competitors. It’s easy to see how SA differs from stock newsletters – content is being generated around the clock and comes from thousands of different sources rather than a few newsletter creators. Whereas stock pickers like Gorilla Trades or IBD Leaderboard are focused on making individual stock picks, Seeking Alpha is focused on providing a wealth of information on a range of different stocks (and the stock market in general).
Compared to other services, Seeking Alpha’s content is more technical and focused on deep dives into individual stocks rather than short explanations paired with multiple recommendations within a single article.
You can find some of our in-depth Seeking Alpha comparisons below:
- Seeking Alpha vs. TipRanks
- Seeking Alpha vs. Zacks
- Seeking Alpha vs. Benzinga
- Seeking Alpha vs. Motley Fool
What Type of Trader is Seeking Alpha Best For?
Seeking Alpha is ideal for traders who are operating on timescales from several weeks to several years. The articles on Seeking Alpha are not instantaneous news designed for day traders but rather focus on holding positions over the course of several earnings reports. This timescale is reinforced by the fundamental financial data available within the website, which spans years.
On top of that, traders who have a strong understanding of both fundamental and technical analysis will get the most out of Seeking Alpha. Seeking Alpha is a data goldmine, making it ideal for research-driven investors who enjoy spending hours researching new investment ideas.
The service is particularly useful for investors who build diverse portfolios comprised of dozens of stocks. Seeking Alpha is a great place to generate new investment ideas and dive deep into company research.
The platform’s content is fairly high-level. While most articles make cohesive arguments, you’ll want to perform your own analyses beyond simply looking at the ratings given by authors and analysts. If you are looking for a simpler stock recommendation service, you may consider The Motley Fool Stock Advisor (see how they compare here).
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- Huge number of free articles analyzing individual stocks
- Articles are paired with authors’ and Seeking Alpha-wide ratings
- Unlimited portfolios for filtering content
- Detailed fundamental information and earnings estimates
- Wealth of stock ideas and strategies across multiple categories
- Content can be overwhelming and difficult to organize
- Stock ideas require tons of reading and self-directed analysis
- Stock screener not available with Essential subscription