One of the biggest challenges that self-directed investors face is finding not just good stocks to invest in, but the very best stocks. That’s where services like TipRanks and Zacks come in. These investment research platforms are designed to help you quickly find the stocks that expert analysts are watching and decide which companies are worth investing in.
Both services have excellent track records when it comes to recommending stocks. The biggest difference between them is that TipRanks relies on price targets from dozens of Wall Street analysts, while Zacks has its own in-house team of stock analysts.
In our TipRanks vs. Zacks comparison, we’ll help you decide which service is a better fit for you.
About TipRanks and Zacks
TipRanks was founded in 2012 in order to make the data published by Wall Street Analysts – including stock price targets – more actionable for individual investors. The platform collates targets from dozens of analysts and tracks their accuracy over time to identify the top-performing analysts. A decade after launching, TipRanks has an estimated 1.5 million users.
Zacks Investment Research is a long-established investment analysis firm founded in 1978. The company has its own team of in-house analysts who cover around 1,150 US stocks. Zacks doesn’t offer estimates about how many people use its platform or its Premium subscription service, but it is one of the most well-known stock research services available today.
TipRanks vs. Zacks: Stock Ratings and Research
TipRanks and Zacks both do an excellent job of breaking down complex fundamental and technical data into easily digestible metrics.
At TipRanks, every stock is given a “Smart Score” on a scale of 1-10. Next to that score, you’ll find simple buy/sell or bullish/bearish ratings for categories like analyst ratings and insider activity, as well as top-line metrics for technical and fundamental performance. Importantly, TipRanks’ Smart Score is generated by an algorithm – stocks are not graded by human analysts.
At Zacks, every stock is given an A-F grade in each of three categories: value, growth, and momentum. These grades are issued by Zacks analysts rather than by an algorithm. In addition, every stock is given an overall rank from 1-5, where 1 represents a strong buy recommendation and 5 represents a strong sell recommendation.
TipRanks and Zacks also offer deeper dives into individual stocks, but in different ways. TipRanks collects data from Wall Street analysts to offer a range of 12-month price targets. It also collects data about insider trading activity and the number of TipRanks users who hold a particular stock in their portfolios.
Zacks offers in-depth research reports that are written by its analysts. It also offers detailed growth estimates and charts of key fundamental metrics.
TipRanks vs. Zacks: Recommended Stock Lists
Both TipRanks and Zacks offer lists of recommended stocks to help you make investing decisions.
TipRanks has several different top stocks lists, including ones based on smart scores, analyst price targets, insider buying activity, and stocks that are popular among TipRanks users. The smart score list has around 300 stocks with a 10 out of 10 rating.
Zacks offers a #1 rank list, which includes around 200 stocks. Zacks also has rank lists for stocks rated 2-5.
TipRanks vs. Zacks: Stock Screeners
Since the TipRanks smart score and Zacks #1 rank lists include hundreds of stocks, the screening tools that both platforms provide are critical.
The TipRanks screener is designed to help you sort through the metrics that the platform focuses on – namely, smart score, price target upside, insider activity, and user sentiment. It does not include detailed fundamental or technical filters, which can be somewhat limiting.
The Zacks screener offers far more criteria for filtering based on fundamental metrics and recent stock performance. Zacks also offers premade screens for Premium subscribers that target actionable categories like “highly ranked undervalued stocks” and “Zacks #1 rank new highs.”
TipRanks vs. Zacks: Performance
TipRanks and Zacks both have strong track records. TipRanks’ smart score list has delivered an average annual performance of 18.6% since 2016, compared to 12.0% for the S&P 500. The Zacks #1 rank list has delivered an average annual performance of 25.4% since it was launched in 1988.
TipRanks vs. Zacks: Pricing
You can access much of the stock research available on TipRanks and Zacks for free. However, if you want to filter analysts based on their performance or view TipRanks’ top stock lists, you’ll need a paid subscription that costs $359 per year. Complete access to TipRanks, including the ability to export data to Excel, costs $599 per year.
Zacks Premium, which includes access to analyst reports and the #1 rank list, costs $249 per year.
Which Service is Better?
TipRanks and Zacks are both excellent services for self-directed investors, and they have the performance records to prove their worth. TipRanks is best for investors who put stock in Wall Street analyst price targets and signals from insider activity.
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Zacks is best if you want to focus on fundamentals like value and growth, or prefer to invest based on the insights provided by in-depth analyst reports. It’s also possible to use both TipRanks and Zacks together to focus your portfolio on stocks that both platforms recommend.
Alternatives to TipRanks and Zacks
Morningstar Premium offers a research service that is somewhat intermediate to TipRanks and Zacks. It offers data about analyst price estimates, while also offering fair value estimates and in-depth research reports from its own in-house team of analysts. Morningstar Premium offers a list to recommend top undervalued and wide-moat stocks, which is similar to the #1 rank list at Zacks and the smart score list at TipRanks. Morningstar Premium costs $34.95 per month or $249 per year.
Motley Fool Stock Advisor
TipRanks and Zacks are research tools that help investors find better stocks to invest in. While many investors like doing their own research, some prefer to rely on the research of others. Motley Fool Stock Advisor is a stock-picking service that has been offering stock picks and research reports since 2002. To date (March 2022), these picks have returned 491% (4X’ing the returns of the S&P 500). The service is available for $199/year, with discounts available for new members. If you prefer to skip the research phase and get straight to the stock picks, Stock Advisor is a great choice.
Conclusion: Tipranks vs. Zacks
TipRanks and Zacks offer stock recommendations and research for self-directed investors. TipRanks focuses primarily on price targets from Wall Street analysts, insider activity, and sentiment from TipRanks users. Zacks focuses on fundamentals and has its own team of analysts to research stocks. Both platforms have proven that they can consistently outperform the market. If you’re still looking to learn a bit more about each of these platforms, make sure to check out our full review of TipRanks here and our full review of Zacks here.