Intraday and swing traders need a high-quality stock scanner to find opportunities for their trading strategies in real-time.
Two of the most powerful scanners on the market are Trade Ideas and Scanz. Both are built for fast-paced trading and offer the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of strategies. However, they differ in how they approach scanning and offer different tools to help you turn ideas into successful trades.
We’ll compare Trade Ideas vs. Scanz to help you decide which of these stock scanning tools is right for you.
About Trade Ideas and Scanz
Trade Ideas launched in 2003 as one of the earliest real-time stock scanning tools designed for traders. The platform doesn’t reveal how many users it has, but Trade Ideas is widely regarded as one of the most powerful stock scanners on the market. It was also one of the first stock scanners to incorporate artificial intelligence when it launched its Holly AI tool in 2016.
Scanz, formerly known as EquityFeed, launched in 2002, shortly before Trade Ideas. More than 90,000 traders use the platform today. The platform underwent a complete redesign in 2019 that made it easier to use and doubled down on the scanner’s focus on traders rather than investors.
Trade Ideas and Scanz both offer real-time stock scanners aimed at intraday traders and swing traders. Both platforms cater to a wide range of strategies, offering the flexibility to create fully custom scans using dozens of popular technical parameters. Both platforms also cover all US stocks, including OTC stocks.
However, that’s about where the similarities end. The two platforms take very different approaches to scanning and helping you spot trading opportunities.
Trade Ideas vs. Scanz: Building Custom Scans
The process of building a scan in Trade Ideas and in Scanz is similar on the surface, but very different in the details. Both platforms let you create custom stock scans based on dozens of technical and fundamental parameters. You can combine parameters using and/or logicals to tailor what setups make it into your scan results.
The Trade Ideas scanner stands out for offering setup-based alerts to build scans around. For example, you can build scans based on parameters like 25% pullback from high, Fibonacci 38% buy/sell signal, and moving average crossovers.
Scanz offers simpler scan parameters based on common technical indicators, but you can scan based on how two indicators interact. For example, you can build a scan based on a short-term moving average crossing a long-term moving average or a price crossing VWAP. This approach is more customizable, but it also takes a little more work to create an initial set of strategy-based scans.
Trade Ideas vs. Scanz: Pre-built Scans
Another difference between the two scanners is that Trade Ideas offers dozens of pre-built scans, while Scanz does not. Pre-built scans in Trade Ideas can help you find bull and bear flags, RSI divergences, three line strike patterns, and more. Scanz says it has a library of more than 100 pre-built scans coming soon, but they have not yet been released.
One neat feature that Scanz offers, however, is the Easy Scanner. This is a click-and-go scanning tool that lets you quickly filter stocks based on basic parameters like market, price change, trading volume, short interest, and more. It’s a really useful tool for discovering stocks making big moves on above-average volume or short squeeze candidates.
Another tool within Scanz is the Breakout Scanner. This scanner offers a running list of stocks setting new highs and lows, breaking above or below moving averages, or trading with greater than average volume. It’s another fast way to discover potential trade setups that aren’t tied to a highly specific strategy.
Trade Ideas vs. Scanz: Backtesting
One of the most powerful features in Trade Ideas is its strategy backtester. You can apply the backtester to a custom scan to see how that scan strategy performed over a custom time period. Even better, Trade Ideas helps you optimize your strategy by showing you the impact of each parameter and how your profits would increase or decrease if you made tweaks.
Scanz assumes that you already have a proven trading strategy and doesn’t offer any tools for strategy development.
Trade Ideas vs. Scanz: Artificial Intelligence
Trade Ideas is also unique in leveraging artificial intelligence to deliver actionable trade ideas. The Trade Ideas AI, nicknamed Holly, evaluates more than 60 strategies to find the most profitable trades every day. You can get trade signals in real-time and they include entry and exit prices and stop losses.
Scanz doesn’t have any comparable artificial intelligence tools or automatically generated trading signals.
Trade Ideas vs. Scanz: Brokerage Integrations
Trade Ideas lets you trade directly from the platform with an Interactive Brokers or TradeZero account. Notably, you can also set Trade Ideas to automatically execute trades from any of your custom strategies or based on Holly’s AI-generated trade signals.
Scanz doesn’t currently offer brokerage integrations, but it says they’re coming soon. The platform plans to offer integrations for TD Ameritrade, Interactive Brokers, and other popular brokers.
Trade Ideas vs. Scanz: News Scans
Scanz has a dedicated market news scanner that pulls in headlines and stories from more than 100 sources. It covers major outlets like Benzinga, CNBC, Reuters, Seeking Alpha, and more. It also tracks SEC filings. You can search recent news by keyword or set up alerts for specific tickers and keywords.
Trade Ideas does include news, but not in a way that’s particularly useful for trading around breaking headlines. When viewing the page for an individual stock—which includes that stock’s chart and fundamentals—you get a basic feed of recent headlines involving that ticker. Trade Ideas pulls headlines from a few major newswires, but not nearly as many sources as Scanz.
Trade Ideas vs. Scanz: Ease of Use
There’s a huge difference in usability between Trade Ideas and Scanz.
Trade Ideas has a very steep learning curve and it’s far from intuitive. The display can be overwhelming the first time you use Trade Ideas and it takes several days to learn how to use the platform effectively. The good news is that Trade Ideas has a ton of educational resources including tutorials, videos, and an online trading room to help you find your way around the software.
In contrast, Scanz is incredibly intuitive. If you’ve used a stock scanner before, you’ll have no problem jumping into the software and creating your first scan. It still takes some time to set up a library of custom, strategy-based scans, but the process feels straightforward. Scanz also has a helpful blog that shows you how to scan for common setups.
Trade Ideas vs. Scanz: Pricing
Trade Ideas starts at $84 per month (paid annually), but that doesn’t include AI-generated trade signals or brokerage integrations. For those features, you’ll need a Premium subscription that costs $167 per month.
Scanz costs $169 per month, plus an additional $15 per month for OTC stock data.
Which Scanner Is Better?
Trade Ideas and Scanz are both excellent tools for traders in search of profitable setups. Trade Ideas stands out as the better platform for the majority of traders thanks to its pre-built scans and wider selection of setup-based filters. It’s also much less expensive than Scanz if you don’t need access to the advanced backtesting module or AI-generated trade signals.
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That said, Scanz is a great choice if you want a scanner with less of a learning curve or if you like to trade around breaking news headlines. Scanz may also work better than Trade Ideas for some momentum traders thanks to its breakout scanner, although you can easily build price and volume-based scans in Trade Ideas.
Alternatives to Trade Ideas and Scanz
For many traders, the biggest reason to look for alternatives to Trade Ideas and Scanz is their cost. These are premium stock scanners, and they come with price tags.
One of the best alternative scanners is FINVIZ, which offers a paid plan with real-time stock data for only $24.96 per month. FINVIZ is easy to use and lets you scan based on a wide variety of price and volume metrics and technical indicators.
Another good alternative is TradingView. While TradingView is best known for its technical charts, the scanner is also quite powerful and offers hundreds of filters. The biggest downside for trading is that results are refreshed every 10 seconds instead of in real-time. You can use the TradingView scanner for free.
Conclusion: Trade Ideas vs. Scanz
Trade Ideas and Scanz are two of the most powerful real-time stock scanners available to traders. Trade Ideas stands out for its pre-built scans, backtesting tools, and AI trading signals. Scanz offers ease of use and a news scanner for trading around headlines.
Check out our full Trade Ideas review and our full Scanz review to learn more about these stock scanning platforms.