Zacks Research Wizard Review
If you’re looking for a software for stock screening and backtesting, you may have come across Zacks Research Wizard. This software is made for highly advanced stock screening and strategy backtesting. It includes features such as screener analysis, comparative charts, and more. Is Zacks Research Wizard what your trading needs? Read our thorough review of Zacks Research Wizard and find out for yourself.
About Zacks Research Wizard
Zacks Research Wizard is a software from vaunted market analytics firm Zacks that’s designed to offer highly advanced stock screening and strategy backtesting. The platform is far from user friendly, as it has an outdated and clunky interface. But, the screener includes a huge number of fundamental parameters and is highly customizable. Plus, you get access to Zacks research reports and interactive charts.
There are quite a few stock screeners out there, such as FinViz Stock Screener and Uncle Stock, as well as platforms for backtesting, like Quantshare, so how do you know if Zacks Research Wizard is the right choice for you? Let’s learn more about this software in this Zacks Research Wizard review.
Zacks Research Wizard Pricing
A Zacks Research Wizard subscription costs $1,800 per year. Before you can sign up for a subscription, you must sign up for a free two-week trial of the software.
Zacks Research Wizard Features
Zacks Research Wizard is built to help fundamental traders find stocks with long-term growth potential. To that end, the platform is centered around an extremely capable stock screener. The screener tool contains more than 600 fundamental parameters ranging from EPS growth projections and dividends to income statement components and book value.
While it’s not possible to define a custom parameter within the software, the screener goes way beyond basic greater than, less than, or equal to logical operators. You can compare a parameter to the market or industry average and require, say, that EPS falls in the top 10% of companies for that sector. Or, you can set up mathematical expressions to combine multiple parameters into a single screener rule. This flexibility makes the Research Wizard screener very powerful for traders with a well-defined strategy.
All screens can be saved to your desktop and loaded for future use or modification.
Screener results appear in a simple list that displays the values for all parameters that were included in your query. But, you can also dive deeper into analyzing your screener results using heatmaps and scatter plots.
Notably, heatmaps are colored not according to your screen parameters, but rather according to Zacks ratings for the stocks in your screen results. This makes these graphics slightly less useful for pursuing your own trading strategy.
The scatter plots, on the other hand, enable you to choose which parameters to plot on the X and Y axes. These plots can be difficult to use if you have a lot of stocks in your screener results, since the points aren’t labeled clearly with ticker symbols. However, you can also export the necessary data to create your own charts in Excel or another software.
Another important thing you can do with the screens you create in Research Wizard is to backtest them. This is notably easier to accomplish than with many other stock analysis platforms, and backtests run in seconds for a three-year period.
Research Wizard will plot the results of your strategy against the S&P500 or another benchmark of your choosing, as well as output a daily, weekly, or monthly list of the contents and value of the virtual portfolio.
The Research Wizard platform also includes some interesting charting capabilities. To start, you can display a basic candlestick chart for any stock, although the only overlay data available are moving averages.
More helpful are the other charts that Research Wizard includes. There are 10 options, including one that plots the stock price against Zacks analysts’ consensus price target for the stock for each of the past four years. Another plots analysts’ EPS forecast, and another displays the history of positive or negative earnings surprises. Peer analysis plots are perhaps the most helpful, as these showcase how a number of fundamental parameters for the company in question compare to those for companies in the same industry or sub-sector.
Customization And Layout
The biggest downside to Zacks Research Wizard is that the software interface is very outdated. The platform is reminiscent of the early days of Microsoft Excel. Basic functions are often hard to find or access – for example, there is no way to return to the screener window after running a screen, so you must close the program and re-open it again.
In some cases, this directly affects the functionality of the platform. Many of the plots can be made more actionable by importing the data to Excel or another program rather than working with them natively in Research Wizard. In other cases, such as for the screener builder and backtesting feature, the outdated design is an annoyance but does not negatively impact the software.
Zacks Research Wizard Platform Differentiators
Zacks Research Wizard includes one of the most comprehensive and flexible fundamental screeners on the market. The breadth of parameters that can included in a screen is relatively unparalleled, and having the ability to quickly compare companies that appear in the results through heatmaps and scatter plots is very helpful. On top of that, backtesting a fundamental strategy with Research Wizard is incredibly fast and easy.
All that said, the platform could benefit from some improvements. It offers almost no technical parameters beyond moving averages and the charts aren’t as customizable as what most other platforms offer. It is also not currently possible to directly compare two screener strategies with the backtesting tool.
What Type Of Trader Is Zacks Research Wizard Best For?
Many of Zacks’ research tools are designed to make analyst information available to retail traders. In contrast, Research Wizard enables you to do your own research and draw your own conclusions about what companies are worth investing in. In that sense, this platform is best suited for highly motivated investors who are comfortable building their own strategies with the advanced screener and backtesting them to ensure they are profitable.
- Stock screener includes more than 600 fundamental parameters
- Flexible logic operators and expressions for combining screen parameters
- Easy backtesting with comparison to major indices
- Visual comparisons of a company’s performance against its peers
- Simple data export for additional analysis and visualization
- Very expensive annual subscription
- Outdated and clunky user interface
- Limited range of charting functions