For independent investors who like to find and research their own stock picks, Zacks and Seeking Alpha are among the top research platforms available today. Both platforms rely on experienced analysts to offer investment ideas and in-depth analysis, while also giving investors helpful tools to build their own portfolios.

Zacks and Seeking Alpha have a lot in common, but the services take different approaches to gathering and presenting stock research. In this guide, we’ll compare Zacks vs. Seeking Alpha to help you decide which service is best for you.

What are Zacks and Seeking Alpha?

Zacks Investment Research was founded by Len Zacks in 1978. The company has grown into one of the largest investment research firms in the US and has its own team of in-house analysts. Zacks is best known for its rank lists, which grade hundreds of stocks on a scale from 1 (strong buy) to 5 (strong sell).

Zacks vs. Seeking Alpha - Zacks

Seeking Alpha is a market news and analysis platform launched in 2004. The company doesn’t have an in-house analyst team, but instead relies on paid contributions from Wall Street analysts, fund managers, financial writers, and other experienced market watchers. Seeking Alpha also has in-house editors who cover market news as it breaks.

Zacks vs. Seeking Alpha - Seeking Alpha

Zacks vs. Seeking Alpha: Top Stock Lists

One of the main reasons to use either Zacks or Seeking Alpha is to get stock ideas that you can then research further on your own. Both platforms offer lists of stocks that are highly recommended by analysts.

At Zacks, all stocks that the platform covers are rated on a scale from 1-5. A #1 ranking represents a strong buy, while a #5 ranking represents a strong sell. So, you can check the #1 rank list to quickly find stocks that are potentially worth investing in. The list typically contains more than 200 stocks on any given day and turns over every few months.

Zacks vs. Seeking Alpha - Zack Stock Rankings

At Seeking Alpha, the top-rated stocks list contains 50-75 stocks that earn strong buy scores from Seeking Alpha contributors, Wall Street analysts, and Seeking Alpha’s quantitative algorithm. Seeking Alpha’s list turns over every few months. The platform also has lists of top dividend stocks, value stocks, growth stocks, and potential short squeeze stocks.

Zacks vs. Seeking Alpha: Stock Research

Zacks and Seeking Alpha each offer in-depth stock research to help you analyze stock picks and decide what to invest in. 

At Zacks, you’ll find an in-depth research report for every stock the company covers. These are traditional research reports written by in-house analysts tasked with covering a specific set of stocks.

Seeking Alpha takes a slightly different approach. Instead of having a single analyst write a single research report, Seeking Alpha accepts op-ed style analysis articles from a wide variety of contributors. This means that for any given stock, you can find 5-10 recent analysis articles that may offer differing opinions or use different approaches to gauge a stock’s value or growth potential. Navigating Seeking Alpha’s analysis articles takes more reading and often a stronger understanding of financial modeling than reading research reports from Zacks.

Zacks vs. Seeking Alpha - Seeking Alpha Stock Research

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Both services also offer other tools for stock research. At Zacks, each stock’s value, growth, and momentum are rated on an A-F scale. In addition, you can pull up interactive charts of a company’s key fundamental metrics and see how a stock’s valuation has responded to recent earnings reports.

At Seeking Alpha, stocks are rated from A-F on their valuation, growth, and profitability. The platform doesn’t let you chart fundamentals, but it does offer A-F grades for key financial ratios like price-to-earnings, price-to-sales, and price-to-earnings growth.

Zacks vs. Seeking Alpha: Stock Screeners

Both Zacks and Seeking Alpha offer stock screeners that help you find stocks based on the custom ratings each platform provides. The Zacks screener lets you filter based on stocks’ rank and value, growth, and momentum scores, as well as on a wide variety of fundamental and performance metrics. The platform offers pre-made screens for categories like high-ranking value stocks, high-ranking dividend stocks, and #1 rank stocks hitting new highs.

Zacks vs. Seeking Alpha - Zacks Stock Screener

The Seeking Alpha stock screener enables you to filter stocks based on valuation, growth, and profitability grades, analyst and contributor ratings, financial ratio grades, and a wide range of fundamental and technical parameters. There are pre-made screens for top stocks in specific market sectors.

Zacks vs. Seeking Alpha: ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, and Additional Markets

Zacks and Seeking Alpha primarily focus on stocks, but both platforms offer some coverage of additional markets. Zacks and Seeking Alpha each offer ETF screeners, and Zacks has a #1 rank list of recommended ETFs. Seeking Alpha has ETF analysis articles written by contributors similar to those available for stocks. Seeking Alpha also offers news and contributor-authored analysis of the crypto, forex, commodities, and real estate markets.

Zacks vs. Seeking Alpha - Seeking Alpha ETF Analysis

Zacks vs. Seeking Alpha: Pricing Options

Zacks and Seeking Alpha each offer some features for free, but you’ll need to subscribe to a premium service if you want to access top stocks, analyst or contributor research, or all of the filters available in the stock screeners.

Zacks Premium costs $249 per year, and you can try it free for 30 days. Seeking Alpha Premium costs $29.99 per month or $239 per year, and you can try it free for 14 days.

Which Stock Research Service is Better?

Zacks and Seeking Alpha are both excellent stock research services with a lot to offer for investors who want to do their own research. Each platform offers top stock lists and advanced stock screeners, giving you a jumping-off point for building a shortlist of ideas.

The biggest difference between Zacks and Seeking Alpha lies in their written stock analysis. Zacks is the better option if you want a traditional stock research report – a single report that’s relatively easy to read and presents a professional analyst’s view of a company they’ve been following for many years. Seeking Alpha is the better platform if you want a diversity of viewpoints, analysis methods, and opinions. Reading through several analysis articles takes more time than reading a single research report, but advanced investors can dive deeper into both the bull and bear cases for a stock.

Alternatives to Zacks and Seeking Alpha

Zacks and Seeking Alpha are both designed for self-directed investors who want to do their own research and incorporate expert analysis. But if you’re looking for stock picks without having to do your own in-depth research, you might consider a stock picking service like The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor.

Stock Advisor offers two stock picks per month, and you can follow the portfolio without doing any stock research on your own. Stock Advisor has returned 476% since its inception in 2002 compared to 136% for the S&P 500 – a track record that will be hard for most self-directed investors to match.

Conclusion: Zacks vs. Seeking Alpha

Zacks and Seeking Alpha offer stock ratings, analysis, and research tools for self-directed investors. The two platforms are competitively priced, and both offer in-depth analysis. Zacks is best if you want a single research report for every stock, while Seeking Alpha is best if you want a variety of viewpoints and analysis approaches to compare when researching stocks. 

If you’re still on the fence and looking to learn more about each option, make sure to read our full Zacks Premium review here, and our full Seeking Alpha review here.

🏆 Top Rated Services 🏆

Our team has reviewed over 200 services. These are our favorites:
📈  Best Day Trading Service
Investors Underground
📊  Best Stock Scanner
Trade Ideas
📉 Best Stock Charts
TradingView
💰  Best Stock Picking Service
Motley Fool
📱  Best Mobile Broker
Webull
💻   Best Robo-Advisor
M1 Finance