Screening stocks is crucial for your pre-trading preparation. During the years, I went through a lot of screening techniques and tools that helped me to find excellent trading opportunities. I will share my favorite ways to screen/scan stocks in this article.

There are free and paid ways to screen stocks. The paid methods usually ease research up for you so that you save time. A lot of people hesitate to go for the paid solutions as they want everything for free. I go over these solutions to show you why this can be a mistake, especially when you are starting.

1. The best free way with Finviz

Finviz has by far the best free screener on the market. You can customize your screener whatever you like. Finviz has excellent information about every stock with news and even a small trend analysis for free.

One of my favorite ways was to build pre-defined pre-market screeners to find gapping stocks. To make your life easier I am listing some of the presets here you could to find opportunities.

  • Up-gappers preset: 5% up and higher, only stocks above $10 with at least 50k volume
  • Down-gappers preset: 5% down and lower, only stocks above $10 with at least 50k volume
  • Swing-trading preset: Stocks above $10 that trade higher than usual volume. A great way to find stocks for swing-trading.

You can customize these presets however you like, of course. I prefer to trade higher-priced stocks with leverage because they are much easier to control than micro-cap penny stocks.

The drawback

As good as the options Finviz provides are, they are not real-time. For real-time data, you need to subscribe to their service with their elite program. The program also offers advanced charts, backtesting of strategies, real-time alerts, and more.

2. The best paid way with Trade-Ideas

Trade-Ideas and their scanners is the most successful tool on the market and that for a good reason. Every successful trader I know uses it to find opportunities. It lets you define extremely customized scanners that even check social media engagement for a particular stock.

Their realtime scanners make it ideal not to miss trades during a day. It is a fast and reliable service.

The drawback

It does cost you a monthly fee which can hurt if you don’t want to go for a serious trading approach right away. If you do, however, want to go a more professional approach, there is almost no way around Trade-Ideas. It also saves a lot of time to find opportunities that can be crucial not to miss fast movers.

3. The best way with an artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (or short AI) is taking over our world in every aspect of our life. So it is not far fetched that there is also AI’s programmed for trading purposes. One of the best AI I’ve seen so far is the one that Trade-Ideas offers with its premium plan.

Let the AI remove your emotion

One of the most significant disadvantages a human being has in trading is emotions. An AI is trading 100% unemotional and unbiased, which can help you a lot to build your confidence.

The impossible task of analyzing everything yourself

There are thousands of stocks traded every day. For a human being, there is no way that you can analyze all these stocks yourself, whether it is for swing- or day-trading. The AI does that all for you in literally no time. It tests over a million trading scenarios overnight and presents you with the highest probabilities at your convenience.

Conclusion

Screening/Scanning stocks for free pre-market is an excellent way to start. The main drawback to the paid options is that it will most definitely not be realtime. So you will most likely miss out on all the stocks that move heavily intraday without a paid service. Once you go into full-time trading, I would highly recommend you get a decent scanner to have opportunities presented to you at ease.

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