Seeking Alpha Review
Ease of Use
Stock news and research platform, Seeking Alpha’s, goal is to give its users an easy way to watch their stocks. With features like unlimited portfolios, stock articles, strategies, and more is Seeking Alpha everything you want or is it too overwhelming? Read our in-depth review to find out.
About Seeking Alpha
Seeking Alpha is a stock news and research platform that gives traders an easy way to keep track of the stocks they’re watching. The platform was originally founded by David Jackson and has since grown to feature hundreds of contributors. The site uses a crowdsourcing model to draw short news headlines and longer articles from around the Internet, typically featuring experienced Wall Street investors and analysts. Compared to news services like The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha’s content tends to be more technical and geared towards traders who are supplementing their own technical analyses.
Is it worth paying for a premium subscription? Keep reading our Seeking Alpha review to find out.
Seeking Alpha Premium Subscription Pricing
Seeking Alpha offers a large amount of content and resources for free, including access to most recently published articles and the ability to curate portfolios to customize your news feed. However, some of the information on articles, including the author’s rating of the stock in question and the author’s historical performance, is hidden for free users. In addition, free users cannot access content older than about 10 days.
Seeking Alpha offers two types of paid services. The site features a Marketplace of premium investing services that individual investors and companies offer. Seeking Alpha is not the actual provider of these services – they simply facilitate the transactions, allowing providers to sell premium content. Each of these services is unique and could warrant its own review, so today, we will be looking at the premium services offered by the company itself.
Seeking Alpha offers premium subscriptions that allow users to extend the features on the site. There are three subscriptions available:
- Free (The standard Seeking Alpha experience)
- Premium – $39.99/month or $239.88/year
- Pro – $299.99/month or $2,399.88/year
The Premium plan is the basic step up from the free plan. It offers unlimited access to premium content, which includes much more in-depth analysis. In addition to being able to see authors’ stock ratings, users get access to all of the analysis features that Seeking Alpha offers. That includes individual stock pages with detailed fundamentals and earnings tracking and ratings from bearish analysts. The main benefits of the Premium plan are:
- Unlimited access to content
- Fewer ads
- Additional stock ratings
The Pro plan is the next step up from the Premium plan, and it is far more expensive. The main advantage of this service is one-week early access to top long and short ideas from Seeking Alpha’s editors. You also get access to a stock filter that includes fields based on Seeking Alpha’s ratings. However, it’s hard to justify the high annual cost of this subscription compared to dedicated stock recommendation platforms. The main benefits of the Pro plan are:
- Unlimited access to content
- Early access to content
- Access to exclusive content
- Stock screener
- No ads
You can find a full comparison of the plans on the company’s website. All plans offer a free trial, so you can test out the service before committing to a membership.
Let’s take a look at some of the features you can expect from a paid membership.
The majority of Seeking Alpha’s platform is focused on stock news and commentary. This isn’t your typical news aggregator like Yahoo Finance. All of the news is original.
Similar to Benzinga, Seeking Alpha pays thousands of contributors, many of whom are well-respected investors and analysts, to contribute articles to the platform. These articles are typically approachable for experienced traders and investors, but the majority of them are not written for beginners. Expect to find technical language and charts used as evidence for arguments.
The articles are designed to offer investing ideas and trading ideas that can help you make investment decisions. The quality of the analysis varies by contributor, but overall the research is solid. SeekingAlpha is so popular that the articles may even impact stock prices if the investment ideas are juicy enough.
Free and Premium users will have differing levels of access to articles. Free users can read the most recent articles within 10 days but do not have access to more dated content. In addition, whereas free account holders only see the article itself, Premium subscribers get a wealth of additional analytical information. This includes the author’s rating of the stock being covered in the article, charts and fundamentals about that stock, and a chart showing the average analyst rating on that stock across Seeking Alpha.
While articles are the backbone of the service, the platform also allows commentary and promotes discussion using “StockTalk.” Essentially, StockTalks are like financial tweets that any user can contribute. Stocks mentioned in StockTalk snippets are identified by a “$” (like StockTwits), so these can be searched and categorized just like articles.
If you are actively looking for trading ideas and investment ideas, it may be worth paying for a Seeking Alpha premium subscription. I could see how these articles could become a large part of someone’s investment research process. Seeking Alpha features a lot of high-quality content from credible individuals.
All of this creates a massive amount of content, which is good if you can harness it and overwhelming if you cannot. As a result, much of the platform is designed around ways to help you organize content to easily find the news and commentary relevant to the stocks you are interested in.
There are three primary ways in which you can view the content:
- Through the homepage
- By people you are following
- By portfolios you have created.
The homepage is an algorithm-driven content curator that makes it easy to get an overview of the entire market. The page begins with trending articles and headlines, any of which are available to free and paid users alike. On the right-hand side, you’ll find quick quotes for the stocks in your customized portfolios. As you scroll down the homepage, you will see recommended articles based on your portfolio content and the authors you follow. Finally, you’ll find lists of the top gainers and losers across the market and in specific sub-industries that you have watched in the past.
Seeking Alpha also incorporates a social aspect by allowing you to follow specific authors. This is where having an Essential subscription comes in handy since you can actually see what stocks an author is covering with ratings when choosing to follow them. Keep in mind that many authors have their own subscription services for additional analysis and premium articles, which are priced separately from the main subscription.
Finally, the Portfolio view is among the most useful ways to sort stock news within the website. Here, you can get all articles, comments, and StockTalk related to the stocks that you are interested in following. Essential subscribers can create an unlimited number of portfolios, with each portfolio receiving its own stock news feed.
Seeking Alpha Stock Analysis
The other major component of Seeking Alpha, which is largely restricted to Essential subscribers, is stock analysis. Seeking Alpha uses the stock ratings curated by its contributors and editors to make stock recommendations and help develop investing ideas.
There are a lot of investment research tools you can use for analyzing stocks. You will find basic information that you would find on sites like Yahoo Finance and Stock Rover, but there are also a few unique analysis tools. For example, there are quant ratings, SA Author ratings, and Wall Street analyst ratings for stocks. There are also comparison tools that allow you to see how a stock ranks compared to other peers in the sector.
Seeking Alpha’s analysis content starts with its individual stock pages. The basic price charts and lists of news and analysis related to that stock are available to all users. However, only Essential users will find quant ratings, SA ratings, and information from sell-side analysts to go along with this information.
More important, Essential users get access to a wealth of historical financial information, which is unavailable to free users if it is more than five years old. Subscribers can also view the history of analysts’ earnings expectations for a stock and forecasts for upcoming earnings reports. Seeking Alpha also gives grades to a stock for its value, growth, and profitability, which can be important indicators for investors on the fence about a particular company.
Stock Ideas and Strategies
Seeking Alpha provides a wealth of stock ideas, although these are largely in the form of curated articles rather than as lists of recommended stocks. That’s good and bad. On the one hand, investors are forced to read about and research stocks before they can buy them. On the other hand, it makes it significantly more difficult to do a quick scan of recommendations to then go pursue analyses outside of Seeking Alpha.
Stock ideas and strategies are available for individual US stocks, but the platform also goes beyond that. Recommendations are available for dividend stocks, global markets, commodities, forex, and industry sector stocks. All of these categories are further sub-divided, but an Editor’s Pick category allows you to quickly hone in on the recommendations that carry the most weight.
Overall, the layout of Seeking Alpha’s stock recommendations makes it surprisingly difficult to quickly generate many ideas. Instead, expect to invest significant time into reading technical articles, from which you will likely need to do more of your own analysis in order to decide whether to invest in a stock.
A somewhat surprising tool included in the platform is an ETF screener. Given that few of Seeking Alpha’s articles are focused around ETFs, it seems strange that this screener rather than a stock screener is included for Essential subscribers. In fact, the screener does not have any fields that relate to Seeking Alpha’s analyst or author ratings. Still, the ETF screener is a useful extra for long-term investors looking to build out a diversified portfolio in addition to trading individual stocks.
Seeking Alpha Platform Differentiators
Seeking Alpha stands out from stock news platforms like Benzinga Pro and Trade the News by focusing on high-quality and in-depth articles from thousands of contributors. While you’ll find headlines within your feed on Seeking Alpha, instantaneous news is not the focus of this platform. This platform is focused on helping investors with stock market research that can be used to uncover hidden gems in the market.
That makes stock analysis platforms, as well as some stock recommendation newsletters Seeking Alpha’s biggest competitors. It’s easy to see how SA differs from stock newsletters – content is being generated around the clock and comes from thousands of different sources rather than a few newsletter creators. Whereas stock pickers like Gorilla Trades or IBD Leaderboard are focused on making individual stock picks, Seeking Alpha is focused on providing a wealth of information on a range of different stocks (and the stock market in general).
Compared to other services, Seeking Alpha’s content is more technical and focused on deep dives into individual stocks rather than short explanations paired with multiple recommendations within a single article.
Is Seeking Alpha Reputable?
Whenever we review a financial service, we want to determine if the sources of information are credible. As part of our Seeking Alpha review, we will do the same.
So, is the information on the website credible?
There are two parts to this answer.
As a whole, Seeking Alpha is a reputable news source. They have tons of credible contributors with different specialties.
That said, the credibility of the articles should be judged on a case-by-case basis. Certain contributors are more reputable than others. Additionally, many of the articles contain an “opinion-based” component. This doesn’t mean that the articles are not rooted in facts; it simply means the contributors add their own perspectives. For example, if Apple releases a new product, there are facts and opinions. Some people may think Apple is set up to take over a new industry, while others may feel like the company is on its way out. When reading these types of segments, investors should use some discretion and incorporate their own analysis before making any investment decisions.
What Type of Trader is Seeking Alpha Best For?
Seeking Alpha is ideal for traders who are operating on timescales from several weeks to several years. The articles on Seeking Alpha are not instantaneous news designed for day traders but rather focus on holding positions over the course of several earnings reports. This timescale is reinforced by the fundamental financial data available within the website, which spans years.
On top of that, traders who have a strong understanding of both fundamental and technical analysis will get the most out of Seeking Alpha. The platform’s content is fairly high-level. While most articles make cohesive arguments, you’ll want to perform your own analyses beyond simply looking at the ratings given by authors and analysts. If you are looking for a simpler stock recommendation service, you may consider The Motley Fool Stock Advisor (see how they compare here).
- Huge number of free articles analyzing individual stocks
- Articles are paired with authors’ and Seeking Alpha-wide ratings
- Unlimited portfolios for filtering content
- Detailed fundamental information and earnings estimates
- Wealth of stock ideas and strategies across multiple categories
- Content can be overwhelming and difficult to organize
- Stock ideas require tons of reading and self-directed analysis
- Stock screener not available with Essential subscription