Seeking Alpha is one of the respected research platforms on the market, but are paid memberships to the service worth it? Our Seeking Alpha review provides a side-by-side analysis so you can decide which option is right for your investing needs.
What Is Seeking Alpha?
Seeking Alpha is the world’s largest investing community, with over 6.5 million active readers.
The platform is known for its stock market research, with investor insights and quantitative analysis on stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, and more.
Now, you may be wondering, what makes Seeking Alpha so popular?
Well, there are a few reasons…
High Quality Research
First, the platform provides high-quality research and analysis from a variety of sources.
It essentially aggregates all the third-party data for you — and gathers information from its own expansive team of Seeking Alpha contributors and analysts — so you can see multiple perspectives on a single investing idea before making a decision.
Second, Seeking Alpha is a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest news and developments in the financial world.
The site’s news section covers all the major stories, and you can also find detailed analyses of how these stories will impact your investments.
Finally, Seeking Alpha is a great community.
The forum is full of active users who are happy to share their knowledge and insights.
This makes it easy to get opinions on investments and gather reports on what others are up to.
Seeking Alpha has three membership tiers: Basic, Premium, and Pro.
Each membership tier unlocks a new set of features and benefits.
But are they worth it?
Let’s dig into this Seeking Alpha review to find out.
Is Seeking Alpha Free?
Seeking Alpha is free for Basic members.
Functionality is extremely limited with this membership package, but you can still get some monthly newsletters, read and post blog posts, and follow your favorite authors.
A paid plan unlocks more features, which we’ll talk about further down in this Seeking Alpha review.
What’s Included with Seeking Alpha?
Here’s just a taste of the tools you have at your fingertips when you join Seeking Alpha:
- Stock Screener – Find stocks that match your investment criteria when you become a Premium or Pro member.
- Wall Street Analyst Ratings – See whether top Wall Street gurus think you should buy, sell, or hold.
- Quant Ratings – Get an edge over the competition with this quantitative snapshot of an investing idea.
- Stock Comparison – See how a stock stacks up against the competition with this unique tool.
- Analysis from Published Seeking Alpha Authors and Ratings – See in-depth stock reviews from published authors and find out when it may be time to buy or sell.
- Earnings Call Transcripts and Audio – Get transcripts and audio of earnings calls so you can stay up-to-date on a company’s performance.
- Notable Calls — Stay updated as Seeking Alpha analysts monitor Wall Street, looking for new investing ideas that may be worth your time.
- Portfolio Monitoring – Sync your portfolio to the Seeking Alpha dashboard, and receive email alerts about your holdings.
The stock screener is an incredibly valuable tool only available to Seeking Alpha Premium members.
It lets you filter popular stocks by quant ratings, author ratings, analyst ratings, and more, so you can organize your results according to your priorities.
Seeking Alpha quant ratings are produced by a computer algorithm that analyzes over 100 data points related to a stock. They’re purely objective and rooted in facts.
On the other hand, Seeking Alpha’s author ratings are compiled by analysts and everyday investors.
Many Seeking Alpha authors are extremely qualified, and they spend hours conducting extensive research on each stock they write about.
Each author’s rating is based on their personal opinion, but you can garner some valuable insights from hearing their perspectives.
Finally, Wall Street ratings come from Wall Street analysts and other finance pros.
These ratings come from professional analysts with a full assortment of powerful research and analysis tools at their disposal, so they might be the most authoritative of the three options.
Each rating methodology has advantages and drawback. Together, they comprise a set of diverse viewpoints that give you an excellent perspective on the factors affecting a stock.
Once you understand the differences of each, you can use the stock screener tool to get a complete picture of each stock with just a quick glance.
Wall Street Ratings
Wall Street Ratings are one of the few features available to Basic members. To access Quant and Author ratings, you’ll have to upgrade to Pro or Premium.
Wall Street ratings are developed using models built by analysts on Wall Street.
These models aim to predict earnings forecasts, target prices, expected performance, and more.
Collectively, analysts take all this information and condense it down into an estimate, so customers can quickly digest their take on a particular stock.
Seeking Alpha collects all of these estimates from third-party sites and aggregates them into a Wall Street rating.
As a member, you can compare this rating to all the others to see if an investing idea is worth pursuing.
Factor investing is an investment strategy that involves picking stocks based on specific characteristics, or “factors.”
The idea behind factor investing is that stocks with certain characteristics tend to outperform the stock market as a whole.
There are many factors that can be used when selecting stocks, but the five Seeking Alpha uses are Value, Growth, Profitability, Momentum, and EPS Revisions.
As you can imagine, manually determining these factors can be quite a headache.
So, it’s convenient that Seeking Alpha condenses them all into a handy “factor scorecard.”
These scorecards are assigned grades of A+ to F — just like the report cards you got in school.
You can use these scorecards to quickly sort through your options.
Then, you click on the “grade” to review the underlying data.
Seeking Alpha has factor scorecards for both stocks and REITs.
The REITs factor scorecard features additional data that only applies to real estate — such as funds from operations (FFO) and adjusted funds from operations (AFFO).
Both of these are used to measure a REIT’s overall financial performance.
There’s also a dividend stock scorecard that rates how good a company’s dividend is compared to its competitors.
The dividend stock scorecard also highlights whether those dividends are predicted to stick around for the long haul, so you can avoid overpaying for high dividends that won’t pan out.
When researching investments, many people prefer to compare options side by side.
If that sounds like you, Seeking Alpha has you covered with a handy stock comparison tool that lets you compare up to six stocks at once.
This tool has limited functionality for Basic members, so you won’t be able to view a lot of the data it aggregates.
However, Premium and Pro members have access to the feature’s full functionality.
You can compare stocks across industries and sectors, or use some of the pre-made comparisons that Seeking Alpha has put together, such as FAANG Stocks or Big Pharma Stocks.
You can also compare things like how much these stocks are worth, how fast they’re growing, how profitable they are, potential dividend yields, and more.
And the best part is, you get to see the quant rating, author rating, Wall Street rating, and factor scorecard for every stock — all in one place.
You can also create your own filter that you can then export to a PDF or Excel for further analysis.
Analysis from Published Authors and Ratings
There are thousands of Seeking Alpha authors who publish data and insights for the site.
These contributors could be active investors, analysts, hedge fund managers, or everyday joe’s who are passionate about diving into the latest investing ideas.
As a Seeking Alpha member, you get to read all of these publications.
And if you find a contributor you really like, you can “follow” them to receive notifications every time they release new content.
Seeking Alpha contributors also give each stock they’re reviewing an “author rating,” so you can see their sentiments at a glance.
The authors analyze numerous factors to determine a final rating of either:
- Very Bullish
- Very Bearish
You can also see all the stats for a particular stock, including its price at the time of publishing, its current price, and how much time has passed since it’s been published.
For example, in the screenshot above, you can see that the author rated this stock as “Very Bullish.”
It was $7.39 at the time of publishing and has since risen to $9.89 since the article was published 69 days ago.
In other words, the author’s predictions played out.
These articles also include links to other articles the author has written on a particular stock or ETF, so you can browse more additional articles from authors you like.
Earnings Call Transcripts and Audio
A Seeking Alpha Premium subscription also gets you access to past conference call recordings about earnings, forecasts, and more.
Conversely, basic members can only read transcripts of these calls.
If you’d rather listen to earnings calls than read them, you should go with a premium subscription. Only premium members can access earnings call audio.
Having direct access to earnings calls is a valuable feature. You’ll hear updates from top company executives, and you’ll also get to listen to them answer questions from top analysts
Pro and Premium members get to listen in on these calls live, so they can act quickly on any new information that comes out.
When you join, you’ll be the first to know when a new earnings calendar is released, so you know when to listen to the next call.
Other Notable Calls
Notable calls is another feature reserved just for Pro and Premium members.
It’s a curated list of the very best investment ideas from top Wall Street gurus and hedge fund managers.
These “notable calls” come from Seeking Alpha’s world-class analysts, and they’re a great way to stay on top of the latest Wall Street trends.
Some common things typically featured in the notable calls section are “state of the market” addresses, recaps of recent purchases by hedge fund managers, and more.
Seeking Alpha’s portfolio monitoring capabilities could be its most valuable feature.
This tool gives you the ability to connect and integrate your personal investment portfolio with the Seeking Alpha dashboard.
That way, you can track your holdings right on their platform, and laser in on which investing ideas you want to pursue next.
Once you connect your portfolio to the Seeking Alpha dashboard, you’ll begin to get custom tips and alerts about the ticker symbols in your account.
You’ll get notified when a new article is published about one of your holdings, and you’ll also get breaking news alerts relating to your portfolio.
Seeking Alpha’s portfolio integrations can help you stay on top of the latest news affecting your portfolio so you’ll never miss a beat in the market.
Pros and Cons of Seeking Alpha
Seeking Alpha has built a community of over 6.5 million like-minded people — but nothing’s ever 100% perfect.
Here’s what you need to know:
In-Depth Research and Analysis
The site has an extensive team of contributors and analysts, cranking out thousands of publications each month.
Seeking Alpha offers stock ratings, screeners, comparison tools, opinion articles, expert commentary, and much more.
Integrated Portfolio Monitoring
Seeking Alpha’s portfolio tracker is a game-changer.
It can help you stay on top of your portfolio 24/7, so you can go about your day without sweating what’s going on in the market.
Extensive Ratings for Thousands of Stocks
Your Seeking Alpha membership gives you access to Quant ratings, Wall Street ratings, and author ratings for every stock on the site.
These expert takes can help you gut check your trade ideas, and they can even lead you to new opportunities you may have overlooked.
Strong Functionality for Free Users
You need at least a premium membership to get the most out of Seeking Alpha, but the free version includes useful features that can help you get more out of the market.
The free version includes access to hundreds of articles, Wall Street ratings, earnings transcripts, and five years worth of data for every stock.
Seeking Alpha is a one-stop shop for its members. You get access to all the research, data, and opinions you need to make sound investing decisions in one place.
No more swapping through tabs or perusing dozens of sites to get the complete picture, just go to Seeking Alpha’s website, and you’ll have everything you need to succeed in the market.
World-Class Investing Community
Seeking Alpha has a vibrant community that includes talented analysts, self-directed investors, and a diverse range of other diverse viewpoints.
The Seeking Alpha community provides an excellent investor sentiment gauge that can give you tremendous insights into how the market perceives each stock, plus you’re sure to pick up some promising trade ideas here and there.
Sorting through Seeking Alpha’s vast collection of research and analysis features can be overwhelming for beginners at first..
You’ll most likely appreciate the platform’s capabilities once you get the hang of them. There can be a bit of a learning curve, but most will pick it up pretty quickly.
Seeking Alpha Basic (Free)
Seeking Alpha Basic is totally free, so you won’t pay a dime to use this service.
Register for an account, and you’ll gain access to these helpful features:
- Seeking Alpha stock analysis alerts – Get email alerts whenever Seeking Alpha publishes news articles on stocks, EFTs, and more.
- Real-time news updates – See all the latest and trending news in your Seeking Alpha dashboard.
- Investing newsletters – Subscribe to 15 different investment newsletters on topics ranging from “Wall Street Breakfast” to “ETF and Portfolio Strategy.”
- Stock prices and charts – The sidebar of Seeking Alpha’s website contains all the key data, stock ratings, and chart information you need to know about a particular investment.
- Wall Street ratings for every stock – See how Wall Street truly feels about a particular stock.
- Limited access to in-depth news and quantitative analysis – Get a taste of what it would be like to be a Seeking Alpha Premium or Pro member.
Seeking Alpha Premium
Seeking Alpha Premium costs $19.99 a month and comes with everything you see in the Basic plan, plus:
Unlock Seeking Alpha’s full library of content and enjoy the best in financial news and analysis.
From “Very Bearish” to “Very Bullish,” see an author’s opinion of a particular stock at the time of publishing.
Author Performance Ratings
View an author’s rating history to see how their track record has held up over time. See who’s hot and who’s not.
Stock quant ratings
Helps you find the best opportunities in the market based on data-driven analyses and a hard-thinking computer algorithm.
The proprietary dividend grades feature helps you choose the strongest, safest dividend investments.
Seeking Alpha Pro
Seeking Alpha Pro costs $199.99 a month (billed annually) or $299.99 a month (billed monthly).
As a Pro member, you unlock all the features of a Seeking Alpha Premium subscription, plus:
The best ideas from the top minds in investing. Seeking Alpha editors and analysts find the most compelling investment ideas and deliver them to you first.
PRO Content & Newsletters
Get access to bonus Seeking Alpha content, including trading alerts, in-depth webinars, personal interviews, and more.
Short Ideas Portal
Filter through thousands of short selling ideas from Seeking Alpha’s community of contributors — even share your own short ideas with the community!
Filter through thousands of stock ideas by theme, industry group, or price range to find the best stocks for your portfolio.
Get matched with a VIP editor who will help you find investing ideas that match your interests — designed just for Pro members.
Seeking Alpha’s Premium and Pro plans have a 14-day free trial period.
So, if you try it out and don’t like it, cancel at any time within that two-week window and your card won’t be charged.
Seeking Alpha Pro vs Premium
Both Pro and Premium members get access to a wide breadth of tools to help you find new investing ideas and monitor your portfolio.
For most, a Premium membership is the best option. It costs just $19.99 a month and gives you access to Seeking Alpha’s full range of content, ratings, investing ideas, and more.
However, serious investors who need professional-grade market intelligence and state-of-the-art features should consider Seeking Alpha Pro.
Pro members get exclusive trading alerts and interviews with executives, plus VIP editorial services, and a dedicated hub of Pro trade ideas for $199 a month.
If you are a pro investor who trades for a living, Pro might be the better choice, but Seeking Alpha Premium is generally a more suitable option for everyday investors.
How Much Does Seeking Alpha Cost?
Seeking Alpha has three pricing models designed to fit any budget:
- Seeking Alpha Basic is free.
- Seeking Alpha Premium costs $239.99; an average cost of $19.99 a month
- Seeking Alpha Pro costs $299.99 per month with a monthly subscription
- Or, you can do an annual subscription for $2,399 for an average monthly cost of $199.99
Lucky for you, we’ve secured a special discount on Seeking Alpha Premium for our readers!
If you sign up now, you’ll save an additional $40 on your annual subscription to Seeking Alpha Premium.
That brings the cost of an annual subscription down to $199.99, a discount of more than 16% off the full sticker price.
You can claim your discount here or by using any of the links on this page.
Are Seeking Alpha Premium and Pro Worth It?
So, is Seeking Alpha premium worth it? In most cases, the answer is a resounding, “yes!”
Basic members only get access to rudimentary stock analysis, news updates, and Wall Street ratings.
Some beginners may find this is enough, but they’re missing out on some of Seeking Alpha’s most valuable features, including quant ratings, screeners, and top-tier analysis.
If you’re serious about building wealth in the stock market, you need Seeking Alpha’s Premium or Pro membership.
Fortunately, our readers can access a 14-day free trial of Seeking Alpha Premium.
If you’re still undecided, try the service for two weeks, risk-free, with no commitment, and see for yourself if it’s worth the cost of admission.
With over 6.5 million readers and 200,000 active subscribers, Seeking Alpha’s rich community of serious investors is a testament to the platform’s quality and value.
Get started today with this special free trial offer for Stock Dork readers and see if Seeking Alpha is right for you.