*** 2020 Update ***
We had five replacements in this article, but since then, two are only available for premium users, and two closed. This leaves only our scoring system. Seeing this, we improved our scoring system and now give a score based on the stock category so you can customize your selection (technical, fundamental, or growth).
On October 2014 Microsoft has redesigned its MSN money portal. The design shifted towards the new graphical langue of windows phone and windows 8. One of the weirdest aspects of the redesign was the removal of the stock scouter rating system.
The removal of the stockscouter system was weird for few reasons:
1. It was one of the unique features of MSN money, separating it from other portals like Yahoo and Google.
2. The Stockscoter rating was a center of attractions for traders who used the rating as part of their stock analysis process. Furthermore, the score used to provide regular news article like stock scouter’s top 50 and more.
3. The removal was sudden, without even notifying the users or even the partners who created and maintained the scoring system for more than a decade (Verus Analytics).
Why did Microsoft stopped using the stockscouter rating system?
Microsoft didn’t give a reason for this decision. However, looking at the explanations from msn (here for example) it seems they decided to use less data sources and thus replaced Stockscouter with MorningStar.
The decision looks final. so here are few FREE replacements you can try (alphabetical order).
1. MorningStar (2020 update: Premium feature)
- How many stocks are graded: about 1700
- How they Calculate the score: Morning Star rating is looking for Value. The highest rated stocks (5-stars) will be the stocks that are the most undervalued in MS opinion. They use a different margin of safety for stock – adjusting for their risk (“riskier” stocks need to be cheaper than “safe” stocks in order to receive 5 star rating).
- More: Morningstar’s rating is based on their analyst service and to receive full data you need to be a subscriber. However, you can get first glance on stocks for free.
2. OptionSamurai (2020 update: Premium feature)
- How many stocks are graded: about 4500
- How they Calculate the score: OptionSamurai ranks stocks from 1 to 10 (10 is best). The ranking system is based on several factors and broken down to three groups: Fundamental, Technical and growth. You can filter according to specific criteria and sort by the score which is immensely powerful in saving time. Here’s a brief description about the score categories:
- Fundamental Score: measures the company value (cheap is better) and quality (higher is better).
- Technical score: measures the company relative strength – stronger is better.
- Growth score: measures Profit growth in the past and analysts’ projections for the future.
- More: We know that it’s biased. But it’s a feature we are proud of, and though the full app costs money, we are offering the scoring system for free through our demo. Another upside is that you can scan with the score. Read in our Knowledge base about how to use it.
3. Stock Flare (2020 update: Closed)
- How many stocks are graded: 8000+ in the US, 40K+ globally.
- How they Calculate the score: Stock Flare has the simplest and most transparent scoring system. There are 5 tests, and for each passed test the stocks gets a star. 5 star is the best and everything is transparent and easy.
- More: Stock Flare is the new kid on the block. This startup is on a mission to make investing simpler and the design looks good and comfortable. It’s too early to know the results of their scoring system. Another cool feature – you can scan with their platform.
4. The Street (2020 update: closed)
- How many stocks are graded: about 6000 stocks
- How they Calculate the score: The street is a little opaque about the calculation. They do explain that each day they review all the data for stocks and score them according to growth, financial solvency, performance and volatility. The idea is to try to predict the best risk adjusted returns. the scoring is from A to F, where A-b are considered “buy”, c is “hold’ and D-F is “sell”.
- More: Personally, I find the street full of ads and my ad-block often blocks some of the real feature of the site.
5. Zack’s (2020 update: Premium feature)
- How many stocks are graded: about 4000
- How they Calculate the score: Zack’s have one of the longest running scoring system, and they are also have an up-to-date performance check for it, Here. Zack’s score is based mainly on Earning estimates growth, where the highest rated stocks not only show fast EPS growth, but the analysts covering that stocks are revising their estimates up & predicting higher growth for the future.
- More: Zack’s rank stocks from 1-5 where 1 is best. Their long track record and up to date performance check makes them worth your while to check.
What MSN offers instead of Stockscouter?
Basically, MSN substituted their Stockscouter scoring system for Morningstar’s system. Since i don’t think you can scan in MorningStar’s site, I think it’s worth mentioning:
Going to MSN scanner you can scan by MorningStar’s profitability grade or growth grade (but not the final star scoring).
So which scoring system is the best?
Of-course we trust our scoring system, or we wouldn’t have created it. However the most important thing is to find a process the suits you. You all know that stockscouter wasn’t perfect as well. All the scoring system described above are free and you should try them to see what fits best.
You can try Option Samurai for free here
Or sign up for a free trial here.
It seems that Microsoft asks that if you want to return Stockscouter rating to MSN you should send a feedback with the feature.
(Originally published in Dec 2014, and updated since)