While index funds and EFTs are great for the bulk of your investments, what if you want something more out of your portfolio?
You can certainly invest in actively managed mutual funds. But those often come with high load fees and there aren’t many that have a long track record of outperforming the market. So that pretty much leaves you with investing in individual stocks.
The biggest dilemma for anyone who wants to invest in individual stocks is choosing which ones to invest in. Picking the right stocks can be something of a part-time job, and most investors don’t have that kind of spare time.
If you want to invest in individual stocks, and you don’t have either the time or the inclination to research which companies to buy, a great place to start your research is a stock-picking newsletter. They’ll tell you exactly which stocks to buy, and the better newsletters can even help you to outperform the general market.
The Best Stock Picking Newsletters
Motley Fool Stock Advisor
The Motley Fool Stock Advisor may very well be the most comprehensive stock-picking newsletter available. The company claims its Stock Advisor as beating the S&P 500 by 4-to-1 over the last 17 years. That’s a remarkable claim, and we don’t know specifically how they calculated it. But if it’s even remotely true it makes this one of the very best stock picking newsletters available.
The company also claims they have made over 100 stock recommendations with returns of over 100%. Some of the companies they recommended in the past include Amazon, Walt Disney, and Netflix, each of which has returned several thousand percent since being recommended in the newsletter.
This newsletter is produced by Motley Fool co-founders (and brothers), Tom and David Gardner. And if you follow the financial news at all you know that Motley Fool is one of the most frequently quoted news and information sources in the field. The newsletter itself claims more than 700,000 subscribers.
Motley Fool provides two new stock picks each month, sent to you by text so that you can act on them immediately. That’s an important feature because the company’s recommendations are so well-regarded that the prices of recommended stocks often increase a few points just on the recommendation.
The Motley Fool Stock Advisor is available for $199 per year and you can cancel your subscription at any time. (Here is our full review of Motley Fool Stock Advisor)
If there is a criticism of the Motley Fool Stock Advisor it’s that, like many subscription services, there’s a constant effort to upsell you into additional services. But if you can deflect the sales pitches, that shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Morningstar is perhaps the single biggest – and most respected – investment source anywhere. Not only is the company constantly being quoted and referenced in the financial media, but their stock and fund analysis is considered top-of-the-line. This is particularly true of their mutual fund analysis, which is generally regarded as the best in the industry.
Morningstar doesn’t provide actual stock recommendations. But they do provide all the tools you’ll need to become a better investor.
That starts with their Morningstar Premium service. It provides analysis and ratings of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs. With some of the most detailed information available on each of those investments, it’s easy to make your own investment decisions.
Morningstar Premium does provide their top investment picks, as well as analyst reports on those picks. They also offer their Portfolio Manager and Portfolio X-Ray tools, and detailed stock screeners. And to help you become a better investor, they offer Morningstar Investment Classroom. It’s a self-study course to help you learn more about investing as well as the basics of portfolio construction.
Morningstar offers the following fee structure:
- $29.95 per month, or $199 if you pay annually
- $349 if you commit to two years
- $449 if you commit to three years
If you take advantage of our Morningstar Premium Discount Promotional Code, you can receive the following discounts:
- $30 off a one-year membership
- $70 off a two-year membership
- $100 off a three-year membership
In either case, you’ll get the benefit of a 14-day free trial to test the program and see if it works for you.
Finimize has more than 800,000 subscribers and is available on mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices. The smartphone connection is important too. They provide five-minute daily updates to give you the lowdown on the day’s biggest financial stories and how they impact you. You also get 30-minute expert breakdowns of developing trends, companies, and industries that can impact your investments.
Finimize is free to use and signing up makes you a member of the Finimize community. Though they provide a wealth of general investment information, including up-to-the-minute reports, they don’t provide specific stock recommendations.
You can sign up for the service on the website or by downloading the mobile app.
Stansberry Research offers several different stock-picking newsletter options. It’s another of the most popular stock-picking newsletters available, with more than 500,000 subscribers worldwide, including 70,000 lifetime subscribers.
They offer strategies for different types of investing, including dividend investing, fixed income, value investing, energy and precious metals investing, alternative assets, and conservative, income-generating options trading strategies. But the site also includes a wealth of investor resources to help you learn more about the process.
The company actually offers several different service packages. For example, they offer three different portfolio types, The Total Portfolio, The Income Portfolio, and The Capital Portfolio. Each involves a specific type of investing, but also offers specific investment recommendations, typically drawn from one of their many newsletter offerings.
In addition, they offer no fewer than seven Macro-Level Services as follows:
- Stansberry Investment Advisory: This is the company’s flagship research advisory, providing a monthly publication showing you how to make money from the most promising emerging trends and influential economic forces affecting the market. It’s available for $199 for one full year.
- True Wealth: A monthly advisory providing safe, alternative investments that are overlooked on Wall Street. Also $199 per year.
- Retirement Millionaire: Shows you how to live a millionaire lifestyle on less money than you think. $199 per year.
- Extreme Value: Monthly newsletter helping you to buy great companies at deep discounts. $1,500 for a one-year subscription. (Note that there is no refund available, but you can get a credit to apply toward other Stansberry purchases.)
- Stansberry Gold & Silver Investor: Newsletter specializing in gold and silver investing. $49 per month, but there is a one-time portfolio fee of $2,500.
- Commodity Supercycles: A newsletter with a focus on investments in energy, metals, and other natural resources. $199 per year.
- Stansberry Innovations Report: Newsletter showing subscribers how to invest safely in the next technology revolutions. $199 per year.
Because of the cost of this newsletter service, Stansberry research is better suited to large, experienced investors. It can cost potentially several thousand dollars per year if you want to subscribe to several of the newsletters at the same time.
Zacks Premium & Zacks Investor Collection
Yet another well-respected investment information source, Zacks website can be accessed free and will provide a wealth of valuable investor information. That includes general information on stocks and funds, as well as securities screening and portfolio management.
But they also offer Zacks Premium service, at a cost of $249 per year after completing a 30-day free trial. It features daily updates of the Zacks Rank, as well as full access to the Zacks #1 Rank List, Equity Research Reports, Focus List portfolio of 50 longer-term stocks, premium screens, and more. It will help you identify which stocks to buy, and even which to sell.
For a higher level of service, they also offer Zacks Investor Collection. It’s offered at a subscription price of $59 per month, or $495 per year. You can get your first 30 days for only $1 to try it out. It’s considered the preferred newsletter for long-term investors, offering real-time buy and sell signals from Zacks long-term investor portfolios. The plan gives you full access to all other premium research tools and reports to help you find the best stocks and funds for your portfolio. When you subscribe to this service, Zacks Premium is included in the package.
Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine
Kiplinger is another of the most respected names in the investment universe. Not only are they frequently quoted throughout the industry, but they also provide valuable information that’s actionable on a personal level. And in addition to investing, they also provide related information on retirement, taxes, personal finance, wealth creation, and other topics.
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance is issued as a monthly newsletter, and you’ll have a choice as to how you receive it. You can get a printed magazine, digital access, or both print and digital. Each subscription type includes 12 monthly issues and an annual subscription fee of $19.95.
While Kiplinger’s focus is on the bigger investment picture, they do get very specific with recommendations. For example, they publish their favorite list of both mutual funds and ETFs and regularly offer stock recommendations.
As you can see, investment and stop picking newsletters are available in many different flavors and service levels, as well as price points.
If you’re interested in investing in individual stocks or even picking your own ETFs or mutual funds, you should absolutely subscribe to a newsletter to help you identify the best candidates. But you should start with one of the lower-priced services.
If you’re an advanced investor, and particularly a frequent trader, you’ll want to take full advantage of the more advanced newsletters. Stock picking on an individual level is all about trying to outperform the general market. If that’s a tall order for investment professionals, it’ll be even more difficult for individual investors.
But by subscribing to the right stock-picking newsletter you’ll be leveling the playing field. You’ll be getting access to much the same information that’s available to investment professionals.
But that doesn’t mean you should rely entirely on stocks or funds recommended by newsletters. Virtually all have a fair number of losing picks to go with their winners. With that in mind, use stock-picking newsletters as a starting point. Take their recommendations, but do your own research and make sure you’re comfortable with the companies or funds you’re investing in.
If you want a stock screener, here's our list of favorites.