Do It Yourself Investing: Morningstar Stock Screener

This is the second tutorial on free financial investment tools which have proved to be very useful in doing financial analysis and portfolio tuning or rebalancings. One of the most important tasks these days is to constantly assess your portfolio for what may be better  replacement investments. In order to do this investors must screen and determine which stocks meet their specific investment objectives, What screening tools allow users to do is search through a stock and/or funds database and pick the ones that meet a whole range of specific financial criteria as shown below:

Morningstar has a free Basic Stock/Fund Screener available for users whoregister at the site. Morningstar provides a Premuim service for $159US per year which provides a number of extra search criteria and ease of use features. However, I have found the free basic service to be more than effective for a wide array of searches. As the screenshot above shows, investors can use many of Morningstar’s different stock grades and advisory  values – much like Value Line or Zacks. If you believe in these financial measures of stocks and funs then this is the screening tool for you. But consider that the Basic screener allows many fundamental criteria such as EPS, market capitalization and dividend yield to be search criteria. Morningstar then presents  the data on a second tab as seen below:

The results table is fairly versatile. All a user has to do is check the boxes on the left to add those stocks or funds to the users free Morningstar Portfolio reporting tool as seen partially in the screenshot above. Or users can test drive the new portfolio in Morningstar’s Portfolio Test Drive which assesses the new portfolio against a number of Morningstar standards. Likewise the individual stocks or funds can be assessed against the Morningstar Score system of analysis. These are top notch evaluative screens for individual stocks/funds or their part in an overall portfolio. Now Morningstar has its own charting tools for individual stocks; but as pointed out in our review of Google Finance, Google has a superior tool to follow the historical valuation of stocks and funds. But for thse of us who find Morningstar’s evaluation systems useful – this is is a great free screening and portfolio analysis  tool.