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Screeners: The Fast Way to Find Potential Trade Ideas

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September 29, 2017
Custom Screeners

Finding the right stock or mutual fund to invest in can be challenging. Between the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ, and the over-the-counter market, there are about 19,000 companies actively traded in the United States. Looking for a mutual fund? There are approximately 9,500 of those in the U.S.

The good news is TD Ameritrade screeners can help clients navigate that massive universe of products and find investments that may fit their criteria. Use the Screener tool to sift through stocks, options, mutual funds, and ETFs, using criteria you select.

“Let’s say you want stocks that pay a dividend over 3%, the screener allows you to input that parameter, scan the whole market, and find stocks that you might not have considered before,” says Jeff Haydon, Senior Manager, Digital Platforms. “It’s a good way to take an idea and find securities that you can research further.”

Get Started

Log in to your account at tdameritrade.com and go to Research & Ideas > Screeners. You’ll notice you can choose from a selection of predefined screens, or you can create your own custom screens using criteria you pick from an extensive menu of filters. 

Create a Custom Screen

To begin, select the Create a Screen tab. Next, define your screen by selecting the criteria you want to use from the column on the left. You’ll find dozens of choices here, from fundamentals to ratings. Check the boxes next to the filters that interest you. You’ll notice the tool automatically displays the number of matches found based on your criteria. You can adjust your filters to reduce the number of matches or increase the results. Select the View matches button to see your screen.


FIGURE 1. STOCK SCREENER.

To create your screen, use the check boxes in the left column to select one or more of the criteria. Source: TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only.

Use the Mutual Funds screener to drill down to funds by category. For example, if you check the “Morningstar Category” filter, you’ll see a menu that lets you narrow the list down to specific types of funds such as Allocation of Equity or China Region.

FIGURE 2. MUTUAL FUNDS CUSTOM SCREEN.

Use the mutual funds screener to drill down to funds by category. Source: TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only.

Find Investment Ideas

The screener gives you an objective list of securities, based solely on your criteria, in a matter of seconds. You can use this information in several ways:

  • Research matching securities directly from your screen. Hover over a ticker symbol to see a chart of the stock or select the symbol to learn more about the company on the Stock Profile page.
  • Save the screen for later. Select the Save screen button and the tool will save the criteria you selected, allowing you to come back later and search for the same type of securities again.
  • Select Add to watch list to create a watch list that lets you track the securities over time.

FIGURE 3. STOCK CUSTOM SCREEN RESULTS.

The screener gives you an objective list of securities, based solely on your criteria. Source: TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only.

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