The TD Ameritrade screener tool can help investors navigate the large number of securities available to find potential investments that may fit their criteria.
Selecting a good stock or mutual fund to invest in isn’t always easy. Oftentimes, the selection process can be overwhelming for new investors because of the sheer volume of companies available. Even seasoned investors looking for a new stock to potentially invest in can find it difficult to discover companies that meet their investment criteria and strategy. In the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq alone, there are around 6,000 companies that are publicly listed in the United States. So how do investors sort through the large number of stocks?
One helpful tool available to TD Ameritrade clients is the screener tool, which allows investors to filter through stocks, options, mutual funds, and ETFs, using specific criteria they’ve selected. Screeners are especially helpful for investors when they have an idea of the type of company they’d like to invest in but need help narrowing down their choices.
First, log in to your account at tdameritrade.com, and then go to Research & Ideas > Screeners. You’ll notice you can choose from a selection of predefined screens under the Stock, Options, Mutual Funds, and ETFs tabs, or you can create your own custom screen using criteria you select from an extensive menu of filters.
To create a custom screen, select the Create a Screen tab at the top of the page for the stock, option, mutual fund, or ETF you’d like to filter through. Next, select the criteria you want to use by checking the relevant boxes on left column. You have a lot of filters to choose from such as technicals, fundamentals, and ratings, which can help narrow down your matches. Once you’ve selected your criteria, the column on the right will display the number of matches based on the particular filters you’ve selected for your screener.
Are you looking to invest in a stock in a particular industry? Say you’re looking for some semiconductor stocks that trade on the Nasdaq to add to your list of potential investment opportunities. To find your matches, under the stock screener, select the Exchange and Sector, Industry & Sub-Industry boxes on the left, then select Nasdaq under the Exchange listing. Next, select Information Technology > Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment > Semiconductors under the Sector, Industry & Sub-Industry listing. To view all the matches under the filters you’ve selected, select view matches (see figure 1).
FIGURE 1: STOCK SCREENER. To create a custom stock screener, select the criteria you’d like to use by checking the relevant boxes from the list on the left. Source: TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only.
Similarly, you can use the mutual funds screener to drill down to funds by specific 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 Financial (see figure 2).
FIGURE 2: MUTUAL FUNDS CUSTOM SCREEN. Use the mutual funds screener to drill down to funds by specific category. Source: TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only.
Your time is valuable. And you don’t likely have the time or the patience to sort through thousands of stocks. Thankfully, with the screener tool, you don’t have to. The screener gives you an objective list of securities, based solely on the criteria you’ve selected, in a matter of seconds. You can use this information in several ways:
FIGURE 3: SCREENERS FOR FUTURE USE. Once you’ve created your custom screen, you can save your screen for future use or add it your your watch list. Source: TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only.
Screeners are a great tool for investors to begin their research on a particular equity, but remember, this is only the first step in the research process. Investors should take the time to fully research the equity they’re investing in before making any decisions.
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