My favourite free stock screeners

For dividend investors, buying and holding dividend paying stocks, I’d argue stock screening tools are not an absolute necessity. A bold statement I know. Why do I feel that way?

Well, first of all, established dividend-paying companies are well-known and have great brands. You know what these companies provide in terms of products and services. These companies are not “hot stocks” or companies people “tip” around the water cooler. There are probably less than 50 of these great companies in Canada; ones that have a long history of paying and raising dividends over time. Secondly, you can find many investment metrics on the companies’ website. Most quality companies have a quality investor relations website.  Stock price, stock split and dividend histories are easy to find and review. Thirdly, even if all the metrics you’re looking for are not on the investor relations page, everything you need to know about that company should be described in their annual report. If you’re like me, you’ll read the companies’ latest annual report before investing in a company but that can be time consuming (and sometimes a little boring).

However, beyond one, two or three above, you might want to go beyond what any glossy annual report says and use some common screens or customized ones to decide whether a company is worth buying or not. Although my list is brief, here are my favourite free stock screening tools:

TMX Money Stock Screener

For me and the research I do on Canadian dividend-paying stocks, this one has everything. I can add or subtract criteria as I need it and it is very user-friendly.

Stingy Investor

I’m a big fan of Norm Rothery even though I’m not a value-investor. He produces “The Rothery Report” for investors who want to focus on deep-value stocks in both Canada and the U.S. However, I don’t visit Norm’s site for his report (sorry Norm). Instead, I use his “Screen” tab so I can sort either the TSX 60 or DJIA 30 stocks. I’m buyer and holder of primarily big blue-chip companies that pay me to be a shareholder so these screens are quite helpful. What I helpful about this site are companies Norm feels the dividends are at risk.

Do you use any stock screeners for your research?
If so, what are your favourites?

My Own Advisor

Thanks to gibor, a reader and frequent site contributor for requesting this post.

23 Responses to "My favourite free stock screeners"

  1. @MOA re:''Do you have any favourite stocks yourself?''
    My goal is to own the top 6 canadian banks: but the for time being they are to high for my wallet.
    That's why i am looking for other good canadian stocks with a long history of paying and raising dividends.

  2. I like the TMX tool, wasn't aware of it.But then again I am not a hardcore dividend investor so that might explain why.

    Looking forward to your post discussing your favorites!

  3. @Ninja – thanks! Like you, not a huge fan of Yahoo Finance, although I know others like it. Seems you and others like TDW quite a bit. Might have to use that more and play with it.

    Sedar is a good one for filing, for sure. I need to write a post about my favourite investment tools overall. They are on my list 🙂

    Take care!

  4. @gibor – ha, yeah, annual reports can be a little boring and comprehensive. My mailbox has been busy this month, annual reports and management circulars from over 12 companies myself 🙂

  5. @Anonymous – thanks! re: list of the less 50 canadian stocks that have a long history of paying and raising dividends…that's a personal perspective but I will have a post coming up later this spring, I hope, talking about my favourites and why. Stay tuned for that.

    Do you have any favourite stocks yourself?

  6. @DIY – thanks for the compliment! Another great tool, webcasts, I'm with you. I should write a post about my favourite investment tools – webcasts definitely help me out.

  7. @Kanwal – no problem, thanks for stopping by! Good call about TDW, I probably could have listed them as well although I use that tool infrequently. Cheers!

  8. @Echo – Again, good point, hard to know how much to trust all these sites, but then again, these sites are a tool not the entire investment process. Stingy Investor data is pretty cool, quick and painless 🙂

  9. BTW, just wanted to share regarding…they using some DARS Dividend Advantage Rating System, taking in consideration next factors:
    Relative Strength,
    Overall Yield Attractiveness,
    Dividend Reliability,
    Dividend Uptrend, and
    Earnings Growth.

    On Jan 13, 2011 I saved their 100+ recommended stocks and as per yeasterday their average +4.35% (with average dividend 3.4%). For same period XIU gained 2.91% and VTI 2.64%.
    Form 100+ recommended just about 75% gained …not bad…

  10. Hey MOA,

    Good post 🙂 I do like the Globe and Mail website for the nitty-gritty basics, but sometimes the data goes for a loop. I've never liked Yahoo Finance very much.

    For more indepth research I use the TD Waterhouse Market Reserach tool. It's very good, and free for TD clients only. Of course you would also want to inlcude Sedar and other regulatory filing sites for more specific information on a particuar stock.

    Dividend Ninja

  11. I like TDW screeners, a lot of parameters to search, but I'm not using it too much (but annual reports I'm using even less, too boring and I don't exactly understand all this writing).
    This month I got maybe 10 prospects and invitations to shareholders' meetings. 🙂
    To check dividends ,I usually again use TDW, I don't like, info freq is not updated and missing.
    Fior US stocks pretty good website (they also offer free subscribtion).

  12. Good post MOA.
    Do you know where can i find the list of the less 50 canadian stocks that have a long history of paying and raising dividends .


  13. Great post! I don't use screens myself but run into clients who are interested in them.
    In researching stocks I would recommend listening to webcasts of analyst meetings. It is useful to fast forward to analyst questions. It is there that the main issues are brought up.
    Many times the webccasts are at the company website under "investor relations".

  14. Kanwal Sarai - Simply Investing · Edit

    Thanks for the post, I've never used but it looks good. What I also find helpful are the S&P Reports specifically their "Fair Value Ranking", which sometimes helps me to reinforce my thoughts on a particular stock. As a TD Waterhouse customer the S&P Report are free.

  15. I used Globe Investor quite a bit for dividend stocks but they changed it after "upgrading" the site and I can't duplicate the results. Stingy Investor data is solid, and I agree that the Dividend Investor data is sometimes off.

  16. Thanks for the post. I am fairly new to investing and have been looking to some bloggers to write something like this! I found TMX Money on my own and like it, but will cehck out the others.

    Looks like Google doesn't do the TSX … US only 🙁


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