MotiveWave Review – Tools And Features For The Experienced Trader

MotiveWave Review – Tools And Features For The Experienced Trader

About MotiveWave

MotiveWave is an all-inclusive desktop charting and stock analysis platform geared towards experienced day traders. The platform includes many tools beyond charts, including a full suite of technical analysis tools, a stock scanner, a trading simulator, and the ability to forward and backward test strategies. Overall, MotiveWave’s comprehensive platform is significantly more affordable than purchasing its full suite of tools individually from other sites.

MotiveWave Subscriptions and Pricing

MotiveWave is available in six different service tiers to provide options for traders of varying levels and strategies. The lowest tier “Charts” level costs $99 for a lifetime license and is limited compared to higher tiers in that it only offers a set of 40 of the most popular technical analyses and two charting templates. The “Charts+” level costs $195 and adds the full suite of nearly 300 available technical analyses and unlimited charting templates, as well as the ability to plot multiple time frames on a single chart.

More expensive tiers are targeted primarily towards very experienced traders in need of specific features such as simulated accounts, non-linear bars, and the ability to conduct forward and backward tests. The “Trade” plan, which costs $295, allows you to integrate MotiveWave with your brokerage account to place trades directly from the platform. The “Strategy” plan costs $595 and adds forward and backward strategy testing and the ability to define trading strategies for automatic execution. The “Professional” plan costs $995 and adds option chain information, multiple chart linking, and more advanced Fibonacci pattern information. The fully enable version of MotiveWave, “Ultimate,” costs $1595 for a lifetime license and is primarily for traders who need advanced Gann, Gurtley, and Elliot Wave analysis tools.

For traders who need only a few of these advanced features, there are more moderate software tiers and many features are available as individual add-ons for a fee. MotiveWave also offers a 14-day trial to allow traders to try out the platform.

MotiveWave Pricing

MotiveWave Features

Charts

Charts are at the heart of MotiveWave and the platform delivers charts that are highly customizable and easy to use. The charting window can be customized to display numerous different types of bars and the time frame can be adjusted with a drop-down menu so traders can visualize a single stock over multiple time periods. In contrast to the charts available from many brokerages, MotiveWave offers time, momentum, and range charts in addition to standard candlestick, bar, and line plots.

Multiple charts can be loaded as tabs within the main platform window, while a second area of the platform allows for viewing multiple charts side-by-side. Technical studies can be applied from a drop-down menu at the top of the screen and appear directly on or below the chart so that they are straightforward to visualize. The cursor can be used to simply scroll back in time or zoom, or to plot trendlines, Fibonacci retracements, and other advanced technical analyses directly on a chart. These tools will auto-snap to the open, close, low, and high prices on bars when drawing on the chart, which makes annotating charts simple.

MotiveWave Charts

MotiveWave Charts2

Technical Analysis

One of the advantages of MotiveWave over other charting platforms is that it comes with a number of built-in trading strategies as well as allows traders to design and implement their own strategies. The included strategies can be modified in a pop-up window to customize their implementation and can be easily activated and deactivated on the chart window to monitor profit and loss when trading a strategy. Another nice feature is the auto-analyzer, which automatically identifies Elliot Waves on a given chart.

MotiveWave Strategies

The included list of technical analyses is exhaustive when opting for any version of MotiveWave from Charts+ and above. Studies are grouped according to type within a drop-down menu, but can also be searched by name. Multiple studies can be applied to a chart and modified individually – including options for colors and signals – for full customization.

Trading Panel

MotiveWave is able to integrate with a majority of brokerages to enable traders with a Trade-tier license or higher to place orders from within the platform. The trade panel can be popped out directly next to a chart and shows bid-ask spreads and gives options for limit and stop-loss trades. In addition, like many charting tools, MotiveWave offers simple alerts for traders who are keeping tabs on multiple stocks and placing orders within the platform.

MotiveWave Trading

Forward and Backwards Testing

MotiveWave allows advanced traders to test strategies on historical price data or simulated future price data. While backtesting a strategy is relatively straightforward within MotiveWave, generating simulated data to forward test a strategy can be confusing and the results difficult to interpret even for advanced traders. The backtesting panel offers two algorithms, one of which tests all possible parameters for a strategy and the other of which hones in on a set of optimal parameters to increase run speed.

Customization and Saved Layouts

MotiveWave is highly customizable thanks to the tab-style workspace functionality, which allows users to choose a page layout and save it to the workspace for fast access in the future. While layouts cannot be custom designed, the platform offers a sizable number of possible layouts to accommodate most visualization needs. In addition, any modifications to a page can be quickly saved to the workspace. User-defined studies and strategies are also saved to the workspace and can be further edited in the future.

MotiveWave Layouts

MotiveWave is compatible with a large number of brokerages, including all of the large online brokerages. Users with a “Trade” license or higher can place trades through their brokerage from directly within the platform.

Platform and Ease of Use

MotiveWave offers excellent charting capabilities, but what sets this platform apart from its competitors is the addition of numerous advanced technical studies and strategies and wide-ranging customization (that you won’t find in platforms like Thinkorswim). Traders are able to build on existing trading strategies and save their work for future use, while the ability to layout workspaces however works best is a major advantage for traders who need to be able to see a lot of data at once in an organized fashion. In addition, the forward and backward testing capabilities are a major advantage for highly experience traders working out new trading strategies. Brokerage integration is also useful for day traders who want to use a single platform for all of their trading needs.

Final Thoughts

MotiveWave is designed for a wide variety of traders, ranging from day traders who simply need a user-friendly charting platform to highly experienced quants who want to scrutinize new trading strategies. Part of the reason for this range is the availability of numerous license tiers, which are attractively priced given that they are lifetime licenses. In general, more experienced traders will get more out of the advanced features available in MotiveWave, including advanced Fibonacci and Elliot Wave analyses and the ability to forward and backwards test trading strategies. The ability to place trades within the platform with the Trade license or higher is also extremely useful for day traders who need a single platform to make decisions and act on them in order to reduce lag time when trading.

Tradespoon Review – Automated Technical Analysis For Today’s Trader

Tradespoon Review – Automated Technical Analysis For Today’s Trader

What is Tradespoon?

Tradespoon is a relatively new player in the fintech space that uses multivariate modeling and automated technical analysis to predict stocks’ price movements. Unlike other automated analysis software, which simply assists with technical analysis, Tradespoon seeks to issue buy or sell ratings for particular stocks based on its model and claims to predict intraday, short-term, and long-term price movements with extreme accuracy. While this lofty claim seems to be surprisingly true in trending markets, it is difficult to backtest the software to determine how well it performs in other market conditions.

Tradespoon Pricing Options

Tradespoon offers several pricing tiers, including a free option. However, the free service only allows access to training videos rather than to the Stock Forecast Toolbox, so there is little advantage to using Tradespoon for free.

Access to the Stock Forecast Toolbox and its price prediction tools is available in Tradespoon’s Stock Forecast tier, which costs $127/month or $697/year. Tradespoon also offers a Tools tier, which comes with access to some additional analysis tools but is otherwise identical to the Stock Forecast tool, for $147/month or $997/year. The Premium tier provides everything in the Tools tier, plus curated stock and options picks from Tradespoon’s analyst team and email and text alerts about these picks, at a cost of $197/month or $1497/year. Note that the monthly subscriptions are extremely costly compared to the annual subscriptions on a per-month cost basis.

Tradespoon Pricing

Tradespoon Features

Price Forecasting

The heart of Tradespoon is its price forecasting tool, which uses Tradespoon’s algorithm to predict the future price of any entered stock. The algorithm works over three time periods – one hour, 10 days, and six months – that cover the needs of day traders and medium-term investors. In addition to stocks, Tradespoon’s forecast tool provides coverage for futures, forex, and Bitcoin.

The forecast result is simple to read and interpret, with the current price displayed alongside the forecasted high and low for the time period. Probabilities are assigned to the stock hitting the predicted high and low and a range trend indicator gives traders a sense of whether the model predicts net bullish or net bearish price action over the forecast timespan. In addition, a letter grade from A to C is assigned to the model to indicate the level of confidence in the forecast. A simple candlestick chart shows actual data displayed alongside the forecasted candlesticks for each day or five minutes.

Tradespoon Forecast

Tradespoon Forecast Chart

It is extremely important that traders using the price forecasting tool interpret its results with a grain of salt. Although the tool appears to work with surprising accuracy over limited testing, there is no built-in method to test Tradespoon’s forecasts over long periods or to backtest it against bear or volatile market periods. As the forecasted charts update, they replace predicted data with actual data – not displaying if and by how much the predicted price may have deviated from the true price. Thus, while the price forecast tool can be useful for supporting a trade based on technical analysis, it should not supersede technical analysis.

Curated Stock and Option Picks

The analysts behind Tradespoon publish daily picks of the best bullish and bearish stock and options plays based on Tradespoon’s model. Both stock and option picks come complete with multiple entry points, price targets, and stop loss levels, allowing traders to follow the trades without their own technical analyses if desired. Tradespoon notes that their picks are meant to last one to two days and so are optimal for day traders rather than medium-term investors. Users can also opt to receive text message alerts whenever new trades are added to the curated picks.

Tradespoon Stock Picks

In addition to these curated picks, traders get access to the real-time portfolios of the traders behind Tradespoon. This is a useful tool for developing new trade ideas in addition to those suggested in the curated picks.

Training

Tradespoon offers a number of training resources with both its free and paid memberships. Most of these resources come in the form of short videos that are either targeted lessons about stock and options trading, or else are video recordings of workshops that the analysts behind Tradespoon have held in the past. They aren’t as complex and structured as courses by Lex Van Dam, SMB Capital, or Bulls on Wall Street.

There are also online workshops offered every few weeks that are free to register for. However, note that while these resources do provide useful information for beginning traders, most are at least partially marketing materials designed to get traders to sign up for paid accounts with Tradespoon.

Tradespoon Video Training

Platform Layout

Tradespoon is a browser-based platform that offers little in the way of customization. Users are not able to save searches in the forecast tools, nor are they able to keep a portfolio of their current holdings for quick access to forecasts. The platform can also be quite confusing to navigate, as there are multiple header menus and some pages have additional menus that cannot be accessed from the main dashboard. That said, essential data on specific pages, such as the stock forecast and stock and options pick pages, are laid out extremely cleanly and make it easy to identify important information.

What Tradespoon Does Well

The attraction of Tradespoon for traders is that it purports to predict the future price of a stock – something that traders have been trying to do for centuries with at best mixed success. Therefore, it is extremely important to take Tradespoon’s claims with a grain of salt. While the Tradespoon algorithm seems to work relatively well and the company offers a summary of performance data over the past two years, there is no way to backtest the algorithm or even to monitor its performance in the present except by meticulously tracking its predictions against real price data.

Instead of a magic prediction tool, Tradespoon is perhaps best thought of as a tool for finding new trade ideas. It is possible to look through the Tradespoon traders’ portfolios and the curated stock and options picks, as well as to use the forecast tool to cross-check trades identified through technical analysis. In this light, the forecast tool can be used to help set price targets and stop losses rather than to fully replace technical analyses.

Final Verdict on Tradespoon

Tradespoon is targeted primarily at intraday and short-term traders who don’t have the time to conduct their own exhaustive technical analyses to identify trades. The platform’s stock forecast tool and curated picks are both designed to make the process of identifying price targets, entries, and stop losses straightforward. However, it is important that traders using Tradespoon have some experience with technical analysis, as the algorithm’s recommendations and price targets should not be followed blindly. At present, longer-term investors may not see much benefit from Tradespoon since the platform’s longest forecast period is six months.

FinViz Review – Visualization Tools That Could Change Your Trading

FinViz Review – Visualization Tools That Could Change Your Trading

FinViz

FinViz is a comprehensive online stock screener that sets itself apart from other screeners by focusing heavily on visualization tools. FinViz is popular among beginner day traders and long-term investors alike thanks to its affordability and much of the platform is free to use. In addition, unlike other stock screeners, FinViz offers a news service as well as the ability to view futures, forex, and cryptocurrencies.

FinViz Pricing Options

A surprising amount of FinViz’s platform is free to use, including stock screener and information on futures, forex, and cryptocurrency. Traders can also register for free to enable saving up to 50 portfolios and 50 screener presets.

However, unlocking all of FinViz’s features with the FinViz Elite service costs $39.50 per month or $299.50 per year. The biggest difference in this upgrade for day traders is that stock data is delayed by three minutes in the free version of FinViz, but is offered in realtime to Elite users. FinViz Elite also offers additional charting features, including the ability to apply technical studies and to backtest technical studies. The Elite level also comes with email alerts based on price changes, insider trading, or stock news, as well as the option to save up to 100 portfolios and 100 screener presets.

FinViz Pricing Options

FinViz Features

Stock Screener

The stock screener is at the heart of FinViz and is incredibly friendly. The screener offers 63 different filters with values that can be selected from drop-down menus, but not entered manually. The filters can be divided into descriptive filters – which include information about market cap and sector – fundamental filters – which include information about P/E and earnings growth – and technical filters – which include information about where a stock sits relative to its 20-day or 50-day moving average. In addition, the screener offers a market-wide signal search that allows a fast scan for the top gainers and losers over the day as well as searching for stocks based on analyst ratings.

Registered users can save up to 50 preset scans within the screener and can save the results of a screen as a portfolio, up to 50 portfolios. While some traders may appreciate the pop-up charts that appear when hovering over ticker results from the scanner, the charts are not particularly useful for making trading decisions.

FinViz Stock Screener

Futures, Forex, and Crypto

The futures, forex, and crypto screens of FinViz display information about these different types of financial products in much the same way. FinViz offers a landscape-wide view of how prices for different commodities or currencies are changing using a green and red color-coding system with prices and price changes displayed prominently. Charts for each commodity or currency pair can be activated by hovering over the price display and can be toggled between five minute, hourly, daily, and monthly timescales.

FinViz Futures

Heatmaps and Bubble Charts

One of the unique features of FinViz, where the visualization component of the platform comes into play, is in the heatmaps and bubble charts that can be used to supplement the stock screener. The heatmaps group stocks according to their sector and size boxes according to market capitalization, then use a green and red color scale to indicate price performance. The timescale of the price performance can be adjusted from one day to several months, while the boxes can also be colored according to fundamental factors such as P/E and dividend yield.

FinViz Heatmap

The bubble chart is perfect for traders who want a visual stock scanner. The X- and Y-axes of the chart can be customized to display price, market cap, EPS growth, year-to-date performance, or a variety of other stock features, while the addition of color and size settings allows for essentially two more variables to be examined simultaneously. Hovering over any bubble pops up additional information about the stock, including a small chart.

FinViz Bubble Chart

News

Another welcome feature of FinViz is the News tab, which includes stock-related headlines pulled from across the Internet. The news is separated into stories from mainstream news services and stories from blogs to provide additional context about its reliability. While only headlines are displayed, hovering over the headline pops up the lead of the story. However, don’t expect this news service to be as complete or as searchable as news-forward trading services like Benzinga Pro and Briefing.com.

FinViz News

FinViz is entirely browser-based, which makes it easy for most traders to use within a single window or on a single monitor. The platform is laid out in tabs that clearly demarcate the information, and there is relatively little about the layout that can be changed.

Top Platform Features

What sets FinViz apart from competing stock scanners is not the scanner itself, but the visualization features that are available on the platform. The heatmaps make it easy to take a birds-eye view of the landscape within a sector, while the bubble charts are invaluable for investors who simply don’t find a scan table helpful for identifying which stocks offer opportunities for profit. Best of all, these visualization tools are free and don’t require signing up for FinViz Elite. That said, FinViz is lacking in advanced charting capabilities and the ability to apply technical studies without Elite membership.

Should You Use FinViz?

FinViz is ideal for both beginning traders and more experienced day traders, although the latter will want to invest in FinViz Elite to get access to real-time data and advanced charting capabilities. For traders without access to a scanner through their brokerage, the free version of FinViz can be a boon. In addition, FinViz is especially suited for traders who find the visualization tools – the heatmaps and bubble plots – more useful for picking out particular stocks from a scan than a standard results table.

Pros

  • Powerful stock scanner with numerous quick filters, including top gainers and ratings-based filters
  • Includes heatmap-based visualization of futures, forex, and cryptocurrency performance
  • Heatmaps offer quick overview of sector performances and intra-sector stock comparisons
  • Bubble plots are a visual alternative to scan table for identifying potential stocks to trade
  • Most features are free to use and annual membership is priced reasonably

Cons

  • Data is delayed by three minutes in free version
  • Scanner filters cannot be entered manually, limited to built-in drop-down options
  • Charting capabilities are minimal in free version
Dekmar Trades Review – A Look Inside the Service

Dekmar Trades Review – A Look Inside the Service

What Is Dekmar Trades

Dekmar Trades takes an unusual approach as a day trading platform, mixing chat rooms and educational resources with traditional trading tools like stock scanners to help traders learn from other traders rather than simply make trades on their own. The platform is largely focused on intraday momentum trading of penny and low-priced ($20 or below) stocks, which has limited appeal for many traders but can be ideal for those willing to accept greater risk. However, the educational tools on the site, in particular the video tutorials, can be a good investment for traders of any style who are looking to improve their strategies.

Dekmar Trades Pricing Options

Dekmar Trades operates as a subscription service with only a single tier that provides access to all of the resources available on the platform. A month-to-month subscription costs $59.99 per month, while six- and 12-month subscriptions are available for $324 and $599, respectively. The platform also offers a free trial that provides unlimited access to all resources and chatrooms.

Dekmar Trades Pricing

Dekmar Trades also offers a series of trading scanner code sets, built on top of the Trade Ideas scanners, that can be purchased for additional one-time fees. Note that you will need to purchase a subscription to Trade Ideas in order to use these code sets. The Pre Market and Post Market scanner code sets, which are useful for identifying up- and down-gapping stocks or stocks with momentum after market close, cost $399. The more substantial Live Market scanner code set costs $599 and is useful for identifying breakouts, reversals, and top gainers and losers.  

Dekmar Trades Features

Video Library

One of the best features of Dekmar Trades is the video library, which contains hundreds of short, 10-20 minute videos narrated by the founder’s platform, Sean Dekmar. The videos cover a wide range of topics related to momentum trading, minimizing risk, and how to identify different types of setups. In addition, Dekmar uses his own trading experiences as teachable moments, frequently highlighting individual profitable trades or recapping successful trading days.

Dekmar Trades Video Library

The videos can be difficult to get into at first since most of them involve simply looking at Dekmar’s trading screens (primarily Trading Ideas scanners) while he narrates his thought process, but with some attention they are quite informative. Despite the screen clutter, Dekmar is relatively good at breaking down the indicators he is using and explaining complex topics in a way that is easy to take to heart. The library can be searched via a text box if there is a topic of particular interest, or it can be filtered into trading recaps and topic-specific lesson videos.

Chatrooms

The chatrooms sit at the center of Dekmar Trades as places where traders can trade ideas, alert each other to potential momentum trades, and ask questions. There are four chatrooms – Alerts, Short, Profits, and Swing – plus a Public chatroom for general discussion and social commentary. The division of these chatrooms helps with focusing in on a particular trading strategy while also allowing for keeping an eye on how other traders are faring.

The chatrooms are surprisingly orderly and explanatory, thanks in large part to Sean Dekmar’s involvement. Dekmar himself is constantly adding notes to each of the chatrooms throughout the trading day, pointing out potential setups and making trading suggestions while clearly and quickly explaining his thought process to keep the chatrooms educational. Dekmar and the majority of users writing in on the chatrooms are also highly encouraging, which can make the platform more engaging and open for questions.

Dekmar Trades Alerts Chat

Dekmar Trades Profits Chat

Dekmar also keeps a running watchlist, which is easily accessed from any of the chatroom windows. Clicking on any of the equities included in the watchlist opens an in-window candlestick chart that offers a surprising amount of customization. More important, the charting window allows for rapidly comparing two equities’ charts.

Dekmar Trades Watchlist

Within the chat boxes, hovering over any tagged stock symbol brings up a daily candlestick chart for quick reference. A minor inconvenience for traders who are not constantly checking the chat windows is that they have to be popped out into new windows in order to see beyond the ten or so most recent messages.

Platform Differentiators for Dekmar Trades

The real thing that sets Dekmar Trades apart is not so much the resource library or chatrooms – which are themselves impressive – but rather the trading strategy advanced by the platform’s founder, Sean Dekmar. Dekmar focuses on momentum trading of low-priced stocks, often trading penny stocks, that comes with relatively high risk but potentially huge intraday movements that yield price changes in the tens to hundreds of percentage points. Although many day traders look down on trading these stocks because of their risk, focusing on these stocks has clearly worked for Dekmar himself and the profits chatroom strongly suggests his strategy transfers well to other traders who follow his alerts and suggested setups.

Trades aside, Dekmar Trades is an incredibly powerful resource for day traders interested in incorporating swing trading into their strategies. The video library hosts a huge archive of detailed lessons about potential setups and pitfalls to watch out for, with numerous examples from real trades that Dekmar himself has made. Simply following the chatrooms can also be instructive, and the encouraging community that the platform has cultivated makes it inviting for traders to ask questions about setups that they are unsure about.

What Type of Trader is Dekmar Trades Best for?

Dekmar Trades is best for any trader who wants to make momentum and swing trading a part of their trading strategies. The chatrooms not only create a social atmosphere for trading, but also allow traders to exchange trading ideas in real time and report back on which setups worked and which did not. In addition, while Dekmar’s alerts focus on low-priced stocks with high risk and reward potential, many of the same lessons about evaluating momentum setups and limiting risk in the event of a failed trade apply throughout the stock market. Moreover, the subscription cost is an incredible deal for beginning day traders who can take the video tutorials to heart to improve their own trading abilities.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Library of hundreds of instructional videos to improve momentum and swing trading abilities
  • Chatrooms are encouraging and Sean Dekmar himself takes an active role in commenting
  • Trade alerts are often accurate, with Dekmar and numerous members reporting profits
  • Two-week free trial and relatively inexpensive subscription
  • Straightforward user interface with pop-up charts to quickly analyze alerts

Cons

  • Focused on momentum trading of low-priced stocks, which can be highly risky
  • Scanner packages are pricey and require an additional subscription to Trade Ideas

 

Benzinga Pro Review – How This Real Time News Service Can Affect Your Trading

Benzinga Pro Review – How This Real Time News Service Can Affect Your Trading

What is Benzinga Pro?

Benzinga Pro is the real-time news service created by the stock news team at Benzinga. Whereas the traditional, free Benzinga network curates stock news similar to sites like Seeking Alpha, MarketWatch, and CNBC, Benzinga Pro displays trading news as quickly as possible in short, succinct headlines. The service is marketed as the prime news source for day traders who need actionable information – corporate news, document releases, high-volume trades, and even rumors – in real-time in order to make quick decisions about trades and trends.

Benzinga Pro Pricing Options

Benzinga Pro operates on a subscription basis with two tiers of plans for individuals, as well as an additional enterprise plan for investment syndicates. The Basic plan, priced at $99/month or $948/year, is relatively limited in the number of features it provides but does include newsfeed access, minus access to the SEC and PR newsfeeds. The Essential plan is priced at $249/month or $2,388/year, and includes unrestricted newsfeed access as well as real-time stock quotes, Audio Squawk to stay ahead of written headlines, and additional help support.

Benzinga Pro Monthly Pricing

Benzinga Pro Features

News Feed

The heart and soul of Benzinga Pro is the News Feed, so it makes sense that this is where the software excels compared to most other stock news services  – either paid (i.e. Trade the News) or free. Although the interface will look familiar compared to the news feed that traders typically receive from their brokerages, this news feed is constantly flashing with new headlines thanks to the fact that Benzinga has their own news team scouting for new information. The incoming news covers nearly everything day traders could want to know about, including press and document releases, analyst rating changes, block trades, rumors, sector news, SEC filings, and significant options market activity.

Benzinga Pro Newsfeed Sectors

Benzinga Pro Newsfeed Categories

Another critical component of the News Feed that Benzinga Pro handles well is the ability to parse and customize information. While the default News Feed can overwhelm with the volume of headlines coming across your screen, it is easy to customize the feed according to several different news sources, categories of stock news, and sectors (which can be further filtered into sub-sectors). The News Feed can also be filtered down to show only news related to specific securities by creating customized watchlists to further limit your news to actionable and relevant items. While trade alerts are on by default, information about block trades and options activity can be turned off for traders who do not find these headlines useful in their strategies.

Audio Squawk

One of the major features available in the Essential subscription level of Benzinga Pro is the Audio Squawk, which provides audio alerts seconds ahead of the headlines appearing in the News Feed – since typing out headlines takes time. In addition, the Audio Squawk is great for traders who typically have multiple News Feed windows open at once, each focusing on different categories or sectors. The audio news specifically calls out alerts that are otherwise easy to miss in the sea of News Feed windows. Critically, the Audio Squawk favors quality of alerts over quantity and does not devolve into a continuous audio feed that would become distracting.

Newsdesk Chat

Another feature that makes the Essential subscription worthwhile for serious day traders is the Newsdesk Chat feature, which gives traders real-time access to the reporters at Benzinga to ask questions. This means it is possible to ask specific questions about why a security has gained or lost value overnight, for example, and to receive responses based on the available news and information from experts in the sector. For traders who are on the fence about a particular security, this can be an extremely useful check to get a second opinion or more information.

Calendar

The calendar is another handy feature available only to Essential subscribers. The calendar displays major financial events planned across all securities or a specific sector for the day or an upcoming timeframe. The calendar can also be used to query a specific security to quickly look through its history of earnings reports and other major financial events – including analyst ratings, dividends, conference calls, SEC filings, and stock splits – as well as to check when upcoming events are scheduled for.

Benzinga Pro Calendar

Screener and Details

Benzinga Pro is a news platform rather than a stock screener, but it does include a relatively simple securities screener to help you identify securities based on fundamentals such as market cap and sectors. However, the screener is limited to identifying gainers and losers, rather than targeting any specific value changes.

The Details panel allows traders to search specific securities in order to display charts and specifically query news and the calendar related to that security.

Benzinga Pro Stock Screener

Chat

The chatroom is a relatively new feature within Benzinga Pro and allows traders to talk directly to one another. Chat messages can reference specific stocks as well as tag other users to enable conversations, although the usefulness of the chat room may vary as the feature grows and the number of users expands.

Benzinga Pro Chat

Layout

It is easy to keep multiple News Feed screens up at once and to add in additional windows like the chat, stock screener, and calendar up thanks to the simple split-screen capabilities built into the Benzinga Pro viewer. Whenever choosing to open a new type of window, Benzinga Pro gives the option of either opening a new window without altering existing windows or opening the window in the existing workspace. In addition, screens can be popped out into additional windows to make use of multiple monitors. Note that Benzinga Pro operates inside a web browser rather than as a standalone program, which allows additional visual customization based on browser settings.

Benzinga Pro Layout Overview

Benzinga Pro Platform Differentiators

Benzinga Pro sets itself apart from free stock news platforms by offering real-time, curated news and a huge array of filtering features. However, it does have some paid competitors, including The Fly on the Wall and Trade the News. Benzinga Pro is arguably the best of these news services for serious traders, though, thanks to the ability to easily maneuver through multiple News Feed windows, the addition of the Audio Squawk and Calendar functions, and the ability to chat with financial experts through the Newsdesk Chat.

What Type of Trader is Benzinga Pro Suitable For?

Benzinga Pro is best for day traders who trade quickly and at relatively high volumes. The advantage of real-time news only comes into play for traders who can act quickly on news, meaning they have established watchlists and money available to move. Because of the relatively high price of the Essential subscription level, which is significantly more useful than the Basic subscription, the service also only makes sense for traders who have moderate to large portfolios of actively traded investments.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Real-time curated headlines written by Benzinga’s own news team
  • Audio Squawk function adds audio alerts to prevent missing essential headlines
  • News is easily filtered by sector, financial category, and news source
  • Calendar provides fast and convenient display of earnings reports, analyst ratings, dividends, and more for specific companies and across all securities for a given timeframe
  • Layout is easy to work with and flexible enough to allow for using multiple browser tabs and working across monitors

Cons

  • Essential subscription level is relatively pricey for low-volume day traders, especially compared to Basic subscription level
  • News Feed can be overwhelming without significant efforts towards customizing feed windows
  • Screener and Chat features could be expanded and improved upon