q Is Seeking Alpha Worth It? Performance as of May 18, 2024
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Is Seeking Alpha Worth It?

SeekingAlpha.com promotes themselves as “the world’s largest investing community powered by the wisdom and diversity of crowdsourcing.”

Since their launch in 2004 they have become one of the most popular stock research sites with over 20 million visits per month. Given that amount of growth and traffic, it’s safe to say they’re doing something right.

Academic Study of Seeking Alpha’s Quant Rating: On April 19, 2024 an independent study by professors at a major university found that Seeking Alpha’s proprietary rating system Seeking Alpha Quant Ratings “strongly predict” future returns and offer “pronounced benefits” to investors. (My personal results shared below find the same.)

Dr. Jame and Ph.D. Candidate Yuling Guo from the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky

I was a free member of Seeking Alpha for over 10 years before upgrading to Seeking Alpha Premium in 2020. I also became a subscriber to Alpha Picks when that came out in July 2022. In this review, I’ll explain both of these premium services in detail and share my experience with each. This will help you answer the question of whether or not Seeking Alpha is worth it.

Like most sites these days, some of their information is available for free; but the valuable information is only available to paid or Premium users. They have 2 paid products. Here is a brief summary of each:

  1. Seeking Alpha Premium — This service allows you full access to all of their features, including their proprietary “Quant Rating” on any stock you choose. You can even link your brokerage account so that when you login to Seeking Alpha Premium you can see the Quant Rating on all of your stocks AND get alerts when the Quant Ratings drop. Keep reading to learn more about this “Quant Rating’ and see their “proof” that it is a very reliable indicator, and see the research by the University of Kentucky professors verifying the Quant Rating works. This Seeking Alpha Premium service is for those investors who want to do their own stock research and better manage their own stock portfolios.
  2. Alpha Picks — This service is their stock recommendation newsletter service for those investors that are looking for ideas of stocks to buy. It is for people that don’t want to do their own research on stocks and would rather just be told which stocks have the highest Quant Ratings each month. Twice a month they release a stock recommendation that has one of their highest “Quant Ratings.” This service is performing extremely well since its launch (see the ALPHA PICKS’ PERFORMANCE chart below) and is easily beating the S&P 500. If you want to see our detailed analysis of Alpha Picks, see our Alpha Picks Review.

Here’s a quick comparison of the two services and their Bundle:

Seeking Alpha PremiumAlpha PicksSeeking Alpha Bundle
Overall Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Service Type:Full access to all their research; link your brokerage account to get Quant Ratings on all your stocks and alerts of when to sell2 stock picks a month that have their highest Quant Rating; so far they are beating the market by 40%Includes both services
Best for:Self-directed investorsInvestors looking for specific stock recommendations each monthBoth
Retail Cost:$239/year$499/year$738/year
Current Promotion:Save $50 and get a 7-day free trialSave $50 in the month of MaySave $149
Link to Promo Page:Try Premium for FREE for 7 daysSave $50 on Alpha Picks; now $449Try Both for $589 and Save

As mentioned above, I subscribe to both of these Seeking Alpha services, and many others, and I don’t plan on canceling either of my Seeking Alpha’s subscriptions any time soon. For me, both Seeking Alpha Premium and Alpha Picks are absolutely worth the membership fee. Here’s why.

Seeking Alpha Stock Picks Recent Performance

Let me get right to the key data that most of you want to know–Will Seeking Alpha help you make more money in the stock market?

The week ending May 18, 2024 saw their 50 picks reach an average return of 61.9% vs 20.8% for S&P500 (so their picks are beating the market by 41.1%). Their recent picks of MOD, APP, ANF, POWL, SMCI, and STRL all surged in recent weeks. Yes, they recommended SMCI in November 2022 when it was only $85 (now it is over $850).

What is really impressive is that 82% of their 50 stock picks are profitable AND the biggest loss is only 31.8%.

So, between their marketing data, the University of Kentucky study, and my personal experience, it seems their “Quant Rating” is definitely valid and working to help find stocks that are most likely to outperform the market.

Or more specifically, how are the top Quant Rated stock picks performing lately?

Like I said above, I subscribe to a both of their services. Alpha Picks was launched in July, 2022 and this service releases 2 stock picks a month–on the 1st and the 15th of each month. Here is my summary of Alpha Picks’ recent performance as of May 18, 2024 (yes, I try to update this weekly or at least monthly):

Seeking Alpha Picks performance as of May 18, 2024

As you can see above, Seeking Alpha’s Alpha Picks are doing exactly what they are supposed to: providing EXCESS return (ALPHA) of 41.2% which means they are easily beating the S&P500 and easily all other newsletters and most mutual funds over this time period. In fact, since inception, they are tripling the SPY return.

What this means is if you could save $1,000 a month and bought just $500 of each of those 50 picks your $25,000 would now be worth $40.475. If you bought the SPY ETF you would have only $30,200.

So Alpha Picks gave you a profit of $15,475 and an EXCESS profit over the SPY of $10,275 in just 22 months on your $1,000 a month investment. No other newsletter comes close to this.

Even if you had bought just $100 of those 50 picks, your $5,000 would be worth $8,095. If you had bought the SPY you would be worth $6,040 and your would be beating the SPY by $2,055.

So is Alpha Picks worth $449 a year? The answer is YES–as long as you are saving $200 a month or more.

Notice that any way I looks at the Alpha Picks’ performance (by results of their 2024 picks, by their 2023 picks, by their 2022 picks, by their last 12 months of picks, and by picks at least 12 months old) their picks are profitable AND they are easily beating the market. Seven of these picks have already doubled; and picks at least 12 months old have an average return of 88.9% and are BEATING the market by 62.4%. These picks are almost quadrupling the SPY.

For those of you that are curious, had they not picked SMCI (which is up 850%), they would still be beating the market by 24.1% since inception.

Their picks are doing so well, I started buying about $1,500-$2,000 of each of their Alpha Picks. Here is my ETrade account (February 17, 2024) with their UBER pick that is up 82% for me since they recommended it in June 2023. I have a $1.413 profit already on my $1,700 investment. So is it worth $449? Since their picks are easily beating the market the answer is clearly ‘yes’.

My Alpha Picks Uber trade as of February 17,2024

Here is another screenshot of my ETrade account just to prove it. Their ANF pick from October 2023 is up 95% for me for $1,470 profit on a $1,600 investment in just 4 months:

Seeking Alpha Picks my ANF trade from February 17, 2024

My favorite feature of Seeking Alpha, and the reason their Alpha Picks are doing so well, is their Quant Rating. This is their key component (ie, their “secret sauce”) of both of their paid services. This is why it is worth paying for. What’s so special about it?

IMPORTANT PRICING NOTE: Their market-beating Alpha Picks service is usually $499 per year, but occasionally it is on sale.

Make sure you visit THIS promo page to SAVE 10%.

How Does Seeking Alpha Picks Compare to Other Newsletter Services?

You may be asking yourself “well, that is impressive, but how are they doing against other stock newsletters the last 3 years?”

I asked myself that too. And here is my analysis of a dozen services that I subscribe to, as of the date below, ranked by average performance vs the S&P over the last 3 years:

I am getting more and more confidence in their Quant Rating because of its consistent performance, especially compared to other popular services.

Here is my analysis of all my newsletters based on May 18, 2024 performance for their 2022-2024 stock picks listed in descending order of average return of all their picks from over the last 3 years:

Stock Newsletters Ranking as of May 18, 2024
Stock Newsletters Ranking as of May 18, 2024

So, as you can see, not only are they doing well, they are doing the best among all of their competitors for their 2024, 2023, AND 2022 picks.

Their picks are outperforming the Motley Fool, Moby, Zacks, Cramer’s Action Alerts Plus, TipRanks, and even the Dogs of the Dow strategy.

Based on this data, it appears that Seeking Alpha’s Quant Rating really works.

Here’s the most compelling data point about Seeking Alpha Quant Rating. Since 2010, stocks that have had their “Strong Buy” rating have outperformed the market by nearly 5x.

Seeking Alpha Strong Buy Performance Chart as of January 2024

Do you see that? Investing just $10,000 in Seeking Alpha’s Strong Buy stocks would give you a $226,182 Total Return in mid January, 2024 compared to the S&P 500’s return of $46,764. That is almost a factor of 5x the market’s return; and an average annualized return of 25%.

And this is exactly what I am experiencing with their Seeking Alpha Picks subscription service.

From their webpage, they explain their Quant Rating system as follows:

Here’s How the Seeking Alpha Quant System Works

From their own website:

  • Seeking Alpha’s ‘Strong Buy’ quant ratings are the result of powerful computer processing and our special ‘Quantamental’ analysis.
  • From nearly all U.S. securities, our quant algorithm picks stocks with the strongest collective value, growth, profitability, EPS Revisions, and price momentum metrics vs. the peer sector.
  • These attributes are assigned grades that are then weighted to maximize the predictive value. The best stocks are awarded a ‘Strong Buy’ rating.
  • Over the last 12 years, the backtested strategy has delivered very impressive returns, beating the S&P 500 every single year.
  • What’s more, if we look at the performance since inception (December 2009 onwards), our ‘Strong Buy’ stock picks have delivered a staggering return, as you can see above.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I provide more information on Quant Ratings below, but let me backup for a minute first and tell you why I think Seeking Alpha is worth it and provide more context about Seeking Alpha’s platform.

So, Is Seeking Alpha Worth It?

Based on the fact that their “Strong Buy” rated stocks have drastically outperformed the market by 5x, the answer is absolutely YES, they are definitely providing the “alpha” they promise. My personal experience of buying their Alpha Picks stocks confirms it.

If you want to buy stocks that are mostly likely to outperform the market and avoid those stocks that are likely to underperform, then YES, it is definitely worth it. 

To be clear, Seeking Alpha offers 2 paid subscription products:

  • Seeking Alpha Premium–This service is for investors who want to research their own stocks, check on the rating of their stocks, and have access to ALL of the research and reports on the Seeking Alpha platform. My favorite feature of the premium service is you can link your real stock portfolio and when you login you see the Seeking Alpha rating of all of your stocks. It is a GREAT way to monitor and give you sell signals. The service is currently priced at $239 a year, but there is a $50 off coupon if you click the link at the bottom of this page. This review focuses on this Seeking Alpha Premium product.
  • Alpha Picks–This service is for the investor who just wants to be told what to buy. If you just want to get an alert twice a month of their highest rated stocks, then you should consider their Alpha Picks service. At just $449 for your first year, it is definitely worth it if you just want to know which stocks to buy each month.
  • Seeking Alpha Picks performance as of May 18, 2024
  • Alpha Picks Update as of May 18, 2024: Since its launch in July, 2022, the 50 Alpha Picks are up an average of 61.9% and are easily beating the S&P500's return by 41.2%. But most impressively, their picks that are at least 12 months old are up 88.9% vs 26.5% for 62.4% ALPHA and 81% of those picks are profitable. Yes, these picks are tripling the SPY. This includes AMR now up 133%, NUE up 60%, MHO up 250%, SMCI up 941%, MOD up 396%, POWL up 194%, UBER now up 75%, STRL up 106%, ANF (their October, 2023 pick) already up 145% and now their Nov 15, 2023 pick is already up 94% in just 6 months!. Impressively, their biggest loser is down only 32%. See our full Seeking Alpha Picks Review for further analysis.

Keep reading and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Alpha Picks and Seeking Alpha Premium.

A Quick Intro To SeekingAlpha.com

The Seeking Alpha platform is powered by information, ideas, research, analysis, and opinions crowdsourced from its users.

This means that their users submit their thoughts and research on U.S. stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, commodities and cryptocurrencies.  But this is no simple “message board” – their posts are well thought-out, detailed research reports that are reviewed by the Seeking Alpha editorial staff to make sure the content passes a quality review.

They have over 7,000 writers and publish 10,000 stock opinions per month. Each author is carefully vetted by the Seeking Alpha team to make sure that they are credible and don’t have any conflicts of interest with the stocks they’re discussing.

In addition to all their crowdsourced stock research, Seeking Alpha also provides a variety of stock ratings. These ratings include a Quantitative Analysis Rating, a Seeking Alpha Author Rating, and a Wall Street Rating. These ratings have proven to be valuable at predicting future performance. But here’s the catch. The Wall Street Ratings are available to free members, while the Quant and the Author Ratings are only available to Premium members.

Power of the Seeking Alpha Quant Rating

This one chart says it all. This is a backtest of investing $10,000 in the “Strong Buy” Quant-rated stocks on January 1, 2010 through the first half of 2022. That $10,000 would have grown by $185,853 compared to only $37,930 if $10,000 had been invested in the S&P 500 in 2010.

STRONG BUY Stock’s Performance

That chart speaks for itself! $226k vs $46k is a huge difference over a 13 year period. And the AVERAGE ANNUALIZED RETURN of 25% is also awesome over a 13 year period.

Seeking Alpha Strong Buy Performance Chart as of January 2024

VERY BEARISH Stock’s Performance

Conversely, this next chart shows what investing in the “Very Bearish” stocks would have resulted from 2010 to 2023. These stocks would have drastically underperformed the market with only a return of 45% versus the S&P 500’s 323%.

Seeking Alpha quant rating strong sell performance 2023

So the answer is clear. You should only buy “STRONG BUY” stocks and avoid stocks rated “VERY BEARISH.”

It is that simple and takes the stress out of managing your own portfolio.

Academic Study Proving Value of Seeking Alpha’s Quant Ratings

The University study I mentioned earlier created portfolios of stocks by SA Quant Ratings and analyzed monthly returns from 2016-2022. This study’s analysis indicates that Seeking Alpha’s Quant Ratings achieved better performance and concluded that “Seeking Alpha’s Quant-Rated Strong Buys significantly outperformed the market, substantiating the accuracy and predictive capabilities of the Seeking Alpha Quant model.”

They looked at monthly returns of all 10,000+stocks that have a Quant Ratings, grouped them by their ratings of Strong Buy to Strong Sell, and concluded that the Strong Buys significantly outperform the S&P500 and the Strong Sells under perform.

So How Do You Get the Seeking Alpha Quant Rating?

When you are NOT a member and you get a quote, it will look like this (note their attempt to get you to upgrade in the right column):

Seeking Alpha free member quote example

Seeking Alpha Free Member Quote View

However, when you are a PREMIUM Seeking Alpha member and you get a quote, you will see the Ratings Summary, Factor Grades, and Quant Ratings in the right column:

Seeking Alpha Premium quote example March 2024

Seeking Alpha PREMIUM Member Quote View (See Ratings in the Right Column)

As a member, when you login, you are greeted with the Top Rated Stocks List that you can sort and filter on many different variables:

Seeking Alpha Premium dashboard

When you create “my portfolio” of stocks to monitor, you can then instantly see the Seeking Alpha Quant Ratings, Wall Street Ratings, news, and much, much more data on all your stocks in one summary view. Take a look at this view:

Seeking Alpha my portfolio

My Portfolio View as a PREMIUM Member–Note ANF Quant Rating of 4.99 (Strong Buy) that I bought and showed you my Etrade account above.

You can even link “my portfolio” to your real stock portfolio so that they stay in synch.

It is that simple. Nothing to download. Nothing to install. Just sign up for Seeking Alpha Premium and you will have access to their Quant Ratings, Grades, all research articles, and so much more.


Stocks rated “STRONG BUY” by Seeking Alpha’s “Quant Rating” are up 1,754% compared to the S&P 500’s 385% over the last 10 years.

Bottom line: Only buy stocks that are rated STRONG BUY and don’t own any stocks rated VERY BEARISH!

CLICK HERE to start your 7-day free trial of Seeking Alpha Premium.

Or take the stress out of picking stocks and just get their 2 top Quant Rated stocks from their Alpha Picks service for just $449 a year.


But wait, there’s more…

What Is Seeking Alpha Premium?

Seeking Alpha Premium is essentially the “upgraded” version of the platform’s Basic membership. 

You get access to lots of features you don’t get with a basic plan, plus extra capabilities on other features. 


Seeking Alpha logo

Customer Service:

Phone at 1-347-509-6837

Email at subscriptions@seekingalpha.com

SEEKING ALPHA SUMMARY

What You Get:
  • Over 10,000 Stock Research Articles per Month
  • Professional Stock Ratings
  • Listen to Earnings Calls and Read Transcripts
VERIFIED Performance History:
  • STRONG BUY ranked stocks have beaten the S&P 500 by almost 1400%
  • VERY BEARISH ranked stocks have underperformed the S&P 500 by over 300%

Click Here To Get Your 7-Day Free Trial on Seeking Alpha Premium


Here are the features if you sign up for a Premium subscription:

  • Stock analysis email alerts
  • Real-time news updates
  • Access to stock prices & charts
  • Wall Street Ratings for every stock
  • See ALL Quant Ratings and underlying metrics
  • View Seeking Alpha author stock ratings
  • View Seeking Alpha author ratings performance
  • Get alerts on upgrades and downgrades on your portfolio
  • Less ads
  • Access all Premium investing ideas
  • Listen to earnings and conference call recordings
  • Screen for Top Rated Stocks with ratings screener 
  • Access all stock earnings transcripts
  • Track each investing idea’s performance
  • View article sidebar: stock chart, key data, ratings
  • See stock dividend and earnings forecasts
  • Access Dividend Grades for each dividend stock
  • Review 10 years of financial statements
  • Compare 7 stocks at once
  • See the EPS Revisions Grade in the earnings calendar

The Premium subscription is an absolute must if you want to maximize the return of your portfolio and beat the S&P 500. It usually sells for $239 a year, but our readers can take $50 off and get a free 7-day trial with our link below.

The Premium plan is simply the best value for your buck.


Try Seeking Alpha Premium

Is Seeking Alpha Worth It?

Seeking Alpha is absolutely worth the money, if you use it the right way. Stocks rated “STRONG BUY” on their Quant Rating have outperformed the S&P 500 1,754% to 385%; and stocks rated “VERY BEARISH” have underperformed miserably. So only buy stocks rated “STRONG BUY” and avoid all “VERY BEARISH” stocks!

If you’re still not convinced, here are 5 more of my favorite features of my Premium membership.

#1: Top Rated Stocks Screener

Seeking Alpha Worth It Top Rated Stocks

The Top Rated Stocks screener is a special tool for Premium users that automatically finds you the most promising stocks by applying filters for the best quant ratings, Seeking Alpha author ratings, Wall Street analyst ratings, and several factor ratings.

When you use the Top Rated Stocks screener, you’re getting evaluations of a stock from three different perspectives, all with different motives and methods.

Seeking Alpha authors are independent investors who spend hours searching through news and financial statements in order to get a good read on the fundamentals of a stock.

Wall Street analysts are financial professionals who have access to expensive tools and research that help them build thorough financial models such as discounted cash flow (DCF) models that can provide a good estimate on the valuation of a company.

The quant, or quantitative analysis, system is an objective, unemotional stock evaluation system that is executed entirely through computer algorithms.

When you have a stock that is rated highly by all three of these sources, it will appear on the Top Rated Stocks screener, making it easy to know that you can be confident in the stocks on the list!

#2: Market Analysis and Earnings Call Transcripts and Audio

Seeking Alpha Worth It Earnings Call article

With a Premium subscription to Seeking Alpha, you can read transcripts and listen to audio recordings of earnings and conference calls for stocks that aren’t covered anywhere else.

Earnings calls help us see if there were any surprises by comparing the last quarter’s earnings to what they were expected to be.

We can also use information given in earnings forecasts to make educated guesses on whether a stock’s price will rise or fall.

#3: Dividend Grades

Seeking Alpha Worth It Dividend Grades

Seeking Alpha has its own unique dividend grading system that helps you evaluate the strength, growth, and reliability of a stock’s dividend.

Dividend Grades give you a different score for a company’s dividend safety, growth, yield, and consistency.

If you’re looking to balance your portfolio out with a big-name, dividend producing company, or you want to pursue an income investing strategy, Seeking Alpha’s dividend grades can get you there.

#4: Quant Ratings and Metrics

Seeking Alpha Worth It Quant Ranking

Seeking Alpha’s quant system has a stellar history of beating the market, making it a valuable tool for deciding which stocks to invest in.

The Seeking Alpha quant system gives stocks a rating based on value, growth, profitability, momentum, and EPS (earnings per share) revisions.

With a Premium subscription, you can see all quant ratings and underlying metrics that determine what quant rating stocks receive.

This level of depth is extremely useful if you have a specific investing strategy in mind and you want to get to the bottom of a stock’s quant rating.

#5: Stock Comparison

Let’s say you want to add an up-and-coming tech stock to your portfolio, but you’re stuck between a few different options.

Seeking Alpha will let you compare stocks side-by-side to help you decide which stock is the best by whatever standard is important to you.

You can compare a stock to its peers as well as a stock’s Wall Street ratings vs. its Seeking Alpha ratings.

With Seeking Alpha premium, you can compare 7 different stocks at the same time!


Remember: Stocks rated “STRONG BUY” by Seeking Alpha’s “Quant Rating” are up 1,754% compared to the S&P 500’s 385% over the last 10 years.

Bottom line: You should only buy stocks that are rated “STRONG BUY” and don’t own any stocks rated “VERY BEARISH!”

CLICK HERE to get your 7-day free trial of Seeking Alpha Premium.


Seeking Alpha Conclusion

Given the above graphs that show the Seeking Alpha STRONG BUY’s crush the market and their VERY BEARISH drastically underperform the market, given the 2024 study by professors at the University of Kentucky, and given my own personal results, it is safe to conclude that their Quant Rating works and Seeking Alpha is definitely worth it. Plus, those five features above also provide extra reasons to upgrade from their free service.

And my chart comparing the performance of the Seeking Alpha Picks to various Motley Fool and Zacks services shows they truly are providing ALPHA and beating the competition since the launch of this service in July 2022. I even showed you screenshots of my ETrade account to prove it. So if you are looking for stock recommendations and at least a few $100 to invest each month, then you should try Alpha Picks.

Remember: Even if you had bought just $100 of those 50 picks, your 61.9% return would give you a profit well above the SPY return and the subscription easily pays for itself–if you try to buy equal dollar amounts of all of their picks as the are released. Now keep in mind, with their growing subscriber base, their stock picks to rise immediately so you need to get their picks as soon as they are released.

Save $50 on Alpha Picks

And if you are the type of investor that likes to do their own research or wants feedback on your existing portfolio to know what Seeking Alpha’s quant rating is on each of you stock, then at the price of $239 per year ($189 through our link), I find Seeking Alpha Premium to be a no-brainer investment for anyone that wants to increase their odds of beating the S&P 500.

Try Premium for FREE for 7 Days

If you’re looking for more, read our full Seeking Alpha review here! Or read our comparison of Seeking Alpha vs Morningstar.

However, if you are the type of investor that just wants their 2 top rated stocks each month and you don’t need all their research, then a subscription to their Alpha Picks newsletter might be better for you.

–>

If you can’t decide, then they let you try both Seeking Alpha Premium AND Alpha Picks for $589, a savings of $149.

Get Both!