Zacks Premium Review: Is Zacks Premium Worth the Hype?

How do you pick the perfect stocks?

What goes into the creation of the ultimate investing strategies?

Does anyone know how to deliver the kind of consistent above-market returns that everyone wants but almost no one can provide?

Where do investors turn for some of the best, most accurate information and insights out there?

Zacks. Duh.

What Is Zacks?

Zacks Investment Research is one of many different firms that produces and provides research and analysis to traders of all shapes and sizes.

Zacks has been a major player in the space for decades now, and tons of investors rely on their insights to inform what they buy, when they sell, and how to squeeze the most profit out of every transaction.  

You can get some of Zacks’ info and insights for free, but the good stuff is locked behind a paywall.

Zacks has a few different membership tiers that you can sign up for.

They all have their pros and cons and price points, but we’re only here to talk about one of them today: Zacks Premium.

So what’s the deal with Zacks Premium?

Keep reading this Zacks Premium review to find out what it costs, what you get, and whether or not it’s worth it.

But first, a little background.

Zacks Investment Research History

Zacks is the brainchild of its founder.

After getting his PhD in mathematics from MIT and spending a decade working as a quantitative researcher, Zacks’ founder decided to leave the brokerage life and strike out on his own.

The founder of Zacks had come upon a realization while he was toiling away on all that quantitative research.

Part of the Zacks founder’s work was to use his considerable mathematical prowess to find patterns that could help predict changes in stock prices.

The best players in the game tried and failed to find that elusive pattern, but Zacks’ founder was built different.

The Zacks founder pushed through all the noise until he arrived at an important discovery: that, more than anything, earnings revisions were the most powerful forces affecting stock prices.

It didn’t take long for the Zacks founder to put his discovery to work.

He published a paper on it, left his brokerage, and started his own research firm in 1978.

His proprietary Zacks Performance Rank model became the foundation for what would become one of the preeminent research firms in the business, and for good reason:

It works.

Zacks’ proprietary ranking systems have driven trades that returned twice as much as the S&P 500, on average.

The picks made using Zacks’ system have recorded average gains of 24.52% per year between 1988 and 2023.

It’s hard to argue with results like that, and it’s no wonder people keep coming back to Zacks for info and insights year after year.

For more overall information on Zacks’ services, read our Zacks review.

Zacks Premium

Zacks Premium is one of the two main membership tiers offered on the Zacks website.

Zacks Premium is the cheaper of the two tiers, but it still comes packed with features that should more than pay for themselves in no time at all. And speaking of paying:

Zacks Premium Pricing

  • 30-day free trial
  • $249/year after trial

There’s a lot going on behind the Premium paywall, so let’s take a second to list it all out before we start breaking them down.

Zacks Premium Features

A Premium membership includes these big features, and then some:

  • Zacks #1 Rank List
  • Equity Research Reports
  • Zacks Industry Rank
  • Earnings ESP Filter
  • Pre-Built Stock Screens
  • Focus List

Pro Tip:

Zacks #1 Strong Buy ranked stocks have beaten the market by over 23% per year on average since 1988. Zacks Premium gives you access to their #1 Rank List, Industry Rank, premium stock screens, and more. Click here to get started with Zacks Premium with a FREE 30-DAY TRIAL!

Zacks #1 List

Remember that thing about Zacks’ model being used to get an average of 24.5% returns from 1988 to 2023?

Those numbers came from this list.

The #1 list is the cream of the crop, the strong buy boys that Zacks hand picks for maximum upside potential.

If the trend of outsized returns continues, just having access to this list of stocks could make a Premium membership worth the money.

Getting an average of 24.5% returns on your equity picks is much better than most investors can hope for…

…especially when you consider the fact that Zacks has achieved those stellar gains on a consistent basis for nearly 40 years now.

Equity Research Reports

If you’re more of a “trust, but verify” kind of investor/the kind of person who won’t just go buy stocks because Zacks said so, you’re going to want to check out the equity research reports they provide to their Premium customers.

The reports cover over 1,000 stocks, giving you a deep and thorough dive into the fundamentals, growth prospects, challenges, and methodology behind Zacks’ ratings of some of the biggest and most newsworthy stocks on the market.

Every report is produced in-house by Zacks analysts and provides insights you won’t find anywhere else.

In addition to tracking fundamental data and market forces, the reports also give you detailed reasoning behind why Zacks recommends buying, selling, or holding each stock.

It’s the perfect complement to the #1 list.

Zacks Industry Rank

If the #1 list is too short or if you just want to do some digging on your own, the industry rank tool is for you.

The tool divides stocks into over 250 different industries and ranks them using the Zacks Rank system to show you each industry’s prospects, but it doesn’t stop there.

If you want, you can use the tool to drill down into each individual industry to see how the Zacks Rank system rates each company, perfect for finding the best stocks in different industries to diversify your holdings.

Apparently, the Zacks top-ranked industries have outperformed the lower-ranked industries by more than 2 to 1 over the last 10 years, so it’s safe to say this tool is worth a look at the very least.

Pro Tip:

Zacks #1 Strong Buy ranked stocks have beaten the market by over 23% per year on average since 1988. Zacks Premium gives you access to their #1 Rank List, Industry Rank, premium stock screens, and more. Click here to get started with Zacks Premium with a FREE 30-DAY TRIAL!

Earnings ESP Filter

The Zacks Earnings Expected Surprise Prediction (ESP) filter is a kind of screener tool that helps you find stocks with high probabilities of positive earnings surprises before the rest of the market gets ahold of them, thus maximizing your upside potential.

The tool also lets you do the reverse, helping you identify stocks that are likely to report negative earnings surprises so you can sell them before their prices take a plunge.

The tool is pretty simple and intuitive, and it’s all based on the Zacks Earnings ESP metric that they’ve fine-tuned over the years.

According to Zacks, the ESP metric has been proven to predict earnings surprises with over 70% accuracy over a 10 year period.

That’s not too shabby.

Pre-Built Stock Screeners

If you’ve ever used a stock screener before you probably have a good idea of what this feature is all about.

If not, all you need to know is that a stock screener is just a set of criteria used to find certain stocks.

The criteria can be just about anything—earnings, industry, market cap, P/E ratios, etc—and can let you really narrow down your search for the right stocks without too much effort.

The Zacks stock screener is the same as any other, except it comes with 45 prebuilt sets of criteria that Zacks has put together over the years.

Each prebuilt screener is designed using Zacks’ methodology specifically to find stocks that are likely to outperform the market, giving you the chance to put Zacks’ model to use to find stocks you might have otherwise ignored.

Focus List

This list is the longer-term counterpart to the Zacks #1 list.

While the Zacks #1 list stocks may be held for a relatively short time, the 50 stocks on the Focus List are meant to be held for at least 1 to 2 years.

Each stock is selected by Zacks’ director of research (so you know they aren’t messing around) and comes with a thorough equity research report that explains the methodology and reasoning behind its inclusion.

This isn’t the most exciting feature, sure, but there’s nothing wrong with balancing your portfolio between short and long-term positions.

Pro Tip:

Zacks #1 Strong Buy ranked stocks have beaten the market by over 23% per year on average since 1988. Zacks Premium gives you access to their #1 Rank List, Industry Rank, premium stock screens, and more. Click here to get started with Zacks Premium with a FREE 30-DAY TRIAL!

Is Zacks Premium Worth It?

You get a lot of bang for your buck with Zacks Premium.

It’s one of the more reasonably priced services among the stock research/analysis platforms out there, it has a track record of success and outsized returns that’s backed up by actual numbers, and it’s packed with tools and features that will help you pick better stocks and make more money.

And if you’re not convinced after reading our Zacks Premium review, just sign up for the 30-day free trial and decide for yourself.


Look, it’s no fluke that Zacks has been one of the bigger names in the research game for decades.

They’ve helped a lot of people make a lot of money.

There’s no reason to believe they’ll suddenly stop being good at what they do, so again, do yourself a favor and check out that Zacks Premium free trial.

You never know, it could be just the silver bullet you’ve been looking for. 

If you’re ready for even more features than those offered by Zacks Premium, consider upgrading to Zacks Ultimate. Read our Zacks Ultimate review.

And if you’re looking for other platforms offering stock research tools, check out our TradingView review.

Zacks #1 ranked stocks have beaten the market by +23%/year on average since 1988. Get a Zacks Premium 30-day FREE TRIAL!