TradeKing Research Tools

Updated Saturday, March 19, 2011

Research Tools Grade: B

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TradeKing has an almost overwhelming collection of research tools. Users will find anything they can imagine, including general news and market commentary, company specific tools and data, calendars, screeners, calculators, educational tools and social networking features.  While the quantity is certainly there, a number of the tools could use some improvement in order to match up better with the same tools found at other brokers.  Even with the inconsistent quality, TradeKing still offers one of the most compelling research platforms of any broker.


Upon logging into the platform, the first place that investors might want to stop at is the TradeKing Market Snapshot page, which highlights popular news articles, commentaries and the latest prices for market indexes and popular stocks,  (click on images for larger views):

tradeking market snapshots page

Market news and commentary are provided by Thomson Reuters., Investors.com and Briefing.com, amongst others.

Stock quote pages show basic pricing information, dividend dates, P/E ratios, options related data points, competitor comparison and company specific news articles.  Company specific news articles are provided primarily by COMTEX News Service.  Additional company information, such as short interest and management effectiveness, is available on company profile pages.  There are also extensive company research reports provided by Market Grader.  The standard financial statements - balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows - can be retrieved for the prior four years.  Earnings history and projections are shown in a nice bar chart format.  Here is a view of the earnings page for Netflix (NFLX):

tradeking earnings page for netflix

Within the same earnings page is a link to the analyst recommendations page.  Data for both of these pages is provided by Zacks.  Insider transactions, including purchases, sales, options and gifts and shown in listed and chart form via the Insider tab.  Here is the Insiders page for Netflix:

tradeking insiders page for netflix

Volatility charts can be retrieved for stocks and major indexes.  Included below charts are historical and implied volatility metrics.  While not the most attractive charts ever conceived, TradeKing's volatility charts could be useful for traders of a certain persuasion.  Here is a one year volatility chart for Apple (AAPL):

tradeking one year volatility chart for apple

TradeKing offers stock, ETF and mutual fund screeners.  For the stock screener, users can select from 32 fully customizable criteria. We like the high level of customization available but we would like to see additional screening criteria added.  Here is a query that we created for stocks with a market cap of at least $250 million, dividend yield of at least 3% and P/E ratio of 12 or less:

tradeking stock screener

Newly added is a Back Testing Screener.  TradeKing describes this tool as follows:

Use Recognia's Strategy Builder to build the right stock screen for your stock trading strategy. Add qualifying criteria, such as bullish or bearish technical patterns, then save or share your strategy with others in our Trader Network. You can receive alerts when there are new results that match your screen. Strategy Builder is a great tool that complements our website and puts more actionable data into your hands.

The Earnings Calendar shows past and future earnings announcements, upgrades, downgrades and consensus revisions. The calendar layout could have been designed a bit better and unlike many of the offerings found at competitors, data does not include dividends, splits or IPO events. Here is a view of events for March 19, 2011:

tradeking events calendar

A watchlist feature is available but only a single unnamed list can be created and it is accessed via a separate window.  We hope that TradeKing decides to improve this feature, especially since watchlists can be retrieved from the TradeKing iPhone App.

The ETF Center shows the top performing and most active ETFs and ETF related news articles.  We think that this page could use a few more sections and features.

Various calculator tools are available.  This includes an options pricing calculator, profit & loss calculator and probability calculator.  The options pricing calculator is pretty straight forward tool to calculate implied volatility and Greeks.  The profit & loss calculator is confusing and could use a better charting solution.  The probability calculator uses implied volatility to determine the likelihood of meeting a certain price point by a particular date.  We like this tool the best and we think that it is particularly useful for options traders.  Here is a scenario we ran for Google (GOOG):

tradeking probability calculator

Newly added is the TradeKing Education Center.  This is a collection of articles to teach investors of all levels the ins and outs of investing in stocks, bonds, options, mutual funds and ETFs.  Videos are also available that cover everything from the basics of bond investing to such arcane subjects as iron condors.

Trader Network is TradeKing's take on social networking.  Included in this section are ways to track the market activity of fellow traders, forums, blogs and groups.  Here is a look at the main page:

tradeking trader network

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