A Stock Screening Secret

Finding great companies in which to invest isn’t all that difficult. No, really. Finding those companies for a reasonable price with the right market sentiment is the difficult part. One of the best ways to look for stocks is to run screeners. You can do this right over the Internet, as financial web sites like Yahoo!, Moneycentral.msn, BigCharts, etc. offer their own proprietary data crunchers. Just search for “stock screeners” with Google, and you’ll instantly have a number of screening tools at your disposal.

With these tools at hand, all you need to do is input your criteria for stock selection, and you’re off to the races.

You could, for example, ask the screening tool to select for you all the stocks in the market trading below $15 per share, with price to earnings ratios below 25, and earnings growth expectations of over 35%.

Alternatively, if you like momentum stock market plays, you could opt for a selection of the stock market’s top 20 stocks making new highs on rising volume.

Regardless of your personal preferences, running daily screens with varying criteria is a great way to generate lists of stocks to investigate further.

Once you have your lists, then you can look at each individual business and consider its financial metrics and prospects for growth. Doing this on a regular basis will highlight some truly exceptional investment opportunities.

For years, this has been the same secret the buy-side of the Street uses for their stock selection process, and now it is easy for you to do it, too, right from the comfort of your own home.

I find investment screening particularly useful in highlighting small-cap stocks that are often not well known on Wall Street or talked about in the media. The opportunity in this market sector is to identify successful companies and speculate on them before the broader investment community. If you use screeners on a regular basis, there is no doubt you will eventually come across some great moneymaking opportunities.