Top Investing Resource: Seeking Alpha - Is Seeking Alpha Premium Worth It?
One of my favorite investing resources on the entire internet is Seeking Alpha and in this article I'd like to explore why.
Up front, you should know that I previously have written a lot on Seeking Alpha (Ash Anderson on Seeking Alpha [LINK]) and as part of that writing I was given a premium account for free. So, if you are short on cash, here's a little Seeking Alpha life hack... write! All authors get access to Seeking Alpha Premium (saving you the $240/yr fee), and you also get paid for writing on Seeking Alpha - that's called a win/win.
Now we've cleared that up, let's talk a little bit about what Seeking Alpha actually is, what Seeking Alpha offers and whether a premium subscription to Seeking Alpha is worth the cost of admission.
What is Seeking Alpha?
Seeking Alpha, from the outside looking in, appears to be a platform that hires a tremendous number of stock analysts to cover a large swath of publicly traded companies.
For the most part, that's correct. The one caveat here being that anyone can write for Seeking Alpha without first applying. Authors on Seeking Alpha are paid based on the number of views their content gets, and there are some payments for articles that are published on tickers without much coverage.
Articles are fully vetted by an editorial team that, and I do have first hand experience, ensures factual information is published and speculation is backed up in some way (like data or expert opinion). Due to how Seeking Alpha pays authors, you can find coverage for a company that many other sites don't have time for, which is why it's generally my destination prior to investing in a company.
What Does Seeking Alpha's Free Service Offer?
If you go to Seeking Alpha today and sign up for a free account, you get a great deal of information and tooling at your fingertips.
Almost all recent content is available for you to view at will, so you can definitely keep up on current trends and feelings across well-covered stocks.
You'll also have access to vibrant commenting community. Now, a word of warning here, this is a comment section. Comment sections can tend to get a little bit inflammatory. Counter that though with this being a great tool for you to communicate with the author and look for clarification.
Not all authors respond, but most do. I tried to respond to every comment I got, but some articles can get overwhelming for the writer. Point being though, you have free access to the person that just took a lot of time to document their investment decision making process, try to take advantage of that!
Seeking Alpha also offers free portfolio tracking, notifications related to your holdings (including analysis by authors), and financial information on companies (the same type you can get pretty much anywhere).
All-in-all, this website offers a fantastic package for free and I'd recommend adding it to your rotation for investment research.
What Do Seeking Alpha's Premium Plans Have?
While it is mentioned above, it bears repeating: all authors get access to Seeking Alpha Premium (saving you the $240/yr fee), and you also get paid for writing on Seeking Alpha. So, if you're on the fence about paying for an extended trial, try your hand at sharing your investment knowledge. Who knows, it could become a new career for you!
For those that don't have the writing bug, and can afford the $240 per year it costs for a premium Seeking Alpha account, let's take a look at what you'll get.
First off, the entire back catalog of published articles. This might not be beneficial if you're only investing in FAANG stocks, but if you're looking to gain some knowledge off the beaten path then a Seeking Alpha Premium subscription is essential.
In addition to the access to all premium investing ideas, you'll also get earnings and conference call recordings, a world-class screener that implements Seeking Alpha ratings, Seeking Alpha author ratings (and rating history), and a whole bunch of other fantastic tools that will help make that investment decision a lot easier.
It's definitely easier to let the entire matrix of features that Seeking Alpha publishes speak for itself.
Seeking Alpha PRO
If you're looking for a super premium experience, the type that I cannot even review (because I've never tried it), Seeking Alpha PRO might be for you. PRO costs $2400 per year, or $300 per month if you opt to pay on a month-to-month basis.
For those spending this amount of cash, you will get exclusive access to Seeking Alpha's "Top Ideas." Top Ideas still come from regular Seeking Alpha authors, but they're hand-picked by editors of the service due to their angle or content.
I once had an article make it into the Top Ideas newsletter about a company called Maui Land & Pineapple. While the stock has been pretty much flat since I wrote the article, I still stand by my position - although you'll likely need an account to give it a read (the TL;DR: this company has a lot of valuable land).
PRO members also get VIP service, and access to the Short Ideas Portal. A quick word of note on Seeking Alpha's position with regards to shorting... it's very difficult to get an article published. To get a short article on the site one has to back up any negative allegations and attempt to contact the company's representatives (with proof) to get clarification.
Seeking Alpha Marketplace
The other place you can find exceptional value on Seeking Alpha is in the marketplace. It would be almost impossible to review all of the options Seeking Alpha Marketplace has available, so I'll leave the reviews on the page to speak for themselves.
In general, Marketplaces offer exclusive content from some of Seeking Alpha's most prolific authors. To qualify for Marketplace one must:
- Have a track record of quality writing on Seeking Alpha
- Rarely have factual mistakes or integrity issues brought up by the editorial team
- Have a plan in place for all that the marketplace will offer
- Commit to delivering an exceptional experience (Seeking Alpha gets a bad rep if your service gets a bad rep)
The offerings do differ from Marketplace to Marketplace so definitely do some due diligence on what you get before clicking that "buy" button. Typically you'll get chat access to the person running the Marketplace, exclusive content, and research tools.
Seeking Alpha is one of my go-to investing resources. I head there to see how the market feels about a stock and how other investors are reacting to recent news. Whenever I'm looking to invest in a new company, I always queue up the last three or four articles to read some different opinions.
If you're looking for a great tool to improve your investing game, Seeking Alpha has you covered.
As a disclaimer, I do not pay for Seeking Alpha Premium, but instead receive it for free as an author on the service.