Zacks Investment Research focuses on unlocking the secret knowledge of brokerage firms and investment experts in the stocks and mutual fund industries. Zack’s has 3 overall tier-level packaging: Free, Premium and Elite. The bulk of this overview will be focused on the Free and Premium sections, and the Elite tier will be covered in another review.
Zacks Free Section
The Free Section on Zacks consists of daily newsletters, quotes & charts, limited articles, 4 free stock picks and portfolio trackers and email alerts.
- Daily Newsletter: “Zacks.com Profit From the Pros” – Highlights 1 stock for each of 4 different categories: aggressive growth, growth and income, momentum and value stocks for that day. Each of the stocks comes with a couple of summary paragraphs talking about earnings forecasting and fundamental reasons to purchase the particular stock. There is also a Zack’s mutual fund ranking that highlights the best 5 mutual funds covered that day, and equity research section that shows the bull and bear of the day along with a full Zack’s research report. These research reports include Zack’s own quantitative assessment of the particular stocks along with price and earnings forecasting based upon fundamental analysis.
- Quotes & Charts: This section is similar to most other charting services with full listing, real-time quotes, and a news feed for up-to-date information about the company.
- Articles: Most of the articles that are available for the free user are either excerpts of premium articles or watered down versions of analysis that are covered in the premium and elite sections. They also offer a few articles about education and other services and products applied to current market news as a sample for some of their premium / elite products.
- Portfolio Tracker & Alerts: Zacks allows for portfolio tracking and alerts for all users. These are customizable for what the user is studying at the time.
Zacks Premium Section
The Premium Section on Zacks expands to allow for the following features:
- Zacks Ranks: Stock Ranking for 4400 stock ratings & Ranking of over 18,000 mutual funds. Zacks creates a short-term analysis (usually 1-3 months) for each of the 4400 stocks. They rank the best stocks to purchase at the time for both timeframes. Their analysis includes Broker Recommendations, Price/Volume Data, Zack Quantitative Rankings, Earnings Forecasting and Industry/Sector Analysis.
- Stock Screening: Using Zack’s “Screening” tab, the user can either customize their own screening criteria based upon fundamental and earnings criteria or use one of Zacks pre-defined, profit tracks, research wizard and some others. Furthermore, there are some educational material for the user to understand terms such as ROE or ROI and what they mean when analyzing a company’s balance sheet or financial statement.
- Zacks Industry Ranks: Zacks ranks the industries based upon a specific quantitative ranking to give the user their best industries to focus on.
- Zacks Equity Research Report: These reports give long-term (>6 month) analysis recommendations against the S&P500 or similar broad-based index for how a stock or mutual fund will perform. These reports are quite in-depth with a business overview; reasons to buy and sell; earnings, operating and balance sheet interpretations; key indicators to focus on; and finally a long-term recommendation.
- Profit-Tracks: This is part of the screening stocks and categorizes a group of stocks based upon specific criteria such as discounted fundamental strength or high rank value to give the user a quick summary of some stocks to look for in these targeted groups.
- Researching Funds: Zacks gives the ability to research, compare and pick the mutual fund family and mutual fund that best suits the investor's risk/reward appetite