YCharts is an investment research data service that could be called the web-based version of a Bloomberg Terminal. In essence, YCharts is making a prettier, more data metrics, and user-friendly Zack’s, Telemet, or Thomson Baseline while delivering hard-to-calculate data in a quick and easy format. We have updated this YCharts review for 2016 to reflect our use of YCharts Professional.
The big question about YCharts is their service worth the cost where a good portion of it is already available for free with Google and Yahoo Finance?
In short, maybe. Founded in 2009 and with over $15 million in venture capital funding, YCharts is targeting a niche missing in the investment research arena.
In 2011 the long standing financial research company Morningstar invested in YCharts. At first glance one might think Morningstar is a direct competitor for YCharts, when in fact it’s not.
Morningstar targets more individual and casual investors, while YCharts targets long-term value investors including RIAs, hedge fund managers, consultants, and sales professionals. That group needs much more investment equity research and metrics to produce alpha. Data accuracy is important as well, and something the free services sometimes lack. YCharts features cater to this audience very well.
(New) Updates for 2016
Since our initial review of YCharts, the service has made quite a few updates to improve the user experience. These serve to make the product even better:
- Customized company profiles on YCharts stock quote pages
- Improved organization to company key statistics pages
- Added fees to mutual fund quote pages
- Expanded estimates data to S & P
- Peer rankings and fund style boxes for mutual funds
- Upcoming portfolio integration with By All Accounts
- New and improved index listings
For this review I’ve purchased YCharts Professional Edition which was $400/month for me. I suspect YCharts does give volume discounts for firms who want to purchase multi-seat licenses. You will have to contact them to ask.
The following features are included with YCharts Professional:
- Excel Add-in — A powerful feature that allows users to perform your own data analysis in real-time
- Stock + Fund Screener — A very flexible way to narrow your equity search criteria
- Economic Data Verification — Go behind the numbers to the original data sources
- Sector and Industry Data — Get the latest news and compare stocks in the same sector
- 4,000 Financial Metrics — Much more data analysis than other free services, so you don’t have to do the legwork
- Scoring Models — Build custom scoring systems in our Screeners by combining and weighting metrics. Sort, filter, and rank results based on your custom scores.
With the service every datapoint can be charted, allowing you to see visually how a financial metric changes over time. Below is an example of one simple chart.
YCharts Features and Free Trial
YCharts subscribers have access to all financial benchmarks, and the ability to chart this data online via their YCharts account. The level of detail is incredible, and from previous research very useful. You can slice and dice data over time and compare to stocks to other stocks or over 4,000 metrics including economic data.
When it comes to numbers, if you can find it on an income statement, balance sheet, or statement of cash flows, you can turn it into a ratio and chart it with YCharts. Compared to other services I’ve used, YCharts data is much more comprehensive, but this should be no surprise for a paid service.
Users also have the ability to download and export data and charts for their own personal use (up to 100 per month for Lite, and 500 for Standard, and unlimited for the Professional plan).
The YCharts stock screener is unmatched, which allows you to sort through all publicly-traded companies based on whatever financial metrics you find most appealing.
Users can now sign up for a free trial in less than 30 seconds and get full access to the YCharts Professional for 7 days. No credit card is required. The only limit is that YCharts doesn’t allow you to download any data during this trial period.
- Affordable Service — When compared to a Bloomberg terminal the most expensive plan is cheaper than a Bloomberg terminal.
- Powerful Screeners — YCharts filtering options rivals their competitors and has some unique filtering options.
- Excel Export — With YCharts Professional you have the option to export data for your own quantitative analysis.
- Powerful Charting — There are many options to chart past performance. If you want to share a stock performance history, with YCharts it is easy.
- Email Alerts — Get alerted the moment a stock hits a triggered price. Many options available on stock metrics, but also company news.
- Overwheming Amount of Options — To a beginner, the amount of features can be somewhat overhweming and the user interface could use some improvements.
Should You Use YCharts?
YCharts is a great way to easily compile investment research. Its stock screener is one of the best, even at YCharts Professional price point, given that it allows you to screen an average quality database for above-average ratios and fundamental data that you cannot screen on free alternatives.
Its graphing functionality is the gold standard on the web, and easily beats out any of the free or commercial competitors.
YCharts finds itself in the middle tier of equity research services: Much lower priced than a Bloomberg Terminal, but more costly than the web-based free services. For the active semi-professional to professional investor YCharts is decent, and much cheaper than the dedicated terminal alternatives.
In so far as helping investors research good potential investments, it’s worth a look. It’s a more user-friendly Yahoo or Google Finance capable of turning anything into a chart. For me, YCharts Professional is worth it, but that decision is up to you as the investor.