Value Line Review – The Granddaddy of Stock Investment Research

Advertising Disclosure This article/post contains references to products or services from one or more of our advertisers or partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products or services

I have personally used the Value Line Investment Survey for years. I started using their material when I was in my early 20s. Back in 1992 when the web didn't exist, I had to visit my local library to do stock research. Value Line is the granddaddy of investment research companies and has been in existence since 1931. In comparison, they make Morningstar look like a startup company. Both individual and professional investors have used Value Line to quickly gather investment research.

The famed Warren Buffett calls Value Line “an incredible value! I don't know of another system that's as good.” The former investment manager Peter Lynch has called Value Line “the next best thing to having your own private securities Analyst.”

As a value investor, it makes sense that I would like a newsletter from Value Line. Their research is based upon company fundamentals, not technical analysis. Their newsletter offers quite a bit of information for all levels of investment experience, from the novice to the expert.

Value Line's Investment Tools

Value Line's investment research is available both on their website and via print material that's mailed to you weekly. Each subscription provides three sections that are updated weekly and more frequently online. Value Line offers comprehensive research on over 1,700 stocks. The three main sections are:

  • Ratings and Reports: Each week, a selection of stock reports is published. Each one covers approximately 130 stocks in specific sectors, as full-page reports. The sectors are on a rotating basis, so all of the stocks that Value Line monitors are covered every 13 weeks. Each stock report covers current and historical financial data, detailed financial results, 3–5 year price and earnings projections, charts, rankings, and forward-looking and objective analyst commentaries.
  • Summary & Index: Similar to a wide-angle lens on a camera, this gives a high-level view of the stock market with preset screens. If using their online service, you can create your own custom screens.
  • Selection & Opinion: This section gives current economic and market stats and forecasts.

As mentioned, the service can be purchased in print format or as an online subscription. Subscribers also have access to three model portfolios they may follow if they do not wish to construct their own portfolios.

Timeliness® Ranking

What makes Value Line Investment Survey unique is their Timeliness® Ranking system. It measures the expected price performance of the stock in the next 6–12 months. This ranking is on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 representing the highest score achievable. This ranking is relative within the 1,700 stocks they monitor. The distribution of those ratings is as follows:

  1. Top 100 Stocks
  2. Above Average (300 Stocks)
  3. Average (900 Stocks)
  4. Below Average (300 Stocks)
  5. Lowest Rated (100 Stocks)

Investors are encouraged to purchase a portfolio of stocks across six or more industries with a ranking of 1. Investors are encouraged to monitor this ranking over time, and when a stock falls to a 4 or 5 ranking, that stock becomes a candidate for selling.

How Has Value Line Performed?

Mark Hurbert, a MarketWatch columnist who studies the performance of investment publications who has written for over a 20-year period, says that The Value Line Investment Survey “is in first place for risk-adjusted performance.” (See this article and this article for more details)

Value Line Report — Free Sample

To get an idea of what's in their newsletter, here is a sample of Value Line Ratings and Report from 2009:

How Useful Is Their Research?

Yes, it's true you can find a lot of what Value Line offers for free on sites like Yahoo Finance or Google Finance, but Value Line's insight and research details are second to none. It can be said their annual fee is somewhat expensive, but it could recoup that cost for you with just one investment from using Value Line.


The amount of information they give you on a weekly basis can be a little overwhelming. But Value Line's Investment Survey has been a timesaver for me. It's helped me quickly narrow down my stock selections to a small subset for further research. I don't base my research solely on their recommendations. I use it to help me determine if I should investigate further or pass investing in a stock.

There are other online services, such as YCharts and Morningstar, that offer as much investment research online, but you have to work harder to get to all the information. Value Line puts all the research in one place for you.

Larry Ludwig

Larry Ludwig was the founder and editor in chief of Investor Junkie. He graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor of science in computers and a minor in business. Back in the ’90s, I helped create some of the first financial websites for firms like Chase, T. Rowe Price, and ING Bank, and later went on to work for Nomura Securities. He’s had a passion for investing since he was 20 years old and has owned multiple businesses for over 20 years. He currently resides in Long Island, New York, with his wife and three children.

Related Articles


  1. Disturbed to see so many negative comments about ValueLine’s online service. I have never used it but always used the print version which I think is excellent. So for those of you unhappy with the online changes go back to print!!!!

  2. I’m trying to find a stock screening tool for my basic purposes. I’m wondering if the Financial Strength criteria is calculated similarly between the different companies, say between Morningstar vs. Valueline. Does anyone know? By basic purposes, I mean I’m looking for tool that would run a report which would give me a list of top stock picks based on financial strength, dividend yield, dividend growth and timeliness. A friend has been using and sharing Valueline information, but I would like to explore my own options for use, and from this article Valueline is looking less than appealing.

    1. Open a Fidelity account. Fidelity provides some of the most valuable research you will find anywhere for free.

  3. I used Value Line Model Portfolio IV as an investment guide beginning in late 2015, faithfully trading each Monday based on the latest updated report. After six months I had severely underperformed both the Wilshire 5000 Total Market and S&P 500 Indexes. I switched to Model Portfolio I thinking perhaps Portfolio IV was too aggressive. I continued to faithfully trade each Monday based on the latest update. After an additional six months my performance was still considerably worse than the market indices. I use a brokerage account which has free trades, so the frictional cost of trading didn’t contribute to my underperformance. I will never use Value Line again. I find very little information on the web regarding individual performance using these models. I’m writing this hoping to save others from making the same costly mistake.

  4. I echo the posts below. They changed their website and it is absolutely atrocious. The single page .pdf reports have been moved to the bottom right of the screen and you have to scroll way down to get to them. They used to be easily accessible at the top. Also, their search function doesn’t work a lot of the time. You’ll type in a common ticker and get no results unless you first click on the dashboard function then search.

    One other thing to note. Recently they’ve expanded their definition of “professional investor.” I’m an accountant by trade, and my work has nothing to do with investing. They called me to inform me that they had “made a mistake,” and were cancelling my subscription, but I was welcome to subscribe to the professional service for $1,300.

    Whoever is running that business is completely incompetent. Everyone I knew preferred the old website, but instead of listen to their customers like Coke did with the whole “new Coke” debacle, Value Line was stubborn and kept the awful new website up and offered training videos.

    I’m loving the fact that they keep calling me to subscribe. Let’s see, you didn’t honor my subscription and cancelled it because (in their own words) “Value Line made a mistake,” and now want to charge me 4x what I originally paid. Why would I ever consider subscribing again considering the way I was treated by this company?

  5. Have been a VL subscriber for many years. Now having the same problems with their new website as the folks above. VL did the same thing a few years ago – again a disaster so they kept the old system which works. Don’t understand why they keep trying to fix what is not broken. To make matters worse, no tech support or unless you call “leave your number & we’ll call at our convenience” support. Fortunately I only subscribe one year at a time. This will be my last year.

  6. Valueline used to be brilliant, then somebody had the bright idea at the company to change things.

    Apart from the system being slower, and harder to pull up the pdf reports, they decided to change the stock screener, and not make it backward compatible, and give it less features (and it still doesnt work) ….

    It is now a useless system, their research was great, but it is no good if you can’t find it and have easy access to it.

    I was told the old features in the stock screener are available in the pro edition, which i thought was a rip off, but i tried it anyway, and nope, the stock screener there is just as crap as the other one.

    I have been using value line for years, it had the best research and stock screener, now its gone down hill. I am writing my comment here hoping somebody will turn back on the old system. Why change something that worked?

  7. Follow up to my prior post. I received a call from Valueline’s sales department many weeks after my initial request to cancel and get a refund (I had renewed for 2 years and the renewal had started only a week before). The sales person told me that they had a policy of no refunds on renewals. When I called my credit card company to follow up with them to report this call, they told me that they had already made a decision in my favor. So….. I got my money back, despite Valueline’s unpublicized policy of no renewal refunds. They are so backlogged with complaints that they don’t even realize that I am not a subscriber anymore. They e-mail me to tell me that they have added some features back, assuming I am still with them. Perhaps the site is improving, I don’t go there anymore.

    1. Having similar issues with Value Line now (8/13/2014). I can’t get the new screener to do what I was using the old screener to do. Apparently the functionality that used to be there is no longer available to me with the new site, at my individual investor subscription level (Value Line Investment Survey). Even the data which I want isn’t available through the screener. So I wanted to price out going to the next level of service, and to try the 7-day free trial they are offering. But no one has responded to me in the past 48 hours since I put the request in. Looks like I might need to cancel and find an alternative approach to implementing my strategy.

      1. Good luck cancelling. The only way out is by contesting your credit card payment. They responded to my charge back by simply stating that their company policy is of no refunds. Of course they don’t tell anyone that when they renew. Plus now they are sending me a bill in the mail, while they try to get the charge reinstated by the credit card. The did not even attempt to argue that what I said in my complaint was not true. I imagine that they will eventually turn this over to a credit agency and I will have to contest it. IMHO they are not worth dealing with…. period.

  8. I have been a Valueline customer for many years. They just “upgraded” their software such that the site is unusable (as of about 3 weeks ago). Features that I used to use to search are no longer there. Times that I want to log in are very slow to get on the site, if one can at all. I get error messages and the site is the opposite of user friendly. Tech support for their new system doesn’t understand the system and they are overwhelmed by support requests. Calls to customer support are unanswered. Requests to cancel subscription are also unanswered. Their new program is a disaster and the old program is not accessible.

    I am 8 days out from when I called to reiterate my request to cancel, they said they would e-mail me within 48 hours as to my request to cancel. I spoke with a superviisor today who also could tell me nothing other than someone would call me.

    I am processing a dispute through my credit card for a refund, but that can take up to 90 days. I started that a couple of weeks ago.

    Beware of subscribing or renewing.

  9. I love Value Line. The historian in me, prefers the printed editions to compare previous years predictions and opinion. The negatives, is that it can be an overwhelming amount of information, especially combined with the Small/Midcap edition. They have a broad range of other selections relating to larger caps, dividends, and special situations. Also, I have tried Investment Quality Trends and found them to be a fine product. Value Line more detailed, IQT more condensed. Worth every penny IMHO

Back to top button