We might focus on options trading, but the fact is that rarely anyone goes about investing solely by trading derivatives. No matter how experienced you are, whether you trade options full-time or as a side gig, the odds are that you’re also trading equities.
So, compared to the volatility and bustle of options, stocks should be a walk in the park, right? They’re so much simpler—at least in theory. Practice is another matter entirely, and on the ground, trading stocks successfully in the long term is also a tall order.
There’s simply way too much information out there—no one can keep track of all of it, and you’re bound to miss 99% of the opportunities that global markets present each day. To counter this, we (and everyone else) suggest that you limit your focus to a sector, an industry, or just a couple of stocks.
But you don’t have to do it all by yourself, you know. Outsourcing is a thing, and you can take advantage of it in stock trading, even as a retail trader. You do this by using stock trading alert services—services that have access to data, algorithms, and manpower that allow them to perform analysis on a scale that no one person can do on their own.
There is, however, a reason to be cautious. Financial markets and the allure of profit are tempting, and many people end up subconsciously ignoring red flags when it comes to these services. Let’s be real—there are a lot of ne’er do wells out there that are simply out to scrape a few dollars out of you.
Not everyone has real, actionable, and solid intel, along with the track record and legitimacy to back up their claim. But legit stock trading alert services do exist—we’ve taken the liberty of selecting five that we think are the top of their class, each in a different category.
What you’ll learn
Most Popular Stock Alerts Services
Before we jump into the list, let’s explain how and why we’ve chosen the five services below.
Apart from legitimacy, we looked at the track-record in terms of rate of return, win rate, and profitability, and we’ve also taken into account the price of the services, the level of customer support, and various additional factors such as extra benefits and educational materials.
1. The Trading Analyst – Best Overall
Our very own alert service has been in business for five years. We have a community of 11,000 members, an IRR of 141%, and a win rate of 53%. We achieved this by focusing primarily on options trading—but our alert service does, on occasion, recommend trading stocks directly.
|Proven track-record||Focuses more on options trading|
|Decent alert frequency||Alerts only available via text message|
Since the service has started, we’ve had 337 winning trades and 302 losing trades. However, we’re very keen on risk management—with the average win of a trade totaling $4.324.02 in comparison to the average loss of -$2.603.29. That adds up to a profit factor of 1.66.
In other words, if you had started with $100,000 at the very beginning, your portfolio would have climbed up to $771.0001.67 at the end of July 2023. Not to brag, but those are pretty impressive numbers.
In terms of alert frequency, we aim to send out 2-5 alerts per week. We’re of the opinion that sending out more alerts would either lead subscribers to analysis paralysis or reduce the accuracy of our alerts.
The alerts are delivered in real-time, via SMS, and every trade targets gains ranging from 50% to 100%.
As far as price is concerned, we have three billing plans available. Monthly at $147 per month, quarterly at $357 per quarter, and annually at $787 per year. You know how pricing models work—if your checkbook can handle it, the annual subscription is the best deal.
In addition, subscribers gain access to a portfolio tracker, a screener tool, an idea list, as well as a weekend report. In terms of educational materials, we offer two courses—one focusing on beginner options trading strategies, and the other focusing on advanced options trading strategies.
Now we come to the caveat—as you might know, we primarily focus on options trading alerts. Our preferred method is swing trading, as we think it’s both the most effective and the most beginner-friendly option trading strategy.
That’s not to say that we don’t send out alerts for stocks—we do, but usually in cases where open interest is low.
We don’t particularly think of this as a drawback for two main reasons.
The first is that our strategy is extremely easy to implement, and can serve as a great starting point for traders seeking to branch out into options.
The second is that you can still use our picks to trade stocks—our recommendations always target decently sized price moves, so you can trade the stock directly by using the same alert.
2. eToro – Best for Copying Other Traders
eToro is a name you might already be familiar with—this isn’t a pure-play stock alert service, but a brokerage platform that has more than 30 million users worldwide. eToro is a pioneer in social and copy trading, which is why we’ve chosen to feature it in this list.
|Accessible pricing||Not an alert service per se|
|Paper trading account available||Copy trading requires research|
|News section and educational content||/|
First things first—one of the big draws of eToro is that it offers commission-free trading of stocks and ETFs. Crypto trading comes with a 1% fee when buying or selling. The minimum required to open an account is just $10 — likewise, the minimum trade size is also $10.
So, how does copy trading work? You can copy the trades of any profile that’s public in the eToro ecosystem, but there are several popular traders who have had solid returns over the last couple of years, so we’d suggest starting there.
You can either choose to copy all of a trader’s open positions or to copy all the news trades they will make. The smallest amount of money you can allocate to start copy-trading is $200.
The copied trades will mirror in proportion the allocation the trader is using in their trades (for example, a trader with a $1,000,000 account putting in a $4,000 trade won’t cause your account to place a $4,000 trade, but a trade equal to 0.4 of your account).
Once you set up copy trading, execution is automatic and comes with no additional costs. Trades are usually copied within a single second. Execution is automatic on both ends—meaning that by using the feature, positions will be opened and closed without your manual intervention.
You can copy multiple traders at once (up to an unrealistic 100) or pause the feature at any time. Copying trades will also mirror the trader’s stop-loss and take profit levels. Of course, you’re able to close trades at any time, without disrupting the automatic copying feature.
The brokerage also offers daily, weekly, and quarterly summaries, along with regularly published articles via eToro Plus, a dedicated news section that features articles from various outlets and authors, as well as a quarterly survey that deals with retail investors’ topics and issues.
In terms of education, the eToro academy is a one-stop shop that covers long-term investing, short-term trading, and crypto trading, along with general investing topics in the form of courses, guides, and tutorials.
So, copy trades aren’t stock alerts per se, but they do follow a similar purpose—outsourcing analysis to a trusted source. In some respects, provided that you find a really reliable trader, this approach can be even more hands-off and efficient than trading alerts.
3. Market Chameleon – Best for Experienced Traders
Market Chameleon is our top pick for experienced traders. The service offers a wide variety of features besides stock alerts—it is by far the most feature-rich platform that we’re including in this list. However, that’s a double-edged sword—to really maximize the potential of Market Chameleon, you have to be a very experienced trader.
|Three separate newsletters with their own alerts||Not beginner friendly|
|Fantastic research tools||Very much a DIY setup|
|Fair price point||Lack of educational material|
Let’s begin with the price this time. Market Chameleon has 4 plans available: Stock Trader, Options Trader, Earnings Trader, and Total Access. They’re priced as follows: $39/month, $69/month, $79/month, and $99/month. We’re primarily going to be focusing on the stock trader plan, but we will also be mentioning features available in other plans for a totally honest review.
Market Chameleon’s primary draw is that it offers screeners and analysis tools that cover a lot of ground. In terms of stocks, you get access to both premarket and after-hours stock screeners, a dividend calendar, a historical price distribution screener, a fair value estimator, and plenty of others.
In terms of alerts, they’re distributed via 3 newsletters that are sent out daily—premarket movers, earnings alerts, and option order flow sentiment. Each of the newsletters approaches trading opportunities from a different angle and includes details on how to set up the trades.
Of course, seeing as how the platform supports custom watchlists, you can set up custom alerts that will ping you once the price of a security that you’re tracking has moved sufficiently. These watchlists also give you an easy way to filter via volume, price spikes, market cap, beta, and other relevant factors.
There’s a lot of bang for your buck here—Market Chameleon is definitely worth the asking price. However, before you subscribe, a couple of caveats.
First, the interface is dated—there is no dedicated platform, everything is web-based, and although functional, the design isn’t particularly user-friendly. Beginners will struggle to use the service if they manage at all—something that isn’t helped by the sheer number of available research tools in a classic case of “analysis paralysis”.
The second drawback is that the service has a pronounced focus on options—sometimes the stock analysis tools seem either like an afterthought or like they’re made to facilitate options trading instead of trading the stocks themselves. Of course, if you already know how options trading works, that isn’t necessarily a drawback.
And last but not least, Market Chameleon is severely lacking in the education department. That’s it regarding caveats.
That seems harsh when it’s bundled together like that, but we’re only saying it to emphasize that this is not a service for beginners. If you already have at least three years of experience, or trade full-time, then this is an amazing service that is well worth the money.
4. Morningstar – Best for Research
Morningstar is the biggest name when it comes to financial research. They’re the gold standard, used both by retail investors and large financial institutions. That might seem overwhelming—but unlike some other entries in this list, Morningstar is also very user-friendly.
|Fantastic source of research||Frequency of alerts|
|Stock alerts for two separate portfolios||Focused more on long-term growth rather than trading|
|Market commentary and screeners||/|
Morningstar is famed for its rating system—however, it only evaluates past performance. By subscribing to their premium service, Morningstar Investor, priced at $249 per year billed annually ($20.75 per month) or $34.95 per month if billed monthly, you get access to ratings that are forward-looking—as well as a selection of stock picks and screening tools and plenty of market commentary.
The stock picks are quite detailed, including the rationale of expert investors, and can also serve as learning experiences in that they allow you to get familiar with how experts evaluate stocks. You can also use the watchlist and screening features to set up custom alerts that can be delivered via e-mail or push notifications.
In terms of actual trading alerts, however, we’re going to have to delve into Morningstar’s exclusive newsletters. There are 4 of them—StockInvestor, FundInvestor, ETFInvestor, and DividendInvestor. We’re only interested in the first one.
First off, price—$145 annually for digital, or $165 for print+digital, or in other words, $12 or $13 per month makes this quite an affordable newsletter. So, what do you get in return for that humble asking price?
A lot—commentary on current events, a watchlist of stocks that Morningstar is tracking and will possibly include in their portfolios, a weekly email covering the latest research, analyst reports, and all previous issues.
Morningstar has two stock portfolios—tortoise and hare. You might get the reference to the fable, but if you don’t—the tortoise portfolio is focused on companies with moats and strong balance sheets, with decent growth, while the hare portfolio is focused on fast-growing companies. Both are great—however, for the purposes of trading, the hare portfolio might be of more interest.
Subscribing to the newsletter automatically means that you will get an alert whenever Morningstar executes a trade in either portfolio.
Although both of these portfolios are focused on long-term growth, focusing on the hare portfolio can be a good way to find short-term trading opportunities. On top of that, Morningstar’s rich suite of analysis features, screeners, and watchlists is perfect for traders in need of DIY tools.
5. MarketWatch / Investor’s Business Daily – Best for News Tracking
One part of the wider Dow Jones Inc. ecosystem, MarketWatch is a website that offers news, stock analysis, and fundamental and technical data. It is available both in a free version and a premium one, offers accessible analysis tools, and produces an enormous amount of content.
|Watchlist alerts available for free||Ads if used for free|
|Professional alerts available at a fair price||Cluttered design|
|Alerts you when stocks are mentioned in the news||/|
The biggest selling point here is just how much you can get without paying a premium subscription. Simply opening an account gives subscribers access to a customizable watchlist, more than 10 newsletters, virtual trading, as well as real-time market data.
The premium version gives subscribers access to an ad-free experience, exclusive member-only content, up to 25 separate watchlists, and premarket and after-hours data, as well as several exclusive newsletters.
The kicker? The premium version costs only $0.50/week for 1 year, in other words, just $26 per year. However, this is another case of DIY alerts—after setting up a watchlist, you will be notified if any of the stocks in it are mentioned in news stories. You can set custom parameters for alerts if certain conditions are met (volume spikes, price changes), but apart from that, there is no guidance.
MarketWatch shines primarily as a news source, however, if you want some more robust alerts, don’t worry. Although MarketWatch does not provide them, as we mentioned, they are part of the Dow Jones Inc ecosystem, which also owns Investor’s Business Daily.
Investor’s Business Daily has three premium plans that offer more serious alerts. The plans, Leaderboard, SwingTrader, and MarketSmith are priced at $39/4 weeks, $50/5 weeks and $29.95/1 month.
Leaderboard gives subscribers access to an expertly modeled portfolio of 15 stocks with a trading plan. Whenever an ideal time to buy or sell happens, subscribers get an instant alert, including entry points, exit points, and stop losses. The plan also includes a list of top-rated stocks, educational webinars, and a mobile app.
SwingTrader has all of the same features but also adds regular updates on the best short-term swing trading ideas. The third plan, MarketSmith, is more focused on long-term investing, offering powerful screening tools, but isn’t really relevant to this review as it lacks alerts.
All in all? MarketWatch is a great source of information, and a good choice for making a watchlist, while those looking for more serious trading alerts should look to Dow’s other holdings for a better choice.
What is a Stock Alert Service?
A stock alert service is a free or premium service that sends instant alerts to subscribers or clients when trading opportunities arise. Most pure-play stock alert services leverage big datasets and algorithms, together with expert oversight, to give clients trading ideas—basically, telling them what stock to buy, what stocks to sell, and at what price.
There are also a variety of services online that allow you to make your own alerts. This usually consists of putting a stock in a watchlist, and defining the conditions when alerts are to be sent out (usually big changes in price or spikes in volume).
Although we’ve covered both types in today’s guide, we’re primarily interested in the first category. These premium stock alert services usually offer more features than just alerts and trading ideas—from analysis tools and screeners to educational material and market commentary.
Last but not least, you can probably guess that this concept also works with other investment vehicles. If you’re an options trader, consider taking a look at our selection of the best options trading alert services.
How Do Stock Alert Services Work?
This question actually has two answers—depending on whether we’re talking about a dedicated stock alert service or simply setting up your own alerts. For simplicity’s sake, first, let’s deal with the latter.
If you set up your own alerts, the matter is quite simple—while setting them up, you will have to set certain conditions on when you’ll be alerted. This can be a price change (either in absolute terms or percentage terms) or for example an increase in volume. Once those conditions are met, you’re instantly alerted, and voila—how you choose to make use of that information is up to you.
Dedicated services take things up a notch. They use large sets of data, algorithms, and expert oversight to keep track of numerous stocks. Once their internal criteria are met, human experts take a look at the situation, and if everything checks out, the service devises a trading alert—basically telling you what to buy or sell, at what price, and when to exit the trade.
What Should a Stock Alert Service Do for You?
There are two primary goals when looking at a stock alert service—to increase your returns and save you some time in the process of doing so. As we’ve mentioned, the basic idea is to outsource some of the research necessary for trading to experts.
To accomplish this, you of course need a service with a proven track record. But that on its own isn’t enough—you must also find a service that meshes well with the trading strategies that you’ve already grown accustomed to. To put it in simpler terms, if you’re a swing trader, find a swing trading alert service—switching over to a different strategy, like scalping, even with expert help, would be a step backward in that situation.
To ensure success, the service also has to be technically sound—alerts should be well-timed, with instructions that are easy to comprehend and put into practice.
But those are just the basics. We’re firm believers in the idea that a stock alert service should also function as a learning tool—by which we mean not just offering educational materials, but explanations that really go in-depth and help you develop your own research methodology.
What to Look for with Stock Alerts
We’ve already given you our list of the 5 best stock trading alert services—and we’re quite confident that you’ll find one for you in that list. However, you have to know how to evaluate and compare stock alert services—so we’ve made a list of factors that you should always consider before making your choice.
Alert accuracy is non-negotiable—after all, that’s why you’re here. The best way to examine this factor is via the service’s track record—but keep in mind that these often present an idealized picture (results if you had bought and sold at the optimal time).
Still, you have to take this into account—in particular, look at the claimed win rate of any service that catches your eye, and if possible, the size of the average winning and losing trade.
When it comes to professional alert services, the accuracy of their alerts depends on how good their in-house team of experts is and their methodology—unfortunately, these are like “trade secrets” so there’s no real way to compare between services.
However, you can compare where the algorithms in use source their information from—reputable providers of financial data are good, but pulling information directly from stock exchanges is even better.
Profit potential is the ultimate goal of alert services. Our only source to estimate profit potential is to take the word of the services—however, if they’ve been in business for years, it’s more than likely accurate.
When examining profit potential, look at win rates, profit factors, and average gain per trade. It’s always good to read a couple of reviews from people who have already used the service to corroborate their claims—and if they maintain online social hubs, such as social media pages or Discord servers, feel free to ask around there also.
One point that we would like to stress is that even though it might look the same on paper, we would recommend trying to find a service that has smaller but reliable and consistent gains over a service that has big losses and bigger gains to offset them. We believe that’s the true mark of superior methodology, and avoiding large drawdowns goes a long way in reducing the already high stress levels that trading produces, particularly for beginners.
Risk Management Tools
Risk and reward go hand in hand—but there’s no reason to take on undue risk. A lot of what goes into being a successful trader is the constant effort to mitigate and minimize risk—and stock alert services, particularly those focused on shorter-term trades should always emphasize this.
When we talk about risk management tools, there are a couple of things to consider. First are the actual alerts—are they well-researched, do they offer attractive risk-reward ratios, and do the alerts include reasonable stop-loss levels?
The second point to consider is research tools—while following expert advice is good, the single best way to do risk management is to do it on your own. This includes following common rules of thumb (like using no more than 2% of your account on any particular trade) but also knowing how to do technical analysis on your own.
The stock market is fast-paced and dynamic—and although we’d like to think otherwise, things sometimes go wrong on the technical side of things. When that happens (and it will happen at some point), customer support is crucial to quickly and efficiently resolve the issue that could end up causing losses or preventing profits.
When it comes to evaluating customer support, there are a few things to look at. One is availability—with 24/7 being the golden standard. Next is accessibility—although we’re an English-language website, we can appreciate that not everyone is fluent. Having customer support available in a large variety of different languages is a huge plus.
Next—how can customer support be reached? In an era of instant communication, live chat is the ideal solution—but not all services offer this. The most common ways that CS can be reached apart from live chat are via email and phone call—although it would be ideal if all of these are options at your disposal.
Once all that is taken into consideration, the proof is in the pudding—how quick to respond is the CS team, and how helpful are they? As we’ve mentioned, time is of the essence when it comes to trading stocks—the end goal of any CS team is to quickly answer and address the issue.
On a similar note, services that have well-written and easy-to-understand FAQ pages, tutorials, or guidelines allow customers to solve a variety of potential issues on their own—another factor to keep in mind.
Delivery and Speed
As you well know, the stock market is fast-paced and dynamic, and everything can change in just a couple of minutes. Great opportunities usually aren’t long-lived, so speed is of the essence—which means that any stock trading alert service worth its salt has to prioritize quickness.
If possible, evaluate how quickly alerts are sent out, and keep in mind the modes of transmission. While e-mail alerts will do for some, fast-paced strategies such as scalping or day trading require much more overt alerts, which usually come in the form of SMS text messages or push notifications on your phone.
Pros and Cons of Stock Alert Services
Now that we’ve covered almost everything, it’s time to summarize the topic of stock alert services into a simple, readable list of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s begin with the positives.
Obviously, the thing that stands out the most is just how great of a timesaving tool these services are. Whether you opt for a premium service that offers comprehensive trading ideas or simply set up alerts on your own, this saves you the trouble of having to constantly monitor your positions. Without that sort of help, it can be hard to trade with a full time job.
On top of that, this is a great way to mitigate potential losses, a sort of early-warning system when things start going south.
Next is customizability—both in terms of professional services and DIY alerts, you can always find something that matches your preferred style of trading. These services run the entire gamut of asset classes and investing or trading strategies.
Last but not least, should you opt for a premium service, apart from simply securing gains from the knowledge of others, you will also get a learning experience. Most premium alert services send out alerts that are detailed and include the rationale behind the trade. This gives you an inside look into how experts think, and over time, methods of analysis that once seemed out of reach can become second nature.
As far as disadvantages go, the most obvious one is cost. Although there is a wide variety of these services that are either free or inexpensive, they usually offer only basic functionality. A real alert service run by experts, which includes detailed analysis in its reports is worth a pretty penny—and not everyone can afford that.
The second danger is overreliance. While we believe that these are useful tools, finding success with them can cause you to disregard your own personal progress as an investor or trader. Remember, past performance is never indicative of future performance—the only thing you can completely rely on is your own skills and knowledge.
The last point we’d like to make isn’t a true disadvantage—we’d simply like to remind you that, although all of the services we’ve mentioned have proven track records, there is no algorithm out there that is infallible. Losses happen, even with these services, and so do long drawdowns—while these are useful tools, they are not “I Win” buttons for the stock market.
Trading stocks is an endeavor that takes time, patience, and nerves, as well as a lot of research. Knowing how to do everything yourself is preferable, and it is the goal—but seeing as how it’s already a hard thing to achieve, there’s no shame in getting a little help.
On top of that, none of us want to watch potential trading opportunities pass us by while we’re cutting our teeth. A good stock alert service will pay for itself and better your returns—but the real mark of greatness is that it will also help you develop your own research skills, methodologies, and sense for finding opportunities.
We’ve given you a quick rundown of the five services we consider to be the best in their respective fields. This is by no means an exhaustive list—but we hope you have an idea of where to start your search, and what criteria to use when looking for a stock alert service.
Stock Alert Services: FAQs
Is There a Mobile App for Stock Price Alerts?
Yes—plenty of stock alert services have mobile apps.
What is the Best Mobile App for Market Alerts?
There is no clear-cut best mobile app—in terms of market alerts, you should look for a service that fits your trading strategy and risk tolerance. If those conditions are met, you really only need a reliable mobile app.
Can I Get an Alert Whenever a Stock Hits a Certain Price?
Yes, you can—this feature is also available via nearly all of the best stock trading platforms.
Is Stocks Alerter App Free?
The stocks Alerter app offers a free trial, but it will require payment beyond the first few alerts that are free.