- Investment Advice
Are you a trader? Then you may know that being able to access online financial news and research can be an important tool in the trading community. That’s where GuruFocus comes in. Read our in-depth review to learn all about what GuruFocus offers and if this platform is for you.
GuruFocus is an online financial news and research platform that focuses on what the stock market’s insiders and most well-known investors are trading. The site tracks the trading action of over 175 “gurus” – typically fund managers and wealthy individual investors – and company CEOs and CFOs to help traders get an edge on the market. In addition, GuruFocus offers peripheral tools including comprehensive stock scanners, real-time news and analysis, and a forum for traders to communicate with one another.
GuruFocus Pricing Options
Basic access to GuruFocus is available for free and provides limited access to use the stock scanner, view guru holdings, and access the news articles and forum. However, most of the site’s data, including information about guru and insider trades and advanced stock scanner features, requires a membership to access.
The price of the Premium membership depends on the markets for which you want access to data. US market data costs $449/year, while European and Asian market data each cost $399/year and numerous other global markets are available. A $100 discount is available for subscribing to multiple markets.
Note that the Premium membership does have some limits on backtesting and export via Excel or the site’s API. Specifically, backtesting is limited to the past three years and exports are limited to 2,000 per month via each of Excel and the API. These limits can be increased with a Premium Plus membership, which costs $849/year but is otherwise identical to the Premium membership.
The meat of GuruFocus is the platform’s focus on how well-known investors and fund managers are investing their money. The platform lists real-time trades and portfolio holdings of investors such as Carl Icahn, David Abrams, Daniel Loeb, and Bill Gates so that traders can see what the pros are doing and potentially follow their moves.
All told, GuruFocus currently lists 176 gurus on their site and clicking through to any individual guru displays their latest trades and their current portfolio. These portfolios go beyond just displaying a list of stocks, and helpfully include plots of investments by market sector and by market cap over time.
Importantly, GuruFocus also allows you to look in aggregate at what expert investors are buying and selling through a suite of consensus portfolio tools. Traders can filter stocks according to whether they have been bought by a set number of gurus and can even look at an aggregated portfolio showing the most popular stocks across all gurus. However, the visualization tools for these consensus portfolios are lacking, so expect to use the Excel macro or API to export data into a plotting software to get the most out of the data.
While these plots may be most helpful for long-term investors, there is also some value to be had in GuruFocus for day traders thanks to the real-time list of guru trades. This display updates as gurus place new trades and shows the scale of the trade relative to their overall portfolio. However, day traders should remain wary as there is no analysis given as to why a guru executed a particular trade at any given time.
In addition to tracking the trades of fund managers, GuruFocus also provides information about when and how CEOs and CFOs are trading shares of their own companies. While this data is primarily presented as a list of trades, which will require export and further filtering, GuruFocus does have some built-in screening tools to examine when insiders and gurus are trading the same stocks simultaneously. These tools can be useful for investors who want to actively trade on news of insider buying and selling and need a more high-throughput method than simply scanning through financial news reports and filings.
Traders can also track insider buying and selling through the FilingWiz module of GuruFocus, which publishes SEC filings related to insider trading (primarily SEC forms 4 and 14A). This is most useful for searching filings related to a specific stock or a specific corporate insider.
One of the best ancillary benefits of GuruFocus is its all-inclusive stock screener, which boasts a huge number of options for filtering out stocks to find potential winning investments (similar to Finviz). The screener is divided into parameters related to fundamental company data, price movements, valuation, and more, and custom screens can be easily saved for later use. To integrate with the guru trading features of the site, the screener also allows traders to further filter stocks based on whether any or specific gurus have traded the stocks in the screen results.
There are also a variety of built-in screens that are designed to help traders find undervalued stocks at a glance. These include screeners for stocks at or near their 52-week lows, at historical low price-to-sales ratios, and a particularly useful screener that identifies predictable performers that are discounted according to a custom model.
GuruFocus also includes a discussion forum where traders can ask questions and share ideas, similar to other stock trading forums. However, the GuruFocus forum is somewhat lackluster as it has a relatively small user base – comments on new threads may appear days apart rather than minutes apart as on many day trading-focused discussion boards.
GuruFocus keeps an RSS-like feed of financial news related to value investing and its own gurus. These articles are hand-picked by staff editors, so expect a handful of new articles to surface on the platform per day rather than thousands of headlines as would be the case on a financial news platform. It’s not as advanced as Benzinga Pro, but it is more advanced than basic news sites.
Layout and Ease of Use
GuruFocus’s browser-based platform can be overwhelming to look at upon first use, as there are a large number of menu options and many pages seem to replicate information or functionality. However, navigating the platform does get significantly easier as traders hone in on the pages they use most often.
Traders can also add their own portfolios in the platform to track price changes and see when gurus have traded stocks they hold. Interestingly, traders can also add portfolios of gurus who they follow to quickly see what these specific gurus are trading and what they hold in their portfolios. While searches made on the comprehensive stock screener are able to be saved for future use, screens designed using the guru or insider trading modules cannot be saved.
How Does Guru Focus Stand Out?
GuruFocus takes a different approach to screening stocks and watching financial news by focusing in on the buying and selling activity of wealthy investors, fund managers, and corporate insiders. This approach gives significantly more weight to long-term investing strategies than day trading strategies, although the real-time trading module does offer some functionality for short-term trading.It’s like a combination of Motley Fool and IBD.
The platform boosts its usability by integrating guru trading activity into its comprehensive stock scanner, so traders can filter their original scan by what gurus and insiders are actively holding or trading. While the platform does have news and discussion forum modules, these are lackluster given the relatively small user base of GuruFocus.
Is GuruFocus Right For You?
GuruFocus is designed for long-term, value-driven investors. Warren Buffett is mentioned in numerous places throughout the site and the emphasis on following conservative fund managers and corporate investors inherently skews the site towards long-term investing. While there is real-time trading data for shorter-term investors, this is a minimal feature of the platform. The discussion and news features also make this platform useful for traders who want to learn more about value investing, although there are other resources and forums on this topic that are more actively updated.
- Plot-driven displays of portfolios of 176 gurus drawn from fund managers and well-known investors
- Aggregated portfolios show what stocks multiple gurus are flocking towards and away from
- Comprehensive stock screener incorporates guru and insider trading to provide additional filtering
- Built-in screening tools to examine insider trading and thorough record of SEC filings
- Curated news feed of articles related to long-term value investing
- Browser-based platform is difficult to navigate and very busy, making it hard to find information
- Most data is displayed in lists and needs to be exported and replotted to visualize in a useful way
- Discussion forum has relatively few members and is not very active