IBD Leaderboard Review – Is This Investor’s Business Daily Service Worth Using?

IBD Leaderboard Review
  • Value
  • Ease of Use
  • Performance
  • Features


In the market for a new stock picking service? IBD Leaderboard is a service from Investor’s Business Daily that is designed to help traders and investors find promising stocks. This service is based on William O’Neill’s CAN SLIM strategy and includes stock picks, annotated charts, leaders lists, and a daily market roundup. Does this service have the right stock picks? Find out in our complete IBD Leaderboard review!

Review Navigation

What is IBD Leaderboard?

IBD Leaderboard is one of the flagship services of the Investor’s Business Daily, an investing platform that’s been around since 1984. The Leaderboard service is designed to help traders and investors alike find promising stocks based on analyst William O’Neill’s CAN SLIM strategy. It includes stock picks, annotated charts, and a daily market roundup.

So, is IBD Leaderboard worthwhile? In our IBD Leaderboard review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this trading service.

IBD Leaderboard Homepage

How Much Does IBD Leaderboard Cost?

IBD Leaderboard costs $69 per month or $699 per year. You can try out the service for free for up to 2 weeks before signing up for a plan (credit card required).

IBD Leaderboard Pricing

Investment Strategy

IBD Leaderboard stock picks are based on analyst William O’Neill’s CAN SLIM strategy, which was first developed in the 1950s. The CAN SLIM strategy considers a number of features, including:

  • Current quarterly earnings
  • Annual earnings growth
  • New products, services, or management
  • Supply and demand for the stock
  • Laggard stocks within an industry
  • Institutional ownership
  • Market direction

Stocks that meet CAN SLIM guidelines tend to outperform peers in bull markets. Over the 5-year period from 2015 to 2019, IBD Leaderboard produced an average annualized return of 20.7% compared to 10.1% for the S&P 500. 

What do IBD Leaderboard Members Get?

Leaders Lists

The Leaders list is at the heart of IBD Leaderboard. This is a list of 10-15 stocks that meet CAN SLIM guidelines and which IBD analysts believe are poised to outperform the market. Stocks on the Leaders list aren’t necessarily ‘buy now’ stocks, but they are in the Leaderboard portfolio. For every stock in the portfolio, IBD Leaderboard gives a position size ranging from 0.25 to 1.5, where 1 is equal to 10% of your total investment.

IBD Leaderboard Leaders List

To find out what Leaders are worth buying now, IBD Leaderboard also has a ‘Leaders Near a Buy Point’ list. This list shows stocks that are currently in or that are approaching a buy point, which is usually a support or resistance line.

IBD Leaderboard also provides several more general lists. You’ll find a ‘Sector Leaders’ list, which highlights the best stock in each major market sector. There’s also an IBD Top 50 list, which includes the 50 best stocks to buy, according to IBD analysts. The Top 50 list can be sorted based on price and volume action, fundamentals, or a composite rating that includes value, growth, and momentum metrics. 

IBD Leaderboard Top 50 List

Stock Summaries & Alerts

For every stock on one of IBD Leaderboard’s lists, analysts provide a brief summary. This includes an overview of the current price, the current ‘buy’ price range, developing technical patterns, and the company’s status relative to the Leaders list.

The stock summaries include an alerts function, so you can monitor stocks’ price movements to be notified when they pass a certain technical level. Alerts can be set based on price or moving average crossovers, and you can receive alerts either by email or as a desktop sound.

IBD Leaderboard Alerts

Annotated Technical Charts

One of the most important features of IBD Leaderboard is its technical charts. Leaderboard offers thoroughly annotated technical charts for all of the stocks that appear on its lists. You can quickly see moving averages, support and resistance levels, entry points and price targets, and cup and handle patterns. Even better, annotations are available for daily, weekly, monthly, and intraday charts.

IBD Leaderboard Annotated Chart

While you can’t add your own technical studies to these charts like you can with traditional price charts, the IBD Leaderboard charts are invaluable for understanding how buy and sell decisions are made. You can look back through months of price movements on the daily chart, for example, and see every support and resistance line that formed along with any concurrent entry points.

Another thing that’s helpful about Leaderboard’s technical charts is that they’re accompanied by a sidebar showing fundamental information about the stock at hand. Metrics like EPS growth and sales growth are color-coded, so you can quickly get a sense of whether the fundamentals are strong or weak. In addition, each stock is given a composite rating on a scale from 0-100.

IBD Leaderboard Fundamentals

IBD Leaderboard Customization and Layout

IBD Leaderboard’s web interface isn’t hard to navigate, although the layout can feel clunky at times. Lists are sequestered into a small menu that you have to scroll through, which makes it harder to keep track of which stocks are in which lists from day to day. In addition, technical charts open in a new window and can’t be viewed alongside the Leaders list.

The good news is that IBD Leaderboard makes it easy to export data to either a text file or Excel. You can also add stocks from any list to your own custom watchlists. This is particularly helpful for keeping a closer eye on stocks that are approaching a buy point.

How Does IBD Leaderboard Compare?

IBD Leaderboard is often compared to stock picking services like The Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor. However, that comparison isn’t quite accurate. Whereas Stock Advisor only offers two stock picks per month, IBD Leaderboard can issue multiple buy signals per day depending on price action. More broadly, IBD Leaderboard stock picks are based much more heavily on technical analysis (and CAN SLIM factors) than stock picks from The Motley Fool.

Another factor that differentiates IBD Leaderboard is its annotated technical charts. Few other services offer such highly detailed charts, and these are extremely valuable for traders and investors who want to do their own analysis alongside IBD’s. The fact that annotated charts are available for daily, weekly, monthly, and intraday price data also makes IBD Leaderboard suitable for a wide variety of traders and investors.

Is IBD Leaderboard Right For You?

IBD Leaderboard is best suited to swing traders and active investors who are looking for assistance picking stocks. Thanks to the combination of clearly delineated buy points and annotated technical charts, IBD Leaderboard can be used either as a stock picking service with little extra research or as a research tool for self-driven investors. 

While it’s possible for day traders to use IBD Leaderboard’s data, the annotated charts and analysis are most helpful for traders with a horizon of weeks to months. Long-term investors might find the rate at which stocks in IBD Leaderboard’s portfolio turnover to be relatively fast, although the monthly charts can still be useful. IBD also offers a service called Marketsmith for self-directed investors and IBD Swing Trader for swing traders.


  • Excellent historical performance relative to the S&P 500
  • Leaders list offers a portfolio of 10-15 stocks
  • Annotated charts show support and resistance levels and entry points
  • Alerts and watchlists to monitor stocks near a buy point
  • Daily, weekly, monthly, and intraday charts available


  • Somewhat expensive annual subscription
  • User interface could be improved

Add Comment