With thousands of stocks being traded each minute, it’s not always easy to zero-in on the stocks that meet your desired financial criteria. Fortunately, that’s what stock screeners like TD Ameritrade’s Black Box Stocks are all about. Screeners are typically made up of built-in filters which enable you to specify the kinds of stocks you’d like to invest in.
Then they carry out a feasibility study for you and link you up with some of the best possible opportunities based on your unique parameters. But even though all screeners are meant to work that way, there’s something about BlackBox Stocks that makes it unique. Let’s find out what that is.
About BlackBox Stocks
This is an algorithmic stock scanner which relies heavily on the power of social media data. And for that reason, this service stands out from the pack through its ability to employ the use of real-time algorithms along with a wide array of handy tools.
But despite the system being highly advanced, we were drawn to the fact that its user-interface is indeed quite friendly. Just a few simple clicks are all it takes to get this robust software working for you. And on top of that, you get to bank on its built-in ability to monitor more than 13,000 stocks and options through an advanced server.
And once the analysis has been done (this typically happens every second), you’ll be alerted on some tradeable ideas within your reach. This is because all the ideas are mined through the use of high-frequency trading strategies.
In particular, these analytics are based on pre-market, market, and post-market hours. So, even as you take a break, this system actually goes above and beyond the call of duty and continues to scan the markets for you particularly keeping the social media chatter in mind.
Although the Black Box Stocks system isn’t perfect, we couldn’t help but notice that the developers behind it have done a really good job at it. The entire system is quite simple and quality-oriented. And, for that reason, we think that this screener is sure to stand out from the competition even in an otherwise crowded field of scanning programs.
The best way to understand how this system works is by taking a closer look at its features and how they measure up to the competition. You don’t want to end up subscribing for an overhyped system that hardly meets the grade. So, here’s an inside look at what this scanner from TD Ameritrade has in store for you.
1. The Charts
One feature that instantly stands out when you come across the BBS platform is the charting tool. In our view, what you get here is a line-up of institutional-grade charts.
The charts are highly customizable meaning that you can actually tweak them as much as you’d like. For instance, you can easily add studies to the charts. On top of that, you have the freedom to switch between the bar, line, and candlestick charts.
Generally, all the charts contain details referencing where the underlying stock was at the time the alert was initiated. And this way, you can have an easy time following along so you can make a good buy/sell decision.
Simply put, the charts are really nice, easy to use and at the same time, highly advanced. We can only liken them to the kind of stuff you can find on TrendSpider which is yet another standalone charting platform that relies heavily on machine-learning.
2. The BBS News Feed
Want to keep up with the latest fintech news and major company announcements? BlackBox Stocks provides you with a constant stream of news. And because too many headlines can leave you overwhelmed, you also get some built-in filters which enable you to track only the kind of information that matters to you.
And for that reason, each news item appearing on your fly-on-the-wall newsfeed is accompanied by a specific symbol which links back to your preferred watch list or alerts.
One thing we really like about BBS is that it provides you with some top-quality headlines. And, therefore, once you get onboard, you may not need to subscribe to another news service. In our view, BBS offers something almost similar to what Benzinga Pro provides you with but at an all-inclusive price.
3. Stock Alerts
Without stock alerts, you would need to spend most of your time sitting behind a computer screen, manually tracking different kinds of charts. And as you might be aware, it’s not always easy to keep up with the fast-paced markets if you stick to this approach.
Enter BBS and its highly advanced alerts and what you get is an advanced financial instrument that keeps you ahead of the pack on any financial instruments and economic events.
What’s more? Your stream alerts are eventually saved in your log making it extremely easy for you to keep up with the changing market dynamics.
You can actually sort the alerts based on factors like volatility, time and percentage change. The news items can also be easily referenced for a deeper understanding of the behind-the-scenes ongoings.
The best part is that all the alerts are designed such that they only link you up with alerts for stocks with heavy activity. And this way, you can always rest assured to be near the action whenever you log-in to trade.
4. Pre and Post-Market Scanners
These two important scanners are a must have for anyone looking to get an all-around view of the markets. The premarket scanners, in particular, help you find the lists and percentages of what moves, pre-market. You can use this scanner to come up with some early morning trading ideas.
On its part, the post-market scanner provides you with an opportunity to get the hang of things once the markets calm down. What’s more? This scanner helps you stay up to speed with the companies that make their reports. In our view, the post-market scanners come in handy during the last 1 hours of the trading day and can help you prepare better for the next day.
5. Volume Ratio
This is a highly useful tool especially for anyone dealing with low float small caps. So, if this is your specific area of interest, this tool would be of great help.
6. Options Trading
You don’t have to limit yourself to trading stocks alone. In fact, options trading provides you with more flexibility and a better ability to leverage. Therefore, if you’re confident in your trading skills and would like to get more value for each dollar you invest, trading options would be a good thing to do.
But that said, it’s important to keep in mind the fact that leverage is a double-edged sword. Therefore, even as you stake your investment, you want to keep in mind the fact that a slight move against your projections can easily see your investments wiped out.
So, in our view, even as you use BBS, you may want to steer clear of options trading until you’re really confident in what you do. Otherwise, it’s still awesome to see that the developers of this scanner have gone ahead and introduced this helpful tool especially for anyone looking to grow beyond the limits of the stocks markets.
7. Lively Chatroom
Without a lively chatroom, it’s easy even for the best-made trading software to look dull and boring. Fortunately, BlackBox Stocks leaves nothing to chance as far as keeping the conversation going is concerned.
At any given time, you’re likely to find their chatroom with hundreds of members online. What’s more? The moderators are always a stone’s throw-away to make sure that the conversations remain helpful and relevant.
In our view, the community of traders found in the BBS chatroom is quite mature. Plus there’s an audio chat feature in place which makes it easy to reach out to them.
Unlike other systems that come with different pricing tiers, this one comes with only one plan. This goes for $99.97 per month or $959 for the annual package. As is the trend on the markets, you get to save more if you opt for the annual package than if you choose to go the monthly route.
Worth noting is that the fee is inclusive of data fees as well as unlimited access to the patented Fly-on-the-Wall newsfeed.
- Lively, helpful chatroom
- Straightforward pricing approach
- Great quality of alerts
- Built-in filtering tools for relevant alerts
- They provide text and audio chats
- Pre and post-market analytics to help you learn more
- High-quality newsfeed makes it easy to stay updated on the latest happenings
- The platform boasts a simple and straightforward design, easy to use
- An ideal platform for high-frequency trading all thanks to the power of machine-learning
- We honestly think that BBS would have been a better place had they provided more trading education
- The system sends out way too many alerts and, therefore, you’d need to customize your filters
There are lots more features on the Black Box Stocks platform than the ones mentioned above. But generally, what’s included in the review above is pretty much all you need to know about the system so you can make an informed choice.
Clearly, this is a good platform especially if you already have a good trading strategy in place. You may need some time to learn how to use it – this would be well worth it. At the end of the day, once you’re comfortable using it, you’ll notice that it can be such a great stock screener to add to your list of tools.