Disclosure: IBD gave ValueWalk a free subscription to Leaderboard.
Investors’ Business Daily has long been a recognized source for market news, but it offers much more than just standard coverage of stocks. IBD also offers a suite of premium products designed to help investors decide which stocks to buy or sell. Leaderboard is one of these products, and I had a chance to try it out recently. I found it to be a very interesting and informative platform with coverage that goes well beyond the average news site when it comes to coverage of stocks.
What is Leaderboard?
IBD’s Leaderboard spotlights several stocks and identifies key buy points and trend lines. The platform isn’t for beginning investors, as it uses a lot of jargon and technical lingo commonly used by chart technicians, but after you learn some of the most important terms, the information is very accessible and laid out in an easy-to-understand format. IBD seems to do a good job of updating the articles and charts on Leaderboard throughout the day, so you won’t just be greeted by the same handful of articles all day long.
After logging into Leaderboard, you’re greeted by a headline about a particular stock IBD wants to highlight. In this case, it was about IBD adding 58.com to its list of “Leaders,” which are the top hot stocks as selected by IBD staff based on the platform’s proprietary information, stock charts and more.
Leader and Cut lists
The highlight of IBD’s Leaderboard product is the list of “Leaders,” which are stocks trading in areas in which IBD believes will offer attractive upside. The section is further broken down to include “Leaders Near a Buy Point,” which are those stocks IBD feels are getting close to a buy signal. IBD includes each stock’s chart with its listing and a short blurb about the price action.
The charts include the stocks’ 10-day and 50-day moving averages and relative strength versus the S&P 500. Clicking on the chart brings up a very detailed, annotated version of the chart with much more information, including major buy or sell signals identified by chart technicians. The first time I clicked to enlarge the chart, I was expecting to see the basic chart on the page, only in a larger size, so having access to all this extra information greatly interested me.
One thing I really liked about Leaderboard was the inclusion of a wide variety of different stocks. It wasn’t just repetitive coverage of what everyone else was saying about Amazon and Netflix. It’s quite likely that you’ll find stocks there that you aren’t familiar with or haven’t even considered buying, which really adds value. Anyone can tell you to buy hot names like the FANGs, but IBD’s Leaderboard goes deeper to get you details on a good mix of stocks, including some of the hot names, if IBD feels the signals on them look good.
Looking over what IBD had to say about Amazon revealed to me what usually is missing from analyst coverage of it, which is technical details. Analysts tend to be heavy on the qualitative arguments but lighter on the technicals, and Leaderboard filled in the gaps nicely.
More on the Leaders and stocks to cut
IBD’s Leaderboard also included a section of sector leaders, so if you want to see strong performers in a particular sector, it’s easy to sort that way. The “IBD 50” list includes the platform’s top 50 stocks and details about any buy signals or bullish chart patterns they’re flashing at that moment. One helpful detail about the little blurbs accompanying the stock charts is the time stamp. It enables you to see exactly when IBD staff wrote their tips about each stock, so you’ll know if you’ve seen it early enough to make an investment decision based on it.
There’s also a “Stock Spotlight” feature, which doesn’t seem to be updated as often as other parts of Leaderboard are. There’s a short section about one stock, followed by a long list of additional stocks in alphabetical order. The spotlight section places several details on many stocks all on one page, including whether or not they have earnings due, if they’re repurchasing shares or paying dividends, or if there are options listed.
Leaderboard also includes a section about stocks to cut and made it clear when the IBD staff added or removed a particular stock from the cut list. I did feel that the page about stocks to cut was rather lacking, as all it said on this particular day was that IBD had removed the four stocks it added to the cut list recently. I would have to look back at it over multiple days to figure out how this section works, but it seems to me that once you’ve been reading Leaderboard on a regular basis, you’ll know what’s going on from the little snippet of info that’s there.
The Big Picture
One of the other features inside Leaderboard is called “The Big Picture,” and it offers up a broader view of the market with bits about the day’s hot stocks included. Today’s intraday update focused on the Street’s bearish tilt, economic concerns about the narrowing of the bond yield spread, and a list of the day’s stock leaders and losers. The Big Picture also includes a small section dedicated to exchange-traded funds with short blurbs for the past five trading days.
Overall, I think Leaderboard does a good job of providing just enough information about stocks to help you decide whether you want to look more closely without overloading you. The format is clean and easy to follow. Given that I’m a new user, I can’t yet dig into the quality of the information that’s presented or how accurate IBD’s calls in Leaderboard end up being, but so far, I’m impressed with how it’s all presented.