Disclosure: Investor’s Business Daily has provided ValueWalk a free subscription to Leaderboard for this review.
Investor’s Business Daily offers four main premium products, but across those four choices there is a wealth of information and data available to you. One of the many things that make IBD’s premium products so great is the way they work together, offering continuity across each of the four main platforms (IBD Digital, Leaderboard, MarketSmith and SwingTrader).
How Leaderboard connects to IBD Digital
Leaderboard is aimed at helping consumers identify stocks that are in or heading toward a breakout. IBD generally lists stock leaders that are in a confirmed uptrend and heading toward or are in a range in which buying them would be a good move. The key is to identify stocks that are likely to gain in the near term so that investors can buy them as they’re on the way up and sell to turn a profit when they climb to a high enough point that investors turn a nice profit and/ or reduce or eliminate losses on the trade.
One of the things I noticed while using Leaderboard after setting up stock lists to test IBD Digital is the way these two products work together. The stock lists I created in IBD Digital are easily accessible in Leaderboard, and vice versa, so it’s very easy to track individual stocks across IBD’s multiple platforms.
Looking at each of your stock lists in both IBD Digital and Leaderboard can be very eye-opening. It’s important to note that the listings aren’t exactly the same, so you can pick up quite a bit about the stocks on your list by looking at them in both platforms. I think it’s important to understand the differences between Leaderboard and IBD Digital to get an understanding of why using both can be helpful.
Generalized listings versus leader lists
I found it to be helpful to create stock lists in IBD Digital and then go to Leaderboard to look at them there. It is possible to go the other way, but the flow of information seems to make more sense if you start with IBD Digital and then go to Leader list. This is probably because the Stock Checkup reports in IBD Digital are more generalized in nature. They include ratings on various factors such as earnings quality and whether smart money is buying or selling the stocks.
You can also click on the Leaderboard listing inside IBD Digital to go straight to the stock’s listing in Leaderboard, or you can just go directly to Leaderboard to view your stock lists in their entirety. I found that starting in IBD Digital gave me a foundation of information on each stock I looked at, but the platform doesn’t go into price targets or trading ranges. Instead, that information is reserved for Leaderboard.
One place I think Leaderboard is lacking when it comes to viewing your stock lists is the ability to easily create notifications for your lists. In order to create LB notifications, you must set them up individually inside the platform because there’s no easy way to do it using your lists.
Leaderboard is about the stock charts
I should also point out that it’s easy to miss the richness of the information that’s available inside Leaderboard. When you view your stock lists inside the platform, it isn’t immediately clear that there is a load of additional information you can glean. It almost looks like there isn’t much to gain from Leaderboard if the stock you’re looking at isn’t on one of their leader lists, but that’s not the case. Clicking on any of the stocks on your list brings up its chart, and that’s where the wealth of data and information from Leaderboard is found.
Even if the stock you’re watching isn’t on one of the Leader lists in Leaderboard, the stock chart will still show key buy and sell signals. The Leaderboard staff does an excellent job at annotating stock charts so that it’s ease to see when the stock enters the buy range. The Leaderboard charts also plot the relative strength rating along with volumes, highs and lows, and other tidbits.
Here’s what you can find on the Leaderboard charts
For example, I checked out NVIDIA’s stock chart and the IBD team had entered several notes on it, pointing out places of interest. Leaderboard included a note showing where investors may consider taking profits and explained why. In NVIDIA’s case, the reason for taking profits was given as “worst penetration below 50-day line in heavy volume.”
The stock chart also included a note indicating when it passed a key support level, when adjustments were made to the buy range, and when the stock entered the buy range. The NVIDIA chart also indicated where investors might consider making a secondary entry into the stock, but only if it climbed above $218.77 again. However, it ended up triggering a “round-trip sell signal” instead.
Even if a stock doesn’t land on the Leader list, it could still be in a buy range. The fact that it isn’t on a list just basically means that the IBD staff hasn’t chosen to highlight it, or at least, that’s how it appears to me. One thing I would like to see is a better explanation of why IBD selects the stocks it puts on the Leaders list. Obviously, the stocks that end up on the list are in an attractive trading range, but I am rather curious about what other parameters are taken into account when selecting which stocks to place on the list. The average user may not wonder about this at all, however.
Overall, you can really learn a lot about stock charting and technicals by using Leaderboard. Rather than just having someone tell you that a particular chart pattern is appearing, you can easily spot it by checking out the annotated charts on Leaderboard.
IBD has some other interesting products