Intraday and intraday traders need a high-quality stock scanner to find opportunities for their trading strategies in real time.
Two of the most powerful scanners on the market are Trade Ideas and Scanz. Both are designed for fast-paced trading and offer the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of strategies. However, they differ in how they handle scanning and offer different tools to help you turn ideas into successful deals.
We'll compare Trade Ideas vs Scanz to help you decide which of these stock screening tools is right for you.
About Trade Ideas and Scanz
Trade Ideas was launched in 2003 as one of the earliest real-time stock screening tools designed for traders. The platform doesn't disclose how many users it has, but Trade Ideas is widely considered one of the most powerful stock screening tools on the market. It was also one of the first scanners to integrate AI when it launched the Holly AI tool in 2016.
Scanz, formerly known as EquityFeed, launched in 2002, shortly before Trade Ideas. More than 90,000 traders use the platform today. The platform underwent a complete redesign in 2019 which made it easier to use and doubled the scanner's focus on traders rather than investors.
Both Trade Ideas and Scanz offer real-time stock scanners aimed at intraday and swing traders. Both platforms cater to a wide range of strategies, providing the flexibility to create fully customized scans using dozens of common technical parameters. Both platforms also cover all US stocks, including OTC stocks.
However, this is where the similarities end. The two platforms take completely different approaches to researching and helping you discover trading opportunities.
Trade Ideas for Scans: Build custom scans
The scan creation process in Trade Ideas and in Scanz is superficially similar, but very different in details. Both platforms allow you to create custom inventory scans based on dozens of technical and fundamental parameters. You can combine parameters using and/or logical operators to customize the settings that make up the scan results.
The Trade Ideas Scanner features setup-based alerts to build scans around. For example, you can create scans based on parameters such as a 25% pullback from the top, a 38% Fibonacci buy/sell signal, and moving average crossovers.
Scanz offers simpler scanning parameters based on common technical indicators, but you can scan based on how two indicators interact. For example, you can create a scan based on a short-term moving average intersecting a long-term moving average or a price intersecting a VWAP. This approach is more customizable, but also requires more work to create an initial set of strategy-based scans.
Trade Ideas for Scanz: Pre-made scans
Another difference between the two scanners is that Trade Ideas offers dozens of pre-set scans, while Scanz does not. Trade Ideas' preset scans can help you find bull and bear flags, Relative Strength Index (RSI) divergences, 3-line strike patterns, and more. Scanz says it has a library of over 100 pre-made scans coming soon, but they haven't been released yet.
One of the great features offered by Scanz is Easy Scanner. This is a one-click scanning tool that allows you to quickly filter stocks based on key parameters such as market, price change, trading volume, short interest, and more. It's a really useful tool for spotting stocks that are making big moves on above average volume or are short squeeze candidates.
Another tool within Scanz is Breakout Scanner. This scanner provides a running list of stocks that are setting new highs and lows, breaking above or below moving averages, or trading on greater than average volume. It is another quick way to discover potential trading setups that are not tied to a very specific strategy.
Trade Ideas vs Scans: Backtesting
One of the most powerful features in Trade Ideas is the strategy testing tool. You can apply backtesting to a custom scan to see how this scanning strategy performs over a custom period of time. Better yet, Trade Ideas helps you improve your strategy by showing the impact of each parameter and how your profits will increase or decrease if you make adjustments.
Scanz assumes that you already have a proven trading strategy and does not offer any strategy development tools.
Trade Ideas vs. Scans: Artificial Intelligence
Trade Ideas is also unique in leveraging artificial intelligence to deliver actionable trade ideas. Trade Ideas AI, nicknamed Holly, evaluates over 60 strategies to find the most profitable trades every day. You can get real-time trading signals, which include entry and exit prices and stop losses.
Scanz does not have any comparable AI tools or automatically generated trading signals.
Trade Ideas vs. Scans: Brokerage Integrations
Trade Ideas allows you to trade directly from the platform using your Interactive Brokers or TradeZero account. Notably, you can also set Trade Ideas to automatically execute trades from any of your custom strategies or based on Holly's AI-generated trade signals.
Scanz does not currently offer brokerage integrations, but says they are coming soon. The platform plans to offer integrations for TD Ameritrade, Interactive Brokers, and other popular brokers.
Trade Ideas vs. Scans: Scan the News
Scanz has a dedicated market news scanner that extracts headlines and stories from over 100 sources. He covers major outlets like Benzinga, CNBC, Reuters, Seeking Alpha and more. It also tracks SEC filings. You can search for the latest news by keyword or set up alerts for specific trends and keywords.
Trade ideas involve news, but not in a way that is particularly useful for trading around headlines. When you view the page for an individual stock – which includes that stock's chart and fundamentals – you get a basic summary of recent headlines involving that ticker. Trade ideas make headlines from a few major news outlets, but not nearly as many sources as Scans.
Trade Ideas vs. Scans: Ease of Use
There is a big difference in ease of use between Trade Ideas and Scanz.
Trading ideas have a very steep learning curve and are far from intuitive. The presentation can be confusing the first time you use Trade Ideas and it takes several days to learn how to use the platform effectively. The good news is that Trade Ideas has plenty of educational resources including tutorials, videos, and an online trading room to help you find your way around the software.
In contrast, Scanz is incredibly intuitive. If you've used a stock scanner before, you'll have no problem jumping into the software and creating your first scan. Setting up a library of custom strategy-based scans still takes some time, but the process seems straightforward. Scanz also has a helpful blog that shows you how to find common settings.
Trade Ideas vs. Scans: Pricing
Trade Ideas starts at $84 per month (paid annually), but this does not include AI-generated trade signals or brokerage integrations. To get these features, you'll need a Premium subscription that costs $167 per month.
Scanz costs $169 per month, plus an additional $15 per month for OTC stock data.
Which scanner is best?
Both Trade Ideas and Scanz are excellent tools for traders looking for profitable setups. Trade Ideas stands out as a better platform for the majority of traders thanks to its pre-set scans and wider selection of setup-based filters. It's also much less expensive than Scanz if you don't need access to the advanced testing module or AI-generated trading signals.
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However, Scanz is a great option if you want a scanner with a lower learning curve or if you want to trade around breaking news headlines. Scanz may also work better than Trade Ideas for some momentum traders thanks to its breakout scanner, although you can easily create scans based on price and volume in Trade Ideas.
Alternatives to Trade Ideas and Scanz
For many traders, the biggest reason to look for alternatives to Trade Ideas and Scanz is their cost. These are excellent stock scanners, and come with price tags.
One of the best alternative scanners is FINVIZ, which offers a paid plan with real-time inventory data for just $24.96 per month. FINVIZ is easy to use and allows you to scan based on a wide range of price and volume metrics and technical indicators.
Another good alternative is TradingView. Although TradingView is best known for its technical charts, the scanner is also powerful and offers hundreds of filters. The biggest downside to trading is that the results are updated every 10 seconds instead of in real time. You can use the TradingView scanner for free.
Conclusion: Trade Ideas vs. Scans
Trade Ideas and Scanz are two of the most powerful stock screening tools available to real-time traders. Trade Ideas features pre-built scans, back-testing tools, and AI-powered trading signals. Scanz provides an easy-to-use news scanner for trading around headlines.
Check out our full Trade Ideas review and full Scanz review to learn more about these stock screening platforms.