Building a Custom Screen

For an investor trying to build their first portfolio, the world’s stock markets can seem a seriously daunting place. There are literally tens of thousands of stocks out there of all shapes and sizes. So where on earth do you start ?

In this 5 minute introduction to the Stockopedia screener we’ll show you how to simplify the task by reducing the universe to a manageable shortlist of high probability candidates. Our database contains hundreds of metrics on every stock - from valuation to profitability and timeliness - which allow you to slice and dice the market at will.

We’ll show you how to create a screen, build a set of rules and sort the results. Using our screener you can save yourself literally hours of research time.

Let’s get started by showing you how to hunt for high yield, good quality, mid-cap stocks in literally 5 minutes.

Creating & naming a screen

You can find the Custom Screener from the main site navigation by hovering over “Screens” and clicking Create a Screen.

The first thing to do is give your Screen a name so you can find it later once it’s saved.

Lets start creating some rules.

Adding your first Rule in 3 Steps

Step 1

In the interface you’ll see a basic screening rule. It is composed of three fields allowing you to choose a ratio or metric and compare it with a value.

If you click on the first field Please enter the ratio name - you will see a drop-down menu containing hundreds of metrics. These are split across categories including Size, StockRanks, Valuation, Profitability, Momentum and so on.

We can find the Market Cap £m in one of two ways.

  • Either we can scroll to the relevant category (in this case Size).
  • Or we can search by typing in the metric you are looking for.

Once you’ve found the field you are after, either click or press <enter> to select it.

If you want to get to know which metrics are available to screen by you can explore our extensive ratio glossary which you can read online or print off.

Step 2

The next step is to define how you want your rule to work. This means deciding whether the Market Cap should be ‘greater than’, ‘less than’ or ‘equal to’ a specific value.

Let’s choose Greater Than

Step 3

Finally, to complete the rule, we select a value to compare the metric against.

In this example, we’ll choose 500 - which represents £500 million as we’re trying to find mid-cap stocks. For most of the metrics the value will either be a straightforward number or a percentage.

Adding further rules

To add another rule click the green “Add a new Rule” link and from the dropdown select “+Basic Ratio”.

The other options in the dropdown are advanced rules we’ll discuss in a future video which allow you to filter by sector, exchange and other criteria.

As we’re looking for mid-caps, let’s add an upper size parameter. Companies with a market cap of less than £2.5bn. So now the rules look like this:

We can keep refine the results further by adding additional rules to the Screen.

  • We’ll add rule for the Yield to be greater than 3%.
  • We’ll add a rule for the Stockopedia StockRank greater than 75.

Remember that the more rules you add, the fewer companies will be returned on your list.

Sorting the results

Finally you need to decide in what order your results will be sorted. Do you want to see the cheapest stocks at the top or the best performers ?

To choose a Sorting option, simply click the dropdown menus to select which metric you would like to sort by in either ascending or descending order.

In this case we’ll choose to sort by size… by descending Market Cap.

Remember! You can always change the sorting order at a later time.

Getting Results

Click Get Qualifying Shares - companies qualifying for your rules will be displayed as a list on the page and the screen will have been automatically saved to your screens.

Each of the columns in the table will relate to the metrics you’ve chosen to screen with, which you can of course edit. We cover table editing in another screen share.

Refining your rules

The first pass at screening may not have generated the ideal list, but you can refine your set of rules at any time. Click the blue Edit Rules button at the top-right hand side of the Screen page - your set of Screen rules slides open for further editing.

If you add an extra rule and resubmit (in this case a P/E ratio) you will see a message asking whether you wish to add the new ratio as a column in the table below.

You can also edit any of your existing rules to make them more or less stringent in order to refine your list.

Managing your rules

To the right of each rule you’ll find three symbols.

The first is a navigation symbol. It allows you to Re-order the rules. Clicking, holding and dragging the symbol up or down re-orders the rules in the list. This does not impact your results but can be very useful for organising a longer set of rules.

The second symbol is a green circle. It allows you to Pause or Activate a rule. This is very useful if you don’t want to delete a rule, but wish to see what the results would be like without it.

The third symbol is a red cross. It allows you to Delete a rule by clicking symbol.

Basic Screen organisation

You can Rename your screen or Delete it completely using the links provided here.

When editing a screen you will also see a small grey button with a folder icon next to the sort fields. This allows you to save your screen into a folder for easier organisation in “Your Screens”.

Your saved Screens can be always be found by hovering over the Screens in the navigation bar and clicking “Your Screens”.

Duplicating Your Screen

One of the core features of the Stockopedia Screener is the ability to make an exact duplicate of any Screen, which can then be renamed and edited.

To make a duplicate of a Screen you have created, click the Duplicate button in the top-right hand side of the Screen page. A dialog will ask you to confirm that you want to make a duplicate of the screen. Click OK.

You’ll now have a copy of the original screen, automatically saved to Your Screens which you can edit at will independently of the original.

Next Steps: Advanced Screening

Stockopedia’s basic screening functionality is designed so you can filter the market quickly across a wide range of ratios and metrics. But it doesn’t stop there.

Beyond basic Screening options, it’s possible to apply much more more searching and detailed criteria. These include the use of Rankings, Averages, Sectors, Indices, Exchanges and more. We cover these in the next section.