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Chapter 3. Screening > Premade Screens

Premade Screens

Some sites offer ready-to-use or premade screens. The advantage of premade screens is you don't have to come up with your own search parameters. Someone else has done that, so all you have to do is push a button to get the results.

One problem with premade screens is that you don't have much of a feel for the quality of the screening strategy.

There is an exception. The American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) site offers a large variety of premade screens and tracks their performance over time. AAII, a not-for-profit organization, provides education in the area of stock and mutual fund investing. You have to be a member to access the screening area. Membership is $49 a year and includes a monthly investing magazine that by itself is worth the price. The magazine doesn't tout stocks; instead it's educational in content and describes stock and mutual fund selection strategies followed by well-known money managers.

When I checked, the AAII site (www.aaii.com) was running 39 value, growth, combined growth and value, small-cap, and specialty screens based on the stock picking strategies of the likes of Benjamin Graham, John Neff, David Dreman, Geraldine Weiss, Warren Buffett, and many more. One relatively new addition is a screen based on Joseph Piotroski's value-stock selection criteria that inspired my detailed fiscal fitness exam described in Chapter 10,

AAII runs the screens monthly, so you can see the top stocks picked by each screen as of the end of the past month. AAII also updates each screen's performance figures at the same time and once a year compares the performance of all of the screens.

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