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How To Screen And Backtest US Stocks With Finviz Elite


I have been using the free version of Finviz on a daily basis for several years.

Just recently I decided to subscribe to Finviz Elite to take advantage of the live market data, more powerful screener and backtesting features.

So far I have been more than happy with that decision. At $25 per month, I think the service offers amazing value for money and I have already seen it have a real improvement to my trading and analysis.

I don’t say that because I’m using an affiliate link. In a sea of over-priced trading products, Finviz is a rare gem.

In the rest of this article, I will take a look at what comes with Finviz Elite and then test a trading system using the backtesting feature.

Finviz Elite

finviz elite logoFinviz has been one of my favourite trading tools for some time. Finviz Elite offers the same powerful functionality with added premium features. Such as:

• Real-time and pre-market data
• Advanced charts and screener
• Correlations and backtesting
• Alerts, notifications, visualisations and advanced customisations

finviz elite stock screener
Filters on the Finviz screener

Real-time And Pre-Market Stock Data

The main reason I decided to subscribe to Finviz Elite in the first place was for the real-time and pre-market data. This is an extremely powerful feature for me because it lets me screen thousands of stocks on a multitude of factors in real-time and during the pre-market session.

It allows me to save screens as presets, load them up at any time of the day and quickly eyeball useful trade setups. It saves time and serves as a great way to find trade ideas.

You can screen and rank on a huge number of filters and also export the data into Excel which opens up all sorts of possibilities as well.

The charts are not as customisable as some other platforms but for me, that is not necessarily a bad thing as I don’t want to succumb to ‘technical analysis paralysis’.

Using The Finviz Backtester

Although I mostly signed up for the live data and the screener, the Finviz backtesting feature adds a lot of additional value.

It lacks the power and functionality of a program like Amibroker (where you can program your own formulas) but Finviz is extremely useful for quickly evaluating trade ideas.

Using the backtester you can test around 100 technical indicators on survivorship-bias free stock data going back to 1996.

You can’t test fundamental rules but you can combine indicators, add in transaction costs, stop losses, time-based exits and then compare your results to the benchmark.

As an example, I created the following strategy based on the Money Flow Index indicator. The whole process took just a couple of minutes.

Money Flow Index Strategy

To use the Finviz backtester you simply click backtests and then enter the strategy settings and rules you want to test.

For this example I’ve set the stock universe to the Russell 3000 with a minimum daily volume of one million shares and I’ve set transaction costs to 0.05% per trade.

The start date is set at 06/03/1996 and the end date to 01/01/2015. Below that we have the strategy rules which I’ve filled in as follows:

finviz backtest rules
Setting up the backtest

So this system will scan the Russell 3000 and it will buy whenever the 5-day MFI crosses below 10. This suggests the stock is oversold.

It then sells when the MFI crosses above 90 OR after 10 trading days. You can also add in stop losses here but for this example no stops are used.

By the way, the money flow index is an oscillator that uses both price and volume to measure buying and selling pressure, also known as volume-weighted RSI, it’s  good way to find stocks that may be near exhaustion. You can read more about it here.

Backtest Results

Running the test took less than a minute.

As you can see from the charts, Finviz shows you the results in a number of different formats and let’s you compare the performance to the buy and hold benchmark return on both SPY and the equal-weighted SPY.

The strategy (blue line) shows an impressive return of 17.71% per year albeit with a large drawdown of 63%. We then see some more system statistics and details.

backtesting finviz equity curve for money flow indicator

backtesting finviz strategy unique stocks

finviz backtest with money flow table of results

backtesting with finviz monthly returns

As you can see, the money flow index system has performed extremely well since 1996 so this might be an idea that is worth exploring further.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised with the Finviz backtester.

I can now run some very quick initial tests and if I find something useful I can take it into Amibroker and explore it further there.

If you are an experienced programmer then you will probably find it too basic for your needs.

But if you are a relative beginner or you want to quickly evaluate simple trade ideas then the backtester is very useful.

Combined with all the other features, Finviz Elite is a great value for money trading product.

Comments (8)

I’ve been using the free version, and I did not know what I was missing! I think ‘ill upgrade and test several ETF/Bond/Equity strategies from the good folks at Quantpedia.

At the moment you can only backtest on US stocks so no bonds, futures or ETFs. The backtester is good for testing simple ideas using technical indicators.

If you are interested in ETFs,one good option is ETFreplay.com. Also, take a look at Quantpicker.com which I believe is from some of the same people as Finviz.


There seems to be no way to backtest my custom stock screener, which sucks. Without back testing my screener, I don’t have confidence to use it.
The backtesting feature is completely designed for technical indicators.

Unfortunately there are considerable difficulties obtaining point in time fundamental data and making it accurate enough for backtesting. I have found very few services that can do it. The best option I have found is Portfolio123. There is a free trial available.

I am a registered user and I was thinking of subscribing to the Elite version. Are there any ways of testing value investing or trading methods through the Elite version? I know that there are mostly technical indicators and that works for day trading. I would love to subscribe if there were such features for value investing as well.

Unfortunately not. The backtester is very basic and can only be used for some technicals. Take a look at Portfolio123 for value investing simulations.

Does the backtesting tool, in addition to the historical results, offer the trading signals of the system?

No I don’t believe so.

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