My kingdom for a good Canadian stock screener!

Nice try, mixing in some Shakespeare like you’re some sort of classy broad. You are not.

Wait, is that actually Shakespeare? There’s no time to check. Let’s just assume it is.

The Toronto Stock Exchange is, by far, the worst of the large publicly-traded stock exchanges. I want competition to show up more badly than I want to eat lunch early every day at 11:15. I restrain myself because the last thing I need at this point is extra meals.

I have many issues with the TSX. It’s filled with trash oil and mining stocks, and the TSX Venture exchange is even worse. This exposure to two shitty sectors is the main reason why I’d never touch a TSX index fund. Then, because having an exchange already filled with trash wasn’t enough for these rat bastards, they went ahead and created an even smaller and shittier exchange, the NEX.

But that pales in comparison to the world’s worst stock screener, which is located on the TMX Money website, a place that exists to give company information to investors.

Let’s run through a few highlights of this terrible stock screener:

  • You can’t input any numbers, you must use one of the preexisting choices. If I want to screen for dividend stocks with a certain yield, I can’t put in my own choice. I have to use numbers that are chosen for me. These include 1,2,3,4,5, and then 10. I’m either searching for stocks with a 5% yield or 10%.
  • Stocks that should show up in the screen are often omitted. Screens ran on other TSX stock screeners often turn up far different results.
  • Preferred shares end up mixed in regular share results, which screws up any screen searching for stocks with low price-to-earnings ratios. The screener uses the particular preferred share’s market cap and the earnings for the whole company
  • The easy way to fix this would be to make a separate preferred share screener
  • When you click on a company’s information the screener will reset, forcing you to put in all the info over again

There are a million more reasons why I hate it, but lets move onto a solution to this problem.

TSX needs to step up

The Toronto Stock Exchange could easily dedicate more resources to building a better website. There’s all sorts of info they could have on there that currently doesn’t exist. Wouldn’t it be great to have a website that has:

  • 10 year quick financials on every company
  • Historical dividend growth rates
  • Payout ratios based on net earnings, free cash flow, funds from operations
  • The ability to rank stocks in a sector based on certain valuation criteria

And so on. There’s the potential to make something really interesting, something we can be proud of.

This will take a bunch of money. I’m the first to admit that. And I have the plan to pay for it. I want a new tax of $0.02 per trade that is earmarked to pay for the best investor information site in the country. Let’s get our national securities regulator on this immediately.

Oh shit. Never mind.

On January 15th there were approximately one million total trades on the TSX. A $0.02 tax would generate $20,000 per day in revenue. Multiply that by approximately 250 trading days and we have a $5 million annual budget. Is that enough to upgrade the TMX website into something worth bragging about? Maybe not, but it would sure be a good start.

Tell everyone, yo!