Will traditional small cap MI screens do well in 2024?

I posted the latest SI Pro rankings here because I’m getting a hunch - just a hunch mind you - that after a blockbuster year for the Nasdaq 100 - that small cap value stocks may finally do well this year. So maybe the old favorites like Low PS+ or High_Relative_Value could outperforml?

This may be the year that Regional Banks, REITS, retail and healthcare get some love. Thoughts?


Downer alert - I’ve been perennially disappointed by the % of small cap picks that don’t merely drop, that get crushed in the 3 to 4 weeks or rarely 2 cycles they get held. Buying IJT consistently outperformed most of the screens and/or blends I used based on the last several years.
The recent bounce of the smallcaps has been interesting, but all equity asset classes have bounced. I see it as pretty typical year end window dressing, and equally as predictable repositioning/selloff in the first couple of days of the new year.

I wonder if a better approach would be to identify SCVs being held by the highest percentage of so-focused funds or “factor” funds and go after some of those…

but then, just rotating through modern SCV ETFs with the best momentum, monthly - instead of individual screen picks from (unfortunately) a relatively ancient era - would accomplish the same thing more efficiently and with a good chance at improved returns.


I’ve generally stayed away from Small Caps since 2017. However, last year, I started subscribing to Seeking Alpha premium which gives you access to their stock rankings. Over 3,000 stocks are given a rank from 1.0 to 5.0 (highest). The Strong Buy stocks include quite a few Small Caps, and are generally ranked from 4.7 to 4.99.

I bought GCT and STNE as a result of rhese rankings, and did very well with these 2, but I also bought CLS which did not do so well. I still hold GCT, which I noticed is in some SI Pro screens as well as ranked Strong Buy on SA. So that helps with conviction when I buy.

SA claims that stocks ranked Strong Buy, if held until dropped from the list, have delivered an annualized return of 27% since 12/31/2009. Quant Rating Backtest - Outperform the Market | Seeking Alpha

It’s not practical for an individual investor to implement this, though, since there are generally more than 100 stocks ranked Strong Buy on any given day. However, it would be interesting to see how, say, the top 10 Strong Buys with monthly rebalancing would perform. No such backtest is given.


Classic - they buy a proprietary black box system (Cress, below) and then use it to tout SA premium to get to Cress’ box as a value-add. As an SA Premium subscriber, can you ask them to publish their criteria and a backtest? or get access to it yourself?

In December 2018, Seeking Alpha acquired CressCap Investment Research, a platform providing next-gen quant analytics. Founder and CEO, Steven Cress, joined Seeking Alpha as Head of Quant Strategies to oversee analytical strategies and quant products for Seeking Alpha clients. Seeking Alpha now provides subscribers with these next-gen quant analytics tools on a user-friendly platform.

We the “free public” are limited to ETF screeners these days, or subscriptions to SIPro online itself with all their limitations.


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Have you tried the Finviz screener? It has a pretty wide set of screening factors, and is free, provided you are OK with seeing ads. They have a premium plan to get rid of the ads. No backtests, though.

If you want a good commercial screener + backtester, there’s Portfolio123, which we’ve discussed many times on this board. They have a “Screener” plan where you can build and backtest models over the past 5 years, and generate current screen picks. There’s also a premium plan with 10-year backtests, and the hightest tier plan gives you 20-year backtests.


True, RD - used P123 several years ago, dropped it when they increased prices - really good, easy to use tool, though.

It does appear that @rgearyiii did get GTR1 back up and operational recently, and @lohill’s UI app (v4.4) appears to work very well with it, so that is a welcome restart.