Stock Charting Software always makes your technical analysis easier and when it is available for free, it is ideal specially for new and casual traders. They can learn basics, how to plot indicators, and then later move on to advanced software which are generally fee based to explore more.
What is a Stock Charting Software?
First, let’s understand what a stock chart is. Stock Chart is a price chart depicting the price actions of a stock plotted over a timeframe. The time frame can be hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually depending upon the user needs.
For example, the day traders use charts with hourly and daily time frames because their need is observing and forecasting short-term price movements. On the other hand, long-term investors use monthly or yearly charts for tracking and forecasting price movements in the long-run.
So, you can easily observe the price change for the particular time frame that you select including the opening price, the highest price, the lowest price, and the closing price of the stock you choose to study.
Stock Charting Software allows investors and traders to generate various types of charts depending upon the price of that stock. This software provides you plenty of technical indicators with a choice of filters.
Most free stock charting softwares have charting capabilities for one-minute, three-minute, five-minute, and fifteen-minute time frames. While these softwares offer real-time data which usually comes from one data provider, making them incomplete, they still are useful for traders in making better decisions.
What to look for in it?
Traders need to keep several things in mind while selecting the stock charting software. Everything matters from their budget and personal preferences to future plans.
The most important thing anyone would want is the cleanliness of charts because the more clean a chart you see, the more easy it becomes to draw patterns and conclusions. Clean charts will help you isolate every period of time and study the performance of stock accurately.
One must also see whether the software interface is also clean or not. If you are able to navigate easily, then you will be able to make the most out of it. So, fonts to hotkeys of a software, everything matters.
Another very important factor is the usability of software. Everyone’s needs and purposes are different, therefore, it’s quite necessary to look whether the software is providing the features and tools that will fulfil your need and meet your purposes.
Many traders move to software-based systems due to additional features offered as compared to web-based systems. This definitely incurs them a cost. Also, professional traders pay for the real time data which is official.
So, making a list and matching with the software features will help you in deciding whether it fits you or not.
Top 10 Free Stock Charting Software
Here is an exclusive list of popular Stock Charting Software:
TradingView is the best when it comes to free stock charts and a huge social community. It comes for free but you can also upgrade to its pro version with just $10 / month.
You can access huge market data covering almost all Stock Markets. It covers stocks, ETF’s, Futures, Mutual Funds, Bonds and Cryptos for free.
TradingView’s real-time scanning and filtering, fundamental watchlists, economic indicators, community features (chat rooms, essay sharing, etc), thoughtful news feed from top notch in the industry, and 160 technical indicators are all very powerful and slick.
Above all these, its instant, quick, and easy running without any credit card, installation, or configuration requirements will win your heart.
2. Stock Rover
Stock Rover is the best Stock Screener which is available for free in the market providing you scanning for 10,000 stocks and 43,000 mutual funds & ETFs.
Its combined historical data of 10 years with all fundamental metrics you need help you hunt great value investing opportunities.
Coming to charting, it focuses on financial metrics charting complimenting its scanning functionality with focus on 145 fundamental financial strength indicators.
This does not mean that it does not offer technical indicators. It also offers 9 of them, but as the major focus is on value investing it focuses more on fundamentals with basic technical indicators required like moving average, volume, and relative strength.
TC2000 bags the third position as it is one of the best free softwares for detailed technical analysis.
The free version has 80+ indicators, with the feature to plot trend lines on indicators. It offers an excellent array of drawing tools from RSI, OBV, and Bollinger Bands to Andrews Pitchfork and Fibonacci Fans.
Real-time charts are there with the data of BATS, so you can easily observe accurate Price and Volume from an intra-day level to one year per bar.
TC2000’s built-in chat feature helps you get connected with your friends. Although the free version of TC2000 is great, many professionals still prefer the paid version which gives you wings with just $9.95 per month.
StockCharts is one of the best when you go for advanced charts and industry expert analysis.
Most of the advanced traders and investors love StockCharts for its sharp charts which provide you detailed and accurate representations, and a variety of excellent indicators.
StockCharts’ Point and Figure Charts is a fantastic offering which is absolutely free of cost.
Still there are many things missing which you get with paid memberships only, but they are worthy.
5. Yahoo Finance
The updated interactive charts of Yahoo Finance are really good. It provides traders with 114 varieties of technical indicators for best charting experience.
You can now even draw quadrant lines along with trend lines and linear regression. It also provides you with real-time quotes & charts from the BATS system.
It is becoming more and more popular because of continuous innovations such as trading via Yahoo charts and partnering with Trade.It so that you can place transport trade with your broker.
6. CNN Money
With no login required, you can get all stock charts with the basic indicators you might require.
But you can not draw trend lines and there is only one sub-window. The charts are of non-interactive format and only static in nature. So, you have to continually refresh the page to be able to observe new indicators plotted.
However, the positive thing is you can plot Earnings per Share on the chart, which is an advantage among other competitors.
RobinHood is a great software when you trade from your smartphone. You can access the stock charts and real-time quotes and charts for free without any sign-up.
Although it’s really difficult when you want to do analysis because the interface is only limited to your mobile screen, it is still a good app from which you can do opening, trading and funding via your phone.
The charts offer limited functionality, but the trade has no cost when you trade US-listed securities through RobinHood. So, the zero commission and zero account minimum is really attractive.
If you love to stalk news along with chartings and you are a day trader, Reuters could be one of the best options.
Reuters offers powerful news reports with all basic stock charts and indicators. What is missing is rolling EPS indicators and trendlines.
The best part is you can plot breaking news of any stock on its chart which is a great and unique feature in the industry.
Therefore, for global market reference and following news, it is a decent software.
Finviz was a very good software and it still is but you can not access most of the good features without paying for them.
So, it has a lot of great stock screeners, heatmaps, visualizations, and interactive charting, but you can not access them for free.
But it’s still a favorite of many traders though it is ranking lower in our list due to focus on free softwares.
10. MSN Money Central
The charting software comes for free but it’s stock screeners and charting experience is poor.
You will find lack of moving averages, trend lines, OBV, and index overlay.
However, when you get its paid membership, you will get access to real-time stock quotes.
Stock Charting Software: The Bottom Line
Though our list comprises 10 free charting software, there are few clear winners. Still, the choice will definitely depend on your needs and financial goals. The type of investor you are also plays a key role in choosing the right stock charting software.
If you are a casual or new investor, you will obviously prefer free software and not their paid versions. TradingView bags number 1 position because of the huge social community with best free stock charts.
Similarly, Stock Rover is best for stock screening and TC2000 is best for detailed technical analysis.
What do you think? Have you tried any of the Stock Charting Software? How did you like it? Feel free to discuss.