How many financial assets investment tracking charts do you know? Identifying and understanding these crucial trading tools is the rightful starting point for any trader before downloading a charting software. Skipping this critical step or skimming through it isn’t a good look, especially for short-term securities strategists such as day traders.
Trading charts primarily revolve around trading indicators. You’ll need to learn and grasp all the relevant technical indicators and tie them to a technical trading analysis chart. Full disclosure: technical analysis and charting as a whole is no walk in the park.
It requires a keen eye and analytical mindset for you to get near-perfect estimates. One wrong move could result in unreliable data and massive losses. For good measure, smart traders leverage short-term fundamental evaluation from quarterly and half-year financial reports. They combine their findings to double down on technical analysis.
Trading indicators mainly stem from the use of statistical methods and mathematical calculations, which provide the financial data for charting. The indicators include:
- Historical price trends and movement of securities
- Volume and momentum of assets traded to chart on-balance volume shifts (the difference between total volume traded when there is a price rally and when the prices are dipping)
- Oscillators – used to chart overbought and oversold securities usually over a short-term trading period
- Moving averages (simple, and convergence and divergence averages) – used to chart price averages over a particular period, for instance, 20 days, 50 days, or 200 days
- Support and resistance levels – used to chart specific security supply and demand zones to indicate the position of buyers and sellers
- Open interest on derivatives (futures and options) – used to chart the total number of open/outstanding derivative contracts
- Relative strength index – charts the gains and losses on securities
New trading strategies keep coming up from time to time. And there’s continuous development of the current ones, which makes for a huge pool of indicators that traders can use. The more indicators a trader is aware of, the more trading charts and charting software they’re able to employ.
Most charts that you’re likely to come across are price and volume charts, as expected, which include:
- Tick charts – show a tick or bar to indicate the number of trades that have occurred. Typically, 1 tick = 1 trade, for instance, a 144-tick chart illustrates a bar to symbolize a transaction every time you make 144 trades
- Minute charts – show price changes after set time intervals; for instance, five-minute or twenty-minute stock charts show the movement in stock prices and volume after the set time lapses.
- Japanese Candlestick charts – show the daily highs and lows of prices of equity securities, derivatives, and currencies. They’ll also indicate the closing prices and opening prices over the short run and long run as well
- Renko charts – built purely on price movements as opposed to price changes at timed intervals and volume traded like most technical charts
- Line and bar charts
More often than not, a chart will derive its name from the technical indicator plotted and the security analyzed.
Look at these examples:
- Apple stock moving average chart
- A Tesla relative strength index chart
- An on-balance chart for an S&P 500 exchange-traded fund (ETF)
The moment you see such charts, your heuristic financial instincts are automatically triggered. Trading charts have one sole purpose: to get the most accurate prediction of a security’s price movement, and hopefully land a profitable trading opportunity.
Here is a list of the best stock charting software in the market:
Open a charting account with TradingView for one of the most vibrant stock charting experiences. Here you’ll get access to 1, 5, and 15-minute timestamp stock charts. Also available is a selection of stock trading technical indicators and tools that enable the establishment of price watchlists and timely alerts.
The free version is doable for the casual trader. But TradingVeiw pro at the cost of $14.95 per month or a $9.95 monthly billing over a biannual plan gives you the keys to more advanced charting tools.
The web-based platform offers scanner enabled charting leverage in different markets and with real-time data. It’s also great for customizing charts, social interactions, and exchange of trading ideas.
As part of the TC2000 award-winning stock charting and trading software family, FreeStockCharts is the ideal program to open your no-cost and credit-card-free charting account.
With this stock charting tool, you can create technical indicator visuals for all US-stocks. You can even practice free trading with those stock charts using paper or virtual money.
Use FreeStockCharts to graph trend lines and patterns and gauge the size of swings. It’s also possible to include additional notes on a particular chart and create a library of charts that back up automatically.
Retrieve the charts upon login and pick up from where you left. The platform has lost of indicators and allows for the plotting of the indicators themselves. You can plot indicators of stock indicators, for instance. How is that for unique features?
How would you like to get free stock charts for all New York and Nasdaq exchange-listed stocks? That’s what you get on Yahoo Finance. Yahoo Finance also uses current market news to list real-time quotes of these very stocks that you can use to make up to date stock charts yourself. Free Yahoo Finance generated stock charts are interactive and useful to both novice and skilled traders.
At a monthly charge of $34.99, you can get access to sophisticated charting tools that use more than 100 technical indicators. Moreover, live chat customer support and third-party stock market research make up part of the goodies in your paid subscription. CNN Money and Reuters offer similar basic stock charts with different rates for premium tools.
You can try out stock charting tools on StockCharts to see whether the paid platform improves your technical trading analysis. Though they only have paid packages, starting from $14.95 per month, they offer a 30-day free trial.
Top on their agenda for stock traders is to provide fast charting capabilities at the click of a few buttons, enable running of custom stock scans, and programmed alerts to fit your technical trading style. You can also evaluate your open stock positions, control portfolios, and time exists with the chart lists you create, all under one roof/software.
Paid or free stock charting software: what’s your stand? If you have experience with stock charts, spotting an overrated paid charting software can be easy for you. Don’t blow your money on so-called premium software when you know that a free version can suffice your stock charting needs. Most paid charting software have trial periods that lead up to a premium plan, and you can always abort if the deal doesn’t feel or sound right.
For all you beginner stock traders, use freeware for your stock charting needs. Most online trading brokers such as TD Ameritrade, Interactive brokers, and TradinStation have essential stock charting tools incorporated into their platforms. Just sign up for a stock trading account at $0 minimums and get direct access immediately. Or get started on one of the recommendations listed here.