FreeStockCharts.com (formerly BestFreeCharts.com) is, in my opinion, the best free stock charting software. Actually, I believe FreeStockCharts.com is head and shoulders above most stock charts by online brokers on their websites and other expensive stock charting software. If you’re still using Yahoo! Finance for charts and checking the price of a stock, you’re living in a cave (no offense to the Geico Caveman).
FreeStockCharts.com’s parent company, Worden, took their flagship charting software package TeleChart 2007 (a.k.a. TCnet) and opened it to the public free to use. For many professional investors and traders, TeleChart 2007 is the top choice for charting software. FreeStockCharts.com has a database of over 7000 stocks.
*Note: Latest 15-minutes of real-time data is provided by the BATS exchange that currently accounts for 12% of market volume.
The top 3 features that set FreeStockCharts.com apart:
1. Real-Time charts and data for over 7000 U.S. stocks, some foreign markets, all major forex pairs, and market internals data (such as the NYSE advance/decline statistics Mark Haines announces every morning on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street). Make big watchlists of stocks you’re interested in and see all of the price changes in real-time.
2. Browser-based desktop-quality stock chart software right in your browser. No more worries about downloading, installing, and updating software. We are entering the age of cloud computing where all the expensive equipment and software are stored on some far away server. All you need is to turn on your browser, on any computer from anywhere, and access all your data online. Google is doing it to email with Gmail, tradeMONSTER has done it with the first browser-based broker & platform, and Worden is doing it to stock charting software with FreeStockCharts.com.
3. Access your personal watchlist and chart configurations all online. You have to register for the free account so they know who is customizing the settings, but once you do, all your latest updates will be saved. If you add certain indicators or draw trendlines on a specific chart, Apple (AAPL) for example, those lines and indicator settings will stay. You can access that chart from any computer from anywhere, not just on your computer anymore. Same with your watchlists. Make a list for the top stocks you want to trade, make another for market data. All of these settings will be accessible whether you’re traveling or at a friend’s house just borrowing their computer.
The charts are clean and easy to see. Several options are available to customize the look of the chart by editing the “price history” properties. Choose from the standard plot styles: Line Chart, OHLC (Open High Low Close) Bar Chart, HLC (High Low Close) Bar Chart, CandleStick Charts, Bar Charts, and Area Charts.
To cover users of all preferences, FreeStockCharts went overboard and provides a ton of ways you can view the stock’s chart and data. I haven’t seen many charting software that allows you to see these some of these lesser-used timeframes like the 3-day chart or 7-day chart. The time frame simply refers to the amount of time each bar or candle covers. For example, a bar on a 3-day chart shows the price range of that stock for 3 days.
Intraday Time Frames: 1-minute chart (yes! for hyperactive day traders/scalpers!), 2-minute, 5-minute, 10-minute, 15-minute, 30-minute, and 1-hour. Daily Time Frames: Daily, 2-day, 3-day, 4-day, Weekly, 6-day, 7-day, 8-day, 9-day, Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly charts (for those investors who live forever). When you move beyond looking at just 1 stock on 1 timeframe, FreeStockCharts allow a lot of freedom to customize your workspace.
Tools & Indicators
FreeStockCharts.com comes equipped with a full collection of 25 charting tools and 68 of the most common indicators. The main thing that FreeStockCharts.com lacks compared to top charting softwares is the ability to code your own indicators or install proprietary indicators such as John Person’s PPS indicator. If you want to code your own indicators, alerts, and autotrade, you will have to trade up to the likes of TradeStation, E-Signal, TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim, NinjaTrader, or RealTick.
The basic tools allow you to navigate the chart and mark the chart for your own reference: cross (see the price and indicator statistics), plain, pan, erase, text, ellipse, rectangles, and arrows. Technical analysis tools include: trend, fibonacci arc, fibonacci fan, fibonacci retracement, fibonacci time, Andrew’s pitchfork, error channels, Gann fans, horizontal lines, Quadrant lines, Raff regression channels, regression channels, regression lines, speed line, tirone levels, and vertical lines.
You can customize the indicator according to each indicator’s specifics, but also the color, period, and positioning of the indicators. Particularly cool is the ability to apply certain indicators ON TOP of other indicators. For example, you can apply moving averages to just about any indicator. Advanced traders may find that useful if they use moving averages to filter and manipulate the original indicator one level further to find the patterns they find useful. It is amazing FreeStockCharts lets you export any and all data displayed on the chart.
Watchlists and News
For veteran users of TeleChart 2007, you’ll know Worden’s extensive data isn’t limited to stock prices but also company financial data. FreeStockCharts, like TeleChart 2007, can build customizable watchlists based the the stock’s price, the price change, but also countless corporate financial data such as earnings, return on assets (ROA), sales growth, etc. Before you make your own watchlist, check out the countless standard watchlists that come with FreeStockCharts – they organize stocks in just about every way you can think of. The news panel shows you constant updates of headlines related to the stock you’re currently focused on in the chart. Like a lite version of SkyGrid, this panel brings the news to you instead of you having to go to several news sites.