How to Find Charting Software for Technical Analysis
You can find charting software to help you with your technical analysis of securities. A lot of stock analysis software is offered, spend some time determining what you need from it. Here are the basics that you should require of your technical analysis software:
- Have an easy interface with your source of raw data.
- Have the ability to switch time frames along a wide range (from three minutes to monthly).
- Show bars in regular OHLC format, candlestick format and point and figure.
- Allow you to draw an unlimited number of lines at any slope and contain at least ten standard parameter indicators including moving averages, stochastic oscillator, Bollinger bands and linear regression and linear regression channel.
- Allow you to write your own formulas and modify the ones included in the charting package.
Survey what software is out there for free because after you buy a charting package and invest the time and energy to master it, changing horses is hard. Many traders are satisfied with their broker’s charting programs, which are becoming more advanced all the time. Using your broker’s charting software saves time and reduces errors by combining analysis with order entry.
There are basically 4 types of stock analysis software.
1) End-of-Day Technical Analysis Charting Software
In this segment, there are a few charting software that are head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. Other than displaying stunning charts of stock trends, these software tools allow you to easily program trading systems and back-test them against historical financial data. They also include a multitude of technical analysis indicators that are sufficient for the most demanding of traders. Market Analyst 7, in keeping with the times, also includes a multi-touch feature which allows a trader to intuitively interact with charts and watch-lists by touch on a modern touch-screen LCD/LED monitor. They include a generous FREE 30-Day Trial and it’s worth it to give it a spin at no cost.
2) Real-Time Technical Analysis Charting Software
The undoubted kingpins in this area are Reuters and Bloomberg, but these systems are normally used by professional money managers and are just too expensive for the regular investors or traders. e-Signal is one of the better real-time software which is very popular amongst active traders and which is packed with loads of technical analysis features. e-Signal is also used as a data-feed for many fine TA software like Market Analyst 7. In terms of price and functionality however, one of the best real-time technical analysis software used to be Medvedev Quote-Tracker. Other than providing the best bang for the buck, the other main notable feature of Quote-Tracker is its seamless integration with data-feeds and integrated trading features from online brokers like Interactive Brokers, options Xpress and Ameritrade.
3) Analytical/Algorithmic Technical Analysis Charting Software
If on-the-fly real-time technical analysis scanning is what is required, it is difficult to beat the capabilities of Ninja-Trader, Trade-station, Neo-Ticker and Market Analyst 7. These software enable active traders to scan, in real-time, thousands of securities in search of ones that meet pre-programmed technical and fundamental analysis criteria. Ninja-Trader and Trade-station also have the capability to automatically manage trades i.e. set profit targets, stop loss and trailing stops based on the trader’s pre-programmed strategy using Ninja-Script or Easy Language respectively. Another notable alternative in this segment is a lesser known but very capable software called Stock-Watch Pro. Many of these analytics software can use a variety of data-feeds including live data-feeds from e-Signal and Q-Charts.
4) Data-Feed for TA Charting Software
The data-feed is the lifeblood of any TA software so choosing a high quality feed will ensure that your investment in a TA software will not be in vain. Remember, Garbage in, garbage out. Good real-time or EOD data-feeds like Reuters and Standard & Poors are expensive but they do get the job done. There are also some very good alternative data-feeds like e-Signal, IQ-Feed and Stock-watch which are acceptable in quality and are quite reasonably. Most online brokers also provide a data-feed (usually for a nominal monthly fee) which can be of high quality, see here: http://www.multicharts.com/technical-analysis/.