Technical analysis is essential for profitable day trading and swing trading, no matter what instrument you trade. Charting software is a crucial tool that allows traders to perform this analysis of the markets.
Fundamentals help bring conviction to trade, but they will rarely show you the correct times to buy and sell the stock. Understanding supply and demand are what allows you to time the markets. Timing at the end of the day is what matters in trading and investing.
And that is why we as momentum traders need to understand technical analysis, and why we need stock charts. I personally use and recommend paid charting software for serious traders, but I know there is a lot of aspiring traders out there who are unable/unwilling to spend the money.
For this reason, today we will give you 3 great FREE charting software to help you get off the ground:
TradingView: Free Charting Software for Stocks, Crypto, FX, Futures
Tradingview has been a fan favorite for years, growing in popularity among many industries. This is a cloud-based platform with a mobile app, making it ideal for swing traders and long-term investors.
The basic version of TradingView is 100% free, but will have some limitations. If you are looking to slap a few basic trendlines and indicators on your charts though on a single chart, and don’t mind dealing with ads from time to time, this is a great and easy option that takes only minutes to set up.
The data feed is pretty fast on TradingView, and even their paid subscription packages are extremely low. With this program as well, you get access to not only the stock market but you also will get quoted on currencies, crypto, commodities, futures, and even some international markets. Just be aware as well, the free version for some futures symbols will be delayed.
ThinkorSwim: Free Charting Platform If You Open TD Ameritrade Account
Think or swim is more robust than TradingView, and is another great free option.
All you have to do is set up a TD Ameritrade account, and you are good to go. This is a downloadable software program for PC and Mac unlike TradingView, which does come with its benefits of being more stable at times.
ThinkorSwim has a ton of custom capabilities too and configurability. Unlike the free version of TradingView, ThinkorSwim will allow you to code custom indicators right off of the bat, add any indicator you’d like to your charts with no restriction, and open multiple charts/desktops at once. They even have option chains, basic level 2 data, and time & sales. You will also get access to the multiple markets and quotes like TradingView allows, such as major crypto pairs, futures, commodities, and currencies. All of this will be REAL TIME data for free.
If you don’t mind opening a TD Ameritrade account, this will be a very powerful charting option for you. You don’t need to fund the account to access live data and quotes. They have a cool feature called “OnDemand” (see top right) where you can go back to any given day in the market and rewatch charts play out. A great tool for reviewing past plays and seeing how they played out. They also have a simulator that is decent for refining your skills when you are new.
This program is 99% free, and what we mean by that is they do require you to open an account and deposit a minimum $100 (which can be removed at any time), but you can withdraw at any time and still have free access for up to a year to the platform.
TradeStation is another robust, sharp, and infinitely configurable platform many pro traders and quants use. It is a downloadable software program like Think or Swim, and is extremely reliable.
You will be able to access the equity markets, some basic futures symbols like @ES and @NQ, as well as some of the major crypto pairs for free. All of this will be REAL TIME data for free. This is a great free platform for anyone who wants a configurable platform that can assist you in later branching out to the algorithmic side of things.
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