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It is almost impossible to consistently make money from the stock market without technical analysis. I know there are traders that think they can trade off pure fundamentals. But making money from the stock market is the result from being able to time the markets. Fundamentals help bring conviction to a trade, but they will rarely show you the correct times to buy and sell the stock.
Understanding and seeing supply and demand is what allows you to time the markets. 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, I will give you my 3 favorite free charting software options (with live quotes):
Tradingview is an amazing resource. It not only gives you free live quotes to the stock market, but also to many other markets. They have live Forex, crypto, futures, and bond quotes as well. You can get access to their charting software and live quotes with a free account, unlike with most charting software. They have a nice selection of indicators, and you can customize your layout to your liking. Tradingview also has a strong community of people who share their trade ideas on all the different markets, which you get access to with a free account as well.
This is a screenshot of what it looks like:
There is a limit to the amount of indicators and features you can use (you can only put two indicators on the charts in the free version), and you also do not get access to pre and post market data. With their paid version, you will get access to all the indicators and get pre & post market data. The paid version also doesn't have ads. If you are interested in the free or paid version, you can check out Tradingview here.
Thinkorswim is a platform owned by TD Ameritrade. TD Ameritrade allow you to open an account without depositing money, and as a result give you access to the TOS trading platform. So essentially you can access their trading platform for free. You will get access to their scanning, all of their indicators, and get live quotes. Their layout is not to my liking, but you can get most of the essentials you need for successful trading from them. They also have a decent news terminal on all the stocks you pull up. Here's a screenshot of TOS:
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.
Technician is a free charting platform that provides real-time intraday charts for U.S. equity markets as well as delayed data from other global stock exchanges. Forex charts are real-time. Futures and index data are also provided, but they're delayed. Like with Tradingview, you can link certain brokerages with the platform to execute trades directly through the platform. You get access to 100+ indicators, drawing tools, and access to 13 chart types. You get access to numerous intraday time intervals as well.
Here is a screenshot of the trading platform:
You can make watchlists and add indicators to the charts. Unlike Tradingview, there is no restrictions to the number of indicators in the free version. They also have a great mobile app. One of the downsides to Technician is that it has ads, and its layout not as customizable as other paid software out there. They also don't have a desktop app, which is not great for maximizing your screen real estate for charts.
I personally recommend paid charting software as they don't have ads, they are more customizable, you can run better scans. We will talk about what paid charting platforms we recommend in tomorrow's article.