Our StockCharts review delves into this charting platform. As you know, to be successful as a day trader it’s critical you have the right charting software at your disposal. It’s akin to running a marathon; you’re not going to get too far running in flip flops.
It’s best you fork out the $200 for a pair of quality runners if you have any hope of finishing. In this StockCharts Review, we’ll see if a subscription is really worth your money. Because at the end of the day, I’d rather you spend your money on Nike's.
As you’d expect out of a platform like this, there are lots of charting tools at your disposal. This can be a double-edged sword as newbies can be easily overwhelmed with the sheer number of options.
Luckily though, StockCharts have a program called Charting School. And this is where you can go to learn all the basics. In fact, we also have online trading courses for you to take a look at as well.
The most glaring difference between the Free and Premium subscription options is the availability of real-time data and bare bones functionality of the charts.
Unfortunately, the data on the free charts are delayed, and you need to refresh your browser to see most current price action. Other limitations from the free plan are limited historical data, alerts, scanner, intraday charts, and others.
This comes as no surprise though as many platforms charge for real-time data. On the flip side, however, their main competitor TradingView allows free real-time charts.
However, the free version would be sufficient for the majority of swing traders and investors. This is because they don’t need instantaneous data that day traders need.
StockCharts has three paid plans: Basic, Extra, and Pro. Each tier is quite similar but obviously, functionality increases with the more money you decide to spend.
It is of no surprise that the paid plans have faster data. But unlike most charting packages on the market, none of the paid plans are truly real-time data. Basic refreshes automatically every 15 seconds, Extra every 10 and Pro every 5 seconds.
This came as a surprise to me as I would have thought that by paying the higher fee I would have instantaneous data. If you’re planning on momentum day trading, even a 5-second delay can make or break your trade.
In regards to functionality, the paid plans allow you more technical indicators and overlays per chart, larger chats, more historical data, members-only commentary, and other features.
Personally, I feel a major downfall of StockCharts is that instead of a dynamic chart, you deal with images. Which means you can’t quickly zoom in/out or enable/disable indicators.
Each and every time you want to change the time frame, say 1 to 5 minutes or add an indicator like VWAP, you must change all of the settings and generate a new chart image.
Suffice to say this might not be adequate for momentum day traders who sometimes need to change chart settings on the fly.
Outside of their standard candlestick charts, StockCharts has some very interesting chart types for doing market analysis.
By far the most useful, especially for momentum traders is their Relative Rotation Graph chart. It shows the relative strength of a group of stocks compared to a given benchmark over a given period.
I’d be amiss not to mention the dynamic yield curve which gives you instantaneous market information at a glance. This comes in handy for new traders so they can exercise caution prior to entering new trades.
As far as stock screeners are concerned, StockCharts shines in this arena. Their scanner is syntax-based which means you can write your own scanning criteria. Thousands of different scan combinations are possible and all at your fingertips.
You are able to specify your technical criteria, so you can nail down the set-ups and trades to make you money. What’s more, you can create custom alerts based on your specific criteria. These alerts can be received either through web notifications, SMS or emails.
At the end of the day, the Basic Tier for $14.95 allows for up to 25 indicators per chart. Once you’ve been in the industry for a while, you’ll know that in some instances more isn’t necessarily better.
Personally, I like to keep my charts clean. And by clean, I mean no more than 5 indicators per chart. It’s up to you how much money you want to spend.
But, if you’re looking to keep costs down, at $9.95/month, TradingView, StockCharts competition, would suffice. Check out our trade room.
StockCharts doesn’t seem to place much emphasis on collaboration but instead offers expert market commentary from Arthur Hill, Martin Pring, and John Murphy.
While that can help you avoid information overload, it also limits the kind of information you access as well as how fast you can access it.
An open-ended forum, such as the one TradingView allows you a better platform to grow since you can tag along with other newbies and encourage one another during the learning process.
Above all, this gives you an opportunity to pick a mentor whose approach best suits your individual preferences. You won’t get such a deal when you opt for StockCharts.
There’s no doubt about it; StockCharts has merit but it all depends on what type of trader you are. It would be much better for swing traders and investors as the second to second market fluctuations don’t matter.
Honestly, I don’t think it is a good fit for day traders because the charts are not real time, nor are they dynamic. If you’re aspiring to be a day trader, your money is better spent elsewhere.
Personally, I like speed and clean, responsive charts. Therefore, StockCharts is not for me. At Bullish Bears, we love the ThinkorSwim platform. With its dynamic charts, modern feel, built-in scripting language, it is the Nike of platforms. And with just $500 down, you can have access to their platform and real-time data, free of charge.