Making Sense Of Your Stock Charting Software Options
Regardless of whether you are investing in the stock market as a trader or as an individual investor you need a basic tool to help you track the market. For this you have a lot of options. In fact, you will probably find yourself with too many choices. There are free stock charting software pages (lots of them) as well as commercial analysis programs available for purchase. Each claims to be the best and the most likely to make you a millionaire. So how do you weed through all the sales pitches in order to decide which stock charting software is the right one for you?
As tired as these old sayings are they are worth remembering when it comes to stock charting software. First of all buyer beware. While it’s tempting to dive in using a free stock charting software package you need to do your homework. You may not be investing any cash to get started but you will definitely be making a significant investment in time. The naked truth is that all analysis programs are not created equal. Read reviews, download trial packages, and put the software through its paces before you invest a lot of time (and maybe money). Compare features and make sure that the program will do what you need it to do without changing the way you normally work. This applies to the commercial packages as well.
The next thing to remember is that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. While there are many excellent free programs out there, no single free stock market charting software package does everything the industry leading commercial packages do. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find one that will suit your purposes just that you need to be careful in believing everything you read about a given package. That is not to say that every commercial package is adequate either. Just that you need to be careful and give each every stock charting software package a good look before you make your final decision.
Ok, so now that the warnings have been issued what do you look for when trying to determine which stock charting software package is right for you? Not surprisingly the first step is to think about what you really need. Do you need to track multiple markets (i.e. Forex, stocks, commodities, options, etc.) or are your needs less complex? Second, does the package use the industry standard data sets or will you need to modify the data? The data you use to feed the program is a big consideration. You don’t want to race over this point.
Other factors to consider are the longevity of the company providing the software—will they be around to support the software and what type of support do they offer. If you have not used stock charting software before it may take you a little while to get the hang of it. The odds are you will need technical support at some point.
So take your time and do your homework. You will find a tool that meets your needs and your budget. All it takes is a little patience and an open mind.
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