Something For Nothing
Something I am often asked, is where can one find charts and quotes for free. An reasonable enough question – when delving into the world of trading it is understandable that we want to try and minimise our costs.
Unfortunately that world of trading is not one that offers a great deal for free (TSim aside!) However, I have been looking at one site which breaks the mould – ADVFN. It’s not a new site by any means, it’s been around for a long time. During that time it has developed and matured, and the facilities it now offers are interesting indeed.
From a full news service to live streaming charts, there is something there for everyone. The quotes and charts are probably of the most interest.
European traders are very well catered for, with real-time LSE quotes and charts, all for free. However, US traders can take advantage of the realtime indices. Nasdaq and NYSE are also there, although the data is delayed due to exchange restrictions. An upgrade to the basic level of service takes care of that though.
The quotes themselves are presented in your browser window using Java technology. The layout is excellent, very easy to read. If you upgrade your account you can click on a symbol for Level 2 information. Personally I’m not a great user of Level 2 – I don’t see the need to make things over complicated – I prefer a more relaxed but equally profitable style of trading!
The only limitation of the free quote screen is that it times out after a period of use, but simply clicking the Back button on the browser brings it back to life – not a big deal for a zero-cost service.
The charts come in the usual line / bar / candle flavors, with timescales running from 1 minute to 60 minutes for intraday charts, and daily to yearly for longer timescales.
Those who like their indicators are well catered for, with more than 80 to choose from, any 5 of which can be put onto the chart at once. Up to 5 symbols can be overlayed on each chart as well, an excellent feature which I really wish more charting vendors would implement.
In summary, ADVFN has provided an excellent set of tools which will appeal to traders at many different levels. Those new to trading will find the free tools more than adequate for learning about this business. For those with more experience, the updgraded accounts offer value for money, and even the free account has value – for the 30 seconds it takes to sign up – it makes an excellent backup data service.
Resources: ADVFN Home Page
Harvey can be contacted via his website, where you can also read about his day trading course