A Riddle in Bronze

Why use charting software?

This is a question which comes up fairly often. There are plenty of websites where you can look up stock charts, add tickers to a portfolio and enter your transactions. So why would you go to the trouble of buying, downloading and installing charting software, then downloading and importing stock charting data into it? Isn't it too much of a hassle?

Well, there are several reasons why you might want to use charting software:

• Availability. If it's installed on your computer you don't need an internet connection. You can take it with you on your laptop too.
• Easy export of data, transactions and chart images. These are often complicated or non-existent with online charting sites.
• Stock scanning with custom formulae. Some online sites allow you to scan stock data now, but I don't believe any of them offer the kind of functionality you get in charting programs.
• Speed: with charting software you don't get internet lag because everyone else is using the same website, or because someone else in your household is downloading gigabytes of data over your broadband connection.
• Multi-screen support: Sure, you can display web browsers in multiple windows, but FCharts allows you to update all the different chart windows at once. Try that with a bunch of websites.
• Reporting: Many stock programs have portfolio functions with end-of-year reporting.
• Privacy. I don't know about you, but I'm not comfortable with entering my stock purchases and sales into a website. I prefer to keep my financial transactions to myself.

The good news is that you don't even have to pay for charting software, if you don't want to. There are free charting programs like FCharts SE which you can download and run without any registration fees.