Doing a simple google search for any type of charting platform would generate a number of results, not all charts are good though. Some are free, some charge a monthly, annual or flat fee.
Depending on which instrument you’ve chosen to trade, I have different recommendations
Stocks (aka Equities):
I’m a Canadian, so I recommend Questrade for a good discount brokerage, they provide some charting/financial service on their website but it isn’t that great. Every broker provides some type of basic charting platform. With stocks, you have a wide variety of choices since it’s a popular choice.
- If you’re into web platforms, I recommend FreeStockCharts, they offer real-time rates for major markets such as NASDAQ, NYSE, and delayed rates for TSX, OTC/Pinks.
- Google Finance / Yahoo Finance are good sites as well to keep a watchlist for stocks. Personally, I prefer Google Finance
- If you want a desktop app, I suggest signing up for a ThinkOrSwim (TOS) demo account to get access to their app. TOS’s platform is quite powerful, it’s basically an all-in-one platform.
- StockCharts is good for Technical Analysis, probably the most popular charting site on the web.
- BarCharts provide some ratings for stocks as well based on their indicators.
The broker that I used and recommend is Oanda, they provide some of the lowest pip spreads on their FX pairs. But given the low pip spread (i.e. less profit for them as market makers), everything else lacks. I don’t like their web platform.
- Again, I recommend FreeStockCharts, they have all the FX pairs.
- Most, if not all brokers will be compatible with MT4, so I recommend just using MT4. Since MT4 is very powerful given how many custom made EAs, indicators exist out there.
- TOS also provides FX pairs, but if your broker provides MT4, then just stick with them. The only thing TOS provides that I like is tick charts for FX.
Commodities, I do not trade but TOS provides some futures for them. Otherwise, you could go to http://www.forexpros.com/charts/, for their futures charts as well.
Vanilla Options, I’ve signed up and tried a demo account at OptionsXpress in the past, I like them and they’re pretty popular if you don’t want to trade options with your stock broker or if they have restrictions. This isn’t really a charting site, options are derivative products derived from stocks, so just use the charts from stocks above.
Binary Options: I recommend Banc de Binary, see my review on them here: http://www.financialtradingjournal.com/binary-options/broker-reviews/banc-de-binary/. Wouldn’t bother using their charts, just use whatever you’re trading with. I trade FX binaries, so I just use my MT4, stocks I would use FreeStockCharts.
Now that you’ve figured out what charting platform you like and will be using, the next step is adding indicators onto them. I’ll introduce some basic ones then you can elaborate from there.