Computerized Investing > August 11, 2012

FCharts Pro

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FCharts Pro is a stock charting, screening and trade testing program that runs on the Windows operating system. The program allows users to download historical and intraday stock quotes, screen for the best companies, chart them using a variety of options, such as point and figure and Gantt charts, apply indicators and overlays to the charts, record transactions and much more. Technical analysts can annotate charts with trend and Fibonacci lines, analyze their trading strategy with the Trade Testers, and create custom indicators that can be signaled on a company’s chart.

FCharts Pro truly boasts a wealth of features that are fully customizable. Unfortunately, the program is remarkably difficult to use, even for basic functions, such as downloading price data. Perhaps the simplest way is to enter a ticker symbol and select the show button, which will open a window saying the ticker is not in the database and asking if the user would like to add it. After adding the ticker to the database, right-click on the chart window, go to Data and select Backfill 12 Months Data. To download multiple stocks at once over a custom timeframe, each ticker must first be added to the database before selecting the Import Export button and going to the Backfill tab.

Fortunately, charting becomes much easier once everything is set up. One charting feature that is particularly useful to every investor is the ability to record actual buys and sells, target buys and sells, breakeven points and stop-loss lines directly on a chart. This makes it much easier for investors to determine when it is time to buy into or sell out of a position. Custom indicators are another distinct feature that allows users to create their own indicators and have them plotted on the graph when triggered. For instance, instead of studying indicators for each stock, users can add the signal criteria as a special indicator, which will display a number between one and four on the graph to mark when the indicator was triggered.

With a program this complicated, potential users should try it before buying, which is actually required. To get FCharts Pro, users must first download FCharts SE, which is the free version of FCharts Pro, and then upgrade to FCharts Pro. FCharts SE is entirely free and works just like the pro version, except the pro features are grayed out. After trying the free version, users can register for a free seven-day trial of the pro version with only their name and email.

Spacejock Software

System Requirements: Windows OS (32- and 64-bit) and Visual Basic 6 Runtimes (included in the installer)

Size: 4 MB

Price: FCharts SE is free; free seven-day trial of FCharts Pro; full version of FCharts Pro, $249; FCharts Pro without trade testing, $199; FCharts Pro student version, $99


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