The quest for the ideal charting software can be a lengthy one, as so many options are available to traders today. This article is to aid in shortening your search, and to discuss and review TradingView, which in my humble opinion, is the best charting software available today. Its fast, reliable, versatile, and highly customizable.
Professional traders trade utilizing the best tools they can find. Intuitive and easy to use for beginners, yet powerful enough for chartists of any caliber, TradingView features real-time data and browser-based charts that let you do your research from anywhere, since there are no installations or complex setups to tackle. Whether in the comfort of home or on-the-go, view real-time charts and your personal files when you need them. A free personal online chart cloud storage.
What is TradingView?
TradingView Inc. is still young in age, as it was founded in 2011. They offer users some of the most vivid and visually rich real-time stocks, futures and currency charts available, with the ability to insert countless indicators, using a large list of chart tools… allowing you to conduct thorough technical analysis. There is no need for powerful computers, as their servers do all the hard work.
Many traders have just one station where they analyze charts, perhaps a trading desk that has their favorite platform or software installed on it. What sets TradingView apart from the rest is that it was developed using HTML5, meaning that it will run great on any (updated to current) browser, regardless of your operating system. No need to install anything. The entire experience is web-based. Simply put, it will operate whether on your computer, laptop, tablet, Smart TV or phone (the bigger the screen, the better the experience). An updated version of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox is all you need. You can be in one room on your desktop, get up and walk outside with a laptop/tablet, and even leave the house all together and still be able to chart on your phone.
Real-time BATS US and BATS CHI-X Europe are available to free account holders. Other exchanges tend to be only a few minutes delay. A free account is a great way to try the product before committing to the Pro Plus package over the long run, but I wouldn’t recommend trading tick for tick using the free version.
I distinctly remember my first encounter with TradingView. I was still using ThinkorSwim to chart the market (which I still use today for trading). I posted a chart on Twitter, and someone replied with the same ticker, but the candles were slightly different. He was using TradingView, and pointed out that my trend line didn’t line up on his chart, but it still lined up on mine? What the? It didn’t make any sense to me.
I went to TradingView.com to see for myself what he was talking about. I typed in the ticker, and sure enough… TradingView had it right. The move played out in his favor, and against me on that trade. Though I can’t recall the ticker or the time frame I was trading at the time, I remember thinking to myself “I have to switch to this.” The detail, the accuracy, the sharpness of each candle on the screen… it was beautiful. I still try to mess with ThinkorSwim charts sometimes, but it’s never been the same. After that, TradingView was like the Xbox One of charts, making all other charts feel like old school Mario on Nintendo.
One’s first impression may be that TradingView seems basic, and it is. Basic enough that novice traders can use it comfortably. However, once you realize the customization potential, it begins to grow on you quickly.
I don’t have a lot of negative to say, but I will say this: It didn’t take me long to realize that TradingView was delayed a bit compared to ThinkorSwim. I didn’t understand why. For some tickers it was fairly accurate, others it was way off. Soon after, I realized that only so much data is free. Real-time quotes from NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX, OTC and several other markets come at an additional cost of $2.00/month per market. As an example, my current plan uses only NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX ($6.00/month total for the 3) and covers every ticker I look into and/or trade in real-time. Add on the Pro Plus package, and it comes in at a very reasonable $26/month. Compare this to Stockcharts.com pro membership of $49.95/month, and it’s a steal for a much better platform. A small price to pay for someone that takes charts as seriously as I do.
The TradingView Experience
So what makes the TradingView experience unique enough to pay for? Whats so special about it? Let’s go through a few features.
Highly Customizable Options
TradingView makes the experience your own by offering just as many (and likely more) customizing options than any charting software your broker offers up. From basic color schemes to advanced pine code indicator script creation/modification, you have the power at your fingertips. Thats right, using the pine code editor, you can modify existing indicators or create one from scratch.
I also noticed that more Bar Styles are available than with a standard charting platform. Current bars offered with Pro Plus are:
- Hollow Candles
- Heikin Ashi
- Line Break
- Point & Figure
Just scanning through the ideas stream of submitted ideas by other TradingView users, you can obviously see the differences in layouts and customized options used by other traders throughout the community.
You can customize most of your visuals by right clicking on a blank area of the chart and selecting “properties.” Here you can customize the entire setup of your chart. There are even a few preset color schemes if you decide to go that route. You can also save the current color scheme you’ve created at any point in time, and even create an entire library of different chart layouts if you so choose.
In addition to your modifications, you can adjust the grid layout by clicking the button in the top right corner. Here you multiple options for clicking in and out of multiple names at one time.
I love that at any point in time, you can just click the toggle maximize button and zoom in and out of each name at will. Makes keeping an eye on an entire watchlist, or multiple time frames on the same name a breeze.
Once you’ve typed in your first ticker, you’ll see a vertical toolbar to the right. This toolbar has several features like your watchlist, data window, alerts, an economic calendar with upcoming news releases and earnings reports, a list of your trade ideas, trade ideas from others that you follow, and some other cool social tools like private messages… and even chat rooms that are built into the system. (Click any of the photos below to enlarge)
TradingView Drawing Tools
If understood and utilized correctly, chart drawing tools can make it much easier to understand what price action is doing, and help you to keep close tabs on how patterns unfold. In TradingView, you can drag simple trend lines from point to point, drop Gann fans and other Gann tools, plot Fibonacci levels, linear regression, rays, channels, pitchforks, disjoint angles, or apply Elliot Waves. They also have harmonic pattern tools like the Cypher, Triangle, XABCD, ABCD and three drives.
TradingView Indicators & Presets
Let’s say you’ve chosen a ticker symbol, and want to add some indicators to the chart. Once you have the ticker & time frame set, click on the indicator button at the top of the chart, and just search for the indicator you would like to apply. I guarantee you it’s there.
If you click the arrow next to the indicator button, you’ll see a menu of “study templates” already built-in w/ specific combinations of indicators to display specific information as shown below:
These preset templates can be useful for many, depending on your style of trading. Others may wish to create their own templates, rather than to use presets. Once you get your indicators how you want them, simply click the arrow next to “Indicators” and click “save study template as.” Once saved, it will show up on this same list of presets. Here is what the preset templates for indicators detail:
If you choose to dismiss the presets and build your own set-up, you have a world of indicators to choose from. Though your number of indicators at any given time is limited with free access, the Pro Plus package has no limit. Add as many as you want.
When you go to add an indicator, this is the display box that will pop up. I’ve added some annotations for further detail.
TradingView Ideas & Social Community
Share your charts and trade ideas with the TradingView community and find out what others think. You can embed your charts and ideas in third-party websites like blogs or forums, share your ideas instantly with anyone via financial social media sites like StockTwits and Twitter.
Build your reputation, and even see the potential to be discovered by large trading firms that could attract big career opportunities. Publish your ideas with just a click, and allow other traders to comment and vote on them.
Social network for traders
One of the greatest things about trading is that one chart can be seen in so many ways. I speak to many traders on a regular basis that welcome the objective opinion to theirs, some even search out for it (with myself being one). TradingView is like heaven for traders like us. Just by typing in the ticker in the ideas search box, you get a plethora of ideas at your fingertips. See how the community of traders sees the same move.
One of my favorite features is the idea tracking capability. In addition to being able to browse through ideas and click the play button to see how they actually played out, you can do the same with all of your ideas. Create a library of your charts and backtrack to see what you could have done differently. If you misread it, you can then realize why.
Connect with traders from all over the globe, find ideas that appeal to you, and expand your market knowledge. Discover new methods of charting, and interact directly with those who created the mark-up. Build fans and followers, make new friends, or discover someone with fresh insights to follow.
So Why Go Pro Plus?
In addition to the standard pro package, a few key features make the Pro Plus package worth every friggin’ penny, with a few being absolute necessities for some. While the Pro package packs a punch and offers up a lot of features, one step further takes you to a whole new level.
Intraday Chart Extensions – With Pro Plus, chart bars like Renko, Kagi, Line Break and Point & Figure are accessible throughout the intraday.
Intraday Spread Charts – Spread charts are a comparison between a financial instrument (such as a stock) and an additional variable (such as another financial instrument or a numerical value). Trading using spreads has been gaining in popularity because they provide a new perspective of a financial instrument’s value and can also help to alleviate some risk. There are a few different ways to utilize a spread chart. Some of the more popular ones are; price inversions, currency conversions, financial instrument comparisons and pairs trading.
A great example of this feature would be to compare a stock to the benchmark S&P 500 index for a great way to gauge its performance – to see if it’s doing better or worse than the industry. TradingView lets you compare any stock to any index or any other stock based on % change since the starting point. Here I have an intraday (60 min) spread chart comparing $AAPL and $SPY:
Extended Trading Hours – View any stock symbol tick for tick through pre-market and after hours trading.
Volume Profile – The game changer… Volume Profile is an advanced charting study that displays trading activity over a specified time period at specified price levels. The study (accounting for user defined parameters such as number of rows and time period) plots a histogram on the chart meant to reveal dominant and/or significant price levels based on volume. Essentially, Volume Profile takes the total volume traded at a specific price level during the specified time period and divides the total volume into either buy volume or sell volume and then makes that information easily visible to the trader. The chart below shows Volume Profile plotted on $AAPL.
Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I’ve been using TradingView for years. My recent in-depth review of Trade Ideas that helped so many see the potential there inspired me to do the same here.
Discover the possibilities you are capable of and continue to broaden your knowledge of the markets. Always learning. Move away from the basic 16-bit style charts that you’ve grown so used to and evolve your trading experience into something greater. Always evolving.
As a market technician, TradingView has become a necessity. No other platform compares in versatility, customization or accuracy.