Real-time stock quotes and charts are actively used in stock trading and also in ETF trading. Daytraders use them as their main stock analysis tool and also main technical stock charts for monitoring their open trades. Swing traders use them often and realtime stock charts can be found in the stock chart time-frame setup of position traders, too.
But all these realtime stock charts need one important thing to work. They need good realtime market quotes to be delivered to the computer. Any chart analysis software or broker software needs live market quotes to be able to produce technical price charts.
There are several options how live market quotes could be provided. There are live stock quotes and charts available directly from exchanges. Another option is to use online trading broker as provider of stock quotes and charts. And finally there are also independent providers of real time market quotes.
What are options for real-time stock quotes and charts?
So if you think about using real-time charts you need to select good and reliable source of live market quotes. There is one important issue with realtime quotes. They are not available free of charge.
Why? These data are provided by major exchanges and all of these exchanges charge some fee for providing live market quotes. But it is possible to find some deals which allow you to lower your cost of these data. There are generally two basic options to obtain realtime quotes for your real-time charts.
Stock broker as real-time quotes provider
First is your broker.
Best brokers provide real-time quotes as part of their service. As I mentioned above, they charge a small fee for providing realtime data for stocks and ETFs. But there is a possibility that they will lower your data fee or waive it completely if you generate some commissions by trading with these brokers. Check if you broker offers such a waiver possibility.
If you use independent chart analysis software like I do, then it is important to check if data provided by such a broker can be used in your software. Is it important as charts available in broker software are often only basic charts and it is much better to use independent software, like AmiBroker.
Independent real-time quotes providers
The second option is a specialized data provider company. These companies are specialists in providing real-time data for traders and investors. So they will not provide their service for free. But there are some advantages to using their services.
They provide data from different stock exchanges around the world. Really good realtime data providers provide not only US equity exchanges but also US futures exchanges, Forex and also international exchanges. It is very important as we can now trade on different exchanges around the world.
Another important option is the possibility to use their data in independent chart analysis software. Although these real-time quotes providers often provide their own chart analysis software their list of features is not so good as Amibroker’s.
It is also good to use independent market analysis software for possible changes in the future. What if the service of this data provider will go down in quality? Then we have to consider changing and if we use independent software we only need to change the data source. We don’t need to learn new charting software.