I am thinking about a tab for some high end charting.

I have access to a charting engine that has 100s — literally — of technical studies. It Java based, and is pretty slick.

It costs $1,000s of dollars in license fees, but that cost spread out over the course of a year is not too bad; the advertising income would make it close to a break even. And, a sponsor or two and its no longer a money loser.

Its not quite a Bloomberg terminal, but its light years ahead of the various free charts.

It might make a good addition to replace a tab I am thinking about dropping (Jobs Listings)

Any thoughts?


Category: Markets, Technical Analysis, Trading, Weblogs

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

68 Responses to “High End Technical Studies/Charting ?”

  1. houstonguy says:

    Which software are you looking at? The java charting libraries? Just curious.

  2. toudavis says:

    BR – def a fan of the idea. Hope you go through with it.

  3. adeev says:

    If it is much better than other free engines you might expect to see an increase in traffic. I hope your ad revenue will cover for this.

  4. MorticiaA says:

    Yes, yes, yes on the chart tab, and agree on the Job Postings as victim. If I was seeking employment (thank God I’m not), I’d do my own searches through the sites that specialize in my specific field.

  5. Steve Barry says:

    Nice…also give us the ability to create a custom chart for others to use, such as “Steve Barry’s Put/Call Chart”…

  6. Porsche87 says:

    Absolutely, that would be fantastic. However, are you sure you can use them on a public site without running afoul of the licensing?

  7. tradeking13 says:

    me likey.

  8. Florida says:

    I definitely like the idea of putting a charts/technical analysis tab on the site.

  9. Scott F says:

    What about the actual price data?

    I know the real time data is exhorbitant, but even 15 minute delayed data is much more than the software license .

  10. Licensing is for any usage at all — you just can’t resell the actual code. (I’ve seen this engine power services that charge $20 month).

    Fusion is already paying for that data — I could always work out a sponsorship with them (i.e., charting software sponsored by Fusion IQ) for the delayed data, using it to power the software engine.

  11. Jacker7 says:

    Great idea! This is my first stop for finance and economic news every day and adding a charts tab would improve the daily experience.

  12. Tom K says:

    Speaking of charts, I thought y’all would enjoy this one.


    Who says politics doesn’t pay?

  13. tranchefoot says:

    ooohh… maybe AT can tutor us in elliot wave TA!

  14. xbreed3 says:

    Please. I would visit more. And I promise to pay more attention to the advertisers.

  15. Optionstrader says:

    Are you kidding me? Its a great idea, long time fan first post here, never a fan of comments but this I had to comment on.
    It would be just wonderful to have a great charting tool. I use stockcharts and am looking to somehow do more.

  16. Optionstrader says:

    Sorry , “It’s” not Its. Someone is particular about those things here.

  17. Bob the unemployed says:

    I like the idea. Would I be able to annotate a chart, then have a permalink to that chart?

  18. going broke says:

    BR, sounds like a verygood idea. Would be nice to have a daily column that is mostly technical, charting, who’s buying/selling what. Doing so, other topic comments would stay more subject related.

  19. KC says:

    Yes, Please!

  20. Bruce in Tn says:

    I would drop the jobs listing. 30k gone from Circuit City and I understand 10k from GE announced today. I like the charting idea.


    Job cuts roundup: GE, Hertz, WellPoint, AMD announce they will lay off employees

  21. Mathew says:

    Barry, Slightly off topic, but… one of my favorite reads in the comment threads are when you ask people what they’re trading, or what they’ve traded. You might want to consider doing that once a week (fridays,or maybe mondays) as a sort of “open trading thread”. I don’t know of any of the other econ bloggers doing a similar thing regularly….

  22. Joe McCann says:

    I say you do it cheaper by hiring a solid web developer and develop you’re own using the Google Charts Webservice (API).

  23. R.D. says:

    Charting? DO it.

  24. Bob A says:

    why not? potentially bring a lot of users.

    …and i would say…there is no way to hire a webdeveloper and do it yourself ‘cheap’

  25. Moss says:

    You should add a tab called education, put charting under that… add things as you go. God knows all the people that need some sort of financial literacy. A Big Picture Wiki.

  26. sounds like a good idea BR….and your site is valuable enough already that you could charge a nominal fee for add-ons like this, IMO, without running off too many.

  27. JohnathanStein says:

    How ’bout pointing us to a site that has that service, so we can see it? Or a couple of sample charts?

  28. sunil says:

    Joe McCann says:
    I say you do it cheaper by hiring a solid web developer and develop you’re own using the Google Charts Webservice (API).

    I actually did this. I built a lightweight app specifically designed for the iPhone that displays technical charts (with real-time data). If you’re interested, you can find it here: . It’s completely free, and there aren’t any advertisements.

  29. sunil says:

    Woops, sorry the link didn’t come through. http://www.equiby.com

  30. Liz Tool says:

    Not that I would ever look for a job on your site (still need a calculator to tell me what 9×7 is…) you have more job postings than before. Here in Oregon the wood mills are increasing layoffs or suspending business totally…as hard as retail has been hit it is going to be hit much harder. I suspect the majority of your readers will be the last to be hit as this mess works its way up the chain. Rejoice that your readers are all independently wealthy or employed currently! I am sure that the employment status of some of your readers will eventually change and if you help a couple of people get a job it will be worth it. If I were hiring for any financial related position a reader of the BIG PICTURE would get serious consideration….regardless of political viewpoints the majority of the people posting on your blog seem to share the common belief that corruption and stealing is wrong. You already do a lot but if it isn’t hurting you financially or taking too much time I would leave it up. Your new site hasn’t been up THAT long.

  31. hangtime79 says:

    To the charts idea…Yes, please.

  32. deltaverde says:

    Deltaverde votes aye.

  33. OkieLawyer says:

    Let me pile on to the unanimous support for the chart analysis. I just started investing/trading and I still haven’t figured out the one that comes with the software for the trading platform I use. Particularly, I have not been able to figure out how to do multiple SMA charting.

    I would also be interested in a regular analysis like Alphatrends.

  34. johnbougearel says:

    Funny thing is I have access to 100′s to t/a studies, but I only use 3 every day. I have studied many t/a tools how to use them etc. Of course, I have been professionally doing chart analysis/reading tea leaves for 14 years, and have tossed aside most every study out their known to man.

    What I found is that moving averages, some trend channels, and ability to write in text provides me everything I need to work with. The lesson learned over the years: “less is generally more” – keeps it simple. That said, I did rely on many other tech tools in the “way back” years. As the years go by, you learn to become less dependent on those tools and more on what your own knowledge. Granted, that my knowledge had to grow to become less dependent.

    But there are times analog charting come in handy and are very useful.
    My 2c

  35. johnbougearel says:

    and for the privelege of 100′s of studies, I blow about 7k a year on the software. I probably overspend, but the software is the most user friendly I have ever used, and the historical data is excellent. I spend the extra bucks primarily because the software is a huge time saver and the data is so good.

  36. deanscamaro says:

    I think its a great idea (if my understanding of what I think you inferred, in that it was a freeby, is correct). I am a small investor and have used Stock Charts in the past (which I really liked) when I was leaning more to being a small time trader. But this economic disaster sort of pushed me out of much trading, so I gave up paying for SC’s. When things turn around, I would like to have something like that, especially since I really like your blog.

  37. MexicaliBlues says:

    100% Wonderful Idea, I hope you do it Barry.

  38. Steve Barry says:

    I used to think Joe Battipaglia was a pumptard windbag. After tonight, when he told Jerry Bowyer “you are out of your mind,” I love the guy.

    On a side note, I think, with some wheeling and dealing, I can get to have a chat, in person, with Dr. Doom, Nouriel Roubini. If it comes to pass, in Mid-May, I will ask fellow commenters for questions I can ask him.

  39. flipspiceland says:

    If the chart has a sure-fire algorithm for daily closes on the dollar, yen, and Swiss Franc, and the 2 year Tresaury, for the months of January thru December, for the years 2009 thru 2012, go for it.

    Charts about the past are great anecdotes, but do little to predict anything useful.

    Like the guy says above, his charts were obsolete in this ecomonic disaster that pushed him out of the market.

  40. Marcus says:

    Wow! Do it. I miss the Friday night music. Money is important. The extras are what makes a great blob, a super blog. Great idea.

  41. SINGER says:

    In the words of Rocky Balboa: “Go For It”

  42. Moss says:

    @steve barry;

    Joe B was really pumped up. Bowyer is such a fraud. I imagine Kudlow brings Bowyer on just to get folks like Joe B fired up. Bowyer certainly has no credibility with anyone who thinks clearly.

  43. emmanuel117 says:

    Just another “yea” of approval to the charting idea.

    Also, a weekly trading thread would be nice.

  44. Dow says:

    In general, I love charts.

  45. DP says:

    @TomK: I really wanted to believe in Obama. Between Geithner and this I’m having serious doubt already and he isn’t even sworn in yet.

  46. jmather says:

    Being a developer that has spent some time (not a lot) looking at and playing with charting development I would say don’t do it, not with java anyway. The uprise of client side javascript libraries should make java unnecessary and bloated. It will be another bloated charts website, if you really want to do this it should be done with some newer technologies and probably not as afterthought.

  47. jrhyno says:

    BR, great idea, perhaps you could put it up as a beta test tab, see how it performs. I would definitely check it out.

    As a related idea, would it be possible to have a running trading/trading idea tab. I love to read other people’s trading ideas/thoughts, but sometimes it’s hard to find which current tab to find the “traders”.

    Thanks, BR!


  48. gregh says:

    will it have real time TICK AND TRIN? If so, sign me up, otherwise I’m not sure about the idea without more detail. Some above might feel you are referring to a ‘chart of the day’ containing your own breakdown (buy here, sell here) while others feel you will be hosting a real-time app that lets them easily contrast 50 different stochastics since 1929

    Are you wanting to implement something educational (for newbies and oldies to charting ) or more critical/analytical to prompt discussion, or stand-alone tool people who don’t already have what they need?

  49. gregh says:

    if it is a hosted tool, Java applets probably would allow more user-interaction, like drawing own trendlines…

  50. Thijs_Shenzhen says:

    I love the idea, and I hope it covers non-US stocks/ETFs like China. I now use Yahoo Finance tools which are pretty good, but something more advanced is definately welcome!

  51. gloppie says:

    Priceless…go for it Barry.

  52. Zenster says:

    BR, I am usually more a lurker than a commenter but I would be delighted if you added charts. Your current blog has a great balance between some of the more ideological & theoretical blogs like Mish & Naked Capitalism and those with a more pragmatic and useful market analysis. I turn to your blog every day right after a quick peek at Briefing.com which I value for for the data not the CNBC type commentary.

    I also appreciate your Friday music comments both for what they teach me and for what they say about you as a well rounded (no pun intended) individual.

    Adding charts with the ability to comment & learn from one another would be a valuable service for your existing & potential readers. You have attracted some very astute readers and commenter. Adding charts would strengthen the appeal of this site. I think it would draw in the technically oriented of all experience levels and increase the cohesiveness of this group of your readers. Please give it a try!

  53. hs says:

    One great idea BH.

  54. 1TAAT says:


    You are kidding right?

    Ditch the indicators and just watch PA.! Barry you know how to read a chart without all those ‘pretty’ lights and lines, just keep reading them! There is more money in indicators than what they produce.

  55. Edmond G. Miranne Jr. says:

    I’m for it. Do it ASAP. Number 1 in traffic ratings at GONGOL.com is not far away. This plus the changes/redesign you are considering for the site are great ideas.

  56. bogwad_seigneur (the smelly one) says:

    This sounds like a great idea!

    I use charts wherever I can get ‘em for a company intranet, and sometimes that means making charts over at (say) barcharts.com, or even yahoo – then doing a hi-res screengrab. That’s…inefficient, to say the least.

    So, from this neophyte and for whatever its worth, count me in. I vote “aye” :D

  57. bogwad_seigneur (the smelly one) says:


    Ummm, there’s nowhere else to post this…soooo……

    You might want to mention to your developer that WP 2.7 is out. He should know anyway….buuuut…..never mind.

    Anyway, It’s dead stable, a worthwhile upgrade, and brings way way more features to the author and administrator alike. It’s the best WP version that’s been produced so far and I wholeheartedly recommend doing it.

    The upgrade is 100% painless, and most plugins (plus the majority of decent themes) do not break post-upgrade. As always, back up your db and wp-content directory first – export the backup(s) to someplace off-server – and disable all plugins before beginning the upgrade process.

    On the subject of backing up database(s) a well worthwhile plugin is WP-DBManager available here: here on the wordpress site. It’s 2.7 compatible and features many database tools, not the least of which (and most commonly used) are:
    a) db optimization (should be done monthly as a minimum on a busy site)

    b) db backup which can (and should) be done daily or more often. This should be regarded as an adjunct to server backup!

    You may already be using this plugin, if so (and even if not) feel free to disregard this suggestion of course. The WP 2.7 upgrade should not be disregarded however. It’s necessary for security, as well as bringing some fairly significant performance enhancements….not just “new cool features”. In short, please instruct your developer to implement it without delay!

    Regards from the swamp,

  58. ben22 says:


    Thanks for even thinking of doing this. I’d visit that tab often for certain. I’d think you’d get more traffic just for that once word got out and thus the ad rev. should cover your cost, but I don’t know how high that $1,000′s number is or how much you get from ad rev.

    The Job Listings tab is almost all CPA listings.

  59. dspurr624 says:

    I really like your site. There are currently “free real time” charting options offered by brokerage firms. One of the things that I think might attract traffic would be a “scan engine”. A scan engine would permit users to perform tech analysis scans on companies (russell 1000 universe) using either endofday or real time data. I would not be so much interested in just the charts. Serious traders usually have there own setups which are, most of the time, more sophisticated than the “free stuff” that’s offered. There are not a lot of good technical analysis scan engines out there. stockcharts.com has a good one. Metastock has a great one, but it’s very expensive…..Again, most brokerage firms have their own scan engines embedded in the platform. Back to charts…..It’s really hard to comment on the software up or down, without being able to see it……..If it’s good, I think you’ll get traffic. Everyone’s definition of good is different.


  60. H.T. says:

    I nice addition–thanks. At the risk of sounding greedy… the more hard to find info in one place the better your growth/readership/unique page hits etc = more ad $. Sooooo, i would ask what about

    1. up to date key data : what i try and look at daily is dollar index, Baltic dry shipping, TED spreads, LIBOR, 10 year T-bond, Investor Sentiment tracking poll [although investor sentiment as a contrary indicator is becoming so conventional wisdom i wonder if it will soon be contra-contra...], up/down volume and total v average volume on major exchanges [that may be in the widget your adding] among others

    2. options activity. Daily flags for extreme [greater than a standard deviation say] for unusual put/call buys on indices/stocks/ETFs at what strike price and expiration.

    NOW that would be da bomb!


  61. rob says:

    I’m a chartaholic, but while the chart ability would be nice, what I’d really like to see is the ability to suck down the data where I can massage it in different programs. Nothing fancy, just time series and HOLC and maybe volume. But entire histories of that data instead of “from 2001, etc)

  62. winstar says:

    Call QUODD. (866) 537-5518

    ask for Keith Savitz. This is what you’re looking for.

  63. ButtoMcFarty says:

    Tom K Says:
    January 16th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Speaking of charts, I thought y’all would enjoy this one.


    Who says politics doesn’t pay?

    “The tendency to whining and complaining may be taken as the surest sign symptom of little souls and inferior intellects.”

    Lord Jeffrey

    I gotta say….I’m truly enjoying the whailing and gnashing of teeth by the defeated.

  64. ButtoMcFarty says:

    PS….charts would be brilliant!
    My apologies for not ignoring the blatant thread jack by our pet neocon.

  65. vaughn says:

    free chart ponies? Do it. It’s a timely notion in line with the zeitgeist and one more reason for other$ to visit.

  66. cawalton says:

    Save your money!

    I agree that having someone of your caliper providing technical analysis charting and commentary would be an outstanding feature. But it seems to me that any cost that is so close to a breakeven factor would put an unfair strain on your web efforts.

    Your articles and commentary are already more than can be expected for a fee-free website, I don’t think most of your readers would want you to struggle with the extra costs, especially since so many of us have our own charting available (just not experts at using it, speaking for myself).

    If you really wanted to spend the time and ramp-up technical charting then a small fee for access would make sense with some sort of free area to highlight examples of the analysis you provide within the the fee area.

    Your site is a “must-browse” for me, thank you for all your work, Cliff Walton

  67. ThreeFold Commonwealth says:

    Thanks Barry for all that you do. Most people has access to charts either free or with a vendor. What is needed is advice, and user comments that continues to observe, criticize and action plan against the political insiders and their lobbyists who have bankrupted Wall Street, Mainstreet and Washington. Charting, as you do, follows the money.

  68. Yogizuna says:

    I am all for the high end charting tab.