Stock Charting Software Review: Incredible Charts

Incredible Charts

Incredible Charts
7.24

Ease of Use

5/10

    Features

    7/10

      Support

      8/10

        Price

        10/10

          Overall

          7/10

            The Good

            • - Highly affordable (free for basic service)
            • - Has all the functionality required for basic technical analysis
            • - Decent after market support
            • - Free data from a range of global markets
            • - Good stock screening function

            The Bad

            • - Slightly clunky and outdated interface
            • - A few glitches that cause the program to crash
            • - No live data option
            • - Lacks some key chart customization features

            Incredible Charts is a piece of charting software developed by well renowned trader, investor and market commentator Colin Twiggs. It’s main attraction is it’s affordability – the basic version is completely free. The free version contains all the basic features a beginner investor or trader would require from a piece of stock charting software, including all the major chart types and a stock screener

            See a comprehensive review below:

            Ease Of Use:

            Incredible Charts is relatively easy to use, although it will take a little bit of getting used to (as any new software does), especially if you’re a first time user of stock charting software.

            Most of the features you will use are located in the button ribbon located at the top of the screen and the icons on each button are pretty self explanatory, making navigation fairly intuitive. The drop down menus are also fairly simple and it’s not too difficult to “follow your nose” to find what you’re looking for.

            The user interface is adequate, although it does have a bit of a “windows 95” outdated feel about it. However, it’s far from the worst software I’ve seen in this regard.

            Incredible Charts Interface

            Screen shot of the Incredible Charts interface

            I did find the help function fairly lacking – clicking the help drop down menu takes you to the Incredible Charts website and you’re left to navigate through a reasonably outdated navigation menu to find what your looking for. I usually find what I’m looking for (after a period of hunting around), but it would have been nice to have an “in software” help function.

            One thing I did find a little frustrating was changing between chart time frames. When switching between, say, an hourly and a daily chart I had to manually change all my indicator time frames as they do not automatically change – more an annoyance than anything catastrophic, but an inconvenience nonetheless.

            One other gripe I have is that there are a number of bugs with the program, at least when running on my machine. It has a tendency to freeze and require a “cntrl, alt, delete” manual close and restart of the program. This typically happens when using the “save a chart as an image” function, but also happens randomly throughout my usage. The freezing isn’t overly frequent, but it occurs enough to be annoying. It’s not a product killer, but it would be nice to see this problem resolved.

            One function which is nice is the scroll watchlist/stock screener function. Lets say you have a watch list of stocks you’re watching for a breakout out, or you’ve just laoded your end of day stock screener – simply clicking the up or down key will scroll through all the stocks on your watchlist or stock screener.

            Other than that, whilst Incredible charts is no “Apple” when it comes to usability, I found it fairly easy to use – it was the first piece of stock charting software I ever used, and if I could find my way around it – anyone can.

            Features

            Incredible Charts has all the basic stock charting software features required by the amateur investor. The stock charting features included in the basic version include:

            • Ability to easily switch between the three main chart types – candlestick, OHLC and line charts
            • EquiVolume and point and figurecharts
            • Fibonacci extensions and retracements
            • Auto-fit trend lines and channels
            • On line chart drawing and note making
            • Full range of common technical indicators (i.e. MACD, RSI, OBV etc).
            • Comprehensive stock screener
            • The ability to save a chart as an image
            • Built in email functionality
            • Data for a good range of international markets and commodities.

            In saying that, there were a number of features that I haven’t been able to locate (doesn’t mean they don’t exist – I have a history of not being able to find the butter in the refrigerator even though it’s right in front me me).

            One such missing feature is the ability to customize chart axis extents. For example, I often have charts that have one time period with an extremely anomalous volume spike that results in the maximum value on the volume scale being very high. This makes is very difficult to analyse volume across the rest of the chart as typical volume values barely register on the scale. It’s a small gripe, but an annoying one nonetheless.

            One of my favorite features is the stock screener. Incredible Charts has a comprehensive list of parameters available to create your very own stock screens which can be used to identify stocks that are at a good buying opportunity. It’s a function I use multiple times a week and I can contribute a large number of my winning trades to this function alone.

            It’s relatively easy to navigate and the screen creation process is pretty self explanatory. The screen shot below should give you an idea of how it all works. You can save your scan parameters so that you can easily re-load and run your favorite scans over and over. It’s also easy to switch between the scan page and your charts using a hotkey.

            Incredible Charts Stock Scans

            Screen shot of of the Incredible Charts stock screening function

            Unfortunately the free version only allows for 5 stock results per scan to show up. It’s for this main reason that I upgraded to the premium version which allows for unlimited results to display.

            The other main benefits of going premium include 20 minute delayed data (as opposed to having to wait until midnight for data to update) and unlimited use of the premium indicators (mainly the “Twiggs” series of money flow and momentum indicators).

            Support

            I have only had to use the support feature once – when I was trying to find a fix for the freezing issue when saving charts as an image. I received a reasonably timely response from an “actual person”, although at the time of writing, the problem had still not been resolved.

            It’s always nice to be able to get in contact with an actual human being – dealing with automated or electronic responses is one of the things I truly hate about a lot of support systems, so Incredible Charts scores highly in this department for me.

            Overall I would describe the support system as adequate, and would give Incredible Charts a higher score for support had a solution to my problem been found in a more timely manner.

            Price

            This is obviusly one of the key “selling” points – You can get the vast majority of features completely free. For those that are occasional users of a charting software, Incredible Charts will be more than adequate.

            The fact that the basic version is free means it’s a great option for those looking to dip their toes into the world of charting for the first time –  there is no risk of laying down some hard earned cash, only to realize 6 months down the track that you barely use it.

            If you’re after a little bit more than the bare basics I would consider purchasing the premium version, which essentially unlocks a handful of features such as premium technical indicators, 20 minute delayed data and unlimited stock scan results.

            The price for the premium service ranges from $US10-$20/month depending on which global markets you want data for – hardly breaking the bank. Another great thing to remember is that if you’re a trader you can deduct these costs from your income come tax time.

            Summary

            Overall, Incredible Charts is a great piece of stock charting software for beginners to the stock charting space. This is largely because of a combination of its price (free for the basic version) and relatively comprehensive list of features.

            It’s interface is a little outdated and there are a few glitches, but overall the program performs reasonably well and is relatively intuitive to use.

            I’d recommend Incredible charts for anyone who needs charting software on a budget.

            Disclaimer:

            I have no affiliation with Incredible Charts and I will not recieve any monetary reward should you choose to download Incredible Charts through the link provided in my review. 

            My review is based on my personal experience with the software, and program performance may differ across different operating systems and on different hardware (computers).