Obviously in the case of desktop charting platforms we’re talking about software that you have installed on your machine rather than an online platform that you visit a website in order to use. These charting platforms usually have a deeper set of features and offer traders a far greater degree of customizable options. Our two favorite desktop charting platforms are without a doubt Meta Trader 4 (MT4) and Think or Swim (TOS).
This one is mainly for Forex. There are some Forex brokers that do provide stocks and indices, but generally you use MT4 for Forex rather than anything else. This platform is, of course, a real time charting platform, but you’ll need a Forex broker’s server feed in order to use it, without this feed the program on its own will not do anything for you. A good place to go for this is Oanda (www.oanda.com). Oanda offer demo accounts without an expiry date so you can use their server feed indefinitely. With Oanda you do not need to fund a live account, you can continue to use your demo account for as long as you need, which is perfect because it gives you access to MT4.
Think or Swim:
This desktop platform has it all. It is a real time charting platform that offers you everything you could possibly want to chart. Currencies, commodities, stocks, indices, the works. Once you install the program you’ll see that it is the most comprehensive platform going. It may seem a little overwhelming at first because it’s a pretty darn complicated piece of kit, but if you begin using it by looking only at the features you initially need you’ll slowly gain a proficiency and gradually unlock more and more usable features. This one is our favorites but any of the charting platforms we have listed here, be they online or desktop, if used for their particular strengths as we have explained, will give you everything you need in terms of accurate and actionable data.