Barchart.com is an investment web service that was started in 1995. This on- line service provides financial information on equities, commodities, futures, mutual funds, and other financial investments.
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Features of This Service:
On the homepage of Barchart.com, you will see a quick summary of the market indices for the previous days’ closing. Here, you will find the Dow Jones Average, NASDAQ, Russell 2000, S&P 500, 30- year bonds, and a few others. There is also a market momentum indicator that shows the current market trends.
There are four main areas of investment research available in Barchart.com. The four sections are:
Advanced Commodities- In this area, you can access charts of historical data, showing trends in options prices, futures contracts, and other commodity information. There is also a technical analysis option that can be used to spot trends and find price movers, as well as conduct in- depth analysis on a specific option or future.
Equities Service- Most investors will utilize this area more than any other part of barchart.com. You can lookup general market information, such as volume leaders, greatest percentage gainers, greatest percentage price declines, 52- week highs and lows, and so forth. If you want to lookup specific stock information, you can enter a ticker symbol (or look it up, if you don’t know the symbol) and view graphs that show price trends and stock volume. There is some information on latest news, company profile, and other financial reporting data.
Realtime Commodities- This is similar to the advanced commodities section, except that it deals more with charting tools for options and futures contracts and not so much technical analysis.
B2B Products- This area contains a selection of co- branded products that you can purchase and add to an existing web service. You can purchase customized financial packages that will help to maintain visitors to your web site.
Costs of Membership:
Some of the information provided by Barchart.com is free, but much of the advanced services will cost you some money. In the equities section, you can view charts and lookup stock quotes and a little financial report data on a company at no cost. But if you want to use the more advanced tools, you will have to subscribe. In the commodities and B2B products, most everything carries a charge.
Basic membership in Barchart.com sells for $20 per month. This fee gives the subscriber unlimited access to all the features in this service, including customized financial tools, options and futures contract selection, and many other technical devices. The B2B products have varying costs. It all depends on what you choose to purchase.
Barchart.com is a good service, but much of what it shows is confusing, unless you already have a solid understanding of finance. For example, if you lookup a ticker symbol, then go to the page for “opinion”, you will see advice relating to whether or not you should buy, hold, or sell your shares. Several indicators are listed, but some of them will make no sense at all to the majority of novice investors. An indicator like “Price vs. 20- day moving average” is self- explanatory. It simply indicates whether or not the current stock price is greater than or less than its 20- day moving average, with a corresponding “buy”, “hold”, or “sell” recommendation. But some of the other indicators, like “50 parabolic Time/Price” will not make any sense to most investors. You can click on the indicator, to see a graphic illustration of what it’s trying to tell you. But the problem is that there is no verbal description of the indicator. So, by clicking on “50 parabolic Time/price”, you will be able to view a graph, but you still won’t have any clue what this is talking about.
Much of the other information is very basic, and some of it is provided by other services. For instance, if you lookup a stock ticker symbol and then select the link to read the latest news, you will be linked into Yahoo Finance. Also, the financial data is not very detailed. If you want to look at the financial statements for a company, the best you can get in this site is a summary of the most important data, like total sales, cost of sales, net income, and certain financial ratios (price/earnings, return on equity, etc.). But you cannot view the complete financial reports for the latest fiscal year. That is, unless you’re willing to subscribe to the service and pay $20 per month.
Overall, Barchart.com is a helpful service. It has some good points and bad points, with its greatest strikes being the monthly subscription fee and the technical jargon, which many people will not understand at all. If you have a good feel for finance (and/or if you’re willing to pay the $20 monthly fee), then Barchart.com can come in very handy. It’s especially good at tracking futures and options prices and trends, which is something that you don’t find very much in other financial web sites (most other sites emphasize common stock information). On the other hand, the basic financial information is mediocre. I have used other sites that don’t charge anything and they have better financial data than Barchart.com.
My bottom line on this site is that it can be helpful, but unless you’re a specialist in stock options and futures contracts, I think I would look elsewhere. The company information and stock data is good, but there are better services that will provide the information that you need for little or no cost.