JStock is a free, open source stock-monitoring software. It can create a database of stocks and download and deliver data and charts for these in real time for more than 20 world markets and going back up to 10 years.
It can also set-up stock portfolios where it records all transactions and calculates profit or loss.
Two features stand out, however, the first is Alerts delivery (SMS, Email, or in the system tray) that are based on user-created “Stock Indicators”. The second is a built-in chat function designed to enable JStock users to communicate with each other and share information. JStock is multiplatform (Windows/Linux/Mac/Solaris).
This program will let you view/download stock data in real time and define portfolios of stocks and monitor their activity and profit/loss; but the WOW-inducing feature is the ability for users to define their own “Stock Indicators” and to have the program automatically deliver alerts based on these. For example, you can tell JStock to alert you by SMS if it finds a stock price that’s at the highest its been for the past 6 months. This may not sound too exciting if you just have one or two stocks that you are interested in, but JStock will do this for hundreds of stocks that you might want to monitor and define in its database.
Here are more notes on this program:
- How it works: the main “Real Time Info” tab displays a list of stocks that you can monitor. Although it is pre-populated when you launch the program, note that you can delete stocks from the list and add just the ones you find relevant. Also note that you can select the country of interest and download the entire list of stocks for that country, which is very convenient. If your stock is somehow not showing you can add it to the database individually. JStock will now download price changes in real-time for these, and will even chart . Once you have your list, sorting by column headers can be a great help. I would say, however, that the list is in need of more filtering options (see my wish list below)
- Charting: right click on an individual stock and click “History” to receive an instant 10-year chart for the stock in question showing both stock prices and trade volume. You can also request a candlestick chart. You can limit the range of charted data by simply drawing a rectangle over the time period you are interested in with the mouse.
- Alerts: once you set up your desired “Stock Indicators” (see below) JStock can deliver SMS, Email, or system tray alerts based on these. SMS alerts are 100% free (you need to set up a Google Calendar account and register your mobile number; more info here). Alerts can be sent for stocks in your “real time” list, for an entire country’s stock market, for a particular board such as the NYSE, for a unknown “industries” (I am not sure exactly how JStock comes up with these), or, perhaps most useful, for the stocks that are user-defined in your database (choose “user-defined” industry for this one).
- Stock Indicators: JStock allows you to create your own indicators and use these to generate alerts. A visual editor is built into JStock that allows you to create these without any programming skills; however, it helps to know what you are going after ;). I simply re-created the indicator that was described in the help section and it was apparent to me just how powerful and versatile these indicators could be. The image to the right shows an alert that will be triggered when the stock’s current last price is the maximum it has been for the past 14 days. Very cool!
- Portfolio Management: this is where you can record transactions that occur on a list of stocks and keep track of your profit and loss. I did not really use this, but I imagine that it would be extremely value added
- Chatting: I was not able to find anyone to chat with; either there were no users online or I set it up incorrectly (although the set-up seemed super easy).
- Tagging: it would be great if you could create custom tags and associate them with stocks (perhaps in the user-defined stocks database entries), and then use these later for filtering/grouping, for alerts, or other operations.
- Filtering: I found it strange that are no means to isolate a stock or group of stocks in a list and view these in isolation. You cannot even type in a stock ticker symbol and filter it out from the list. What would be tremendously value-added is if you could filter each column Excel-style using certain criteria (e.g. only if the Chg% is larger or smaller than a certain value, etc). Of course you can currently create Stock Indicators and filter lists that way, but it would be so much more user-friendly to be able to filter on-the-fly.
- Downloading: ok so I charted the past 12 months for stock x; now can I please download these into CSVl? A strange omission.
- Chart range pre-sets: as in “the past week”, “the past 1 month”, “2 months”, “1 Year”, etc., to be selected from a dropown. Another very strange omission.
- Pre-defined indicators: it would be cool if the program with a few “clever” or value added indicators pre-defined, to get people started with indicators.
The verdict: this program one of the best in its category. It could use a streamlining of the user interface to make it more user-friendly, but it makes up for that in the power that it has under the hood and the sheer ambition of its covered functionality. Occasional or regular investors alike will find this program very useful and value added. Highly recommended!
Version Tested: 1.0.4i
Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 16.5 megs).