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Tracking, Trading, and Watching: Free Stock Market Apps for Mac

written by: Austin•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 8/8/2011

Free things are hard to come by in this day and age, especially when you're talking about the stock market, but fortunately a couple of companies will come to your rescue if you need a free (or cheap) alternative to paid stock market apps on Mac. Here are the best.

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    Stock Trading and Computers

    The stock market has been around for a long time, but it wasn't until recently (say, the late 80s or early 90s) that personal computers became just as big a factor in how successful you were in the stock market as something like quick reflexes and smarts about the industry. With the apps available right now, anyone can sit down, trade some stocks, and then have made their money for the day by the time lunch starts- most of the time without having to spend a penny on trading applications for their computers.

    The unfortunate fact is that a lot of these traders are for Windows machines only, and won't work with Mac. If you find yourself in a situation where this is hurting your ability to trade successfully, you're in luck- here are some great free stock apps for Mac that will work to help make money for you, without taking money from you.

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    System Trader

    Screen shot 2011-08-07 at 8.17.39 PM 

    The thing about "free" apps online is that, most of the time, they aren't actually free. Common tricks such as trial periods and limited use programs will be employed to trick you into downloading the program,and then using the program to convince you to buy it after the trial runs out, or after your need for the extra features becomes to great. It is the former of these two "free" categories that System Trader is in, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    Made by a company called Edge SARL, System Trader takes everything you've come to expect from software traders- charting, portfolio tracking, etc- and gives it to you risk-free for 30 days. But what should convince you to upgrade once the grace period is over? And what exactly is the cost once you upgrade? Well, there's really only one thing you need to know in order to (probably) convince you that this is worth the money. The developers, during development, stuck strictly to the fabled Apple Human Interface Guidelines- meaning that the software works and behaves like any software should on Mac. This means it takes into use the drag and drop functions, and smooth transitions, short loading times, and everything else you've come to love OS X for.

    There is one big ugly downside to this whole package, though: After the free trial period is over, you have to fork over around $200 to get the full version. Now, I'm not saying the app isn't chock-full of great features, but $200 seems rather steep when you can get similar programs elsewhere for $20-$30.

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    ChartNexus

    Screen shot 2011-08-07 at 8.31.52 PM 

    Now that we've gotten the "free but not actually free" app out of the way, it's time to introduce to you the one stock market-related app on the Internet today that actually is free, and seemingly will remain free for the rest of its lifespan. Cue "ChartNexus", an app made by a parent company of the same name, that can take all of the essentials in stock trading and give them to you free of charge. There's no catch either- once you download it, you're free to use it as much as you want, regardless of whether it's 4AM on a Sunday of noon on a Tuesday- it really is 100%, honest to goodness free.

    "So Austin, what's the catch?"

    Well, I'd like to be able to tell you that there is no catch, but that wouldn't be entirely true. You see, there's no monetary catch, and you don't have to watch ten minute adds before you can use it each time, but there is a level of professionalism that is lost within a free app like this that can be found in most (if not all) paid apps online. So while you may save a few dollars, you'll miss out on some of the less essential, but still handy features present in something like System Trader. Even so, what do you get with ChartNexus?

    Well, you basically get all of the essentials: charts, drawing tools, portfolio trackers, and trend watchers. One cool thing that you do get with ChartNexus and not without a lot of other stock apps is a free three year history, so you can look back at past trends and make decisions based on those as well. Necessary? No. Useful? Absolutely.

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    Other Options

    If you're willing to spend a few dollars up front, your options in the stock market app market would be a lot thicker. I would recommend changing your mind about paid apps, because frankly, most of the time the money is very worth it, such as in the case of these two apps:

    StockSpy: Costing around $20 on the app store, StockSpy is the definitive swiss army knife of stock apps, carrying everything you could ever need to track, trade, sell, and ultimately make some money.

    AceStock: Finally, for the person who wants something decent but really can't spend very much money, AceStock is a bare-bones stock tracker that clocks in on the app store at just $5.

References

  • [Information] AceStock, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/acestock/id421071189?mt=12
  • [Information] StockSpy, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stockspy/id416453738?mt=12
  • [Information/Image] MacTrader (More Info), http://www.mactrader.com/features.html
  • [Information/Image] ChartNexus, http://download.cnet.com/ChartNexus-for-Stock-Market/3000-2064_4-75211538.html
  • [Information] MacTrader, http://www.mactrader.com/