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Barchart vs. Tradestation – A Detailed Comparison

Discover our detailed comparison of Barchart and Tradestation to help determine which is best for you. Whether you’re a seasoned trader or just starting out, choosing the right platform can significantly impact your trading experience. 

To make your research easier, we manually found key data for Barchart and Tradestation across the internet and compiled it all in this article. 

Overview of Barchart

Barchart is a charting platform that allows you to analyze stocks, ETFs, currencies, and futures. You get access to indicators, drawing tools, and all time frames for free, but you must pay for real-time data and other advanced features.

Overview of Tradestation

TradeStation is a brokerage firm that caters to active traders and very serious investors who demand a comprehensive platform with advanced trading features and analytical tools. While TradeStation is a solid brokerage, options traders must be aware of the abnormally high exercise fees.

Key Characteristics of Barchart and Tradestation

FeatureBarchartTradestation
Platform TypeCharting SoftwareBrokerage Platform
Tradeable AssetsNot a broker, but you can chart stocks, ETFs, futures, & forexStocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options, Futures, Futures Options, Crypto, Forex
Charting FeaturesDownloadable desktop platform and web app with access to indicators and drawing tools for freeDownloadable and web trading platforms
DataUse any time frame for free, but real-time data requires a paid subscriptionReal-time data with funded account
Premium Pricing$89-$140 per monthNo premium features

Who is Barchart Best For?

Barchart is best for swing traders and investors who want free access to a decent charting platform. If you are an active trader, the pricing is quite expensive for real-time data, and the charting isn’t as good as competitors like TradingView and TrendSpider.

Who is Tradestation Best For?

TradeStation is best suited for traders who need a sophisticated trading environment. Its platform might be overwhelming for beginners but is highly appreciated by experienced traders for its depth, flexibility, and range of professional-grade tools.

Trading Features and Tools

FeatureBarchartTradestation
DRIPNot a brokerNo
Margin TradingNot a brokerYes
InsuranceNot a brokerSIPC Insured
Mobile AppYesYes

Trading Costs and Commissions Compared

Fee TypeBarchartTradestation
Equity CommissionNot a brokerFree
Option CommissionNot a broker$0.60 per contract
Futures CommissionNot a broker$1.50 per contract, $0.50 micro
Futures Options CommissionNot a broker$1.50 per contract
Option Exercise FeeNot a broker$14.95 fee at expiration, early exercise is $1.50 per contract with $5,95 minimum

Barchart vs Tradestation – Bottom Line

Choosing between Barchart and Tradestation depends on your specific trading needs, preferred trading tools, and the type of assets you’re interested in. 

Both platforms offer distinct advantages, but by considering the detailed comparison above, you can select the one that aligns best with your trading strategy and goals.

For more detailed reviews and comparisons, continue exploring our other articles on brokerage platform comparisons.

What is the Overall Best Charting Software?

I have reviewed and used nearly every trading platform available, and I believe that TradingView is the best overall charting software available. Here are some reasons why:

  • All of TradingView’s key features are free to use
  • TradingView provides real-time data for free whenever possible
  • You are not tied to a single broker and can use whichever you want while charting on TradingView
  • You can track all markets on a single platform, including stocks, ETFs, crypto, forex, and futures.
  • TradingView has an excellent economic calendar and various screeners

If you sign up for a TradingView account using my affiliate link, you can get a 30-day free trial of its premium features plus a $15 credit toward your subscription. However, signing up for a free trial is not required, and you can use nearly all of its features with a basic free account. You can read my full review of TradingView to learn more. 

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