Heard of the free watchlist and portfolio management tool, JStock and considering giving it a try? JStock incorporates a few basic features, along with allowing its users to manage multiple portfolios or brokerage accounts. Now, is JStock all they say? Before you dive in, read our review of JStock and learn the truth.
JStock is a free watchlist and portfolio management tool with a few basic features for technical stock trading. The software is helpful if you want to track multiple portfolios or brokerage accounts, although most transactions need to be input manually. Although JStock offers custom alerts, technical charts, and a stock scanner, the interface can be very clunky and difficult to use. Overall, JStock is an okay free option for traders and investors, but it leaves a lot of room for improvement.
JStock Pricing Options
JStock is completely free to use, with no advertisements or paid options available. You don’t even need to give JStock your email address in order to use the software.
Watchlists and Portfolio Management
JStock allows you to create an unlimited number of stock watchlists, which is extremely nice for a free software. On top of that, you’re not limited to US stocks. JStock’s database includes real-time price data for 28 stock markets around the world, including markets in the UK, Canada, and Hong Kong.
The platform also allows you to create an unlimited number of portfolios. The portfolio interface is interesting in that it is organized by stock rather than by transaction date. So, it can be hard to get an idea of what positions you have open at any given time
JStock doesn’t have any options to automatically import your transaction history or even current holdings from a brokerage account. You’ll need to input everything manually, although you can quickly add current purchases by inputting a buy or sell order at current market prices. JStock will track dividends for you within your portfolio, although you also have the option to add them manually.
One of the nice things about JStock’s portfolio management is that it’s easy to see how your investments have performed over time. You can quickly pull up charts that show your percent gain or loss over time or your dividend returns over time. These charts aren’t particularly customizable, however, so it can be somewhat difficult to dig into how particular stocks are performing or to find out what trades contributed most to your profit or loss.
JStock does offer technical stock charts, although they’re a little bit difficult to use for serious analysis. You can display price data as candlestick bars or as a line, and the charts show trading volume by default. Helpfully, there are a few technical overlays, including moving averages and RSI. But, you can’t customize the timeframes for these metrics.
The biggest issue with technical charting in JStock is that the time display options are very limited. There is no way to display intraday bars and you cannot look at chart data for a period of less than seven days. With that in mind, the technical charts seem primarily geared towards long-term investors rather than short-term technical traders. Technical traders will undoubtedly prefer a standalone charting platform like TradingView or TrendSpider.
Stock Scanner and Alerts
JStock has a built-in stock scanner that at first glance is relatively powerful. It’s fully customizable and allows you to build a scan around either historical or real-time price data. Technical indicators are relatively lacking, though, since you only have access to RSI, MACD, and moving averages.
The problem with JStock’s scanner is that building scans is difficult and time-consuming. In order to build a scan, you have to place function blocks on a blank canvas and then connect them with operator symbols. Designing a stock scan feels more like process flow design, and things can quickly get out of hand if you want to create a scan with numerous parameters.
Alerts are also built using this same system. So, they’re highly customizable, but somewhat cumbersome to create. One nice thing about alerts in JStock is that you can receive notifications by email, text, or desktop notification.
Layout and Customization
Many of JStock’s usability issues stem from the fact that the user interface is very outdated. The platform looks and feels like an early version of Microsoft Excel, which leaves a lot to be desired if you’ve ever used another portfolio management software or stock scanner. A lot of functions can only be accessed by right-clicking on the right part of the screen, so it takes some time just to figure out how to unlock some of JStock’s features.
That said, some of the basic things about JStock’s interface are customizable. You can choose from four themes for the overall look of the platform (although none of them look especially modern) as well as choose the color palette for your watchlists and stock data.
Unfortunately, this customizability doesn’t extend to the platform’s core features. You can’t create custom plots to analyze your portfolio performance or create custom data metrics to add into your watchlist table.
JStock Platform Differentiators
JStock is far from the only portfolio management, watchlist, and stock screener software on the market. The two main things that set this software apart are that it’s free and that you can get real-time data for 28 different markets around the world. The flexibility of the stock screener is also an advantage, although you need to have a fair amount of patience to develop complex scans using the outdated interface.
What Type of Trader is JStock Best For?
JStock caters primarily to long-term investors who want to monitor the performance of their portfolio. The fact that you can create an unlimited number of portfolios allows the platform to cater to investors with multiple different accounts or investment goals. At the same time, JStock is one of the better options for investors with holdings in international stocks, since it pulls in real-time data for most major markets outside the US. Short-term investors will likely find JStock lacking since there are not many technical indicators and the charts only show daily or longer timescale bars.
- Free to create unlimited portfolios and watchlists
- Real-time price data for 28 global stock markets
- Simple, manual position tracking
- Stock scanner with virtually unlimited flexibility
- Allows you to track dividends over time
- Extremely outdated user interface
- Stock screener uses an object-based design format
- Technical charts don’t show intraday bars