My other question was with regards to which charting packages people use. The company I use have a basic one, but I hear people talking about better ones all the time. This also raises the question of where the price data for these charting packages comes from?
In terms of paying up for live data, it depends on what you are looking for, what type of trader you are (swing or intra-day), how much you are willing to pay and what your returns will be. An example would be if you pay £100 per month, then you will need to make at least £100 per month each month just to break even (and then you need your profit on top of this). If you are trading in a technically correct fashion you can get away without live access as a beginner – just factor in the spread when trading your chosen method. Also, whilst volume is important, it will be less so if you stick to liquid currency pairs – more important during the current level of volatility that we are going through would be a good economic calendar that provides the main data releases and a decent news system to capture the comments of the main politicians, financial luminaries such as Bernanke and so on. You will have to do your research here – look around on the web to see what is free and what you can get and then play around with it.
In terms of your spread better providing a charting package, most are taken from very similar sources and possibly the same company and then white labelled. Effectively the spread better has probably purchased charting package of a provider and has the ability to run a pricing algorithm to change the price to top and tail it to their specifications. If you want to use something other than what the spread better provides, there are quite a few packages out there and you will have to do some research. Most people have personal preferences so when you go on various websites you may find that there is disagreement over what is the best package. Also there is a matter of cost which again you will find varies. Your needs will change as you get more experienced and your demands from a charting package will increase, however don’t make the beginners mistake of opting for a package that does everything when you only need a few things. That can and will come later in your trading career.