Schwab StreetSmart Edge Charts

Updated Tuesday, July 19, 2011

StreetSmart Edge Charts Grade: A

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This is our review of the Schwab StreetSmart Edge chart tool.  For our review of the standard web based Schwab charts click here.


The Schwab StreetSmart Edge chart tool features one of the best charting packages among all broker offerings.  Charts are aesthetically appealing and can be expanded to fit the size of any size monitor or multi-monitor setup.  All of the standard charting features, such as plot types, technical indicators and drawing tools, are implemented well.  Saving and retrieving chart settings in particular is handled expertly.  The Schwab StreetSmart Edge charts receive our highest grade.


StreetSmart Edge is a downloadable trading platform available free of charge to all Schwab customers that execute 36 or more trades per year.  The software is downloaded from Schwab's website where it is then installed and then launched from the desktop.

StreetSmart Edge is a Windows application but it can be used by Mac owners via Windows Emulator software.  The recommended system requirements are Windows 7 with a 2.8 GHz quad core processor, 4 GB RAM, 200 MB hard drive space, 512 MB video card and a high speed internet connection.  We tested StreetSmart Edge on a laptop with specifications generally below the recommended requirements but we did not experience any issues.

Getting Started
After launching the application and logging in, users are presented with an excellent beginner's tutorial, which contains short video tutorials broken down by category.  We recommend that all new users spend a few minutes to browse this brief tutorial.

The application layout consists of various top menu items, including a view of account balances, stock index quotes, access to application settings and help menus.  Below this is a tab selection panel, with each tab consisting of a separate layout.  There is a selection of pre-built layouts or users can create and save their own customized layouts.  Layouts consist of one or more application tools such as watch lists, news and trade.  Tools can be arranged and sized within a layout as the user sees fit.  Our favorite feature is that layouts can be separated from the main application window so that, for example, those with multiple monitors can move a different layout to each monitor.

Here is how the StreetSmart Edge application appears with a customized layout that we created which includes the watch list, news, account details, company research and trade tools (click on images for larger views):

One application feature worth noting is the workspace zoom function, which allows users to quickly shrink or expand the size of windows and fonts throughout the application.  In our other StreetSmart Edge reviews we cover other aspects of the platform but for the purposes of this review we will only additionally cover the chart tool.

In general, we really like the StreetSmart Edge platform.  We think that traders will be very happy with the application from a technology perspective.  Now, let's move on to the chart tool found within the StreetSmart Edge platform...

To view charts in StreetSmart Edge, select the Chart tool.  The chart window can be expanded to fit the size of any single or multi-monitor setup.  Here is a one year McDonald's (MCD) candlestick chart shown with volume as a lower indicator:

Next let's take a look at a three year line chart that compares the performance of some large fast food companies. There is no restriction on the number of stocks that can be added to a single chart :

StreetSmart Edge features a nice selection of studies, which are technical indicators that can be added to charts.  In total there are 34 studies, all of which can be fully customized.  Here is a three month candlestick chart with bollinger band upper study and MACD and RSI lower studies:

Expert technicians will find the selection of drawing tools quite useful.  Charts can be marked up with lines, shapes, text notes and more.  All objects can have customized colors.  Here is a look at a multi-year candlestick chart for Starbucks (SBUX) that we marked up with trend lines, text labels and an oval shape to highlight the trend change:

After marking up our chart we decided to save our work so we clicked on the Save Chart Setup icon in the top right corner of the chart interface.  Chart settings can be saved as either a template or as a file written to disk.  Either option works great and retains all customized settings, including plot types, time frames, drawings, studies, etc.

The colors of most chart elements, including plot elements, studies and drawing tools can be customized.  One odd restriction is that the chart background color can only be either black or white.  Here is a chart that we created with some questionable color choices:

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