How to Make a Finance Chart

Two Methods:Using a Spreadsheet Program

A finance chart is a visual way to organize stock prices or other financial data to show progress over time for purposes of analysis. Different kinds of finance charts exist, such as candlestick, line, "point and figure" or bar charts, each of which may use different data to display results. Programs that may already be on your computer -- such as spreadsheet software -- can be used to create a finance chart. Websites focused on finances or stocks can also create finance charts for stocks or mutual funds. Here are some ways to make a finance chart.

Method 1
Using a Spreadsheet Program

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    Prepare financial data for your chart, if necessary. It may need to be organized a certain way to be properly charted.
    • In Microsoft Excel, arrange stock names in the rows of a spreadsheet. Label columns "High," "Low," and "Close" to chart these three daily price points.
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    Open a new file in your spreadsheet program.
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    Click on the program's option to create a chart. Look for this option's small bar graph image in the program's toolbar. In Microsoft Excel, charts can also be created through its Chart Wizard.
    • Use your program's Help section or online support to help you find this option, if necessary.
    • Follow any subsequent steps in the program to set up your chart.
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    Import financial data to the spreadsheet program's chart. This data generally comes from another spreadsheet file or a database program.
    • Browse to the location of your data file. Select the file and choose to import its data into the chart as directed by your software program.

Method 2

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    Open your browser. Navigate to a financial website that lets you create charts, such as Yahoo! Finance or
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    Type in a ticker symbol for a stock or mutual fund in the website's search box. The ticker is a unique string of three or four letters, usually a form of the company's name, to identify its stock as it is traded in the financial market.
    • Check the stock listings online or in a newspaper to verify the ticker symbol, if necessary.
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    Click on the website's appropriate link to create a finance chart for that stock or fund. The website should create the chart with data for you to view and change as necessary.
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    Modify the chart's settings, if desired. Use the website's appropriate menus or other navigation to make changes, such as for the chart type or time period.
    • A bar chart displays the high, low, and closing prices of stocks. It may also display opening prices if that data is available. The high and low prices are plotted and connected by a vertical line. The closing price is represented by a horizontal line that crosses its respective vertical line. If opening prices are shown, the closing price for each stock or fund is displayed as a short horizontal line that goes to the right of the vertical line while the opening price extends to the left.
    • A candlestick chart displays black or white columns resembling candlesticks that indicate changes in the stock prices. The open, close, high, and low prices are plotted on the chart. The open and close prices are connected to form a rectangle. These are shaded black if the open price was higher than the close price. The boxes are left clear or white if the close price was higher than the open.
    • A line chart shows only the closing prices from day to day.
    • "Point and figure" charts are not based on time periods but give a filtered view of how stock prices have fluctuated during trading. These charts only record when prices have risen or fallen to a certain level. Xs and Os respectively designate prices that rose or fell.
    • Finance charts can show time periods ranging from minutes to months.


  • Contact your database administrator if you need assistance importing financial information.

Things You'll Need

  • Financial data
  • Spreadsheet program
  • Database program
  • Financial website
  • Stock or mutual fund ticker symbol(s)
  • Online stock or mutual fund listings
  • Newspaper

Article Info

Categories: Budgeting