JStock software aids international investing

Most of the investment monitoring programs available on the Web primarily target the United States stock market. Malaysian developer Yan Cheng Cheok had a tough time finding one for his country, so he decided to create one that would support multiple countries’ stock markets. Using the free data provided by Yahoo! Finance, his JStock program now supports markets in 23 countries.

Even though it’s free, JStock goes beyond basic stock monitoring and portfolio management features. For instance, it lets users filter potential stocks using custom-built indicators in real time. Indicator filters are still under development; currently they can use basic technical analysis formulas, but more complex indicators are in the works. JStock can also send SMS alerts to your mobile phone when a specified stock reached your targeted price.

Publicizing a new application can be tricky for small developers. Yan posted news of JStock’s availability to his local investor community’s forum, and spoke with a Malaysian newspaper editor, which led to a blurb in the paper. He says having a clean and clear web site with a download link that’s as visible as possible also helps.

Other keys to success, Yan says, include being sensitive to the needs of your users and treating user feedback seriously. “Their feedback gives you a hint about what is needed by the market.” If you can do that, your application’s popularity will grow by word of mouth.

While Yan says JStock is already in pretty good shape for the casual investor, with basic stock monitoring, basic history charting, portfolio management, and stock price alerting through email, SMS, and the system tray, he hopes to enhance its features for advanced users. He also hopes to provide a tutorial on how to create useful indicators to help choose stocks – a document he could use help with. JStock is written in Java using the Netbeans IDE and TortoiseCVS – tools chosen, he says, because they are free of cost.

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