Annual Pre-Paid or Monthly Esignal Subscription Most Value for Money?

Esignal increases both monthly price and annual pre-paid rate of their charting software next month and I wonder which subscription offers most value for money. I have been an Esignal customer for the last 2 months and the next subscription billing is in 10 days, so I have to make a decision soon. The new subscription fees effective December 1 mean a price increase of $4 for the monthly subscription and $240 for the annual one. Given the fact Esignal software is considered one of the most expensive pieces of charting software online, I didn’t expect an extra charge. Would you suggest using other software or stick with Esignal? And if Esignal is your choice, which route should I go with, monthly or annual pre-paid subscription?

The current rate for Esignal’s software is $125 per month or $95 per month if you opt to pre pay for a year. The price difference is bigger now, since as of December 1, 2010 the respective rates will be $129 and $115 according to their official pricing page. However I am still undecided whether Esignal would justify the cost when trading US and Greek stocks. For the time being, I am very satisfied by the software, although I have experienced a couple of sudden crashes. I guess those were down to the fact that I hadn’t updated their software for quite a long time, and an update was available since the beginning of November. On the other hand I haven’t found an update link inside the software informing me that an update has become available to either automatically download and install or manually get that from the Esignal site. I might be mistaken but I find it quite strange for such a popular software not to have an update feature built-in.

I have also installed and experimented NinjaTrader software with success but I find Esignal much more useful. Perhaps I have spent a lot more time trading with Esignal than with NinjaTrader and have become a lot more familiar with their charting software. Additionally I have also granted access – for a $9 fee – to the Athens Stock Exchange through Esignal, which is not possible via Interactive Brokers or NinjaTrader. The Esignal service regarding the Greek stock market is even better than the majority of Greek brokers, so I will certainly miss that feature if I opt out. Moreover the integration of Interactive Brokers in Esignal is exceptional and I have been trading using exclusively the Esignal trading platform instead of IB Trader Workstation.

Another negative of Esignal considering the debate of value for money is the fact that they seem to charge every little add-on of their software. You need news? Pay. You need a scanner? Pay. You need Forex? Pay. Since most of these come for free in Interactive Brokers TWS I kind of expected to be free with Esignal as well. I fully understand that these add-ons will most likely be superior than the free ones but for such a high price I didn’t see that coming.

So I have to make up my mind next week; should I stick with Esignal and go for the annual pre-paid subscription or look for another charting software?

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