Real-time live stock charts are current and update as the changes happen, reports Investopedia. Nasdaq's website offers real-time quotes from its own exchange, the American Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. However, many free sites offer charts whose last-sale figures have a 15- to 20-minute delay, notes Nasdaq.
Financial sites make money by offering for-pay access to real-time stock charts from markets worldwide, explains GOBankingRates. Investment firms pay considerable sums for access to the most current information across all markets.
As of 2015, Nasdaq offers free, real-time quotes for individual investors, but only from a few exchanges. To gain access to real-time charts for other markets, investors use for-pay services or the limited free options provided by sites such as FreeStockCharts.com.