What Is Google Finance?
Google Finance is an app and dashboard that allows users to search by ticker symbol or company name. It offers stocks and bond quotes, current news, and financial data to help you invest your money. If you’re someone who likes doing their research, Google Finance is a great place to get all your information in one place in a customizable format. And although this is a post about the alternatives to Google Finance, it can still be a good choice if you only need the basics and want something simple.
How Does Google Finance Work?
Google Finance was built by the Google tech giant with the goal of offering a platform that allows users to create a personalized portfolio following the stocks and securities that you want to know more about. It’s simple to set up: start by creating a Google account; this will allow you to create a portfolio and take part in the discussion groups offered by Google Finance.
You can then put together a portfolio by heading to the homepage and clicking on “Create a Portfolio”. Once you’ve created your portfolio, you’ll be able to add the stocks of your choice along with any mutual funds. You can then view your portfolio in a few different settings, including “overview” and “fundamentals”.
The overview mode will let you see the details of every individual stock price along with its percentage change and volume. The fundamentals mode offers a 52 week long chart so you can compare how stocks have performed over time.
The forum is also a great feature, where you can debate buying certain stocks with a group and gather different information.
Why Would You Want to Use Google Finance?
The main reason people like Google Finance is because it’s straightforward and simple to use. The portfolio tool means you can easily track the performance of your entire portfolio with all the quantities you have invested and see the total value over time.
You can even view the total cash in your brokerage account. Google Finance can also be exported into a spreadsheet in various formats, making it easier to combine with a budget or other financial tracking you may be doing.
It also has a handy feature where you can compare your portfolio to indexes such as the S&P and the NASDAQ.
What Google Finance is Lacking?
Many people agree that the Google Finance tool used to be a lot better. In 2017, the platform was renovated and many of the key reporting features were removed.
It used to be used by traders and people who wanted more details on their stocks, but now the interface is too simple for more sophisticated investing.
There are a few other details such as the fact that Google Finance isn’t great at finding the appropriate stocks from the ticker and the visuals are not very comprehensive.
Pros Of Using Google Finance
Originally Google Finance only allowed you to track stocks individually. This meant that tracking the performance of a portfolio using Google was a laborious process where you had to take each individual price, multiply it by the stock quantity and add up the figure for each stock whenever you wanted to get a current total. The Portfolio Tracker tool enables you to add multiple stocks in varying quantities and track the total value over time. You can also keep a running cash total of any money you have deposited with a broker but have not yet invested in stocks.
Although you can manually add transactions to your portfolio, Google Finance is compatible with several finance-related applications. You can import spreadsheet and text files detailing your transactions in CSV and OFX formats from applications like Microsoft Excel. If your broker provides such files, you can save time adding transactions and avoid typing errors in the information. You can also download a record of your transactions or the current status of your portfolio in CSV or OFX formats.
When you visit the My Portfolio section of Google Finance, you automatically get a list of news about the companies in which you have invested. This saves having to manually search tools such as Google News or specific finance news websites. You also see a list of upcoming events, such as earnings reports and conference calls, for your stocks and can click to add them to your Google Calendar if you have one.
Google Finance includes a portfolio charting tool. This generates a graph comparing the proportional changes in the total value of your portfolio over time against those of major indexes, including Dow Jones, Standard and Poor and NASDAQ. You can also compare your portfolio against the proportional changes in a specific stock.
In late 2017, Alphabet Inc. (Google’s parent company) announced that it would incorporate the Finance product into its dominant search service. As a result, the data associated with Google Finance will still be fully available, but it will look a little different than it has in the past.
In making the move, Google has started to migrate current users’ portfolios into the company’s primary search platform. There is considerable potential for the change to provide more exceptional capabilities to those involved in investing and finance. Google will be able to examine users’ interests better and provide them with more personalized reports and data.
Just like anything else Google does, the changes being made to the Google Finance portfolio feature has led to some skepticism among long-time users. However, many others are confident that the move will ultimately provide even more features and high-caliber insights. They will provide more valuable data for those engaged in various forms of stock investing.