If you invest in individual stocks or have your own portfolio, then you know the hassle of researching the different stock options out there and making timely decisions. If only there was a one-stop-shop service out there that gives you all the research tools you needed. Oh yes, that’s where Google Finance comes in!
Unlike its obvious competitors like MSN and Yahoo! Finance, Google Finance boasts having no distracting ads, an easy to use interface, and a fantastic tool to monitor your portfolio. More on that shortly.
In this article, we will go over how you can maximize your investment strategies, get the best info using Google Finance, and make good investment decisions.
What is Google Finance
Google Finance was first launched in 2006. This tool, owned by the parent company Alphabet, allows users to get up-to-date information on stocks and the companies behind them. It also offers an easy way to keep track of past search history items and provides overall worldwide market summaries.
It also has a handy feature that allows you to create your own Portfolio. This allows you to keep track of stocks that you are interested in, or have invested in. Google Finance has been ranked amongst the top 15 most popular personal finance websites out there, showing its popularity.
Within the dashboard, you are also presented with the most followed stocks on the platform. This can give you a quick glimpse of what people are currently interested in and paying attention to.
Google Finance is also completely free to use.
How to use Google Finance
Now that you have a basic understanding of what Google Finance does, it’s time you create your own portfolio and start tracking it. This process is super easy.
To gain access to all it’s features, you will need to have a Google Account. If you already have a Gmail account, then it’s the same thing. If not, you will have to create one. Super easy to do, and will only take 5 minutes.
Once you have a Google account, you can create your new portfolio by simply searching for the stock you own and adding it to your relevant watchlist.
Google has since removed its old Portfolio tool, and instead replaced it with a simple to use Watchlist option. It’s similar to the old tool but works just as well.
Your watchlists give you the ability to see all the latest news and updates regarding that company, as well as keeping track of the stock value changes. Super easy to do.
Understanding market data
Once you have your watchlists set up, you now probably need to assess the stocks you have an make educated investment decisions.
Statistics displayed are updated by Google every minute or so and are not real-time. This means that there will be a slight delay on the values of your stocks Your investment decisions should take that into consideration.
Google also compiles the latest headlines on stocks from over 4,500 different sources so you don’t have to go searching the internet for the latest news & headlines. This makes life much easier.
To get more details on a particular stock, you will need to use the search box and click on a result to get more details. For example, you could either search for TESLA or TSLA (ticker symbol) to get the same result.
Once you open a particular stock, you will be presented with in-depth information. Not only do you get to see the latest Headlines and news, you’re also presented with graphs and detailed statistics.
Graphs and Charts
The chart gives you a good visual representation of how the stock has changed in value over time. You could use this chart to go back in time, all the way back to 1980.
This can help you determine Trends and how much a particular stock has changed over time. You can hover your mouse over any date along the graph and see what it was worth on a particular day and time.
The previous close refers to what the final price of a stock was when it officially closed for the day on the previous day. So if today is Wednesday, the previous close is the value of the stock that it was end of day Tuesday.
The range gives you the highest and lowest values a particular stock was throughout the day or throughout the year. It’s a super easy and quick way to see how much a particular stock fluctuated throughout the day and how much it has changed throughout the year.
The market capitalization is simply a figure that reflects the overall size of a company on the stock market. It is calculated by multiplying the value of an individual stock by the number of shares that are outstanding. Typically the higher the market cap, the bigger the company is.
Volume is the number of shares that stock traders bought or sold over a certain period. Using the key stats on the right sidebar, the volume is the number of shares bought and sold in the last 30 days.
This dance for the price-to-earnings ratio. A good rule of thumb states that is one number hints at a stock being relatively cheap in the context of its earning power. A high P/E ratio also hints that a company’s stock is over-valued. Investors may also be expecting high growth in the future. This also pushes up the ratio. An important piece when it comes to investing and using Google Finance effectively.
This value is available only if a particular stock pays out dividends. If it does, then it is a ratio that shows how much a company pays out in dividends relative to its stock price. Typically the higher the dividend yield, the better (because your investment in that stock is earning more)
Understanding financial performance
Another feature of Google Finance has the ability to look at a company’s financial performance. Unlike other stock tracking tools out there, Google provides a super easy to understand and clean interface.
You can view a company’s financial performance quarterly or annually. You can start comparing historical financial data and see how a company’s doing in terms of revenue, and net income.
Net income is probably the most important number to look at here. It is the money a company makes after paying all its debts, employees, expenses, and all others. A healthy and growing company has a net income that is growing year-over-year and is not losing money.
This may not matter if you are investing in a company that does not make any profit, but you expect it to make profits in the future. A good example of this would be investing in Snapchat. It has lost money every single year since being on the stock market, but investors are optimistic about its future.
Google Finance is simply a tool to keep track of the latest news, Trends, and do diligent market research. Here are a couple of excellent service that can help you invest and start building a portfolio.
Invest using M1 Finance
All you have to do is simply pick an investment strategy and M1 Finance does the rest for you, automatically. It invests based on your investment strategy, automatically rebalances your account, allows fractional shares, and a whole lot more features!
Oh, and did I mention it’s completely free to use? Yup! Win-win in my book! Definitely check it out
Invest using Robinhood
If you want a little more control of your investments and get to pick and choose your portfolio, then Robinhood is a great tool to use as well!
It also boasts not having any fees, whatsoever, so you can trade your stocks without any limitations. This tool is incredibly simple to use and super intuitive.