How To Use Google Finance

Google Finance can provide you with a lot of information.  It allows you to search for a variety of information on companies, research specific stocks, mutual funds and bonds, perform a variety of conversions, and build your own portfolios.  Whether you're a casual investor or a professional accountant it's a very helpful program.

If you want to get the full benefit of Google Finance, you'll need to set up a Google account.  If you already have one that you use for some of their other applications, like Google groups, shopping lists or alerts, then you can use that.  If you have a Gmail account, you can use the username and password for that.  If you don't have a Google account, you need to start here. You'll need to fill out all the requested information and agree to the terms and conditions.  There is no charge for a Google account.

  • One of the main reasons people use Google Finance is to set up an online portfolio that they can watch.  You can actually set up multiple portfolios.  You also have the ability to do quite a bit of stock research.  Google Finance will link to various news sources for articles that you can read.  You can also participate in various blogs regarding specific companies or even start your own blog.
  • You can research historical prices for various stocks.  If you are trying to determine the cost basis of a stock for tax purposes, this can be an important tool. 
  • You can also compare your chosen stock to other specific stocks or to major indexes.  You can view your comparison in a graph that will clearly show you how your chosen stock measures against your other choices.  You can adjust the comparison time-frame to suit you. 
  • You can also be part of various discussions relating to a specific stock.  Just be aware that some who post on the discussion boards may have ulterior motives.  Although many of the forums are monitored, the moderator can't always know if a participant is trying to influence the price of a stock.  Learn from the discussions, but do your own research. 
  • Many of the functions in Google Finance can be done without actually having to log on.  However, for some functions, like building and maintaining portfolios, you will need to log on. 

Using an internet tool like Google Finance can help you learn more about companies you are interested in.  It can help you organize and monitor your investment strategy, as well as theoretically try new strategies.  It can provide you with useful tools to do a variety of conversions, both monetary and non-monetary.  If you're interested in taking what you've learned from this article even further, you may even want to sign up for a few online finance classes.  All in all, Google Finance can provide you with a generous amount of financial information.


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