Track Your Portfolio With Google Docs

Track Your Portfolio With Google Docs

About a week ago, I spent some time messing around in Google Docs trying to get it to automagically pull in data related to stock quotes. At the time, I was interested in getting updated dividend yields, P/E values, etc., for the S&P Dividend Aristocrats.

For background, most of you know that I’m a diehard index fund investor. That being said, I love data, and the idea of dividend investing intrigues me. During a recent chat with Jim from Bargaineering, we got to talking about how there must be an easy way of compiling stock data in a spreadsheet by pulling data from the web.

I was actually vaguely aware that you can do this in Excel, but it seemed that it should be even easier with Google Docs. As it turns out, I was right… They have a “GoogleFinance” function built right in.

For full details, see this page from Google.

Here’s how it works:

To insert the current price of a stock into a spreadsheet cell, use:

=GoogleFinance("GOOG"; "price")

Where GOOG is for Google, though you can use any ticker symbol.

For P/E ratio, use:

=GoogleFinance("GOOG"; "pe")

And so on…

The page I linked above includes a list of attributes that can be accessed in this fashion, including trading volume, 52 week high and low, change from the previous day, number of shares outstanding, market capitalization, and many more.

The beauty of this approach is that whenever you load your spreadsheet, you’ll have the latest data at your fingertips. Also note that you can use this same approach for mutual funds or ETFs.

Unfortunately, they don’t currently offer access to dividend-related data using this function. I’m not sure why, since that info is all included on the quote page. While you can still access it by using the “importhtml” function and extracting what you need, that’s a far more complex endeavor.

If you have any other useful Google Docs tricks, I’d love to hear them.

9 Responses to “Track Your Portfolio With Google Docs”

  1. Seth: Can you sort your portfolio by multiple criteria at once, use conditional formatting to color code cells that meet certain criteria (to improve visualization), etc.? This is an honest question, as I haven’t dug deep enough within Google Finance itself to know. Also… It looks like you have to enter one symbol at a time to build a portfolio. Is that right, or can you import, say, 100 ticker symbols at once? With Google Docs, you can just paste them in all at once.

    If, for example, you wanted to research the “Dividend Achievers” (it’s a bigger list than the Aristocrats) you would have to enter 212 ticker symbols. Alternatively, you could download the list and copy/paste them into a spreadsheet.

  2. Anonymous

    I’m not trying to be negative here… just curious, but I still don’t see how that provides anything that isn’t already a click away in Google Finance. I can track my portfolio, and if I click on a stock name, it shows me all of the information you just mentioned.

  3. Anonymous

    check out this link. i made a google spreadsheet to track my dividend portfolio also. while =googlefinance() did provide useful info such as company name, market price and p/e ratio, the link below taught me how to pull in TTM (trailing 12 month) dividend payouts using =importdata() and yahoo finance. a couple of the drawbacks i noticed are 1) google spreadsheet only allows only fifty =importdata(); 2) google and yahoo use different symbols sometimes (eg. brk.b vs brk-b); and 3) mentioned earlier it uses TTM instead of forward 12 month payouts. it’s not perfect but i found it very useful to track my current portfolio as well as my watchlist of tickers.

    http://dubd.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/google-docs-stoxpage/

  4. Anonymous

    Any examples? So far I’ve been able to do everything I need with Google Finance, so I’m curious what other things you are wanting. Maybe there are other things I could be exploring.

  5. Anonymous

    Every couple months I update my dividend stock portfolio (built off the dividend aristocrat list) if I could EVERYTHING it would save me so much time!

    But even the Price and PE will save me some time.

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