GOOGLEFINANCE is one of the lesser-known features in Google Sheets that allows you to keep track of current or historical financial paper data in the stock market. Here’s how to use it.
What is Google Finance?
Finance is Google’s real-time tool that displays current market information and aggregates business news. It is currently integrated with Google search, so if you look up a particular corporation’s ticker symbol on Google, such as WMT for Walmart or AAPL for Apple, you will immediately see the current stock price and historical data for that security. You can click on one of these stocks to go to the company’s Google Finance page, which shows the company’s financials, relevant news, and allows you to compare it to other products.
While there are other, more reliable tools you can use to track securities, Google Finance is the only one that can seamlessly integrate with Google Sheets. Whether you’re new to stocks or an experienced trader, this integration is the easiest way to import and track stock data in a spreadsheet.
By the way, the Google Finance sheet integration is only available in English and does not include most international exchanges yet. So if you want to transact on Asian or European exchanges, this might not be the best option for you.
Google Finance Feature
The function that retrieves stock data is called «GOOGLEFINANCE». The syntax of the function is quite simple and takes five arguments, four of which are optional.
The first argument is the ticker symbol. These are the codes that companies have when they are listed on the stock market, such as GOOG for Google or BAC for Bank of America. You can also specify the exchange where the stocks you have chosen are listed to avoid discrepancies. Since Bank of America is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, you must enter «NYSE:BAC».
To get the ticker codes and stock exchanges you need, you need to do some research. You can find them on Google Finance or your portfolio management tool of choice.
The second argument is the attribute you want to display. It defaults to «price» if left blank. Here are a few attributes that you can retrieve using the function:
- price: the price of a particular stock in real time.
- volume: current trading volume.
- high: the maximum price of the current or selected day.
- low: the minimum price of the current or selected day.
- volumeavg: average daily trading volume.
- pe: price-to-earnings ratio.
- EPS: earnings per share.
Note that the attributes you can display depend on whether you are using current or historical data. Here is the complete list of attributes you can use for the argument. It is important to remember that live data is updated every 15 minutes, so it is not fully displayed in real time.
The third argument is the start date, which only applies if you are using historical data. You can enter «TODAY ()» or leave the field blank to display real-time data. The fourth argument specifies either the end date or the number of days from the start date. If you leave this field blank, the function will return data for one day.