When you use multiple brokerage companies to buy stocks in different companies, it’s hard to keep track of your portfolio, capital gains and dividend income. Luckily, Google Finance has an easy to use online portfolio tracker where you can gather all your stock holdings and see your performance over time, track commissions and dividends.
Create a New Stock Portfolio
You’ll need a Google Account to use the Google Finance portfolio tracking, but chances are you already have one. After logging into your Google Account, head over to Google Finance Portfolios and hit the “Create new Portfolio” button on the top right:
If you’d like to track your holdings in a single portfolio, choose a generic name, like “My Stocks” or “My Portfolio”. If you’d rather track your stock holdings with different brokerage firms in different portfolios, you can create multiple portfolios with Google, and simply use the brokerage firm name as the name of your portfolio, for example “Fidelity” or “TradeStation”.
Note that if you do opt-in to multiple portfolios, you’ll be able to easily track the performance of each, but not all as a whole. But don’t worry, exporting transactions from one portfolio and importing to another is also possible, and we will show you how do do that later in this tutorial.
After creating the new portfolio you’ll see it listed in the Portfolios submenu on the left. That’s where you can switch between multiple portfolios if you have them.
Tracking Your Cash with Google Finance
Google Finance portfolio tracking can also track your cash, which can be very convenient if you have to maintain a cash balance with your brokerage firm. You can use the Cash Deposit or Withdrawal links to add or deduct cash from your portfolio. If you do use the cash tracking feature, you’ll be able to automatically deduct from or add to cash, whenever you add a stock transaction.
If you haven’t used Google Finance for portfolio tracking before, we recommend you keep it simple and not use the cash tracking feature until you’re comfortable with the rest of the user interface.
Adding Stock Transactions
Type the stock ticker, for example GOOGL, APPL or PG in the “Add symbol” form in your portfolio view. Hit the “Add transaction data” link to expand the form to include the transaction information. You will be able to provide the date of your purchase (or sale), the number of shares you bought or sold, the price at which you bought or sold the stock, and the commission charged by your brokerage firm for the transaction.
You can optionally provide note for the transaction, as well as use the “Deduct from cash” checkbox if you’re using the cash tracking feature in Google Finance.
When you’re done, hit the “Add to portfolio” button and you’ll see it listed in your portfolio.
Repeat these steps for every stock that you own. Don’t worry if you made a mistake. You can delete a stock transaction and recreate it at any point in time.
After you’ve added all your stock holdings to Google Finance, your Portfolio view will display these holdings, along with valuable market information, including the current price, market cap, highs and lows and more. If you’re investing for the long term, you’ll be more interested in the “Performance” tab:
This views shows your holdings together with gain for each stock position, the overall return and the whole value of your portfolio which shows the current average return for all the stocks that you own.
It’s worth noting that dividends paid out in cash will be added to your Cash balance on Google Finance. If you’d like to see the dividend payouts for each stock, head over to the “Transactions” tab of the table:
The Performance chart at the bottom of the stocks table allows you to visualize your holdings on a customizable time scale, as well as compare your performance to benchmarks such as the S&P 500, the Dow Jones or the Nasdaq indices, as well as to specific stock tickers which you can manually add. Use the Zoom links to adjust the time scale.
Google Finance News and Events
The “Portfolio related news” section is a feed from Google News, but limited to only the stocks that you own, which is very convenient and helps you quickly spot any critical news about any of your holdings, without having to research each one individually. You can use the “More portfolio related news” link at the bottom of the page to expand the news section for more entries.
The “Events” section on the right allows you to see any past and upcoming events, related to your holdings. This section will list things like earnings releases, shareholder meetings, and other important event related to the companies you’ve invested in.
Import and Export
Google Finance allows you to easily export all your data in CSV or OFX formats. This is convenient if you would like to backup your data, or import it to a different too, or perhaps a new portfolio on Google Finance.
Google Finance is Not Just for Stocks
With Google Finance you’re not limited to tracking stocks in your portfolio. You can easily add the tickers for mutual funds, such as the “Vanguard S&P 500” fund, currencies, such as the USD or EUR, and various other securities including ETFs.