For years now Google has helped fuel the growth of its brand by offering users a variety of interactive tools. These tools are normally offered at no charge and give considerable value especially to those who used to pay for programs such as Analytics. This article takes a look at Google Finance (GF), yet another web-based application developed and presented for use by the world’s largest online search engine.
Launched in 2006, GF publishes headlines, news and financial information for a large number of corporations. Like similar products produced by other online companies, GF offers stock quotations, currency quotations, bond information, and sector financial data.
There is also a trend section. GF collects and publishes relevant financial news from other Google portals, like Google Blog Search and Google News. The individual reader often has to shift through sometimes irrelevant information to gain the type of financial news they find personally newsworthy but it is easy to set up personalized options.
Portfolio Building – The Real Value in GF
Perhaps the most interesting and important feature for the individual investor is the highly customizable portfolio section. This allows you to build a personal portfolio that can access 40 years of historical information about stocks. It also delivers the latest relevant news and prices for your stocks.
Your personal portfolio can track your transactions and can be downloaded to a spreadsheet or in a format compatible with financial software like Intuit’s Quicken. The portfolio options are rich and robust. Real time ticker updates are available, resulting from Google’s partnering with both NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange.
Another useful feature you will find is called the Stock Screener. This tool allows you to search for stocks (currently US stocks only) by identifying specific criteria which you are interested in. This type of search feature generally produced more specific results than simply searching by text. You can use the default settings or customize the search settings to hone in on stocks within your area of interest.