Google Finance: Quick Guide
Found In: Tools
Google is far more than just a search engine. Not to trivialize the high quality of search results that Google delivers because of the algorithm used to index the many billions of web pages, the other realities are that google has done a masterful job of recruiting some of the best brains in the technology sector from either the best Universities in the World or head hunted from the largest and most successful technology companies in the World. As part of the work ethic this massive talent pool enjoys is the mandate that they are free to commit twenty per cent of their paid for working time on any personal project of their choosing. With no accountability for the profitable outcome of these personal projects, the employees have been free to explore the farthest reaches of their minds to develop projects that at concept stage would be unlikely to garner any corporate support.
From the massive list of projects being worked on, each is reviewed for its potential benefit to humanity if they were to be fully developed and released into production for public use. This concept of personal project development has spawned a large array of “Google Apps”, and Google Finance is one such initiative. It is best thought of as a web site portal to access the entire gambit of financial information that users could need. While it was first launched as a beta version in the United States, there are now beta versions also for the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, China and Canada.
Google Finance has Many Advantages
The main advantage of Google Finance is that it can be fully customized the way the user wishes. They simply need a Gmail email account, and when they have logged in people can set up their portfolio to monitor. This is a wonderful feature. Because there are thousands of publicly listed companies, try to monitor them all becomes a noise where it is impossible to remember what is going on. By setting up their own portfolio, users get the latest information and prices of only those stocks and shares of particular interest. If the company releases information to the exchange, the portfolio gets updated immediately. Prices of the shares are constantly updating with a minimum of delay – 20 minutes delay is standard for free data streaming services.
And if the user has complex interests across multiple sectors of the exchange, users can set up multiple portfolios. This is particularly useful where investors have a combination of longer term hold, medium term and short term monitoring positions. With long term hold investments, users could chose to oversee them on a weekly or monthly basis with a more cursory glance. Medium term stocks could be viewed every few days or week. And short term monitoring positions lend themselves to day trading opportunities, where getting positions in stocks which are sold the same day are the goal and imperative.
Google Finance is a Customizable News Aggregation Service
Google Finance has a full feed financial news service which is constantly updating. In fact it is a news aggregation data feed, whereby Google is not responsible for authoring or editing any of the latest financial news. Rather, Google is constantly scanning the Internet for the latest breaking news, and presents summaries in a time sensitive way. Any news item that is of interest to the user, it is only one click away for being able to be read on the web-site that has published the item.
With the news feed, accessing market wide sentiment is just as easy as catching up on company announcements that are not monitored in the set up portfolio. Whereas the portfolio or portfolios that are set up enable users to keep an eye open for market sensitive announcements which can prompt either buying or selling decisions.
It is About News Aggregation, Google Finance Does Not Trade Shares
Google Finance is not an online software application designed for directly making trades. Rather it is a way to organize information flows to assist users to stay on top of their investments. As a news aggregation service, one especially useful tool is Google Financial Domestic Trends option. This plots graphically the trend on the many and varied different sectors within the market. For example, it shows useful data graphically for the various economic sectors of advertising and marketing, air travel, auto buyers, automotive finance, automotive generally, business and industrial, bankruptcy etc. The list of potentially interesting ways to see the United States Economy is extensive. Collectively, they express what is happening and all of the influencing factors on the economy. This is especially true for portfolio management because each sector of those companies that comprise the stock exchange is each influenced by a part of the economic sector. For example, when owning shares in car makers, of course it makes sense to monitor the Google Finance Domestic Trends graphs for the automotive trends, auto finance and auto buyers as each of these may indicate future price action and reaction.
Working with the Google Finance interface is very intuitive. Not only can any person logically set it up exactly the way they want, Google also have many useful videos available to give users a tour on what is possible and how to go about customizing the interface. Whether you need reliable market quote updates, your own customized portfolio monitoring, the latest news updates on the market conditions and sentiment, you will find Google finance an extremely useful tool to use.
While it is still in its beta stages, we can look forward to further functionality to be added before it is launched in its final production form. With already now having versions for England, China and also Hong Kong, Canada and the United States, each one entirely based around their local exchanges and news item relevance, the only annoyance I have found is that the Hong Kong and Chinese versions are all in Chinese, with no choice to be able to monitor these markets in English.