Google throws away 12 years of work by investors (Portfolios in Google Finance)

I went to Google Finance the other day to see how a hypothetical portfolio invested in 2012 would have done. This is something that I took the time to type in back in 2012. I discovered that keeping a database of a few symbols and numbers and doing a multiplication is too onerous for folks at Google (they’re busy stamping out heresy?). So they have thrown out my work. Here are a few articles on this attack on human productivity by Google:

When we combine this with Google’s destruction of millions of person-years of (part-time) work in Picasa, is the only reasonable conclusion that Google has re-hired Marissa Mayer?

Readers: How would you track a hypothetical investment, including reinvestment of any dividends? Especially in a mutual fund ticker.

Related:

29 Comments

  1. demetri

    September 14, 2018 @ 1:57 pm

    1

    I remember using yahoo finance back in the day (at least fifteen years ago) and despite Marissa Mayer’s best efforts my portfolio of that era is still there. Maybe I should shut up since if anyone there realizes this stuff still works they are sure to shut it down.

  2. Bill

    September 14, 2018 @ 2:19 pm

    2

    Yahoo Finance still keeps a junk portfolio for me that I set up 15 years ago. I never use it but it is there. But they did away with most of the other useful stuff on Yahoo Finance. I think you can also set one up at Morningstar but both have severe limits.

    For my real portfolio I use two Excel custom spread sheets I set up back when. I have one for Asset Allocation and one for net worth that sums all my accounts together. I balance and cross check these two sheets to my brokerage statements and to each other every few months. That way I have total annual performance and lots of other data. Most of my associates at Bogleheads.org do similar Excel sheets as no free web site or tool seems to do this without a lot of work or paying a management fee.

  3. Fazal Majid

    September 14, 2018 @ 3:27 pm

    3

    “Google discontinues X” is the least newsworthy headline since “dog bites man”.

  4. Dave Saunders

    September 14, 2018 @ 4:10 pm

    4

    I thought the best software I’d ever seen was Google Desktop Search (still do) . They dumped that. I really liked Google Reader. That’s gone too. I don’t use the excellent Google Docs because of what I fear they will do to old stuff.

    So I use not so good Duck Duck Go and loads of alternatives to stuff Google probably does better, just to save the hassle of finding a way to get out of the mire when they dump my work.

  5. J. Peterson

    September 14, 2018 @ 4:18 pm

    5

    My take on Google pulling the plug on things from a couple years ago.

  6. philg

    September 14, 2018 @ 5:02 pm

    6

    Fazal: It is newsworthy when Google trashes something that throws away work done by millions of people. That’s a huge amount of person-hours down the drain and a major destruction of wealth (people have to spend time replicating work that they already did instead of working).

  7. Reader 1

    September 14, 2018 @ 5:10 pm

    7

    Just use Morningstar.

  8. Hayk Saakian

    September 14, 2018 @ 5:15 pm

    8

    Strange that they could never monetize an audience of people interested in stocks and finance.

    This would typically be a highly valuable demographic for advertisers, and it’s just strange that Google threw in the towel here.

  9. Daniel Axelsen

    September 14, 2018 @ 5:22 pm

    9

    Hi – I just got linked to this via Hacker News.

    I’m actually the creator of https://bravos.co, a replacement for Google Finance. (I didn’t have anything to do with this article being posted, or being linked to on sites like Hacker News.)

    I actually left my job two months ago to work on this full-time… Google Finance used to be a “home page tab” for me and it was just killing me that I couldn’t find a good alternative. Bravos.co features a clean interface for tracking public companies, cryptocurrencies, and even private companies. The platform pulls in news, social conversations, and key financial data, and has modern features like a “Dark Mode” and mobile site. APIs, native apps, notifications, and more are coming soon.

    You can create a watchlist right now, and we’ll be adding more of the buy/sell/portfolio features to that watchlist soon.

    You can watch a 2 minute video walkthrough here: https://youtu.be/gpQpCK9Ydl0

    We would love to get your thoughts – we want to build this based on community feedback.

  10. Manor

    September 14, 2018 @ 6:06 pm

    10

    I was unhappy with the change as well, but you should still be able to get a backup of the portfolio. You can download a csv from the new Google Finance by going to Your stocks > Add from Portfolios > Spreadsheet. I currently use wallmine.com for tracking but there are a few other (free) options as mentioned earlier. Investing.com is another one.

  11. Viking

    September 14, 2018 @ 6:34 pm

    11

    I thought the stock screener was great, utilizing the core google capability, portfolio was good for revisiting how the picks I didn’t pull the trigger on were doing.

    Is the stock skreener another feature that has been dropped? I couldn’t find it with a cursory look.

  12. Hannah Konitshek

    September 14, 2018 @ 6:35 pm

    12

    I just checked out Bravos – it looks super awesome! I’ve had the same thought re: an easy to use stock tracker. The closest thing I’ve found is Trading View, but that is geared much more towards power users and people who use charts heavily.

    I’d love to chat about the project and see if there is a way to get involved. Feel free to shoot me a DM https://twitter.com/HannahKonnn.

  13. Viking

    September 14, 2018 @ 6:35 pm

    13

    Daniel, I get this warning at bravos.co:

    Your connection is not secure

    The owner of bravos.co has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website.

  14. Ninju Bohra

    September 14, 2018 @ 6:51 pm

    14

    @Viking
    Looks a couple of the assets are *NOT* served up using httpS there thereby negating the fully security of HTTPS

    Mixed Content: The page at ‘https://bravos.co/’ was loaded over HTTPS, but requested an insecure image ‘http://a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com/content/fox-news/food-drink/2018/09/14/florida-taco-bell-employee-fired-after-refusing-to-serve-customer-who-wouldnt-speak-spanish/_jcr_content/par/featured_image/media-0.img.jpg/0/0/1536956778442.jpg?ve=1’. This content should also be served over HTTPS.
    (index):1 Mixed Content: The page at ‘https://bravos.co/’ was loaded over HTTPS, but requested an insecure image ‘http://a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com/content/fox-news/auto/2018/09/14/elon-musks-boring-company-wants-to-tunnel-into-your-garage/_jcr_content/par/featured_image/media-0.img.jpg/0/0/1536951749179.jpg?ve=1’. This content should also be served over HTTPS.
    (index):1 Mixed Content: The page at ‘https://bravos.co/’ was loaded over HTTPS, but requested an insecure image ‘http://a57.foxnews.com/media2.foxnews.com/BrightCove/694940094001/2018/07/06/0/0/694940094001_5806197552001_5806170179001-vs.jpg?ve=1’. This content should also be served over HTTPS.
    (index):1 Mixed Content: The page at ‘https://bravos.co/’ was loaded over HTTPS, but requested an insecure image ‘http://s.marketwatch.com/public/resources/MWimages/MW-GB148_tepper_ZG_20180104121828.jpg’. This content should also be served over HTTPS.

  15. Daniel Axelsen

    September 14, 2018 @ 7:18 pm

    15

    Thanks for the comments about the insecure images. We definitely need to improve that!

    As a side note, our site is secure, but one of our partners that we get news from is loading images using the http (not secure) protocol. We’ll find a a way to handle that properly.

  16. TH

    September 14, 2018 @ 7:26 pm

    16

    You can also use google sheets to build your portfolio. For e.g this is a quick way to get AAPL price on a 1/2/14

    =INDEX(GOOGLEFINANCE(“AAPL”,”price”,”1/2/2014″,”1/3/2014″,”DAILY”),2,2)

  17. th

    September 14, 2018 @ 7:29 pm

    17

    unrelated (cancel this posting please).

    Phil, what say you about this?

    http://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-aviation-headsets.html

  18. Jason Kotchoff

    September 14, 2018 @ 8:34 pm

    18

    In order to track a hypothetical investment, including reinvestment of any dividends, something that is much more meaningful then the overall ROI provided by Google Finance is the concept of the annualised return.

    We built our portfolio functionality with this in mind to empower investors to understand their true returns, respective of time. More information here along with links to download the app (iOS/Android only at the moment):

    https://stocklight.com/faq

  19. philg

    September 14, 2018 @ 9:12 pm

    19

    th: That headset article? It looks like they are scraping reviews from Amazon and then linking to Amazon to get the clickhrough commission.

    (They obviously don’t know anything about headsets since Lightspeed is not mentioned. Lightspeed has become more critical in the ADS-B era because Bose headsets pick up noise from the squitter. Super annoying.)

    Everyone else: I’m not sure that the alternatives mentioned included tracking reinvested dividends at a mutual fund or for a stock. So except for stocks that pay no dividend, just keeping track of the price over time is not a reasonable way to get the performance.

  20. Ryan Carstens

    September 14, 2018 @ 9:54 pm

    20

    I created a Google Finance replacement – https://stockdaddy.io – This can track your investments and returns including dividends for stocks and ETFs (real-time) and mutual funds (EOD). It’s basically a pure portfolio tracker.

    I created this using IEX APIs which are really the only good thing out there for this kind of project.

  21. Mclionhead

    September 14, 2018 @ 10:53 pm

    21

    Based on my job interview there, they can program every sorting algorithm ever invented, without a compiler & blindfolded, but they can’t program anything useful. All of their programs are thus acquisitions they eventually turn into sorting algorithms that don’t do anything & have to be shut down.

  22. Yann Eves

    September 15, 2018 @ 1:11 am

    22

    Surprised no one’s mentioning ShareSight, I found their site ages ago when Google pulled Google Reader and I figured Finance would share a similar fate eventually. Not my company or anything, just a happy free user – their premium service is tempting, too.

  23. Jay C

    September 15, 2018 @ 4:49 pm

    23

    Ryan,

    very nice. I would recommend it for my family but I wonder how long stockdaddy will be operational which I think was the point of the post.

    Did you write it using .NET? Wow, I wish the programmers I work with could do such nice things with .NET. What chart library did you use?

    After Marissa destroyed Yahoo! Finance! I wrote something using IEX and Zacks data on Matlab and I’m in the process of porting it to Racket.

    -Jay

  24. Ryan Carstens

    September 15, 2018 @ 4:55 pm

    24

    I suppose there is no assurance on how long stockdaddy.io it will be operational. But, if you can’t get that assurance from one of the largest companies to exist, who can you get it from? I have no plans to discontinue it as I use it myself quite regularly.

    I coded this in classic asp and jquery using Google Charts. The charting is pretty bare bones, but gets the job done for glancing at symbols throughout the day. The classic ASP is a bit embarrassing, but it’s just what I know best. This is all old tech, but you can still get a nice clean new result.

  25. bjdubbs

    September 15, 2018 @ 7:41 pm

    25

    You could put your portfolios in a practice trading account at some brokers like Interactive Brokers.

  26. The Practical Conservative

    September 15, 2018 @ 8:38 pm

    26

    This was a really charming comment thread. Love all the recommendations. You have a great commentariat, Phil!

  27. Roger Bigod

    September 15, 2018 @ 11:14 pm

    27

    Did you try Wayback Machine?

  28. James

    September 16, 2018 @ 7:35 pm

    28

    Agreed Yann Eves, I found http://sharesight.com/ after hearing people talk about it on Reddit – looks like they are based in New Zealand but it seems to track the majority of international stock markets.

  29. Alvin Milton

    September 17, 2018 @ 4:46 pm

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