This guide covers everything you need to know about the Google Sheets GOOGLEFINANCE function, including its definition, syntax, use cases, and how to use it.
What is the GOOGLEFINANCE Function? How Does It Work?
The GOOGLEFINANCE function in Google Sheets lets users pull current or historical financial data from Google Finance. This includes details like stock prices, market histories, and mutual fund attributes. It’s a handy tool for monitoring stocks or understanding market trends.
To use this function, you’ll need some specific details:
- The ticker symbol of the stock or asset you’re looking at.
- The type of data you want (like the current price or historical trend).
- Optional dates for a specific data range and the frequency of the data you want.
- This data can either be real-time or from past records. If you’re fetching history, the result will include organized columns.
However, keep in mind:
- Many international exchanges aren’t supported.
- While you can see historical data in Google Sheets, you can’t download it or use it with the Sheets API or Apps Script.
- The function treats dates as noon in UTC time, which might cause discrepancies for some exchanges.
Additionally, while GOOGLEFINANCE is convenient, it’s not perfect:
- The data isn’t for professional finance use or other professional non-finance purposes because of potential third-party licensing costs.
- The provided data doesn’t cover all markets and might be delayed up to 20 minutes. So, it’s not ideal for live trading.
In a nutshell, if you’re using Google Sheets and want to stay updated on financial markets or track personal investments, the GOOGLEFINANCE function is a simple way to do it. But remember its limitations and use it responsibly.
The syntax and arguments for the function are as follows:
GOOGLEFINANCE(ticker, [attribute], [start_date], [end_date|num_days], [interval])
- ticker: A mandatory field that identifies the security’s ticker symbol. For utmost accuracy, you should include both the exchange symbol and the ticker symbol. For example, utilize “NASDAQ:GOOG” rather than just “GOOG.”
- attribute: Optional by design, yet it defaults to “price”. This denotes the type of data you’re fetching. The attribute can be:
For Real-time Data:
- “price”: Current price, potentially delayed up to 20 minutes.
- “priceopen”: Price at the time of market opening.
- “high”: Today’s highest recorded price.
- “low”: Today’s lowest recorded price.
- “volume”: Trading volume for the current day.
- “marketcap”: Total market value of the stock.
- “tradetime”: Time stamp of the most recent trade.
- “datadelay”: The delay duration of the real-time data.
- “volumeavg”: Average trading volume on a daily basis.
- “pe”: Price relative to the earnings, known as the price/earnings ratio.
- “eps”: Earnings allotted to each outstanding share.
- “high52”: The highest price over the last 52 weeks.
- “low52”: The lowest price over the last 52 weeks.
- “change”: Variation in price since the last trading day’s close.
- “beta”: Beta coefficient indicating volatility.
- “changepct”: The percentage variation in price from the previous trading day.
- “closeyest”: Closing price from the previous trading day.
- “shares”: The total shares that are currently outstanding.
- “currency”: The designated currency for the stock’s pricing. Note: Currencies don’t possess trading windows, which means attributes like open, low, high, and volume are inapplicable.
For Historical Data:
- “open”: The stock’s opening price for the specified range of dates.
- “close”: The stock’s closing price for those dates.
- “high”: The peak price during those dates.
- “low”: The lowest price during the timeframe.
- “volume”: Volume of trades for the chosen dates.
- “all”: A comprehensive data set that includes all the attributes listed above.
For Mutual Fund Data:
- “closeyest”: The prior day’s concluding price.
- “date”: The specific date when the net asset value was reported.
- “returnytd”: Cumulative return since the start of the year.
- “netassets”: Total net assets.
- “change”: Variance between the recent net asset value and the preceding one.
- “changepct”: Percentage change in the net asset value.
- “yieldpct”: Distribution yield calculated based on the previous 12 months.
- “returnday”: One-day total return.
- “return1”: One-week total return.
- “return4”: Return over a span of four weeks.
- “return13”: Total return over thirteen weeks.
- “return52”: An annual return, spanning fifty-two weeks.
- “return156”: Cumulative return over 156 weeks (3 years).
- “return260”: Cumulative return over 260 weeks (5 years).
- “incomedividend”: The latest cash distribution amount.
- “incomedividenddate”: Date of the latest cash distribution.
- “capitalgain”: Most recent capital gain distribution amount.
- “morningstarrating”: Morningstar rating for the mutual fund.
- “expenseratio”: Ongoing expense ratio for the fund.
- start_date: An optional parameter to identify the beginning of your historical data search.
- end_date|num_days: Another optional entry. It represents either the historical data’s endpoint or the number of days, counting from the start_date, for which you want data.
- interval: An optional feature. Determines whether your data is recorded daily (“DAILY”) or weekly (“WEEKLY”).
Usage notes related to syntax and arguments:
- The data fetched by this function is not intended for use by financial industry professionals or other professionals at non-financial firms, including government entities.
- All parameters must be enclosed in quotation marks or reference cells containing text. The only exceptions are when the interval is specified as a number and when end_date|num_days is specified as a number of days.
- Real-time results will be returned as a value within a single cell. Historical data, even for a single day, will be returned as an expanded array with column headers.
- If any date parameters are specified, the request is considered historical and only the historical attributes are allowed.
- GOOGLEFINANCE is only available in English and does not support most international exchanges.
- Historical data cannot be downloaded or accessed via the Sheets API or Apps Script. If you attempt to do so, you’ll see a #N/A error in place of the values in the corresponding cells of your spreadsheet.
- Quotes are not sourced from all markets and may be delayed up to 20 minutes. Information is provided ‘as is’ and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice.
- Google treats dates passed into GOOGLEFINANCE as noon UTC time. Exchanges that close before that time may be shifted by a day.
Examples of How to Use the GOOGLEFINANCE Function
Here are some practical examples of how to use the GOOGLEFINANCE function in Google Sheets.
Example #1: Fetching Real-Time Stock Price
If you want to track the real-time price of a specific stock, for instance, Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL), you can use the GOOGLEFINANCE function as follows:
This formula will return the current stock price of Alphabet Inc. in real-time.
Example #2: Fetching Historical Stock Price
If you want to get a stock’s historical price, you can use the GOOGLEFINANCE function with the “date” attribute. Let’s say you want to know the closing price of Apple Inc. (AAPL) on January 1, 2020:
=GOOGLEFINANCE(“AAPL”, “close”, DATE(2020,1,1))
This formula will return the closing price of Apple Inc. on January 1, 2020.
Example #3: Fetching Currency Exchange Rate
The GOOGLEFINANCE function can also get the current exchange rate between two currencies. For instance, if you want to know the current exchange rate from US Dollars to Euros, you can use the following formula:
This formula will return the current exchange rate from US Dollars to Euros.
Example #4: Fetching Stock Market Information
You can also use the GOOGLEFINANCE function to fetch information about a specific stock market. For example, if you want to know the current value of the NASDAQ Composite index, you can use the following formula:
This formula will return the current value of the NASDAQ Composite Index.
Example #5: Fetching Stock’s High and Low Prices
The GOOGLEFINANCE function allows you to fetch a stock’s high and low prices for the current day. For instance, if you want to know the day’s high and low prices for Amazon (AMZN), you can use the following formula:
These formulas will return the day’s high and low prices for Amazon.
GOOGLEFINANCE: Common Mistakes & Problems
When utilizing the GOOGLEFINANCE function in Google Sheets, several common mistakes and problems can arise. This section aims to detail these issues, helping you avoid them in your future work:
- Incorrect Syntax: One of the most common mistakes is incorrect syntax. The GOOGLEFINANCE function requires specific syntax to work correctly. Always ensure you use the correct format: GOOGLEFINANCE(ticker, [attribute], [start_date], [end_date|num_days], [interval]).
- Wrong Ticker Symbols: Using wrong or non-existent ticker symbols will return an error. Always double-check your ticker symbols for accuracy.
- Missing Quotation Marks: Missing quotation marks around the ticker symbol or attribute can cause the function to fail. Ensure these are always included.
- Misinterpretation of Date Formats: GOOGLEFINANCE function uses the American date format (MM/DD/YYYY). You may encounter errors or incorrect results if you’re using a different format.
- Unrecognized Attributes: The function only recognizes specific attributes such as “price”, “high”, “low”, etc. Using an unrecognized attribute will return an error.
- Exceeding the GOOGLEFINANCE Limit: Google Sheets only allows up to 1,000 GOOGLEFINANCE calls on a single spreadsheet. If you exceed this limit, you will get an error.
- Incorrect Interval: For historical data, the interval should be “DAILY” or “WEEKLY”. Incorrect intervals will return an error.
- Lack of Real-Time Data: GOOGLEFINANCE does not provide real-time data. The data is delayed by up to 20 minutes, which can cause discrepancies if real-time data is expected.
- Absence of Data for Certain Markets: Not all markets are covered by GOOGLEFINANCE. You’ll get an error if you request data for a market that’s not included.
Why Is GOOGLEFINANCE Not Working? Troubleshooting Common Errors
If you’re using GOOGLEFINANCE to pull financial data into Google Sheets and it’s not working as expected, there could be several reasons behind this. Let’s explore some of the common errors, their causes, and how to resolve them.
Cause: The #N/A error usually appears when GOOGLE FINANCE cannot find data for the symbol or attribute you’ve entered. This can be due to a typo, an incorrect or obsolete ticker symbol, or simply because the data you’re trying to retrieve is not available for that particular asset.
Solution: Double-check the ticker symbol and attribute you’ve entered. Make sure they are valid and currently in use. If you’re unsure, you can look up the correct symbols on a financial news or data website.
Cause: The #REF! error is often caused by a cell reference issue. For instance, if you delete a cell that is being referenced by the GOOGLEFINANCE function, Google Sheets won’t know what data to pull and will return this error.
Solution: Identify the problematic cell reference in your formula and correct it. If you’ve deleted a cell, you might need to undo the deletion or update the reference to a different cell.
Cause: The #VALUE! error usually happens when the arguments you’ve provided to the GOOGLEFINANCE function are of the wrong type. For example, if you’re trying to pull a currency exchange rate, but you’ve entered a stock symbol instead of a currency pair, you’ll see this error.
Solution: Check the arguments in your GOOGLEFINANCE formula to ensure they are correct. Refer to the GOOGLEFINANCE function documentation for the correct syntax and usage.
Cause: The Loading… error usually means that the GOOGLEFINANCE function takes too long to retrieve the data. This can be due to a slow internet connection, a large amount of data being pulled, or a problem on Google’s end.
Solution: If you’re pulling a lot of data, consider reducing the amount or breaking it up into smaller chunks. If your internet connection is slow, try improving your connection speed. If the problem persists, it might be an issue with Google’s servers, so try again later.
“Formula Parse Error”
Cause: This error occurs when Google Sheets can’t understand your formula. This can be due to a syntax error, a missing parenthesis, or a typo in one of the function’s arguments.
Solution: Review your formula carefully for any syntax errors. Ensure all parentheses are properly paired, and all arguments are correctly spelled and formatted.
For more details on the GOOGLEFINANCE function, check out the official documentation at the Google Docs Editors Help Center.