Retail trading is easier than ever, with thousands of amateur day traders investing as either a hobby or to boost their income. However, stocks open early every day and trade quickly. Keeping an eye on your investments and investment opportunities can be extremely challenging, and, unless you have the right tools, time-consuming. Fortunately, there are simple tools that give an investor the ability to track and manage their portfolio and investments in a painless (but rigorous) way.
Accessing stock market information isn’t difficult, but analyzing the data can be a real challenge. As a trader, you need to see and sort your positions (including entry and closing prices), calculate the standard deviation of assets (to determine risk), determine the percentage of return you can expect, and the performance and degree of volatility over time.
There are several tools you can use to monitor your stock, including stock market trackers and online platforms. Stock market trackers are usually the go-to app for aspiring investors, but while many of these apps include interesting technical overlays and analyses, they are extremely rigid, with very few (if any) options for customization. If you are interested in the stock market or other assets, you know that unless you can model the data and build your own forecasts and scenarios, you won’t be able to find the information you need to truly gain an edge and play the stock market for all its worth. Platforms like Yahoo Finance provide easy access to the metrics that traders are interested in, which can be copied and pasted into spreadsheet tools.
Excel spreadsheets offer complete flexibility and numerous opportunities for data exploration and trend analysis that allow traders to maximize their investments and gain insight into new opportunities. However, manually pulling the information of thousands of shifting stocks, futures, NFTs, and currencies every day is a superhuman feat that will not only require a considerable time investment but can lead to significant spreadsheet errors.
Traders with coding skills can use the Yahoo Finance API and the IMPORTXML formula or program their own data scraper with Python to pull the data they need, but this is still a technical and laborious process.
The easiest (and fastest) way to pull Yahoo Finance data into spreadsheets without any coding or programming knowledge is to use a Google Sheets add-on, like ImportFromWeb. ImportFromWeb can pull all of the data you need for your research or data models to a Google Sheet. ImportFromWeb scrapes any data from any website using CSS selectors or Xpath. But, unlike many other scraping tools, ImportFromWeb comes with numerous useful templates and features to make data more accessible and simpler to manipulate.
Its list of Yahoo Finance built-in selectors is a prime example. Pre-configured selectors have been pulled directly from the Yahoo Finance API so that there’s no need to struggle with page source code. This provides instant access to more than 200 stock data points with a few clicks, including summary details, quotes, EPS, regular market price, and more.
ImportFromWeb makes it extremely simple to extract data using nothing more than a SIMPLE FUNCTION, just like ImportXML. Here’s how it works:
- Add the ImportFromWeb add-on to your Google Sheets from the Google Workplace Marketplace.
- Open a Google Sheet, and select ImportFromWeb from Extensions (in your toolbar). Click on “Activate add-on”.
- With ImportFromWeb activated on your spreadsheet, you can start using the function and retrieving data from any asset on Yahoo Finance. Input the function =IMPORTFROMWEB() with its 2 arguments, i.e. the URL from Yahoo Finance and one or some attributes you’d like to track from the 200 built-in selectors list.
For example, if you want to keep tabs on your Verizon stock, you would simply type:
4. You’ll be presented with results like this:
BUT chances are you aren’t just interested in one or two stocks, but multiple. Here’s how to approach your data extraction.
1. Compile a list of the URLs for the assets or stocks you would like to track, as well as the selectors you would like to track (using the built-in selectors list we mentioned above). Then enter =IMPORTFROMWEB in the first cell under the first selector. Note that you can enter the URL and selectors by simply click on the cell where the URL and selectors have been pasted, like this:
2. You’ll see your first result:
3. Now, lock the selectors with the $ symbol and simply drag the cells down to repeat the function for every single URL on your list.
Based on this, you should be able to build your own stock and asset tracker!
If you still need a hand, you can watch this handy video for step by step instructions.
Last, but not least, we’ve got a ready-to-use template to test the tool. You can instantly extract hundreds of data points from Yahoo finance by copying or importing the Yahoo Finance Template directly from your Google Sheets app (with the ImportFromWeb add-on).
All you have to do is enter your assets in the URL section of the template, select the data you are interested in from the drop down menu, and hit enter.
Now that you’ve got the gist of the ImportFromWeb add-on (and tracking your investments in Google Sheets), you can start enjoying the benefits. Yahoo Finance is a versatile investment tracking platform, which means that you can use this method to easily track a diverse portfolio of financial assets, including EFTs and cryptocurrencies. More than 4000 assets can be tracked every single day, both in real-time or as historical data, using more than 200 useful data points. This data can also be copied to Excel if you prefer to work offline.
ImportFromWeb also lets you set up triggers so that data can automatically refresh every hour, day, or week so that you can stay on top of your investments.
Unlike Google Sheet’s native ImportXML function that has been plagued with data issues when pulling information from Yahoo Finance (and takes a considerable amount of time if you are pulling multiple assets), ImportFromWeb is fast, efficient, and accurate every single time.
Why waste hours manually pulling information or relying on limited tools when a simple function can do it all for you?
Savvy traders need to analyze and deep-dive into markets and asset performance every day so that they can buy, sell and hold their stocks at the right moment. Excel and Google Sheets provide the flexibility and computational power you need to analyze market data and track all your investments to your advantage, but copy-and-pasting or expensive and limited stock trader apps aren’t the most effective way to extract data. Fortunately, tools like ImportFromWeb can help you pull data from Yahoo Finance (or any other URL or indices) with ease so that you never lose track of your investments.