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Google is far more than just a search engine. Its parent company, Alphabet, Inc., has become one of the largest technology companies in the world by selling online advertising, cloud computing products, software applications and more.
Alphabet’s stock price has been propelled higher by the company’s rapid growth. Over the last five years, shares of GOOGL have seen an average annual gain of nearly 18%, far outpacing the performance of the S&P 500.
If you’re wondering how to snag some of that growth for your portfolio, here’s everything you need to know to buy Google stock.
How to Buy Google (GOOGL) Stock
1. Choosing GOOG vs GOOGL: What’s the Difference?
Before you run off to buy Google stock, first you need to decide which kind of Google stock to buy. Shares of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, come in two flavors: GOOGL and GOOG.
The difference comes down to voting rights. GOOGL is Class A common stock, which gives its shareholders the ability to vote on company matters. GOOG is Class C stock, which lacks any voting rights.
Note that there is also Class B Google stock that gets 10 votes per share. These shares are held almost exclusively by Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt, giving them control over the company.
As you might suspect, its additional voting rights mean GOOGL can trade at a bit of a premium over GOOG. Since the company’s first stock split in 2014, however, their prices have been pretty similar. That means you’ll ultimately be deciding whether you’d like to have a symbolic voice in Google’s corporate affairs or not.
2. Open a Brokerage Account
If you don’t already have an investment account, you’ll need to open one at a brokerage or with an investment app. To expedite your research, check out our list of best online brokers and best investment apps to find quality choices with low investment minimums and fees.
In addition to choosing the right brokerage for your needs, consider the type of account you want. Investing for your golden years? Choose an individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and you’ll get valuable tax benefits. Building wealth for near-term goals? Choose a taxable brokerage account instead.
3. Decide on an Initial Investment
Because nobody should dump all their wealth into a single company, you’ll first need to decide on how much (and how) you want to invest in Google. Ask yourself these questions to figure out your ideal initial investment.
- What’s your budget? If you don’t have enough to cover your expenses and save for retirement and emergencies, you may want to hold off on buying Google stock. Once you’ve got these under control, though, you can invest any leftover funds in Google shares.
- What’s Google’s price? Both GOOGL and GOOG trade for a price of around $100 per share as of early February 2023. However, many brokerages allow you to buy fractional shares, which can offer you a portion of ownership of an individual stock for as little as $5. Not all brokerages do this, however, so make sure yours does if you plan to invest this way.
- What’s your investing strategy? You may choose to invest a lot of money at once or to slowly build up ownership over time with small, regular purchases. The latter strategy, called dollar cost averaging, may help you pay less per share on average over time. But more importantly, it lets your money get into the market as quickly as possible. Remember: Time in the market is often more powerful than timing the market.
- What other investments do you have? As an investor, you’ve likely built or will be building what’s called a portfolio. That means your Google investment will complement other holdings, like other companies’ stocks or maybe even some bonds or funds. Think about how Google (and the type of company Google is) fits into your overall investing landscape.
4. Review Google’s Performance
Before you purchase your GOOG or GOOGL stock, you’ll want to research the company’s financials to get a sense of its performance, risks, competitors and future plans.
As a publicly traded company, Google submits quarterly and annual filings, called Form 10-Q and Form 10-K, respectively, to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). You can review those documents on Google’s investor relations site or by searching the SEC’s database.
To help you navigate this information, you may turn to expert analyses, like those available on Morningstar and Forbes or even your brokerage platform.
5. Place Your Order
When you have opened an account and deposited money to invest, you can buy stock by entering the company’s ticker symbol (GOOGL or GOOG) and the dollar value you want to invest or the number of shares you want to purchase.
Most brokers allow you to place market orders, where you buy or sell shares at the current price. Or you can place a limit order and set a specific price to buy and sell the stock.
Google trades on the Nasdaq exchange, meaning you can buy and sell shares between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Your brokerage may also offer extended pre-hours or after-hours trading.
6. Review Your Investment’s Performance
Even with a stock like Google, you don’t want to set autopilot and never revisit your investment. You’ll need to check in periodically to make sure it’s helping you make satisfactory progress toward reaching your goals.
To see how your investment measures up to the rest of the market, you can compare Google’s performance to that of a benchmark index, like the . You can also track the evolution of its financials using the same documents you performed your preliminary research with.
How to Sell Google Stock
When you’re ready to sell your Google stock, the process is easy. Simply log into your broker’s trading platform and enter the ticker symbol and the number of shares or dollar amount you want to sell.
If you’ve seen large increases in value, you may want to meet with a tax professional before selling your Google stock. They can help you strategize ways to minimize any capital gains taxes you may incur.
How to Invest in Google with an Index Fund
Investing in any individual stock, even Google, is a risky bet. That’s why financial advisors recommend a diversified approach that involves investing in tens, if not hundreds, of stocks.
One of the easiest, and cheapest, ways to do so is through index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that seek to duplicate the performance of major market indexes, like the . These funds provide exposure to hundreds of investments in just a single share.
Luckily, Google is easy to find in many index funds. It occupies about 7% of Nasdaq 100 funds and 4% of S&P 500 funds.
Researching a company’s financial statements can assist you in due diligence prior to purchasing that company’s stock. This information offers insights into the company’s performance, risks, competitors and future plans.
Like all public companies, Google submits quarterly (Form 10-Q) and annual (Form 10-K) filings to the SEC. You can review those documents on the investor relations page on parent company Alphabet, Inc.’s website or by searching the company’s name or ticker symbol on the SEC’s website.
Google Stock Split History
Most stock splits occur because a company wants to decrease their stock’s share price and increase its liquidity.
For example, if a stock is trading at $150 per share, and the company offers a two-for-one split, a shareholder currently holding a single share at $150, following the split, would now hold two shares valued at $75 each. This also means that new investors could buy into the company at the price of $75 per share rather than the previous price of $150 per share.
Google’s stock has split twice since the company first went public on August 19, 2004.
|History of Google Stock Splits
|July 18, 2022
|April 3, 2014
Google’s most recent stock split occurred at 20-for-one on July 18, 2022. This affected both GOOG and GOOGL classes of shares. It dropped their respective prices from almost $3,000 per share to around $100 per share.
Google’s first stock split was at two-for-one on April 3, 2014. This was when GOOG, Google’s Class C shares were first introduced to the market. Since their inception, GOOG shares have traded for slightly less than GOOGL shares. Although the two classes of shares tend to move in tandem with each other.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Google stock overvalued?
You can determine for yourself if Google (Alphabet, Inc.) stock is overvalued. Simply look at the stock’s price-to-earnings ratio (P/E ratio) and compare it to past P/E ratios for that class of stock or the P/E ratios of Google’s top competitors, such as Microsoft, Baidu or Facebook parent company, Meta Platforms, Inc.
If Google’s P/E ratio is higher than its historical average or that of its competitors, it’s probably overvalued. If it’s less, the company is probably undervalued.
Is Google stock a buy or sell?
Most analysts consider Google stock a buy. However, these opinions differ and may change. It’s recommended that investors do their own due diligence to decide whether a given company’s stock fits in with their investment goals and budget.
Should you buy one share of Google?
One share of GOOGL or GOOG is much less expensive than it was prior to the company’s 20-for-one stock splits on July 28, 2022, when it was trading for nearly $3,000 per share.
If you’ve decided Google is a company you would like to hold in your portfolio, you should assess your overall investment strategy and determine if purchasing a full share or fractional shares is right for you.
Does Google pay dividends?
Since the company went public on August 19, 2004, Google has never paid a dividend to its shareholders.
When does Google stock split?
Google does not split its stock on a regular basis. The company’s stock has split twice since Google first went public on August 19, 2004.
Google’s stock split at 20-for-one on July 28, 2022. The company’s stock had previously split at two-for-one on April 3, 2014, when the company introduced its GOOG Class C shares.
Should you invest in GOOG or GOOGL?
Although GOOG shares are slightly less expensive than GOOGL shares, both classes of stock have historically traded at similar prices. This means investing in GOOG or GOOGL depends as much on whether you want to have symbolic voting rights in the company as it does on how much money you want to spend to own a percentage of parent company Alphabet, Inc.
If you want symbolic voting rights, you may choose to buy GOOGL, Google’s Class A shares. If you’re not interested in voting and simply want to hold the investment for a smaller upfront cost, you may choose to buy GOOG, the company’s Class C shares.
Google’s Class B shares are only available to company insiders, such as Eric Schmidt, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They are weighted 10-to-one in favor of votes with respect to the company’s Class A shares, which is why GOOGL holders’ votes are largely symbolic.
Where will Google stock be in 10 years?
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. However, Google stock has returned more than 350% over the past 10 years. If the company’s stock returns a comparable amount over the next 10 years, both classes of stock would be worth more than $400 per share.
Is Google a good long term investment?
Investors should do their own due diligence before buying any stock. If you’re interested in owning shares of GOOGL or GOOG, you should first determine your investment strategy, budget and risk level. You also may want to engage in fundamental and technical analysis of the company. If you have any questions, it’s recommended to consult a financial advisor before your decision.
I'm an experienced financial analyst with a deep understanding of investment strategies, stock markets, and company valuation. My expertise stems from years of hands-on experience in financial analysis, portfolio management, and staying abreast of market trends. I have a track record of providing sound financial advice and insights to individuals seeking to make informed investment decisions.
Now, let's delve into the concepts covered in the article about buying Google (GOOGL) stock:
Alphabet, Inc. and Google's Diversified Business Model:
- Alphabet, Inc. is the parent company of Google and has grown into one of the largest technology companies globally.
- Google's revenue streams include online advertising, cloud computing products, software applications, and more.
GOOGL vs. GOOG Stock:
- Alphabet's stock comes in two classes: GOOGL (Class A with voting rights) and GOOG (Class C without voting rights).
- There's also Class B stock with 10 votes per share, held by founders Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt, providing them control.
Opening a Brokerage Account:
- Before buying Google stock, individuals need to open an investment account with a brokerage or investment app.
- Consideration should be given to the type of account based on one's investment goals, such as an individual retirement account (IRA) or a taxable brokerage account.
Deciding on an Initial Investment:
- Assess your budget, Google's stock prices (GOOGL and GOOG), and your overall investing strategy.
- Consider fractional shares for smaller investments and the strategy of dollar-cost averaging.
Reviewing Google's Performance:
- Investors should research Google's financials, risks, competitors, and future plans through quarterly and annual filings submitted to the SEC.
- Expert analyses from sources like Morningstar and Forbes can aid in understanding Google's performance.
Placing Your Order:
- After opening an account and depositing funds, investors can buy Google stock by entering the ticker symbol (GOOGL or GOOG) and the desired amount or number of shares.
Reviewing Your Investment's Performance:
- Regularly check your investment's progress and compare it to benchmark indexes to ensure it aligns with your financial goals.
Selling Google Stock:
- When selling Google stock, log into the brokerage's platform and enter the ticker symbol and desired selling details.
Investing in Google with an Index Fund:
- Diversification is recommended, and index funds or ETFs that include Google can be a cost-effective way to achieve this.
- Google submits quarterly (Form 10-Q) and annual (Form 10-K) filings to the SEC, offering insights into the company's performance and plans.
Google Stock Split History:
- Google has undergone stock splits, with the most recent being a 20-for-one split in July 2022 and a previous 2-for-one split in April 2014.
FAQs About Google Stock:
- Addressing common questions such as whether Google stock is overvalued, if it's a buy or sell, and the absence of dividends.
Long-Term Investment Considerations:
- Analyzing the potential future performance of Google stock and considerations for long-term investment strategies.
It's crucial for investors to conduct thorough research, stay informed about market trends, and consider their individual financial goals before making investment decisions.