Skip to main content

Manage Stock Transactions With Google Sheets

The first task of building a stock portfolio tracker is to design a solution to register transactions. A transaction is an event when change happens to a stock portfolio, for instance, selling shares of a company, depositing money, or receiving dividends. Transactions are essential inputs to a stock portfolio tracker and it is important to keep track of transactions to make good decisions in investment.

In this post, I will explain step by step how to keep track of stock transactions with Google Sheets.

Use Google Sheets to register transactions of a stock portfolio

Define the structure of transactions

In the example, I assume that a transaction generally has 5 main attributes:

  1. Date: It is the moment when a transaction happened.

  2. Type: It can be one of the following values:

  • DEPOSIT: When money is added to the portfolio
  • BUY: When money in the portfolio is used to buy shares of a company
  • SELL: When money is added into the portfolio by selling shares of a company
  • DIVIDEND: When dividend money is added to the portfolio by owning a stock
  • WITHDRAWAL: When money is taken out of the portfolio
  1. Symbol: It is the ticker symbol which is recognizable by the GOOGLEFINANCE function of Google Sheets

  2. Amount: It represents the money value of the transaction. The amount can be negative or positive:

  • Positive (+): Money goes into the portfolio. They are for transactions of type: DEPOSIT, SELL, and DIVIDEND
  • Negative (-): Money goes out of the portfolio. They are for transactions of type: BUY and WITHDRAWAL

Note: In this tutorial, a transaction's amount is supposed to include by default fees if applicable.

  1. Shares: It represents the number of shares of a company involved in this transaction.
  • It is only applicable for transactions of type BUY, SELL, and DIVIDEND.
  • For DEPOSIT and WITHDRAWAL transactions, the cell is empty.

The number here can be negative or positive:

  • Positive (+): Shares of a company are increased in the portfolio, i.e. buying.
  • Negative (-): Shares of a company are decreased in the portfolio, i.e. selling.

Note: As a dividend can be paid in stock or in cash, so, to keep it simple:

  • If a dividend is paid in cash, it can be represented as a DIVIDEND transaction whose amount is greater than 0, and shares are greater than 0, but it does not mean more shares are added to the portfolio for this stock. It will help to know the amount of dividend for each share.

  • If a dividend is paid in stock, there are 2 options:
    • 1st: it can be represented as a BUY transaction whose amount is 0 and shares is greater than 0. It is considered as getting shares for free.
    • 2nd: one can receive the dividend amount in cash and then use that cash to buy shares at the predefined price by the company. That means a dividend paid in stock can be represented by a DIVIDEND transaction and a BUY transaction. For example, on may 2019, I had 18 shares of Société Générale (EPA:GLE). The company distributed a dividend of 2.20 euros per share with two options: by cash or by stock at the price of 22.31 euros. With 18 shares, I received 39.60 euros of dividends, then I used this amount and extra money to buy 2 shares at 22.31 euros. Here are how I registered the transactions:

Use Google Sheets to register transactions

With the definition for transaction above, we can now implement the solution with Google Sheets:

  • Create new spreadsheet Portfolio
  • Create new sheet Transactions
  • Each attribute of a transaction is represented by a column
  • Use the cells A1:E1 for names of the 5 attributes: Date, Type, Symbol, Amount, Shares
  • Format the column A as Date time and columns D, E as Number


You can take a look at the sample spreadsheet in Demo stock portfolio tracker with Google Sheets to have an idea of how the data is organized and related. It is possible to make a copy of the spreadsheet to study it thoroughly.


To better understand the overall concept, please check out this post Create personal stock portfolio tracker with Google Sheets and Google Data Studio.



People also enjoyed…

Create personal stock portfolio tracker with Google Sheets and Google Data Studio

I have been investing in the stock market for a while. I was looking for a software tool that could help me better manage my portfolio, but, could not find one that satisfied my needs. One day, I discovered that the Google Sheets application has a built-in function called GOOGLEFINANCE which fetches current or historical prices of stocks into spreadsheets. So I thought it is totally possible to build my own personal portfolio tracker with Google Sheets. I can register my transactions in a sheet and use the pivot table, built-in functions such as GOOGLEFINANCE, and Apps Script to automate the computation for daily evolutions of my portfolio as well as the current position for each stock in my portfolio. I then drew some sort of charts within the spreadsheet to have some visual ideas of my portfolio. However, I quickly found it inconvenient to have the charts overlapped the table and to switch back and forth among sheets in the spreadsheet. That's when I came to know the existen

Create a dividend income tracker with Google Sheets by simply using pivot tables

As my investment strategy is to buy stocks that pay regular and stable dividends during a long-term period, I need to monitor my dividends income by stocks, by months, and by years, so that I can answer quickly and exactly the following questions: How much dividend did I receive on a given month and a given year? How much dividend did I receive for a given stock in a given year? Have a given stock's annual dividend per share kept increasing gradually over years? Have a given stock's annual dividend yield been stable over years? In this post, I explain how to create a dividend tracker with Google Sheets. Manage stock transactions with Google Sheets Create dividend tracker with Google Sheets Track annual dividend amount of stocks Track dividend amount by month and by year Track annual dividend per share of stocks Track annual dividend yield of stocks Demo Conclusion References Manage stock transactions with Google Sheets I use a spreadsheet on Goo

How to convert column index into letters with Google Apps Script

Although Google Sheets does not provide a ready-to-use function that takes a column index as an input and returns corresponding letters as output, we can still do the task by leveraging other built-in functions ADDRESS , REGEXEXTRACT , INDEX , SPLIT as shown in the post . However, in form of a formula, that solution is not applicable for scripting with Google Apps Script. In this post, we look at how to write a utility function with Google Apps Script that converts column index into corresponding letters. With the solution in the form of a formula , we don't even need to understand how column index and letters map each other. With apps script, we need to understand the mapping to come up with an algorithm. In a spreadsheet, columns are indexed alphabetically, starting from A. Obviously, the first 26 columns correspond to 26 alphabet characters, A to Z. The next 676 columns ( 26*26 ), from 27th to 702nd, are indexed with 2 letters. [AA, AB, ... AY, AZ], [BA, BB, ... BY, BZ],