Google Finance, a bit thin

As Om Malik states in his blog, Google Finance is a bit of a disappointment.  The information it gives investors is only a fraction of what Yahoo Finance provides -- but I have to admit, the thin interface is attractive.

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As Om Malik states in his blog, Google Finance is a bit of a disappointment.  The information it gives investors is only a fraction of what Yahoo Finance provides -- but I have to admit, the thin interface is attractive.

Google Finance currently has an interactive graph that plots press releases and lets you scroll around just like you do in Google Maps.  It also has pretty good search capabilities allowing you to find companies -- not just ones with a stock ticker symbol.  It also integrates other services like Google Blog Search, Google News and Google Groups.  It really is their first product that has incorporated this many of their services.

From the product FAQ, here is a list of features that Google Finance includes:

  • Company Search — With Google Finance you can search for stocks, mutual funds, public and private companies, using both company names and (where available) ticker symbols.

  • Interactive Charts — Google Finance charts correlate market data with corresponding dated news stories to help you determine if there is a relationship between them (for instance, by seeing news stories that came out about a certain company in the context of what that company's stock did that day). You can also click and drag the charts to see different time periods and zoom in to see more detailed information.

  • News and More News — Google Finance incorporates our Google News service, which gathers stories from more than 4,500 English news sources worldwide. Stories are clustered by topic so you can see different opinions on a single subject; you can also review news stories by monthly date range and by importance (which is determined by algorithms).

  • Blogs — If you want the opinions of citizen journalists, you got 'em; Google Finance includes company-related postings from Google Blog Search.

  • Company Management Team — Google Finance helps you put a face to a name. Mousing over an executive name shows you their picture as well as links, where available, to their biography, compensation details and trading activity.

  • Discussion Groups — Talk amongst yourselves. Google Finance offers high-quality Discussion Groups whose dedicated team of moderators work to keep conversations on and spam-free.

  • Portfolios — Google Finance offers a fast, easy and powerful way to keep create and maintain your portfolio of stocks and mutual funds.
Like most other Google services, it is still in beta, and will improve over time.  Google develops their software according to suggestions rather than assumptions -- only build what people ask for, don't spend time on things that people might not use.  This type of software development process keeps products and services lean and mean which I'm sure Google Finance will grow to be over time.

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