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Google throws away 12 years of work by investors (Portfolios in Google Finance) (blogs.harvard.edu)
348 points by tjr 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 178 comments

Hi - I'm the creator of https://bravos.co, a replacement for Google Finance. (I didn't have anything to do with this article being posted.)

I actually left my job two months ago to work on this full-time... Google Finance used to be a "home page tab" for me and it was just killing me that I couldn't find a good alternative. Bravos.co features a clean interface for tracking public companies, cryptocurrencies, and even private companies. The platform pulls in news, social conversations, and key financial data, and has modern features like a "Dark Mode" and mobile site. APIs, native apps, notifications, and more are coming soon.

We have a 2 minute video walkthrough here: https://youtu.be/gpQpCK9Ydl0

We would love to get your thoughts - we want to build this based on community feedback.

Hi Daniel, neat site and I'm really happy someone is taking this on! As the OP noted, the killer feature for me to choose GoogleFinance (GF) above all other "free equities tracking websites" [1] was its portfolio.

I've just tried to see if your site addresses those pain points and it doesn't - but I think you're halfway there.

What OP's "hypothetical portfolio" means is basically the tracking of a whole set of selected equities (so in your site's case: the performance of everything within a watchlist, including a graph visualizing it plus all the common features like comparing that portfolio-graph to that of the Nasdaq, Dollar Index, BTC ...). [2]

GF's UI was horrible, but they allowed to create endless amounts of those portfolios, which was really helpful for finding one's investment strategy because you could compare "ideas". Or you could gather groups of similar equities to track their performance and decide whether they are ripe for becoming "a new idea" (like "I believe that downturn of x is at some point going to halt, maybe then it's worth investing")

When GF still had its portfolio feature, I hoped their "re-design" would allow for more mobile-friendliness (which you address) but more importantly comparing portfolio graphs with each other.

Also, as non-American I repeatedly ran into trouble finding an equivalent ticker sign for non-US equities [3]. Supporting WKN or ISIN would be an improvement over GF!

Anyways, quitting your job for this is a bold step and I wish you the best!

[1] Putting that label in quotes maybe highlights the fringeness of that niche and why Google shut it down :-(

[2] To be clear: not a graph where i have all the graphs of the items of a watchlist - but one line for all items combined

[3] My trouble was usually resolved, finding some European stock's ADR and converting the EUR amount invested to the amount of ADRs i'd have gotten in USD

> What OP's "hypothetical portfolio" means is basically the tracking of a whole set of selected equities (so in your site's case: the performance of everything within a watchlist, including a graph visualizing it plus all the common features like comparing that portfolio-graph to that of the Nasdaq, Dollar Index, BTC ...). [2]

> GF's UI was horrible, but they allowed to create endless amounts of those portfolios, which was really helpful for finding one's investment strategy because you could compare "ideas". Or you could gather groups of similar equities to track their performance and decide whether they are ripe for becoming "a new idea" (like "I believe that downturn of x is at some point going to halt, maybe then it's worth investing")

I just want to second this point made in the parent comment. What I've always wanted to do that I can't really do in an app out there, is compare my "what-if" scenarios (e.g. what if I had held onto 20% of my AAPL in 2015, instead of selling and buying NFLX and UA/UAA?). I always imagined that there'd be an easy visualization comparison between two scenarios, to allow me to "evaluate" certain buy/sell decisions I've made, retrospectively.

This is a super helpful set of points. I've always had similar questions to your AAPL/NFLX/UA examples. I think the insight here, is that brokerage accounts and most sites treat your "list" as binary - you either "own"/"track" something or you don't.

In reality, you're tracking a lot of opportunities, and every decision you've made represents several different scenarios. It should be as easy to look back on a scenario (AAPL versus NFLX+UA performance over the last 3 years) as it is to see the performance of any of those specific securities.

You should also be able to easily see that your "biotech" list outperformed your actual portfolio, or that your "tech" list is outperforming your "European companies" list (or whatever else).

We probably won't go too deep into backtesting various strategies, as there is powerful software for that today, but we definitely can support the analyses in this thread.

I think Excel would be the best tool for that type of analysis, not an app.

An app would be a lot nicer to get a graph of performance offer time for that hypothetical decision. Excel would be okay if you just wanted to know today’s position of various decisions.

Thanks and: Yes, absolutely this.

Since GF's portfolio feature is gone I've never found a way to visualize to me, that my thinking in the past was stupid/correct.

Yeah, this is awesome. We absolutely need to have that.

I appreciate the points about ISIN and tickers. We'll need to be thoughtful about how we handle that, and definitely should support more than just the U.S. exchange tickers.

As of right now, Yahoo Finance has the same watchlist functionality, but with more data than Google Finance including options and crypto and much more powerful charting and native mobile apps. You can even link your real brokerage account for real-time portfolio tracking and trading directly from their apps and site.

(If I sound like a shill, I work for https://trade.it which provides broker API functionality to Yahoo Finance, but I have also been trading and using Yahoo Finance for over a decade, way before I ever became technologically involved with them)

I'd also like to echo that having a portfolio tracker would be for me a the killer feature. I have a mix of equities and mutual funds purchased at different times and different prices and I really just want to input the purchase dates / amounts and then have a single place to track performance. GF had this and now it's all gone.

I'd pay some amount of $ per month (or year or whatever) to just have a reasonable portfolio tracker. Yes, the brokerages all have this - and they're all pretty terrible.

If you don't mind using a windows application you can give https://www.stockportfolioorganizer.com a go it does what you need and much more like allowing you to paper trade, divide into different groups, write formulas etc.

Disclaimer: I am the author.

Thanks for the reply. I really only use windows for video games at this point. Looks like a cool app though. Have you thought about converting it? Some of these web frameworks have higher level wimp apis now.

This is more portfolio tracking centered... https://stockdaddy.io/

Thanks - this is exactly what I was looking for. They never show up in search results - some SEO would be great for them.

Apologies in advance if this sounds overly negative: this is not a replacement for Google Finance. This is a portfolio tracker. The first two things I checked for that made GF different and important (to me, at least) were company financials and an advanced stock search.

Company financials are self explanatory (quarterly breakdowns of cash, income, etc), the stock search allowed you to pare down stocks based on market cap, div &, P/E, etc, and was a wonderful tool for discovery.

Your site is nice, but it offers almost nothing over what every brokerage I've used offers: watchlists, news. Crypto is a nice addition, but Robinhood has that, and Robinhood has my actual transaction history.

Super helpful thanks. We're definitely early, and we don't have the resources yet that Google had to throw at GF!

Fundamental data is coming soon, for sure. We'll show you 10 years of historical data (annual and quarterly) for income statement, cash flows, and balance sheet.

Screening will come too, although it's not requested as often so we haven't prioritized it. The API, mobile apps, and improved charting are next for us.

Looks super-cool - nice vid demo. My only suggestion would be to prioritize the screening over certainly the mobile an probably the API.

My reasoning is that I do almost all real searching and analysis on the desktop, whereas mobile is just nice and handy for tracking an updates on the go. Also, screening is more immediately usable by a broader user set than the API functions (tho your spreadsheet integration is way cool!).

Just one small vote while cheering you on!

Super helpful feedback, thank you.

> the stock search allowed you to pare down stocks based on market cap, div &, P/E, etc, and was a wonderful tool for discovery.

You may enjoy the Finviz screener:


(Make sure you check the tabs of the search menu, you can filter by a crazy number of attributes, including stuff like sales growth, technical breakouts, etc)

I would second this. Finviz felt educational when trying to find growth stocks for me. The terminology used and capabilities provided are pretty deep.

I dunno, there are tons of sites that have financial data. But yes, GF's stock picker was maybe the best search interface, because you basically were given a range-slider to each parameter. But that feature, although it sometimes yielded some pearls for me, in general felt very "beta" to me.

Check out Koyfin.com

It's like bloomberg-light.

It doesn't have great stock filtering, but is pretty good for financial data.

I spent 10 minutes surfing around, and overall, I really like the layout, sparklines, and navigation.

It looks like you're using Highcharts for the main graphs, and if they support transitions out-of-the-box, that'd be nice to have that turned on. For example, when zooming out from 1M to 1Y, it's a little tough to see the recent 1 month changes in the context of 1 year. The axis transitions just makes it a bit more distracting, without the line chart transitions between date ranges.

Also, making the selected range saved to the URL to make the links shareable would be a good feature to add too.

I see that it's built in React, but I'm curious why clicking on an individual stock appears to "leave" the app, not giving it quite as smooth of a single page app experience? Not a huge deal, just curious.

Otherwise, this looks really great!

Thanks a ton for the thoughtful feedback, hugely appreciated.

We have much better charting coming soon. You'll be able to compare different securities, log scale, bar charts. URL params for things like the range are a good idea.

(And sorry, what do you mean by leave the app? Clicking on a company somewhere should take you to bravos.co/AAPL, no?

> (And sorry, what do you mean by leave the app?

When I click between "Watchlists" and "Market News" on the left sidebar, the sidebar stays in place as I would expect from a single page app experience. However, when I click on a stock, it appears that the page reloads, as the left sidebar flickers a little bit.

It's still a fast experience switching between stocks, but I'm guessing it could be even faster if local state is updated with a new selected stock's information with the app shell already in place. Maybe that's exactly what's happening, but the left sidebar flickering just a little bit makes it "feel" like the site is refreshing.

Ah good call, thank you. We've optimized some things on the app, but have a lot more to do.

One of the simple things Google Finance never bothered to add is projected earnings date for a company. so frustrating.

Project earnings date, and past earnings performance (price effect) are 2 things sorely lacking. I do like the historical financials but man, I wish they showed the past five quarters, not 4. Sometimes you want to see how last year’s quarter changed quarter-over-quarter.

Sometimes I think the people who create these products don’t invest/trade stocks at all.

Quick feedback. On desktop, Firefox 62 / Chrome 69, Windows 10.

I immediately went to put in eg MSFT in the search box in the upper left. When I hit enter it just blanks the input box. The search icon is non-reactive to clicking. The only way the search box fires properly is if I click on the auto-suggest that drops below the input box. You should definitely wire up the icon to trigger the search, and enter needs to work as well.

Agreed. It's shockingly not supported by ReactiveSearch, which we're using right now. We'll be replacing the entire search experience as soon as possible.

I signed up, very cool stuff! Is there any feasible way to build total return functionality in? This was always a major gripe of mine with Google Finance, and why M* is preferred for non-trading, investing purposes. I imagine you would need reliable dividend (ex-div date, price, amount, etc) information, and I'm not sure what your data sources are.

You're right - there's always a lot of corner cases and "handling" that you have to do for financial data. But it's very possible.

You're basically saying you should be able to enter that you bought 100 shares AAPL in 2004 at $15... what is your total return?

(We only have watchlists today, but we're designing more of the features that are "portfolio"-like and this is great feedback.)

Right. I always worry when I'm presented a price plot over more than a few months that there is something masking the real picture, which is total return, or price + cash flow. For any "portfolio"-like feature you're going to want total return and not price action return.

Exactly! If I’m looking at a 5 year chart for any given stock, I don’t really care what the nominal price was, I care about the total return. Even more so when comparing 2 stocks.

Killer feature would be historical charts that include re-invested dividends.

You can do this at morningstar.com

I'm not sure how the "Top News" section is curated, but along with financial news I see:

- "'No hablo Ingles!' Video shows Taco Bell employee in Hialeah denying service - Local10.com"

- "Guac fans, rejoice! Chipotle is now selling large sides of guacamole"

Hey, cool!

A while ago I was looking for an API that would give me the calendar date that quarterly earnings were reported historically, ideally for all public companies (but a large subset like the S&P500 would do). Do you know if anyone tracks this data, and if so where I might find it?

Yeah, that should be possible with a moderate amount of work. We probably won't support it very soon, but I would start with Intrinio, which is relatively easy to work with compared to some of the bigger providers:

https://intrinio.com/financial-data/zacks-eps-surprises?meth... https://intrinio.com/financial-data/wall-street-horizon?meth...

Feel free to PM me if I can help any further.

Not the OP but I have side projects in similar veins. I didn't find any great sources for this, so I ended up scraping Zacks and similar sites; both for backfill and future.

If anyone found something easier, I'd certainly be curious as well.

Nice website! But I'm curious: where do you source the stock data from? Unless mistaken, if you want to redistribute the data (i.e. not just for personal trading), those data feeds generally run at >$100k a year.

Appears it's using IEX's API which is awesome and free.


Yeah, IEX is helpful for many of the stocks, and we use a few other APIs to supplement.

what stack did you use to build bravos?

That's pretty awesome, one of my favorite features of Google Finance was how it would show the top daily gainers and losers (but ONLY of companies with market cap >= $1B) It looks like you have it at $100M on the homepage.

Any way you could make a easy to access URL that does the same thing but for market caps >= $1B?



Just want to say Thank You!

Has Bravos implemented imports for GF transactions, so I can spin up my exported-from-GF portfolios? GF had a nice export feature, but I never found anywhere that would import them for tracking.

Thank you!

We don't have that now, since we're prioritizing other things.

Hopefully we can include that down the road.

(And thank you! Appreciate you taking a look.)

https://stockdaddy.io/ - Can import google finance portfolios directly or any other csv transaction files.

I'd love to use your site (which looks great!), but I'm not able to log in with Safari; the form fields don't show up: https://i.imgur.com/myxCZLU.jpg. I've tried disabling my adblocker. Also, when signing up, I got an alert box about "FS" being undefined. But I did receive the verification email. Feel free to reach out by email (address in profile).

We're looking into that. Thanks for being really helpful about it.

Looks like a great start, thanks for posting.

For me, a killer feature would be charts with the option to include total return including reinvested dividends etc. I would happily pay for that if the data was accurate.

I may be mistaken, but it seems to me that the dividends listed in Google/Yahoo finance are often incomplete for common index funds. And it drives me nuts when I can't add them into the charts.

Good luck!

That's great to know, thank you. We'll prioritize being able to show the charts with and without dividends reinvested.

It needs a few things that I liked about GF:

1) If I click a different period in a chart, it should show me the different in price over that period as a %. I want to be able to see the chart for the last 6 months and be told what % the price changed.

2) It needs options chains.

Some small tweaks would also be nice:

1) The news line length is basically unreadable. 2) Font size is too small. Really hard to read the site.

But overall I like it.

Completely agree on the charting percentage, and the options chains.

Thanks for the feedback on the font and news line. For the news line, do you mean that you'd prefer more text to show up in the news section?

Could you sell it as desktop software with replacable plug-in data feeds for each source of information?

Possibly - I'm curious what you had in mind? Could you tell me any more about the use case?

I don't want to sign up for any more web apps or web only services. They keep shutting down

This is an under appreciated/represented sentiment. I wholly agree.

Hi Daniel - noted that sorting might be a bit flaky, possibly you guys are aware of. - e.g. tried here https://bravos.co/unicorns on the Raised, VAL columns - not always easy to repro.

Thank you! I think I just fixed it, but we have work to do on components like that.

Thank you for this beautiful website. I'm not a trader so sorry if this is obvious but is there any plan to include index funds like vtsax? I try searching for vtsax but it keeps kicking me out with no error message. Is it out of scope?

This looks wonderful, just signed up! Looking forward to APIs

Yeah - they're going to be really cool, fast, and useful.

How do you make money from this? (Or plan to)

Looks really nice, by the way.

Hi Daniel, I'm interested to know where you source your data from. Is it from freely available sources or do you but it from somewhere?

Hey, is there some sort of list I can put my email on to get updated for when an API is released?

I like this a lot, please consider adding mobile friendly layout to your site

Looks clean and loads fast! Where did you get past crypto data?

It's coming from Crypto Compare right now. We've been told to look into Coinige. Definitely open to feedback here!

Any chance you can include ASX?

This is why Richard Stallman calls SaaS "Service as a Software Substitute" and recommends running your own programs on your own computers: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/who-does-that-server-really-s...

If you are using any Unix derivative there are still Free Software applications from the 1980s (or 1970s if you run BSD) that you are running every day without any problems, whether you realize it or not.

Consider doing your financial modeling with a Free Software program like Gnumeric: http://gnumeric.org/

The big tech companies seem to be doing a good job of proving Richard Stallman right about many things over the last few years. I've always been sympathetic to the ideals of the free software movement but for many years I thought they were being a bit paranoid and extremist. Increasingly I'm coming round to the idea that they were right all along.

But any replacement for Google Finance will require a pricing feed, so in this case you cannot get away from a 'service' model.

For now, but soon our markets will be run completely p2p, and order books will be shared with whoever wants to see them for really cheap. And no breakage. Like I said before: this is good, the more saas are disrupted, the more we can focus on a real distributed OS.

I was worried Google Wave would take over the CRM industry.

It is mind boggling to me that both Google and Yahoo have thrown away their finance sites. It's utter garbage. And on the phone, Google Finance is even worse. They don't even use the same site or the same behavior, even though I'm pointing to the same URL. It's insane. Why would they completely disregard finance? Are they really not able to make a profitable site using ads?

What's funny to me is that so many people complain about large tech companies eating up every product category and preventing competition. But when they later kill these products, people complain all the same. Which is it?

Seems like an opportunity for someone else, if it was really being relied on that much.

I suspect it wasn't. The author of the article said he hadn't checked in six years. Six years! And he's complaining that Google threw his work away.

People want to have their cake and eat it, too.

It is definitely an opportunity for someone else. Just take a look at google finance's popularity using Google Trends: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?q=google%20finance&...

I think Google, Facebook, and especially Yahoo did significant damage to their reputations and brands through how they have disposed of products both for consumers and developers. It is really hard to take anything they put out seriously until that product has been around a long time and is clearly being supported, used, and polished.

Google and Facebook are still large, strong, and growing, but what Yahoo did to all of the companies it acquired really fucked both their investors and customers. One wonders if Google and Facebook will wander down that path when their growth stalls out.

I agree ;)

Even before Google Finance was shut down, I've wanted to work on this. Given that Google Finance has largely faded, I think we have an opening for https://bravos.co to enter the market.

Uh, this isn't that weird... If google enters a market and kills off all the competition then lowers their investment into their tool and the usability slowly degrades then they're basically just Walmarting that market space.

What's funny to me is that so many people complain about large tech companies eating up every product category and preventing competition. But when they later kill these products, people complain all the same. Which is it?

Both. They expanded into an area and killed the competition then killed their product and left a void. See Google Reader for the life cycle.

Yes, exactly. Those are not contradictory. If anything, it makes it more obvious why unchecked Big Tech expansion into every market, subsidized by their core monopolies, is a bad thing for consumers in the long run.

And now readers still aren't popular... There is no big replacement that people are using. Google didn't kill the category, it was already dead.

> Which is it?

It's different people complaining in each case.

There has to be a name for this. Folks love saying "people complained when I did X, now people complain when I do Y." As if that proves something. Unless it is the same people, irrelevant.

(Not that it is automatically relevant if it is the same people. But I get frustrated with this general game of moral equivalence somehow being a valid talking point.)

It is curious to me how people seem to accept certain narrative fallacies like 1) the complainers are the same; 2) if the complainers are the same, there are only two exclusive options in existence that must be chosen.

I work in an org with a lot of regulations and a rent seeking IT group different than development. I’ve heard a lot of people rationalizing decisions using emotion (eg, “they complain if we do, they complain if we don’t [;therefore their experience isn’t important to addres]”

It’s tough to solve and is based, I think, on having your measurement of success be a good story, because objective metrics are not really applicable.

In google’s case they make so much revenue and profit from search the rest of the company just kind of bounces around and doesn’t matter. So projects are run, it seems, off who has a great story. Sure, there’s massive data analysis showing things but those don’t matter. Why did a jillion people using finance used to matter, but not now.

people complaining that it will predictably lead to competition dying off and reliance on a product that will be abruptly killed?

and then that exact thing happens?

you're confused?

When did Yahoo throw out their finance site? https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

They didn't. No idea where the parent is coming from on that. It still functions much the same as it has for the last 15 years and still provides real-time quotes, proper financials, news, press releases, charts, etc.

They did eliminate their API.

I meant it's a shadow of its former self from 5 years ago. It was consistently the best and most useful finance site, over Google Finance, and now the articles are terrible. The news feed for a company used to be great, but somehow it has been turned into something terrible and useless.

How would you describe the changes to the company news feed that made it terrible and useless?

Through Google Spreadsheet you have access to many of the same underlying functions for finance, like quotes, financials etc. I have always kept portfolio tracking through the spreadsheet, which in addition offers more powerful functionalities when it comes to numerical computations.

I know you mentioned below that you don't like their current news feed, but for what it's worth, Yahoo Finance is going the opposite direction of Google, upgrading and adding features and integrations, not removing stuff. For example, apropos of the article, Y!Fi not only has the same watchlist functionality that everyone is angry Google removed, but you can now link your live brokerage account for real-time portfolio tracking across their apps/site. If you reach out to them with constructive feedback they are pretty receptive.

(Full disclosure: I work for https://trade.it which provides the aforementioned broker API functionality to Yahoo Finance)

And there is Google’s and a lot of the current web’s mistake: relying on ads for everything.

Couldn’t Google have charged a monthly subscription for the service? Oh you wouldn’t pay for it? Then Google made 100% the right choice in killing it.

It’s because the mobile free alternatives are so much better.

Do you have any examples you recommend?

When did Yahoo have their own finance site?

(most of it is provided by a third party, or was when I worked for said provider)

Yahoo finance was the original finance site where your parents used to look up stock quotes for Nokia and Pets.com during the original tech bubble.

Being a perl/regex person back in the day, I recall having Mastering Regular Expressions as a well thumbed reference book. The author, Jeffrey Friedl ( http://regex.info/blog/jfriedl-links/about ) worked at Yahoo! Finance at the time. It was a most impressive and useful site in its time.

Yahoo finance has been around for a very long time!

Was anyone really using this feature? Even the author sounds like he wasn't actively using the feature. He entered some data 6 years ago, and went back today to find it was missing.... He didn't even notice until almost a year after it was removed.

Keeping every feature around, even the unused ones that look like failures, is a bad idea.

Repeatedly destroying trust by dropping things and breaking things for people, is a bad idea.

At this point Google projects are basically less reliable than hobby projects.

But hey, come build your company on top of GCP!

Funny thing is, people are lining up to do just that. I think that's a symptom of an industry where following the hype is more important than long term stability.

Or maybe they’ve carefully weighed their options, and concluded that e.g. Kubernetes on GCP works a lot better than on either AWS or Azure?

Agreed, though, as a sibling said, making a habit of dropping a ton of features constantly is annoying.

Especially when there were options before. If I liked an old version of a native application, used to be I could just keep that old version for a long time. Especially if it was isolated in functionality, even the security implications weren't that dangerous.

Now, everything needs everything. And with the web, you can't pin a version to where you like it. :(

It was one of the few google products that was critical for me that I used daily both through web interface and 3rd party app integration.

I understand "not used by me = not used by anyone" fallacy, but it can be applied to any product closed by google, including reader, inbox, talk, etc.

I was, almost daily. It was a nice tool.

We built https://wallmine.com/portfolios that can import a Google Finance CSV. The stock search/screener can filter stocks listed on US, Canadian, and international exchanges. Happy to hear your thoughts.

> When we combine this with Google’s destruction of millions of person-years of (part-time) work in Picasa, is the only reasonable conclusion that Google has re-hired Marissa Mayer?


Seriously, what a nasty comment. Trying to think of what possible context they could put around this comment that would justify it.

Obviously you're not familiar with Marissa Mayer's work.

I remember that before Mayer, Yahoo Mail was lightweight, fast and it displayed emails chronologically and in a well categorized way.

After Marissa Mayer joined Yahoo, the Yahoo email client became slow and clunky and it grouped emails together in a strange way which made it hard to find stuff; thankfully I was able to figure out a way to disable this 'feature'. That's not even mentioning all the Yahoo Mail hacking scandals that happened on Mayer's watch.

Also, the new Yahoo logo is bad.

I'm aware that people didn't like Mayer's vision or decisions at Yahoo -- I'm not one to judge because I didn't use any Yahoo products during her time there, except for Tumblr and Flickr, both of which were either left alone or made some incremental improvements.

What I'm confused about in particular is why the author feels the need to snarkily slam Meyer here. Obviously she's not involved with Google's current decisions on Finance. And I'm pretty sure she wasn't involved with shutting Picasa down, which happened in early 2016. I've read articles about Mayer not being a popular manager at Google, or getting along with the chain of command, but I don't recall her being a prime mover in shutting products down while at GOogle

So why does she deserve snark when clearly there are Google executives who actually made and oversaw the decisions to shut down Picasa and Finance? Instead of doing the simple Googling needed to find who are currently the product leads, the author appears to throw in a lazy non-sequitur of Fuck Marissa Mayer, amirite?.

As for it being rooted in sexism -- who knows? It is kind of bizarre that the one Googler the author chooses to call out by name is not only a woman, but a woman who hasn't been at Google for the past 6 years.

Had to look her up, I remember now

Her gender bias discrimination / sexism is what drove many to leave the company, draining the company of its best employees

Other things in her tenure.


Ex-Yahoo employee sues Marisa Mayer claiming she led an illegal purge of male employees.


Yahoo fine 35 million dollars for failing to disclose data breach.


3 billion users affect by yahoo data breach.



Basically, nothing go has come out of her working at yahoo, AFAIK. Everything went downhill when she became in chargeod

I'm not sure how you can hold Meyer directly responsible for the clunky Yahoo email client. This reads as incredibly sexist.

The new Yahoo mail client was her incentive, it was all over the news and she was actively claiming credit for it. The worst part is that she was claiming that it was faster but all users felt that it was the opposite.


Why is it sexist? She did terrible at Yahoo. That's fact. Or you say, just because she is woman, people should say she did a good job?

No but they shouldn't single her out either. I don't see him slamming any number of male tech executives who made mistakes.

I agree, that that is the relevant point. There should be any number of Google execs to blame, whose period of employment actually coincided with the Picasa/Finance changes, and with some of many other past Google product shutdowns/overhauls. That the author chooses to rip on Mayer -- who hasn't been at Google in the past 6 years -- makes me expect that she was legendarily responsible for other Google product fails, but that doesn't seem the case.

What does Mayer's floundering in her post-Googler-career as Yahoo's CEO have to do with the product failures of Picasa and Finance? Referencing her in this context makes as little sense as referencing Andy Rubin -- another prominent Googler who went on to flounder as CEO.

You can single out whoever you want. It is not sexist. What is wrong with the world?!

Consistently singling out a certain group of people betrays bias and likely animus towards that group. For this author, that group seems to be women.

The blog is full of much sexist bullshit comments everywhere. Incredibly, there seem to be people warning him about the exact same thing and he doesn’t seem to be paying any attention.

As long as Google reports 90% of the revenue from a single stream (Ads), anything else is a pet project that can be canceled or left to rot since there is no strong incentive to keep working on it. I try to back up whatever work I do on any Google service. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me -> Google graveyard for more info: https://www.lifewire.com/google-graveyard-products-1616198

Ads for google probably is monetization schema now days, and not single stream of revenue. Stream is likely very diversified: search, youtube, mobile search, maps, AdSense, AdMob, shopping. So, they have incentive to try to build new product and monetize them using Ads, it just doesn't always work, and they shutdown products/features.

Yeap, I was talking about the actual reporting of income and you are on the same page as me "stream is LIKELY very diversified...". We just don't have that info, therefore I don't know the services that are winners and the losers. Am I using a service on the loser side?

There's a caveat there; Google is very incentivized to keep around any service on which it can display those ads! Gmail isn't going away any time soon in large part for that reason.

Yes but there's another caveat there, I don't have that info. How do I know that Google Reader (remember it?) generates data that can be mined for their profit and how do I know it doesn't until they announce that they kill it? I know that mail and search are untouchable, was talking about the broader services.

Does Gmail show ads? I had the impression that was not the case now.

I just got one in the inbox list for Nokia (by a reseller) - not an email: clicking it takes you to an advertisement.

Edit: I have noticed adverts depend on how your access Google e.g. I found the iOS YouTube app way worse than the website in the browser.

This is likely based on how captive of an audience they believe they have at the moment.

Another question is if gmail content is source of targeting data.

They have "Promotions" for Gmail, but you can disable them, although I don't think Google explicitly tells you that it's an option. Google also doesn't use your Gmail emails for ad targeting or tracking, as per this quote:

> When you open Gmail, you'll see ads that were selected to show you the most useful and relevant ads. The process of selecting and showing personalized ads in Gmail is fully automated. These ads are shown to you based on your online activity while you're signed into Google. We will not scan or read your Gmail messages to show you ads.

from this page:


Welcome to the new age of not owning or controlling anything. Your work belongs to "the cloud," whatever that is, and can vanish at any time and without warning. You can't make a backup... or not one you can use at least.

That is the problem with depending on a third part service. Even if it was a company that you paid for the service, at some point they might not find it profitable and close down the service or company.

Finance is just a pile of third-parties trusting each other in exchange for money.

Or business in general.

Or (generalizing money to utility) society in general.

Every single person and business relies on third parties. That is the way the world works.

The key is always having a plan to replace a third party that is no longer providing the service you need.

I created a Google Finance replacement – https://stockdaddy.io – in my spare time. This can track your investments and returns including dividends for stocks and ETFs (real-time) and mutual funds (EOD). It’s basically a pure portfolio tracker without much of the frills of a full finance site. It's meant to be a solid performance tracker and good full screen layout to glance at throughout the day.

I get different looking 5-year charts for symbol HYG when I look on stockdaddy.io and finance.yahoo.com. Where do you get your data?

IEX whom I would say for the most part is very reliable, although I would only base actual trades off of your brokerage’s data and leave other sources like Yahoo and Stockdaddy for real-time portfolio tracking.

I switched over to Yahoo Finance. Works pretty well, the UI especially on the phone leaves some to be desired but it gets the job done.

Stay away from Google products and services! With all their stringent to the ridiculousness level hiring, they seem to hire calculators, not humans in the negative sense. They don't get families either - I haven't seen their diversity numbers, but maybe they are predominantly a bachelors' company, yet, they try to design products for families. For example, I am the family manager of our Google Play store account. Now, after the clowns come up with Google One, which for whatever reason needs a massive migration, so, after six months I'm still not in. Well, guess what, they invited my son and my wife to One, but not me, you know, the family manager. Well, my son created his One account, and my wife's old Storage account got converted to One, and suddenly, she became the Google One manager. See, one family, two managers. And this cannot be undone. So, if they had a single family man in this circus, he or she would have influenced the product design, and deliver something that doesn't lead into double charges, countless calls with customer support, and most importantly - customer frustration. At the same time, Microsoft gets it. Amazon gets families, too, and Facebook and Google don't. I had similar experiences with the bachelor demographic of Facebook's in Product Design. Anyway, back to the original point - Google doesn't get social dynamics, as they don't get regular people in general. Most importantly, with all their computer scientists, they don't seem to realize that by abusing us repeatedly, they make sure we don't bother to use their future products and services. They recently killed Inbox, but, honestly, that was a belated decision - they had to kill it a second after it was launched as a completely idiotic product! Sometimes I wonder what kind of people work on their products! They are way too full of themselves and live in their twisted reality. That's why I would never respond to their recruiter emails and calls! Google and Facebook are the last place on Earth I'd go! And the ex-Googler title means nothing nowadays anyway. I repeat, keep off Google! Short their stock!

> I repeat, keep off Google!

Many would agree, for many different reasons; some because of privacy concerns, lack of long-term guarantees that a service will work in the future, some because they don't like being a product instead of a customer (hence "customer support" being as it is), and so on. Many valid reasons, even if I don't necessarily share them.

> Short their stock!

This, however, feels like a completely different matter. Yes, there are reasons for not using Google, but they are very unlikely to influence the price of their stock. MSFT would be bankrupt at least twice in the 90s was that the case (and that's just one example).

So, I think that if you want to argue that their stock will tank, you should point out reasons other than that they treat their "customers" like crap. That, in itself, hardly ever resulted in financial problems for tech sector companies - as sad as it is :(

I understand your view point and empathize with you. Google is not reliable when it comes to product longetivity. However, not all their products are such and shorting their stock won't address any of these issues.

(pro tip - line breaks aid readability...)

Thanks! I didn't expect it to be that long!

All I read was rambling.

Well, you kept reading...

In terms of actually understanding how a hypothetical portfolio would have performed, something that is much more meaningful then the overall ROI provided by Google Finance is the concept of the annualised return.

We built our portfolio functionality with this in mind to empower investors to understand their true returns, respective of time. It often amazes users here at Australia's #1 stockmarket app, disclosure: I founded and bootstrapped the business and it's iOS/Android only at the moment.

Refer: https://stocklight.com/faq

Why do you consider annualized return more meaningful than alpha or Sharpe ratio?

I understand that the purpose of this blog post is to discuss the collective loss by the general public of access to this type of feature, but...

This dude's employer has access to data and tools that were never available on Google or Yahoo. All he needs to do is walk over to the business school and ask someone in the computer lab for help creating a mock portfolio of stocks and tracking performance over time.

The stocks that someone puts in a portfolio can be useful in targeting advertising to that person. I'm surprised that Google decided this benefit was less valuable than the ongoing cost of maintaining the Google Finance website. Perhaps the problem is that that noone at Google wants to do the boring work of maintaining what is essentially a CRUD application.

Use cloud stuff? Witch means use someone else computers? That's an example results.

In the past few people design Multics/Plan9 with a concept: a network OS, but with our desktop at the center of the universe, simply because we work there, our data are there etc. The network simply work as a helper, cache, horsepower etc, no more.

I remember using Google Finance in one of my business classes in High School. I haven't checked on it since, but I didn't know that Google would kill something that was definitely promising.

I still miss Google Reader. I just wish they would somehow let community take over for the project. I don’t know how it would work but I just don’t see another way. I’ve moved everything off Google other than email and calendar.

I would love to know internal story behind the disaster that Google Finance has become. I'm not against new designs and evolving but the new website misses out on one simple thing: People using this site loves numbers, they want numbers! "Minimal & dumbed down" doesn't work with investor types. My guess is that they got new VP and the moron decided to wield his steve-jobs-me-too minimal everything stick. The guy has to be wearing turtleneck every day in the office and probably got big bonus for driving this trainwreck to its conclusion.

Google Finance was a free site if I remember. If a consumer expects a level of service without offering a payment, any pains the consumer has are entirely their fault. If it was a paid service however, the consumer should control (via a contract or terms of use) what will happen when something goes wrong. If anything, people should thank Google for offering their service free of charge.

I am paying Google for storage. Last year my credit card went bust and Google told me via e-mail I had 7 days to provide an alternate card, when payment failed. Before that time was up, Google cancelled my subscription unilaterally. They told me it's no problem, I just have to renew the subscription, except by then the cost of the subscription had gone up 8%.

It was impossible for them to restore my previous subscription cost. As a paying consumer I expected a certain level of service, but I had not control over what was happening when something went wrong.

When paying Google, you're not better off.

Absolutely, don't use a company as large as Google for your data services. An individual customer is not a significant income source, so they care less about their customers. But there are several services out there offering paid data services that do care, because their main income source is the customers, rather than advertisement and data collection companies.

Any other disgruntled investors, I'd recommend ShareSight (not my company). Generous free service.

This new website is doing a nice job: http://www.cmlviz.com/

Quick shout-out to the commenter who mentioned Boggleheads.org. If you're into finances, it's a great resource.

that's bogleheads.org I take it?

Its a shame Google/Yahoo finance couldnt pivot to become Robinhood. It was so close.

You can now link your RH account (and many other brokers) directly to Yahoo Finance and trade and track your portfolio in real-time, so really it's even better than them becoming a broker.


This title seems clickbaity to me. Didn't the author lose about 5 minutes of work they did 12 years ago, and not the effort resulting from continual work over 12 years?

He's referring to the collective work of everyone who created a portfolio during the feature's 12-year existence.

Yes, but the author isn't the only user. There's millions of users in 12 years, their cumulative work is gone.

"The author" is a millionaire early web pioneer whose opinion is at least as valuable as anybody else's, if not more:


You're correct. Author added some stocks into their hypothetical portfolio and went back to check to see how it was doing.

I wonder if Google sent emails to uses notifying them that the service was going to be discontinued.

I had a portfolio there, just to see what the feature was about.

There was a notification on the site a while back (months ago, can't remember exactly when), but I don't think they sent an email announcement.

At times I’m annoyed they don’t update it. But given the modern idea of “updating” is to remove functionality and add white space I’m thankful.

To be honest, this article just seems like a thinly veiled attempt to poke google because he doesn't like their political leanings.

Frankly, I'd be surprised if any of the services I used today were still around 12 years from now, let alone waiting with my previously saved settings. If it was that important to you, you should have either used a paid service (hey, bloomberg exists for a reason) or stored the data locally at your own cost.

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