On April 3 2014, your Google shares became Class A shares and you received a stock dividend of new class C shares.  Great news for investors, crazy news for PortfolioCenter users.

The problem for PortfolioCenter is the new shares are trading under the historic symbol and the historic shares have a new symbol.  Got it?

If Mr. SmartInvestor owned 100 shares of Google prior to this event, he owned 100 shares of GOOG.  After this event, he owns 100 A shares and 100 C shares.  His original A shares have the symbol GOOGL and his new C shares have the symbol GOOG.

  • GOOGL = Google Inc Class A shares
  • GOOG   = Google Inc Class C shares

How you change the symbols and how you post the new shares matters for pricing and cost basis.

BIG KUDOS to Schwab Performance Technologies for posting detailed instructions on exactly how to handle this spinoff so quickly!!

I recommend you read and follow their instructions carefully.  Here are a couple minor questions they didn’t answer.

1) If you have clients that owned and sold Google prior to this event, do you need to do anything?

Technically no, but to be safe I would update the symbols in PortfolioCenter so it’s clear your clients bought and sold A shares.  That means you should complete steps 1-6 of the SPT instructions.

2) If you have multiple brokers (e.g. Schwab, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, etc.):

Check your Interface map for each broker.  This is Step 6 of the SPT instructions.  Make sure GOOG is mapped to GOOG and GOOGL is mapped to GOOGL.

The SPT instructions say:  “Any pricing between 4/2/2014 and the date you process this corporate action will need to be manually entered or corrected for Google Inc Class C (GOOG).  Google Inc Class A (GOOGL) pricing should be validated for accuracy as well.” 

3) How do I know what prices are accurate?

Because Google flipped the symbols, if you posted price files before updating PortfolioCenter, you may have posted C prices to A shares and/or missed the A shares prices.  At least, check the price file for the day of the event (04/03/2014), even if you don’t think you did anything wrong.

  • GOOG   04/03/2014 price = $569.74
  • GOOGL 04/03/2014 price = $571.50
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