Today we released a small but very important new feature: a set of new formulas to convert commonly used financial instrument identifiers, such as a CUSIP or ISIN, to a ticker.
This has been a recurring request ever since we launched Excel Price Feed. Often a user is given a spreadsheet with a bunch of ISIN codes and wants to connect those with our live pricing formulas. The problem is that these formulas require a ticker not an ISIN.
What makes this now possible?
FIGI (Financial Instrument Global Identifier)
What is FIGI you may ask?
Well FIGI is an attempt to produce an open standard for financial identifiers, and part of that effort has produced a service that describes the links between different types of codes.
We have now integrated this into our software so conversion formulas are readily available in Excel:
For example, to convert an ISIN (US4592001014) to a ticker (IBM) this simple Excel formula can be used:
And to convert a CUSIP to a ticker, well that is very simple too:
Just a quick blog post today, looking at market performance for a bunch of stocks so far this year (otherwise known as year to date or YTD).
As a reference point, today (24 March 2022) the S&P500 is at -6.2% and the Nasdaq is at -11% for YTD.
I am using the Excel Price Feed Add-in to download latest price data and start of year prices for a small set of diverse US stocks. I use the live price formula (EPF.Yahoo.Price) in column C together with the historical price formula (EPF.Yahoo.Historic.Close) in column D to retrieve the stock price on the first trading day of the year which was 3rd January.
This produces the following data table (you can see the formula for cell D2 in the formula bar):
Now that we have the current stock price and at the start of the year we can calculate the % change using a simple Excel formula which works out the difference (C2-D2) as a proportion of D2:
Now we can apply this formula to the rest of the table and create a simple bar chart to visualize the performance:
As we can see the tech sector is under-performing, particularly Facebook and Netflix whilst the oil giants Exxon and Chevron are out-performing everything else.
I hope this gives a good introduction to stock analysis using Excel, to find out more about Excel Price Feed head over to the website and try it free for 10 days: https://www.excelpricefeed.com/
In the world of financial markets most people are aware of stock symbols, the short codes that are used to identify a company. These codes, called symbols or tickers usually reflect the name of the company, for example the symbol for Apple is APPL and the symbol for Microsoft is MSFT.
These symbols represent the tradeable stock or equity in the company.
Other financial instruments have other types of identifiers, for example stock options, which we will discuss in this article.
Stock Option symbols follow a standardised format; for example in the first column below, you can see symbols for 4 different Tesla stock options from the Yahoo Finance website:
The symbol consists of 4 parts:
These parts are:
Stock symbol, eg. TSLA
Expiry Date, eg 3 December 2021, which is written as 211203 (year then month then day)
Option type: P (Put) or C (Call)
Strike Price: eg 1095
The Excel Price Feed Add-in includes a simple Excel formula EPF.OptionTicker which is used to construct an option symbol from its component parts. This is very useful when you wish to analyse lots of options in Excel without having to manually create lots of option symbols.
For example, here is the formula being used to construct the symbol for the option above:
=EPF.OptionTicker("TSLA","Call","3 Dec 2021",1095)
We can see below the formula in action in Excel.
The real power of the forumla, however, is realised when you want to analyse multiple options, which you can combine with the EPF.Yahoo.OptionsChain.ExpiryDates formula (column C below).
Here we are looking at Apple put options with a strike of 160.
We have used the symbol formula in column D and then used the Price/Volume/Open interest formulas for columns E,F,G. This provides a nice visualization of option volume and open interest for a specific strike:
Check out Excel Price Feed today to see how it can help you with your stock option trading.
Excel Price Feed has been built to perform well with large spreadsheets and can handle spreadsheets that contain formulas for many financial instruments and data fields. You can quite easily build an S&P500 stock sheet and analyze a bunch of fundamental or live data points for each stock and not encounter any deterioration in performance.
However, if you start pushing the Add-in or Excel itself towards its “limits” or dont’ think too carefully about the format and design of your spreadsheet you may start to encounter some performance issues.
Here are some tips to help you improve the performance of your spreadsheets. Some of the tips are quite specific to using the Add-in, whilst others are more general and can be used on any type of spreadsheet:
Avoid volatile Excel functions
This issue is the probably the most common reason we see users contacting us regarding spreadsheet performance. Often a spreadsheet will use the Excel function TODAY() which is one of the Excel volatile functions. You should try to avoid using any Excel volatile functions, for a full explanation please see our blog post specifically about Excel volatile functions.
Avoid lots of single historical market data formulas
Often users wish to compare the historical performance of stocks. You can do this using the very useful single historical date formulas. I have seen many spreadsheets which use 100s of these single date formulas to return a time series. A much better alternative is to replace these formulas with a single historical data array formula. These formulas can return a time series of historical data with one formula.
If you don’t need to use all the data in the time series, or want to cross reference trading days/holidays for example, you can use the powerful Excel XLOOKUP function. In this case dedicate one tab on your sheet to time series data and reference this data from your main sheet.
Avoid single large spreadsheets
If you find your spreadsheets becoming unwieldy or suffering from performance issues due to the sheer volume of formulas and data you can look to split your single spreadsheet into multiple spreadsheets. This way you will be dealing with smaller volumes of data on each spreadsheet refresh and are less likely to breach data limits.
Often the data returned by the formulas on your spreadsheet does not change very often or does not change at all, especially if you are looking at fundamental or historical market data rather than live market data.
In this case you can replace your formulas with static values, using the “Paste Values” option in Excel. Select all the cells that you want to set to static, copy them to the clipboard, then “paste values” back into your spreadsheet. Using this method you can initially populate your spreadsheet using formulas, and then replace those formulas with static values/text.
This will greatly reduce the number of formulas on your spreadsheet and improve performance.
I hope these tips help you improve the performance of your spreadsheets. If you have any more tips please leave a comment below.
Interest in ethical and sustainable issues has exploded over recent years and today we can see these issues start to influence those in the financial investment community. Investors are increasingly taking into account non-financial factors in their portfolio selection, including the impact a company has on the environment and society.
This shift was compounded yesterday as US President Biden issued an executive order requiring development of a comprehensive government-wide climate risk strategy. This strategy will influence how and where the US Government directs it’s annual $680 billion budget for goods and services. It also sets in motion plans to revise the Trump-era rules that required pension fund managers to put their members financial interests ahead of climate change and other environmental issues when allocating funds for investments.
The winners in this process will be those companies and suppliers that score highly on environmental and sustainable measures.
ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) Ratings
But how do investors identify and select investments based on non-financial measures such as environmental impact?
This is where ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) Ratings come in. These ratings provide a numerical value which scores how ethical or sustainable a company is. One of the market leaders in providing ESG Risk Ratings is Sustainalytics, a Morningstar company.
They provide Risk Ratings, for many companies, which are scored on a scale from 0 to 40+, with low numbers representing a low risk and high numbers indicating a high risk/impact:
Building the Portfolio
We’ll start with the S&P500 and just look at the top 30 largest companies. We want to rank these companies based on their ESG ratings and for this we can use the ESG Excel formulas provided by the Excel Price Feed Add-in.
Here is the top 5 stocks in the S&P500, we have added formulas for Market Capitalization and ESG Total Score:
This is a good start but we can improve it considerably by using some of the Excel data visualization tools. For example, we can add a “Heat Map” effect to the ESG Risk Score, this will enable us to quickly see which stocks have a high or low score. We can also add a “Data Bar” to the Market Cap column so we can easily compare the size of the company.
We can also use the Excel Data-Sort function to sort our list by ESG Risk Score, this gives us the following for the top 10 stocks:
And for the bottom 10:
It was not a surprise that Exxon at the bottom, but I was surprised to see so many pharmaceutical companies represented in the bottom 10.
We can refine our data further by not only comparing the stocks against each other but against their peers. For example, a company might have a relatively good score compared to the general market but not perform well against its peers, i.e. companies operating in the same industry/sector.
I’ve added a further two columns, one showing the risk score for its peers, and another showing the difference compared to its peers. I have also used a “Data Bar” to highlight the difference: a red bar (negative) indicates a score lower than its peers (a good thing) whereas a blue bar indicates a higher score.
Here is the a full ESG analysis of the top 30 stocks in the S&P500:
Hopefully this gives you some ideas on how you can go about building your own ethical portfolio.
Visit the Excel Price Feed website to download the Add-in to provide all the Excel formulas used to build the spreadsheet shown above.
The latest release of Excel is focused on performance improvements. The main areas that have been addressed are RealTimeData functions, faster opening of workbooks with many user defined functions and faster aggregation.
RealTimeData functions (RTD) are commonly used to update a spreadsheet from a real-time data source. For example, if you have a stock portfolio you can add RTD functions to your sheet to provide real-time prices: as the stock moves, the price in the Excel cell is updated automatically:
Microsoft has removed bottlenecks in the underlying memory and data structures and also made it “thread safe”. The result is a significant performance improvement on sheets with lots of RTD functions.
I have noticed with one of my testing spreadsheets, with lots of RTD functions, that Excel now consumes less CPU and is generally more responsive.
User Defined Functions (UDFs) are custom functions that can be created by users or provided by an Add-in to add additional functionality to Excel. These functions operate the same as regular functions/formulas.
Opening workbooks with many UDFs was previously very slow as Excel looked up each UDF on the sheet. Now, Excel includes a UDF cache to make this process much faster.
Aggregation functions like SUMIFS, COUNTIFS, AVERAGEIFS, MAXIFS, MINIFS are some of the most commonly used Excel functions. With the latest release of Excel the performance of these functions is drastically improved.
We are pleased to announce today our partnership with data provider EODHistoricalData.com which provides comprehensive historical and fundamental data from 60+ exchanges around the world.
This partnership significantly increases the data coverage of Excel Price Feed especially fundamental data as we can now offer up to 20 years of company financial history for many stocks.
For example, here is an extract of the Financial Analysis tab for Microsoft stock from our sample spreadsheet:
Excel Price Feed is unique in the way it enables financial data to be embedded in a spreadsheet using simple Excel formulas, no more VBA or complicated web requests.
For example, to add the current market capitalization of Apple stock to a cell, the following formula is used:
Then, each time the spreadsheet is refreshed the latest data is retrieved.
Company fundamental data that is now easily available in Excel via the Add-in includes current market capitalization, EBITDA, PE Ratio and PEG Ratio:
Our launch integration includes historical price data (daily, weekly and monthly) as well as stock fundamental data and financial analysis data. Over the coming months we will be adding access to more datasets such as technical indicators, economic and calendar data. We will also expand our instrument coverage to include more bonds and options.
Here is a chart of long client sentiment (the orange line) versus market daily close (the blue line) for the S&P500 Index over the past 4 months:
There does appear to be a correlation, as the market moves up client long positions moves down – clients are moving from long to short positions as the market goes up.
Then at the peak (early September) client positions were long just before the market started dropping.
As the market moved down (i.e. for the past month) clients stayed long.
This example shows that client sentiment data can be used to provide trading signals, especially at “turning points” in sentiment. Obviously this would need to be tested against different markets but it is definitely a useful tool when looking for trading opportunities.
There are 8 built-in volatile Excel formulas, and it is worth being aware that using these in your spreadsheet could have unintended consequences:
INFO (depending on its arguments)
CELL (depending on its arguments)
SUMIF (depending on its arguments)
The solution was simple, replace the TODAY() function with a string value of the current date. This could be either hardcoded into the formula or better still entered into a cell and referenced from the formula.
So, if you every notice your spreadsheet starting to slow-down or start doing unnecessary calculations then look out for volatile functions.