Which stock share class should you buy?

Why some companies have multiple share classes and tickers, and considerations for investors when choosing among them.

Karen Wallace 28 August, 2017 | 5:00PM

Q: I am still confused about GOOG and GOOGL. I know there is a difference, but what? Which to invest in?

A: Your question is a timely one. At the end of July, S&P Dow Jones Indices announced it would no longer add companies with multiple share class structures to its S&P Composite 1500 Index and its component indexes, the S&P 600, S&P 500, and S&P 400.

Existing index constituents are grandfathered in and will not affected by this change, meaning that existing multiple share class companies will be allowed to remain in the widely tracked S&P 500, such as  Alphabet Inc A shares (GOOGL) and C shares (GOOG); Discovery Communications Inc C shares (DISCK) and A shares (DISCA);  News Corp A shares (NWSA) and B shares (NWS);  Twenty-First Century Fox Inc A shares (FOXA) and B shares (FOX); and  Under Armour Inc A shares (UAA) and C shares (UA).

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar Rating
Alphabet Inc A1,493.34 USD-1.56
Alphabet Inc Class C1,494.56 USD-1.55
Berkshire Hathaway Inc A343,150.00 USD0.30
Berkshire Hathaway Inc B228.69 USD0.23
Blue Apron Holdings Inc Class A3.02 USD-2.58
Discovery Inc C28.08 USD-1.82
Discovery Inc Class A29.35 USD-2.10
News Corp A14.37 USD-1.20
News Corp B14.81 USD-1.17
Snap Inc Class A16.66 USD-1.57
Under Armour Inc A16.12 USD-2.30
Under Armour Inc C14.58 USD-2.44

About Author

Karen Wallace

Karen Wallace  Karen Wallace, CFP® is Morningstar’s director of investor education.