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
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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 A2,858.83 USD-1.03Rating
Alphabet Inc Class C2,879.79 USD-0.84Rating
Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class A418,282.63 USD-0.36Rating
Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B277.65 USD-0.19Rating
Blue Apron Holdings Inc Class A5.11 USD-9.00
Discovery Inc C25.61 USD-0.33Rating
Discovery Inc Class A26.80 USD-0.05Rating
News Corp A22.58 USD2.87Rating
News Corp B22.04 USD2.16Rating
Snap Inc Class A71.95 USD-2.27Rating
Under Armour Inc A21.69 USD1.05Rating
Under Armour Inc C19.04 USD1.16Rating

About Author

Karen Wallace

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

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