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 A1,451.09 USD-2.42
Alphabet Inc Class C1,459.99 USD-2.38
Berkshire Hathaway Inc A327,601.00 USD0.37
Berkshire Hathaway Inc B218.21 USD0.07
Blue Apron Holdings Inc Class A7.00 USD1.01
Discovery Inc C21.79 USD-0.95
Discovery Inc Class A23.88 USD-1.32
News Corp A15.64 USD2.83
News Corp B15.48 USD2.11
Snap Inc Class A23.82 USD-1.98
Under Armour Inc A11.52 USD-3.76
Under Armour Inc C10.06 USD-3.64

About Author

Karen Wallace

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

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