Real-Time Watchlist: Never Miss Your Target Buying Price In Times Of High Volatility
- For years, volatility in the stock market has been very low and prices generally only knew one direction which is upward.
- Ever since the February stock market correction, volatility has returned and with that came some heavy price fluctuations for stocks.
- Attractive buying prices for quality stocks now come and go quickly, and in order to not miss these, this real-time watchlist with automated email triggers comes in handy.
- Users will get automatic email updates once the target price has been reached with specific information.
- By default, you will get no duplicate mails but you can change set behavior and define your own email frequency.
The big news in Q1/2018 for the stock markets has been the return of volatility.
Source: CBOE - VIX Volatility Index
With the markets now moving up and down by hundreds of points in the Dow Jones Industrial Index, this creates attractive buying opportunity for savvy investors.
Here are a few examples of such sharp price fluctuations:
- Apple (AAPL): The stock dropped from $179 on January 18, 2018, to as low as $155 on February 8 before recovering to $182 on March 12 and currently trading at $168.
- AbbVie (ABBV): The stock traded as high as $123 at end of January, fell back to $108 on February 8, recovered to $120 by March 13, and nosedived to $92 on March 27.
- Altria (MO): The stock has been on a constant downward trend since December 19 when it traded at almost $74. It fell sharply in February to $62, recovered slightly to $66, and dropped to $59 on March 23. It is currently trading at $62.
In all these three examples, we can observe some heavy price fluctuations in quality stocks. In the case of Altria for instance, I received the following automated email trigger on March 22:
This popped up on my smartphone connected to Gmail, and as my target price of $60 had finally been reached, I made the call to buy more stock.
If you want to replicate that, following is the link to the respective script-based Google Sheet: Email watchlist with triggers
To start, please make your own personal copy of that tool by clicking on "File" and "Make a copy."
Every minute (the default setting), it is evaluated whether the defined target price has been reached, and if it has indeed, you will receive an email which looks as depicted. You will not get any duplicate emails.
The email contains information on which stock from your watchlist has reached the target price, when this happened, as well as information on the target price and the current price. You can push these mails to your Smartphone, Smartwatch, etc., and thus know instantly when you should heat up that "buy finger" without having to constantly follow all the individual stock prices.
This is how the spreadsheet looks like...
I do not want to bother you with the technique behind, so let's jump into the actual watchlist spreadsheet. In its current form, this looks as follows:
As most of the columns are self-explanatory and also include comments in the header line, I will only mention a few general things and specifics:
- The yellow columns are the input columns for the email address you want the notification to be sent, the stock itself and the target price. The rest is calculated automatically. One important comment on the email address: Please only enter an address here that is yours or belongs to someone you know who wants to receive that information and not for any other purposes as emails are sent instantly and depending on the number of stocks can easily spam people's accounts.
- Column B includes the actual "email text" (which you can adjust as you want) which right now looks like this:
The buy trigger threshold for PG has been reached. Current price is 79.28 USD, target price is 82 USD.
- Column C is locked for editing by default as the "yes" indicator is used to determine for which stock an email should be sent.
- Column I shows you the dividend yield if your stock reaches its target price. In a later version, I am planning to include stock count and income calculation here as well.
- The penultimate column is colored grey as it is populated with values via script and indicates if an email has been sent. This also protects you from receiving hundreds of email notifications for a "triggered" stock.
- The final column gives you the upcoming ex-dividend date as these dates regularly provide attractive buying opportunities as the stocks often drop more than expected.
How to use the penultimate column?
By default, you will only get one email per stock if the target price has been reached. Simultaneously, with the incoming mail, the respective cell in the sheet will be populated with "EMAIL_SENT." If you now want to change the target price and lower it further or for whatever other reason want to receive a second mail, you simply have to delete the content of the respective cell.
There is also a more technical version of the watchlist which allows to define if you want to receive multiple emails and with what frequency: Watchlist with dynamic triggers
To set this up, you need to go into the "Scripts Editor" on "Tools" and then run "sendEmailsAdvanced" in order to allow permissions. Afterwards, you run "myFunction" and then you can control the email behavior in the watchlist itself by choosing "yes" or "no" and the respective trigger frequency.
Some final remarks and a call for action
- First of all, I really hope that you find this useful and helpful.
- Secondly, I have invested a lot of time and energy into this, and thus, if you want to share this on your platforms or so, you are welcome to do so but please give me some kudos and keep this open source for the time being.
- Thirdly, I actually have very little coding experience, and thus, if you encounter any bugs or so, please let me know. Also, please do not rearrange the order of the columns or insert any columns in between as this will break the email script.
- Fourth, I only tested this together with a Gmail account, so chances are high that it will only work that way.
- Fifth, please only insert your own email address in order not to spam peoples' accounts.
- Sixth, when using this for the first time, you may be prompted to allow Google Drive permissions and then run into this window:
Click on "Advanced" and you will see this:
Click on "Go to Watchlist_Trigger" and you are set up. As I am not a verified Google developer and only do this for fun, you may get this safety warning. Although I can confirm that my code is in no way harmful, I cannot take responsibility for any damage related to other people misusing it. To reduce that risk, you should set your personal copy of that Google Sheet to "Private" and then no one else will have access anymore.
I would be happy if you also check out my other work on useful tools for the savvy investor:
- A real-time Dividend Calendar and Dashboard to keep track of ex-dividend dates, expected payments, and projected dividends
- A tool to model the growth of dividend (re)investing
- A tool to connect Google Sheets with Excel for real-time stock analysis
Please "follow me" if you want to read more about this and let me know what other features you are missing. Maybe a dividend shot clock or a dividend projection model or some tweaks to the feature discussed here? I am curious to find out.
This article was written by
Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are long MO, AAPL, ABBV. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
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