How to Add Buy and Sell Alerts to Investment Spreadsheet

In last week’s post, When to Sell Stock, I described a strategy for using dividend yield as an indicator to make buy and sell decisions for dividend stock investments.  Today’s article will explain how to add an automatic buy sell alert column to your Dividend Meter spreadsheet.

When purchasing dividend growth stocks, my first preference is to hold the shares long-term; however, if a stock becomes significantly over-valued, I will consider selling some or all shares of the company, especially if an attractive buying opportunity exists in an alternative investment.

To measure value, I look at a position’s current dividend yield compared to a historical range for that particular stock.  Next week, I’ll explain how I determine the high and low dividend yield values that trigger a buy or sell alert.   But for now, let’s look at an example for COP, ConocoPhillips.  Currently, I’m willing to buy more shares if the dividend yield is greater than 5%, and I would consider selling shares if the dividend yield were ever to fall to less than 3.5%.

In reference to the Dividend Meter screenshot below, here is the formula you need for column J:

=IF(H2>0.05,“BUY”,(IF(H2<0.035,“SELL”,” “)))

Buy Sell Spreadsheet Alert

Next, add conditional formatting, so if the cell indicates “Buy”, it will be highlighted in green or whatever color you prefer to use.   For a “Sell” indicator, you can additional formatting to highlight the cell in red:


Now, when you open your Google Sheet, column J will automatically show a “Buy” indicator if the current stock dividend yield is greater than the value in your formula, or a “Sell” alert if the yield is less than your lower value.   If the dividend yield is somewhere in between the high and low values, the cell will be empty.

Disclosure:  This article is not intended to provide specific recommendations to buy or sell securities.  The author holds a long positions in COP.

1 Comment

  1. NHuffnagle

    Very nice addition!


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