Alternative to MSN Stock Quotes Add-in in Excel

This discussion happened with the intent to find the best Alternative to MSN Stock Quotes Add-in for excel.

Initial Email by Roger:

All of you that use this on a regular basis will already know that this quit working about 4 days ago.

I emailed Manish to ask if he knew if MSN was going to fix the problem since I wasn’t able to find anything about it through the searching I did. From what he had heard, MSN was probably not working on the problem and we should look for another solution. I was afraid that might be the case. Microsoft dropped the ball on their MS Money program that forced me to go to Quicken and I wondered how long it would take them to drop the stock-quote functionality as well.

I have already found a viable spreadsheet alternative with Google Docs and am presently building a spreadsheet with it that will duplicate what I had in MS Excel. I can share that here when I get it done. I should be able to do that soon.


There are two solutions that have emerged as an alternative to MSN Stock Quotes Add-in. 1) To use Google spread sheets which is great. 2) Use this new Stock Quotes in Excel Add-in which is also a great option.

Google Spreadsheet Option

I finished building my own personal spreadsheet with Google Docs as mentioned above.

Based on that format, I created a new spreadsheet with a mock portfolio and made it public. Here is a link to it:

If you are logged into your Google account, you can choose “make a copy” from the file menu. That will create your own version of it that you can change and enhance to suit your needs.

Updates from Marc Goldfarb

I received an email from a Marc Goldfarb with a solution to MSN Stock Quotes problem. The details are below:

I was also dramatically impacted by the 19-June-2013 change to the MSN Stock Quotes function for stock price download.

I had a hard look at it this evening and I have had success with the following change in syntax:

old syntax:

\=MSNStockQuote($A2,”Last Price”,”US”)

where $A2 is a reference to a cell containing the ticker symbol: e.g. GOOG new syntax:


It appears that they made an arbitrary syntactical change without notifying users or maintaining backward compatibility.

Roger's Response:


I tried it and it works. Everything has to be changed from “US” to “USD”.

It’s a little late for me though. I like the way the Google Docs works better. The updates are automatic every few minutes where with Excel, you have to manually update it.

Google also gives me the advantage of accessing my spreadsheet with my Galaxy Note 2 smartphone. That’s a huge advantage for me that I’m glad to have. Had MS not messed us up here, I wouldn’t have thought of that.

I also don’t trust MS not to mess this up again. And, there may be no fix next time.

Updates from Jim Grant


I have been following your posts and appreciate all the help. Google Docs saved my ass, but I am one of those that has to have Excel, so several of you contributed to curing my plight, which was severe. Many mahalos.

My story is basically that I am a former asset manager but I am still managing my and family money (naturally for free), and have developed spreadsheets over the years to keep track of portfolios on a real time basis and analyze investment alternatives. They calculate just about everything I need including portfolio standard deviations. All the worksheets in a spreadsheet are intricately tied together and when MSN Stock Quotes died, I was desperate. Google Docs was a great interim solution, but here became my problems:

I am still using Excel 2003 and not about to pay Uncle Bill another nickel to upgrade, but downloading a Google Doc file in a .xlsx format would not work as it had to be converted to .xls format, which Excel 2003 would not do. It worked on other files but not the big one. Maybe there was another solution, but I had to have something that worked without all the BS. The Technitya product saved my ass again. I am now up and running again in Excel after expending a whole day modifying my spreadsheets.

The other thing about Google Docs is that it updates so often and my spreadsheets are so big that I had to wait a lot while it updated. Technitya does the same thing but the refresh does not appear to be as frequent. I would like to store my files on the Cloud, but I’ll just have to find another option for that. Google Docs was also not very good in formatting. It was slow and frustrating. I use a lot of color coding, conditional formats, etc., and sometimes Google Docs just says, “No.”

The other thing that Stock Quotes in Excel add-in did is that it greatly expanded my ability to analyze investments. MSN Stock Quotes was limited in the number of stock quotes it would handle in one spreadsheet and in the number of variables available. Many of them were worthless.

I don’t know much about Finance Train, but if there is a way to share my work, I would be glad to do that and maybe after you look at them, you can improve them to the benefit of all.

Alohas, Jim

Alternative to MSN Stock Quotes Add-in

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