Historical Stock Prices
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By Selena Maranjian (TMF Selena)
June 24, 2002

Q. Where can I find historical prices of a stock? I want to learn how much it traded for on a particular day some years ago.

A. Sometimes the company itself can tell you. Try giving its investor relations department a call. Another good resource is your public library -- you should be able to look up the price in newspaper archives or elsewhere.

But the easiest resource is your trusty computer. Click over to Yahoo! Finance for historical stock prices. Another good source of quotes and data on public companies is the Fool's own Quotes and Data area.

Why would you need to know a stock's price from way back when? There are a few possible reasons:

  • You sold the stock and you want to know your cost basis so you can calculate your capital gain or loss.
  • You want to figure out the return you've earned on the investment.
  • You need proof that, over time, stocks actually do increase in value (despite what has happened over the past few years).

If you visit any online quote service, you'll likely see a bunch of other numbers besides a stock price. If you'd like to learn what's behind those numbers, consider our Crack the Code: Read Financial Statements Like a Pro online seminar. Give our online seminars a whirl. More than 90% of those who've taken them have consistently given them high marks -- and besides, we offer a satisfaction guarantee, or your money back. What do you have to lose, except your fear of financial statements?

If you have any questions, thoughts or opinions on this topic, share them with others on our discussion board for Ask the Fool.

This question and answer is adapted from The Motley Fool Money Guide: Answers to Your Questions About Saving, Spending and Investing. For answers to this and 499 other common money questions, check it out -- it's a handy resource.