Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) just split its stock into two classes, issuing a stock dividend that gave original Google holders shares of a new class of stock. What does it mean for your portfolio?

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, goes through the mechanics of the Google split. Dan notes that most splits give you a greater number of identical shares rather than a new class of shares, but Google was interested in retaining control in the hands of its founders. Dan suggests that because most individual shareholders don't make much of their voting rights anyway, the real difference is for institutional investors who wield substantial power in non-majority-controlled companies. With Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD.DL), and many other companies introducing multiple classes of stock to maintain control, Google's move isn't anything new, and Dan notes that having to split tax basis between the two classes of shares could be the most complicated thing shareholders have to do in response.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Facebook, Google (A and C shares), and LinkedIn. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.