Even though the popular subreddit is engulfed in chaos and dreams of GameStop “going the moon” are evaporating, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to the U.S. stock market. I wouldn’t recommend trading memes, but watching the general state of the stocks you care about is never a bad thing.
I typically jump over to Yahoo Finance for this, but I confess, I hate having to fire up my browser just to look at stocks. That’s why I’m glad to have stumbled across Ticker, a handy command-line program that you can use to get just the prices and none of the extra crap. It takes a little configuration to get going, but it’s the perfect thing to leave running in the background while you go about your day.
To get started, download the pre-compiled binary for your operating system (“windows-amd64″ for my 64-bit Windows PC). Unzip it wherever you want on your system, and then launch a command prompt (or terminal) to the program’s location.
Simply type in
ticker -w followed by comma-separated names of stocks you care about. So, if you’re big into the dying meme stocks, you might enter:
ticker -w gme,koss,expr,amc,bb,doge-usd,xrp-usd
That would give you an output that looks like this, by default:
You can also add extra flags to get more information about the stocks you’re chasing following. For example, typing in this…
ticker -w gme,koss,expr,amc,bb,doge-usd,xrp-usd — show-fundamentals — show-separator — show-summary
…gets you a much prettier (and more informative) layout:
For the hyper-obsessed among us, you can also create a .YAML file — a simple configuration file that loads when the app loads — where you’ve set your configuration options, the stocks you care about, and the number of shares you might have purchased (and for what price). This makes Ticker even more useful, as you can actually track your portfolio straight from the command line.
So, using the example on Ticker’s GitHub, I created a simple ticker.yaml text file within the same directory as the app. I then renamed it to .ticker.yaml and launched Ticker with no extra flags — just by typing “ticker” at my Command Prompt when I’m in the same directory as the app. That gave me this:
Lovely! My fake stocks are up! While Ticker takes a little configuration to make it work best for you, it takes all of a few minutes to get set up. And once you’ve done that, it’s a lot easier to just load up a tiny app than a browser (and all of your many tabs) to look at your stocks. Now, go get rich — with a reasonable investment in an index fund that you hold for 20 years.