Important legal disclaimer: This article mentions a number of different investments. We are not recommending the purchase of any stock or investment. Please note that not all ticker symbols are from the NYSX, and some companies have different tickers for different stock exchanges.
When companies are listed on stock exchanges, they are assigned a unique 1- to 5-letter ticker symbol as a shorthand ID. The rattling stock ticker—printing out prices on a ticker-tape, as in the parade—is long gone. But ticker symbols are still ubiquitous on investment statements, trade confirmations, and websites.
Frequently, companies choose a ticker symbol based on their name. For example, Ford Motor Company got in line early and was able to claim the ticker F. Other companies, such as Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) or Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) cut a few letters from their own names, leaving them very recognizable.
Other companies, though, get creative or even silly. Here are a few of the ticker symbols that make us giggle.
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
It seems most Ohio natives have fond memories of spending time at Cedar Point amusement park. The owner of the park, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, chose the ticker FUN, which we think is very apt.
Franklin Resources, Inc.
Named after the founding father, Franklin Templeton has always striven to be associated with the frugality and prudence of Benjamin Franklin (though perhaps not with his risqué jokes). So, when it came time to pick a ticker, they selected BEN.
Cheesecake Factory (TCF Co. LLC) and Papa John’s International, Inc.
When these well-known restaurants went public, they decided that a good way to attract investors was to make them hungry. So, their tickers are CAKE and PZZA, respectively.
For decades, these motorcycles have been known as hogs. So, they attract investors by carrying over that branding into their ticker: HOG.
Dynamic Materials Corporation (DMC Global Inc.)
If your product has anything to do with explosives, your ticker better pack a punch. Dynamic Materials’ ticker, BOOM, is nothing if not memorable.
Canopy Growth Corp
Their name doesn’t really describe their product, but this marijuana company chose a ticker that is straight to the point: WEED. To avoid confusion, this means the company WEED, Inc.1 had to settle for BUDZ. If you want to diversify your pot portfolio, you may want to check out EFTMG’s Alternative Harvest ETF, which blazed up the ticker symbol MJ. Interestingly, no one seems to have taken the symbol POT2, the closest being Global X Cannabis ETF’s POTX.
Sotheby’s Holdings, Inc.
When we think of the famous high-end auction house we think of fine art, discretion, and upper-class tact. So, we were rather surprised at their straightforward ticker: BID.
Petco Health and Wellness Co. Inc.
We don’t usually see tickers change paws—er, we mean hands—but when nationwide pet store chain Petco went public earlier this year, they snagged VCA Inc.’s older ticker: WOOF.
National Beverage Corp
They may not be the most well-known soda company, but they may have the best soda-related ticker. Just reading the ticker FIZZ makes us long for some refreshing sparkling water.
Sleep Country Canada Holdings Inc.
If you liked National Beverage for its onomatopoeia, you’ll love Sleep Country’s ticker: ZZZ.
But don’t fall asleep yet! The rise of ETFs has opened a whole new world of tickers. Here are a few that describe their funds perfectly.
iShares Global Timber & Forestry ETF
iShares wood never let us down in their naming (see what we did there?), so they cut straight to the point and named their timber fund WOOD.
iPath Pure Beta Precious Metals ETN
The next time your significant other tells you they want some bling for Valentine’s Day, you might assume that they misspelled this ETF’s ticker, BLNG, and go down to your favorite discount brokerage and buy them a few shares.3 Of course, if they say they want a RING, they may actually want iShares Global Gold Miners ETF instead.
Janus Long-Term Care ETF
With America’s aging population, it makes sense that many people think it’s a good idea to invest in healthcare for the elderly. This ETF is designed to do just that. However, their ticker, OLD, may not be the most sensitive choice. Still, it may be less offensive than their Obesity EFT with the ticker SLIM.
Finally, we have Britta’s all-time favorite ticker:
SPDR® High Yield Bond ETF
A high-yield bond sounds like a great idea. Based on that name it sounds like you’d have the safety of a bond, and with outsized returns. But not so fast. High-yield bonds are issued by companies that are on shaky financial footing, so they can be much riskier than many stocks. For this reason, they have gotten the not-so-flattering pet name junk bonds. Most bond investment companies avoid this implied insult, but State Street Corp. chose the opposite route and gave their high-yield bond ETF the ticker JNK. Truth in advertising.
We enjoy seeing these all-too-brief moments of corporate sense of humor, but again, we do not recommend you go out and buy any of these stocks or funds. Instead, we typically recommend investing in a few broadly based index funds. But in the world of finance, which so often takes itself all too seriously, it’s nice to see companies that are willing to laugh at themselves once in a while.
- “…a multi-national, multi-faceted, vertically integrated world-class cannabis organization focused on the development and application of strain and disease-specific cannabis and hemp-derived compounds for the treatment of humans and animals” according to its website. Just in case you were wondering.
- We thought it might belong to Potash America Inc., but they selected PTAM. A missed opportunity.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information and is provided by Practical Financial Planning, Inc. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Original content of Practical Financial Planning, Inc. only is copyright © 2021 by Practical Financial Planning, Inc.