What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

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retiredjg
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A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by retiredjg » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:40 pm

Please forgive the rant friendly reminder. :happy

The amount of ticker speak has increased a lot recently. Every time tax loss harvesting threads start popping up, so do the instances of ticker speaking. Example - "I want to harvest losses in AAAAX. Can I use BBBBX as a partner?"

And for some reason I don't know, people think that everybody knows the ETF tickers so the ticker speak practice is even more rampant with ETFs. Well, I suppose BND is pretty obvious, but most of the rest are not.

A couple of new people have even said they saw tickers so much they thought that was the right way to post.

It's annoying. :annoyed

If you want your post to be understood by a large percentage of the audience or if you want a lot of replies, you need to put the fund or ETF name in your post. Don't assume that people will look up your tickers to comment on your post.

ved
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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by ved » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:46 pm

guilty :(

I will post the fund names along with their symbols in future.
Thanks for the friendly reminder.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by 53timr » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:53 pm

I AG REE WIT DIS
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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by traveler90 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:05 pm

Gladstone Capital Corporation
YouGov Plc
Liedos Holdings Inc
Dominion Resources, Inc.
Tim Horton's Inc.
Sprint Corp

IAMGOLD Corp
Rare Element Resources Ltd

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:06 pm

Thank you for the rant.

If I can go OT for a moment, back when I was in college, an ornithologist professor was famous for remembering the name of every student in his classes, and they were not small classes. The story is that at the beginning of a semester, he told the class that it had come to his attention that for every student's name he learned, he forgot the name of a bird, so henceforth, male students would be Bob and female students Sue. Apocryphal, but it is how I feel about learning the ticker symbols for funds and ETFs.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by baw703916 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:07 pm

What if you don't want your post to be understood by people who are unfamiliar with the ETFs in question? :twisted:
Most of my posts assume no behavioral errors.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by Epsilon Delta » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:12 pm

baw703916 wrote:What if you don't want your post to be understood by people who are unfamiliar with the ETFs in question? :twisted:
Use the CUSIP or the ISIN to ensure that only the truely clued in grok your post.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by xjz » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:16 pm

53timr wrote:I AG REE WIT DIS
I think you mean: "Intelsat S.A. First Majestic Silver Corp. Rare Element Resources Ltd. Wipro Litd. ADR Walt Disney Co."

I think I'm ok with using ticker symbols as long as there's at least an accompanying link to some page about the fund/ETF/stock/whatever along with it. Sometimes even the name doesn't really get you very far with understanding a fund.

Imagine you've just heard about Vanguard for the first time, and see a post where people are chattering about whether they should buy VWENX. That doesn't tell you anything. Now imagine some well-intentioned guy comes along and posts the full name of the fund: "Vanguard Wellington Fund". That...still doesn't tell you anything, unless a "wellington" is a new asset class I've overlooked.

Much better if somebody just posted the link to VWENX's page on Vanguard, so anybody coming in from the outside can easily see that the discussion is about an 85-year-old, relatively low expense, actively managed, balanced, broadly diversified, U.S. domestic mutual fund from Vanguard.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by retiredjg » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:26 pm

53timr wrote:I AG REE WIT DIS
Now that is a funny reply!

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by Leesbro63 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:29 pm

I, also, would favor a formal or at least informal push to insist on fund names in posts here

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by jimmyq » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:34 pm

I couldn't agree with the OP more. Heck, I can't even remember the ticker symbols for some of my own Vanguard funds, but know the names by heart. Using the full names makes a post immediately decipherable by a much larger group of people.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by retiredjg » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:42 pm

baw703916 wrote:What if you don't want your post to be understood by people who are unfamiliar with the ETFs in question? :twisted:
I know your post is somewhat in jest, but I do believe there are people who think that way. And of course that is fine. There is certainly no Boglehead Forum law against it.

But remember that there are a lot of people here trying to learn something from things posted by others. I happen to be one of them. Putting names in helps those people.

So for those who are interested in that, adding names is helpful to hundreds or perhaps thousands of readers that you might not even be thinking of at the time you type your post.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by retiredjg » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:48 pm

traveler90 wrote:Gladstone Capital Corporation
YouGov Plc
Liedos Holdings Inc
Dominion Resources, Inc.
Tim Horton's Inc.
Sprint Corp

IAMGOLD Corp
Rare Element Resources Ltd
This is fun, but I'm lost in the middle….. I'll keep working on it. :happy

Edit. Almost got it - problem with Liedos/Leidos….

You must do this for fun to be able to come up with that so fast. I'm impressed!

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by xjz » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:03 pm

retiredjg wrote:Edit. Almost got it - problem with Liedos/Leidos….
Leidos used to be "Science Applications Incorporated", ticker SAI.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by ruralavalon » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:05 pm

I agree, we should all use both the full fund name and the ticker symbol.
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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by lack_ey » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:14 pm

With the right forum software it should be possible to have a link to the fund (full name, page) pop up, either in posts or say as an option when posting.

But as it is now, I usually just say the fund name (sometimes only approximately) or the asset class and wish more people would too.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by baw703916 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:32 pm

Of course there is the issue that "FTSE all-world ex-US smallcap ETF shares" is a lot more lengthy than VSS
Most of my posts assume no behavioral errors.

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Always use fund names.

Post by Taylor Larimore » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:37 pm

If you want your post to be understood by a large percentage of the audience or if you want a lot of replies, you need to put the fund or ETF name in your post. Don't assume that people will look up your tickers to comment on your post.
retiredjg:

Thank you for your reminder that very few of us have memorized ticker symbols.

Thinking and considerate posters always use fund names -- and usually add ticker symbols.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by nisiprius » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:48 pm

I think it's courteous to give the full fund names, or, if you are posting about individual stocks, the stock name, the first time you use it.

Even with the most familiar Vanguard index funds, even after being in this forum for years, I find that is not easy to remember the Vanguard ticker symbols considering that there are usually three different symbols for every index fund (Investor shares, Admiral shares, ETF). If you post "VTSAX" you may confuse people who own VTSMX or VTI.

(An odd thing for me is that even though I've been using nothing but Admiral shares since they cut the minimum to $10,000, I find the symbols for Admiral shares hard to remember and recognize).
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by retiredjg » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:52 pm

xjz wrote:
retiredjg wrote:Edit. Almost got it - problem with Liedos/Leidos….
Leidos used to be "Science Applications Incorporated", ticker SAI.
I found SAIC and wondered about that, but didn't find SAI. Interestingly, I found more than one ticker for a couple of them.

Nice work!

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by LetItRide » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:03 pm

They should probably rename all stocks/MF to be obvious. Like the fund "GRR" - which is the Asia Tiger Fund! :happy

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by itstoomuch » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:29 pm

Which is why i have yahoo.finance or google.finance or my trading site in another window.

But what really surprises me is that many BHs, do trade, do time the markets, and do so outside of qualified accounts. :oops:
vs Me who, only trades in buy low-sell high, never in Indexes, and inside of qualified accounts (mostlly). :annoyed
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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by pkcrafter » Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:56 pm

Anytime a symbol or abbreviation is used it's just proper writing form to include the full name the first time it appears.

Thanks retiredjg,

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by Steelersfan » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:00 pm

I suspect it's the newer posters who use ticker symbols instead of fund names. They'll learn the mores of the forum with time, they just need gentle guidance and reminders.

So it's maybe a good thing that we have people doing it. That means our philosophy is getting out there winning converts all the time.

But it is annoying and I'm sure keeps some people from responding.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by retiredjg » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:07 pm

Bumping for weekend visibility. :happy

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by pkcrafter » Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:59 pm

retiredjg wrote:Bumping for weekend visibility. :happy
You mean BFWV?
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heartwood
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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by heartwood » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:15 pm

Thank you for reminding us all.

A few years ago there was/is a Chrome browser extension that would show the name of a ticker symbol and also provide a link to M* for any symbol you hovered over.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... nfo-dialog

It worked marvelously. Then it stopped.

Is it the app or is there something about the Bogleheads.com site that changed? It does not seem to work elsewhere anymore either.
baw703916 wrote:What if you don't want your post to be understood by people who are unfamiliar with the ETFs in question? :twisted:
I was actually told that by someone in a thread about ETFs when I questioned the many symbols being used by all posters who were throwing them back and forth with what seemed arcane knowledge. No one else went to the effort of a helpful response.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by fidobogo » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:12 pm

I have the opposite problem: the various fund marketing names are so unwieldy, ambiguous, misleading, changing, often mis-transcribed, etc. that looking them up is much harder.

Ticker symbols, on the other hand, are pretty much unique identifiers, and I can type the few letters into my favorite finance site and get directly to information on what is being talked about, including the current marketing name for the fund.

Some of the Vanguard fund variants do have hard-to-remember symbols, but the names aren't great either.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by zaboomafoozarg » Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:34 am

Honestly, I don't think it's a big deal if the ticker symbol is missing. It only takes a couple of seconds to look it up if you don't remember what it is.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by grabiner » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:30 pm

fidobogo wrote:I have the opposite problem: the various fund marketing names are so unwieldy, ambiguous, misleading, changing, often mis-transcribed, etc. that looking them up is much harder.

Ticker symbols, on the other hand, are pretty much unique identifiers, and I can type the few letters into my favorite finance site and get directly to information on what is being talked about, including the current marketing name for the fund.
The problem with tickers is that you can't tell whether they are right. I have seen posters ask about VTMSX (Tax-Managed Small-Cap) when they actually hold VTSMX (Total Stock Market), and it's also easy to misinterpret VV as Vanguard Value ETF (which is VTV; VV is Large-Cap ETF).

I do use tickers for ETFs with unwieldy names, such as VSS (Vanguard FTSE All-World Ex-US Small-Cap ETF), but I try to provide context such as VSS (international small-cap).
Wiki David Grabiner

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by cdevers » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:59 pm

The site runs on software.

Can the site software not be patched so that ticker symbols automatically get looked up, linked to the source (or a reputable third-party site, etc)?

Seems like this is a problem that can & should be solved automatically via the site’s content management software, no?

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by grayfox » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:17 am

retiredjg wrote:Please forgive the rant friendly reminder. :happy

The amount of ticker speak has increased a lot recently. Every time tax loss harvesting threads start popping up, so do the instances of ticker speaking. Example - "I want to harvest losses in AAAAX. Can I use BBBBX as a partner?"

And for some reason I don't know, people think that everybody knows the ETF tickers so the ticker speak practice is even more rampant with ETFs. Well, I suppose BND is pretty obvious, but most of the rest are not.

A couple of new people have even said they saw tickers so much they thought that was the right way to post.

It's annoying. :annoyed

If you want your post to be understood by a large percentage of the audience or if you want a lot of replies, you need to put the fund or ETF name in your post. Don't assume that people will look up your tickers to comment on your post.
I don't think it is so clear cut.

Given the choice between ONLY the ticker symbol and ONLY the name, I would prefer the ticker symbol.

Because in two seconds I can copy and paste a symbol like VTI into a finance.yahoo.com and find out everything about the security--full name, quote, statistics, chart, etc. Can't necessarily do that with the name, especially a short-hand name like Total Stock Market.

:arrow: The correct way is this: Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) which includes both the precise name and symbol, which I copied and pasted from Vanguard's page, plus a link to the fund page.

:idea: Posters have an obligation to put some effort into making their posts easily understood.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by sawhorse » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:01 am

THANK YOU!* This is one of my major pet peeves on this board.

Sometimes it practically feels like the member is boasting about their knowledge much like people who want to demonstrate their membership into a group by intentionally using a ton of jargon. I didn't realize the reality is the opposite, that new members thought this is the standard practice.

In addition, people are less likely to get answers to their questions when they only post the symbols. When I see the ticker symbols, I brush over the questions because I don't want to take the time to look them all up.

*AT&T, Hawaiian Holdings, Imerys, YouGov. Isn't that so much easier?

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by retiredjg » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:29 am

sawhorse wrote:I didn't realize the reality is the opposite, that new members thought this is the standard practice.
There have been 2 that I recall who mentioned it over the last few months, but we get lots of new people so who knows what that means.

I complain about this every couple of years. It helps for a little while. :happy

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by JW-Retired » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:13 am

fidobogo wrote:I have the opposite problem: the various fund marketing names are so unwieldy, ambiguous, misleading, changing, often mis-transcribed, etc. that looking them up is much harder.

Ticker symbols, on the other hand, are pretty much unique identifiers, and I can type the few letters into my favorite finance site and get directly to information on what is being talked about, including the current marketing name for the fund.
Me too. Mostly the fund names don't tell you very much. Googling the ticker tells you exactly what it is.
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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by 53timr » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:13 am

While it is not quite as easy as a direct link to a ticket embedded in your post: If you happen to use the Google Chrome browser, you can use your mouse to highlight a stock symbol, right click the mouse, and select 'Search Google for 'XXX'. This will open a new tab with a Google search for that ticker symbol and usually you will see direct links for that ticker Google Finance, Yahoo Finance, Morningstar, etc. See this link for an example: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzNiv8 ... sp=sharing
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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:30 am

retiredjg wrote:
53timr wrote:I AG REE WIT DIS
Now that is a funny reply!
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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by JW-Retired » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:31 am

sawhorse wrote:
*AT&T, Hawaiian Holdings, Imerys, YouGov. Isn't that so much easier?
No, I don't find it much easier. I'd need to Google all but AT&T anyway.

Perhaps you are being sarcastic? :?
Retired at Last

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by ruralavalon » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:06 am

I think it's impolite to use just the ticker symbol. It prevents readers from knowing what you are talking about, and forces readers to take the time to look up what fund you are referring to. It interferes with effective communication.

Also it's easy to transpose the letters in the ticker symbol, and create confusion concerning what fund you mean to refer to.

In my opinion the better practice is to use both the full fund name and the ticker. What I usually do is copy and paste, simply copying both name and ticker from the fund provider website or Morningstar. It's very easy, even lazy, prevents mistyping the ticker symbol, and makes for effective communication.
Last edited by ruralavalon on Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by Toons » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:09 am

retiredjg wrote:Please forgive the rant friendly reminder. :happy

The amount of ticker speak has increased a lot recently. Every time tax loss harvesting threads start popping up, so do the instances of ticker speaking. Example - "I want to harvest losses in AAAAX. Can I use BBBBX as a partner?"

And for some reason I don't know, people think that everybody knows the ETF tickers so the ticker speak practice is even more rampant with ETFs. Well, I suppose BND is pretty obvious, but most of the rest are not.

A couple of new people have even said they saw tickers so much they thought that was the right way to post.

It's annoying. :annoyed

If you want your post to be understood by a large percentage of the audience or if you want a lot of replies, you need to put the fund or ETF name in your post. Don't assume that people will look up your tickers to comment on your post.

Thanks Jg :happy
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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by nisiprius » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:07 am

If I get in early on a thread where the original poster has used a ticker symbol, and if I have a few minutes, I will simply provide translations without comment and without criticizing the poster, and hope they take the hint.

A good recent example of a reason not to use ticker symbols was a poster who assumed that COKE was the ticker symbol for the Coca-Cola Company (it is the small-cap stock of a regional Coca-Cola bottling company).
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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by sawhorse » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:42 am

JW-Retired wrote:
sawhorse wrote:
*AT&T, Hawaiian Holdings, Imerys, YouGov. Isn't that so much easier?
No, I don't find it much easier. I'd need to Google all but AT&T anyway.

Perhaps you are being sarcastic? :?
I was trying to imitate 53timer :happy

I agree that's not so helpful because of the obscure nature of the companies. But it's not less helpful either.

Here's another one with many holdings. I've seen people give lists of tickers with more entries than this. I think you'll agree that it's more helpful than the tickers alone. Even if you don't know all the holdings, you know some, so you don't have to look up as many.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by toto238 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:52 am

Ticker symbols make it too easy. CUSIP is too easy too.

I will communicate the ETFs and Mutual Funds I'm referring to through smoke signals and interpretive dance.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by toto238 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:57 am

nisiprius wrote:If I get in early on a thread where the original poster has used a ticker symbol, and if I have a few minutes, I will simply provide translations without comment and without criticizing the poster, and hope they take the hint.

A good recent example of a reason not to use ticker symbols was a poster who assumed that COKE was the ticker symbol for the Coca-Cola Company (it is the small-cap stock of a regional Coca-Cola bottling company).
Cisco and Sysco (CSCO and SYY respectively) sometimes get confused I think.

FORD is not the symbol for Ford Motor Company, F is. FORD is a microcap that makes protective cases for phones.

APLE is not the technology company, it is a REIT called Apple Hospitality REIT. AAPL is the technology giant.

The list goes on and on...

Stop using tickers people.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by Dulocracy » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:05 am

53timr wrote:I AG REE WIT DIS
I see what you did there. 8-)
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.

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What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by retiredjg » Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:26 pm

November 2017: Resurrecting this old thread because ticker speak is once again rampant.

Once again, an unusual number of new people are speaking TICKER language. I think you/they are doing it because you/they see others do it and you/they think that is how things are supposed to be done. It's not.

People reading your posts do not know all the ticker symbols, even the Vanguard tickers. So you are completely excluding new people who are unfamiliar with the tickers and you are not going to get the attention of older members who might like to be helpful but are not willing to look up and try to remember what each ticker means.

I'm talking about things like "should I sell VBLYX and buy VTIAX? You may know what you mean, but it is actually gibberish to many readers. Why would you want to speak gibberish?

In addition, many mistakes are made when typing tickers resulting in confusion over what fund is actually being asked about. Much of this is eliminated by using fund names.

If you want people to understand what you are saying, please type out the fund name (and a ticker if you want).

If you want people to help you, make it easy on them by posting the fund names and posting in the format needed to answer portfolio questions (not every question requires this format).

The more effort it takes to help you, the fewer replies you will get. The easier it is to help you, the more help you will get.

This request applies to both mutual funds and ETFs. ETFs tickers are no more well known that mutual fund tickers.

Thanks :D
Last edited by retiredjg on Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

jonesy
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by jonesy » Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:32 pm

Thanks so much for bringing this up (again) in such a clear and thoughtful way.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:35 pm

jonesy wrote:Thanks so much for bringing this up (again) in such a clear and thoughtful way.
I agree and also offer thanks. I usually stop reading when TICKER talk shows up, especially the obscure symbols.

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saltycaper
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by saltycaper » Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:37 pm

retiredjg wrote:Once again, an unusual number of new people are speaking TICKER language. I think you/they are doing it because you/they see others do it and you/they think that is how things are supposed to be done. It's not.
I think people just like to write in shorthand and make others do the work. You know, delegating. :D

Interestingly, I have memorized the ETF tickers of the mutual funds I own, even though I do not own them in ETF form, but I have not memorized most of the mutual fund tickers. I don't think it's the extra number of letters (at least I hope not), but rather the fact that most exist in at least two share classes, and that mixes up the symbols in my mind.
Quod vitae sectabor iter?

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Taylor Larimore
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"Please post fund names, not just ticker symbols."

Post by Taylor Larimore » Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:44 pm

retiredjg:

Like you, I don't understand why some posters expect Bogleheads to memorize hundreds of ticker symbols.

In Laura's wiki post, Asking Portfolio Questions, she writes: "PLEASE POST FUND NAMES, NOT JUST TICKER SYMBOLS. It's the smart thing to do for maximum replies.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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