What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

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

Post by carolinaman » Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:37 am

+1. I have difficulty remembering the tickers for my own funds and I do not have but 7

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

Post by obafgkm » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:26 am

This is a great topic. I only add that using other abbreviations without defining on first reference can be off-putting to new people. When I started reading Bogleheads, I knew what "IRA" meant. Things like "TLH", "HCOL", "LBYM", etc were (usually) incomprehensible (and not decipherable in context).

I still read "LBYM" as "living beyond your means" (even though I know what the "B" means)!

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by mrc » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:44 am

obafgkm wrote:This is a great topic. I only add that using other abbreviations without defining on first reference can be off-putting to new people. When I started reading Bogleheads, I knew what "IRA" meant. Things like "TLH", "HCOL", "LBYM", etc were (usually) incomprehensible (and not decipherable in context).

I still read "LBYM" as "living beyond your means" (even though I know what the "B" means)!
Here here! Still a newbie ... so my second boglehead bookmark (right under new posts) is Abbreviations & Acronyms.

I used to think those topics were beyond me until I studied the CAGR page, and found that TREA has nothing to do with government treasury issues (and even that I hold some :shock:!).
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by heyyou » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:37 am

But but but, I can skip the posts written in ticker language, when I wouldn't, if they were written better. YKWIM
(You Know What I Mean?)

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by jhfenton » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:31 pm

obafgkm wrote: I still read "LBYM" as "living beyond your means" (even though I know what the "B" means)!
+1 I was initially confused when this showed up in threads with the opposite meaning from which I was familiar in the outside (non-Boglehead) world.

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:45 pm

In the past, I've been known to reply just to ask them to edit in the fund names. But I don't really have enough free time these days to do that. Still, it's pretty easy just to ask people to edit the information into their posts, and that's a whole lot quicker than asking the admins to flag such posts for edits. Hate to make more work for the admins and moderators.

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by selters » Fri Jul 01, 2016 4:30 am

I think there are two solutions to this problem. Either the moderators need to enforce a strict line against ticker speak and lock opening posts that use ticker speak, demanding that the posters edit their opening posts if they want their threads unlocked. Or they can install some kind of script to the forum that automatically inserts funds name in parantheses after ticker symbols in members' posts.

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by goingup » Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:46 am

I agree that it's frustrating. It's hard to come down too hard on first-time posters who think everyone here is fluent with tickers.

What would be a good response that doesn't come across as too harsh?
Translate your tickers to fund names, please.
Translate Tickers Please (TTP) :)

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:56 am

Traditional, Investable, Common-stock, Kickstarter-free, Enhancing-of-wealth Ratatouille?
PJW

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Hector » Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:40 pm

goingup wrote:I agree that it's frustrating. It's hard to come down too hard on first-time posters who think everyone here is fluent with tickers.

What would be a good response that doesn't come across as too harsh?
Translate your tickers to fund names, please.
Translate Tickers Please (TTP) :)
One more ticker to avoid ticker language :wink:

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by ruralavalon » Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:24 pm

Thank you for raising the issue again. I agree entirely.

Why risk confusion from transposed letters in the ticker? Why make it hard for anyone to help answer your questions? Why limit the number of people who will reply?
goingup wrote:I agree that it's frustrating. It's hard to come down too hard on first-time posters who think everyone here is fluent with tickers.

What would be a good response that doesn't come across as too harsh?
Translate your tickers to fund names, please.
Translate Tickers Please (TTP) :)
I say something like -- "please" use the edit button to add the fund names in your original post and point out that most people don't know the tickers of funds they don't personally own, won't want to have to look up what the tickers refer to, and so most people won't reply.

I don't think that asking the moderators to intervene is a good idea.
Last edited by ruralavalon on Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by peppers » Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:36 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:Traditional, Investable, Common-stock, Kickstarter-free, Enhancing-of-wealth Ratatouille?
PJW
Clever

Ticker speak. My old English composition teacher, Ms. Kerplutznick is probably shaking her head in disbelief.
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by cherijoh » Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:38 pm

Sometimes I'm not sure if it is ignorance or laziness. I have sent private messages suggesting they need to modify their original post and quite often get no reply. I'll give a newbie some slack, but some repeat offenders get put on my DBTR (don't bother to read) list.

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by finite_difference » Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:28 pm

I am probably guilty of this sometimes. I don't think it's helpful to memorize hundreds but a few tickers should be "allowed" in my opinion: VTSAX (Vanguard Total Stock), VTIAX (Vanguard Total Int'l), and VBTLX (Vanguard Total Bond). Those are the only tickers you should need to know. Maybe it's a slippery slope though.

But I also think the mutual fund names are sometimes more confusing and less exact than the ticker. For example "Vanguard Total Stock Market" (VTSAX) sounds like it should cover the entire world but that is actually "Vanguard Total World Stock Market" (VTWSX). But if you google the ticker you get the exact fund, whereas the wording can be more work to try to figure it out. I will try to be more careful, so maybe what I'll do is try to always list both.
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by mega317 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:56 pm

finite_difference wrote:I am probably guilty of this sometimes. I don't think it's helpful to memorize hundreds but a few tickers should be "allowed" in my opinion: VTSAX (Vanguard Total Stock), VTIAX (Vanguard Total Int'l), and VBTLX (Vanguard Total Bond). Those are the only tickers you should need to know. Maybe it's a slippery slope though.

But I also think the mutual fund names are sometimes more confusing and less exact than the ticker. For example "Vanguard Total Stock Market" (VTSAX) sounds like it should cover the entire world but that is actually "Vanguard Total World Stock Market" (VTWSX). But if you google the ticker you get the exact fund, whereas the wording can be more work to try to figure it out. I will try to be more careful, so maybe what I'll do is try to always list both.
It took me a while to get used to the fact that VTIAX is different from VTI.

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by nisiprius » Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:19 pm

Even with the very commonest funds, I have trouble given that most Vanguard index funds have three ticker symbols: one for investor charges (VTSMX), one for Admiral (VTSAX), and one for the ETF (VTI).

I think the best procedure is simply to follow up posts that use ticker symbols with a post giving their full names, and the gentlest possible suggestion that in the forum, using a full name--or an obvious nickname like "Total Stock"--is considered good practice.
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by navyasw02 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:49 pm

I disagree actually. Acronyms I dislike, but tickers for funds actually make it easier for me to search and analyze the funds people are talking about. To me, all the verbal names sound the same (Vanguard large cap value blended nonfat latte whaaaat?)

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by mrc » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:02 am

nisiprius wrote:Even with the very commonest funds, I have trouble given that most Vanguard index funds have three ticker symbols: one for investor charges (VTSMX), one for Admiral (VTSAX), and one for the ETF (VTI).

I think the best procedure is simply to follow up posts that use ticker symbols with a post giving their full names, and the gentlest possible suggestion that in the forum, using a full name--or an obvious nickname like "Total Stock"--is considered good practice.
Four: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Institutional Shares (VITSX)

+1 For most purposes, the share class isn't that important although on occasion it matters.

Vanguard Total Stock Market =>

Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares (VTSMX) 0.16%
Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (VTSAX) 0.05%
Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) 0.05%
Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Institutional Shares (VITSX) 0.04%
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:02 pm

goingup wrote:I agree that it's frustrating. It's hard to come down too hard on first-time posters who think everyone here is fluent with tickers.
...
For newbies, I've taken to mentioning the convention, then looking up, naming, and linking to the tickers they've used. That latter part probably softens the blow. It also sets a good example.

If I don't have the time and inclination to look them up just then, I don't respond at all.

PJW

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by stlutz » Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:09 pm

I disagree actually. Acronyms I dislike, but tickers for funds actually make it easier for me to search and analyze the funds people are talking about. To me, all the verbal names sound the same (Vanguard large cap value blended nonfat latte whaaaat?)
+1.

Actually reminds me of the time when I intended to buy Intermediate Term Tax Exempt and inadvertently bought Intermediate Term Index instead. If VG had made me type in the ticker instead of choosing from a list of fund names I wouldn't have screwed up.

For funds/ETFs that one does not invest in, you usually have look them up to know anything about them anyway. Do you know how Fidelity Intermediate Term Treasury (FIBAX) differs from Vanguard Intermediate Term Treasury (VFITX)? If you had to look them up to find the difference, it's easier with tickers than names.
Last edited by stlutz on Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by grabiner » Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:06 pm

stlutz wrote:For funds/ETFs that one does not invest in, you usually have look them up to know anything about them anyway. Do you know how Fidelity Intermediate Term Treasury (FIBAX) differs from Vanguard Intermediate Term Treasury (VFITX)? If you had to look them up to find the difference, it's easier with tickers than names.
This is particularly a problem on Morningstar, because fund spellings are inconsistent. Some Fidelity funds include a registered trademark symbol as part of the name. Some funds are "Intermediate-Term", some are "Interm-Term", and some are "Interm-Tm".
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:28 pm

I agree it's best to use both. Somewhat reminiscent of past accusations about our view of dividends, it isn't that ticker symbols are useless. It's that they're only part of the story. I practice, now at least, what I've come to preach with respect to them. For example:

Lazard Emerging Markets Equity Portfolio Institutional Shares, LZEMX.

PJW

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by retiredjg » Sun Jul 03, 2016 5:06 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:If I don't have the time and inclination to look them up just then, I don't respond at all.
...it isn't that ticker symbols are useless. It's that they're only part of the story.
Thanks. You've captured much of the point of my original post about ticker speak.

People get more help if the people trying to help them need to look up fewer things. This applies to every request for assistance, not just requests from new people.

I mentioned new people in my original post because so many new folks are doing it lately - probably because they see others doing it and think that is how it supposed to be done. Well, it's not how it should be done if you actually want assistance. People, old and new, need to realize that.

And yes, to speak of a specific investment, the ticker does need to be involved. But to have a general conversation, names work better for more people than tickers.

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Oicuryy » Sun Jul 03, 2016 5:41 pm

Poster mas solved this problem years ago. Readers who don't want to memorize tickers can install the Greasemonkey or Tampermonkey extension in their browser and then install the userscript that mas wrote. Mouse over the ticker symbol in a post to see a tool-tip with the fund name.
Money is fungible | Abbreviations and Acronyms

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Ma15 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:48 am

I think what a lot of people forget is that majority of ticker language adopted here applies to US investors only. While majority of people here maybe from the US, it deters non-US readers.

Maybe someone should start a "Should we drop international readers" thread to continue the anti-international trend of late.

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by rgs92 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:42 am

The OP makes a great point. I consider him a BFF now. :)

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by sawhorse » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:31 pm

It seems like at least a few times a week a moderator or a member has to type out a reply asking someone to provide the name of the fund for which they've used a ticker symbol.

I think it's worth putting a sticky thread at the top of the Help With Personal Investments forum - that's where the problem is most common - with the thread title, "Post fund names, not just ticker symbols".

This way, every time they visit the forum, that thread title is one of the first things they see.

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by retiredjg » Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:19 pm

Bump….you may get less assistance if your portfolio requests just have tickers. If you include fund names with those tickers, you will likely get more help. :happy

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by dwickenh » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:31 pm

retiredjg wrote:Bump….you may get less assistance if your portfolio requests just have tickers. If you include fund names with those tickers, you will likely get more help. :happy
bump
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Miriam2 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:33 pm

The Boglehead acronyms (but not fund ticker symbols) can be found in our wiki. Click on "Acronyms" in the left column on the wiki home page or

wiki/Abbreviations_and_Acronyms

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by abuss368 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:46 pm

A good post and excellent reminder. I don't have the ticker symbols memorized for our few index fund that we invest in.

I have learned over the years that the posts that have fund names (and exclude ticker symbols) typically receive much better and higher quality responses.
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by itstoomuch » Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:00 am

YMMV. JMO
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by tomd37 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:55 am

If I remember correctly, and it has been thirty-six years since I retired from the Navy, in military correspondence you always spelled something out and put the acronym in brackets behind it the first time in the correspondence. From that point onward you could use the acronym. This could be applied easily here to fund names and their symbol and make it much easier for readers.
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by grabiner » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:56 pm

tomd37 wrote:If I remember correctly, and it has been thirty-six years since I retired from the Navy, in military correspondence you always spelled something out and put the acronym in brackets behind it the first time in the correspondence. From that point onward you could use the acronym. This could be applied easily here to fund names and their symbol and make it much easier for readers.
This is standard practice in the news as well, except for extremely well-known acronyms such as NFL and FBI. A news story would say, "The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) and Canadian National Railway (CN) announced a joint venture. A BNSF train..." Here, the writer cannot say, "The railroad" because there are two railroads in the story.

Thus, it is appropriate if you need to refer to a fund with a long name repeatedly. "I sold Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF (VWO) and purchased Vanguard FTSE All-World Ex-US Small-Cap ETF (VSS) yesterday. VWO usually trades at a one-cent spread, while VSS trades at a spread of 10-20 cents."
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Taylor Larimore » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:05 am

grabiner:

Thank you for an important and helpful post.

Best wishes for a Happy Holiday!

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

Post by strafe » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:02 am

Oicuryy wrote:Poster mas solved this problem years ago. Readers who don't want to memorize tickers can install the Greasemonkey or Tampermonkey extension in their browser and then install the userscript that mas wrote. Mouse over the ticker symbol in a post to see a tool-tip with the fund name.
If the admins were so inclined, they could install a ticker translation tool on the forum server so that this feature is automatically & easily accessible to everyone.

I suspect few people would go through the hassle of installing & configuring custom scripting software on their own computers.

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Sidney » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:12 am

strafe wrote:If the admins were so inclined, they could install a ticker translation tool on the forum server so that this feature is automatically & easily accessible to everyone.
I think the admins want to keep the system as generic as possible. I don't blame them; they don't get paid to operate this forum and in my limited experience with software implementations, customization usually leads to more problems than solutions. It is easier for people to just ignore posts that are unreadable (ticker symbols, long posts with no paragraphs ....)
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Peculiar_Investor » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:17 am

strafe wrote:If the admins were so inclined, they could install a ticker translation tool on the forum server so that this feature is automatically & easily accessible to everyone.
Automation such as this isn't infallible, think auto-correct/autocompletion on your smartphone. It fails enough on common words/phrases, what are the chances of getting something as specific as ticker symbols correct?

If posters want help, isn't the onus on them to provide appropriate and clear information rather than relying on others to understand their TLAs?
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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by runningman19 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:52 pm

rgs92 wrote:The OP makes a great point. I consider him a BFF now. :)
I think you mean. 'Consider her' a BFF, at least I think that is true...

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by fundseeker » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:08 am

Taylor Larimore wrote:grabiner:

Thank you for an important and helpful post.

Taylor
Yes, it is a very helpful post, and I hope everyone doesn't mind me resurrecting it so newer members might read it and play along.

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by retiredjg » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:37 am

bump :happy

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:20 am

retiredjg wrote:
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
I am so very very tempted to give opinion on the basis of what I think the tickers mean

as in "everyone should be 10% weighted in VTIAX. But not more"

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:43 am

sawhorse wrote:
Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:31 pm
It seems like at least a few times a week a moderator or a member has to type out a reply asking someone to provide the name of the fund for which they've used a ticker symbol. Yes. As well as format. (asking portfolio questions)

I think it's worth putting a sticky thread at the top of the Help With Personal Investments forum - that's where the problem is most common - with the thread title, "Post fund names, not just ticker symbols". Great Idea. :D

This way, every time they visit the forum, that thread title is one of the first things they see.
Great ideas.
j :D

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:02 am

A thought.

Is the increasing prevalence of TICKER s a sign of a bubble?

You are getting the stock market enthusiasts coming on, and talking in Funds, as they once would have talked about stocks.

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Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:10 am

tomd37 wrote:
Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:55 am
If I remember correctly, and it has been thirty-six years since I retired from the Navy, in military correspondence you always spelled something out and put the acronym in brackets behind it the first time in the correspondence. From that point onward you could use the acronym. This could be applied easily here to fund names and their symbol and make it much easier for readers.
I can well believe that's true- -and the military would have a policy for it (a friend, ex Pentagon, described the US Military as "a giant powerpoint generation machine, which bombs people as a paper by-product" ;-)).

USMIL very fond of TLA, FLAs, FLAs, SLAs ... ;-) (TLA "Three Letter Acronym")

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

Post by nisiprius » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:56 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:02 am
A thought.

Is the increasing prevalence of TICKER s a sign of a bubble?

You are getting the stock market enthusiasts coming on, and talking in Funds, as they once would have talked about stocks.
It's a sign of a long period of stock market increases, for sure. There are many such signs, such as the increasing prevalence (I must find a way to quantify this but I think it's true) of "Why not 100% stocks?" and "20 years to retirement, why bonds?" postings. To say nothing about enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies (when everything is going well and people are feeling flush, they start to feel that they can afford to gamble a bit of it because they're playing with house money now). "Wealth effect."

Of course, you don't need signs that the stock market has been doing well for a long time, you can just look at the stock market itself. And in both cases, it is possible to feel uneasy without there being actionable signs of a top.

The speculative types talk about an asset "going parabolic" (and argue about whether to try to jump in and try go get some of it--sure it's a bubble but there's plenty of meat left on the bone). It doesn't look like that to me yet. Of course I'm retired and wouldn't hear any stories of people quitting their job in order to "become day-traders."
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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by krow36 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:35 am

It's time to remind posters that ticker speak is inconsiderate and a lazy habit. retiredjg and others said it better than I can. Maybe this thread should be bumped at least once a year?

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by triceratop » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:21 am

krow36 wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:35 am
It's time to remind posters that ticker speak is inconsiderate and a lazy habit. retiredjg and others said it better than I can. Maybe this thread should be bumped at least once a year?
I prefer tickers. Perhaps it is a personal preference? Of course if one wants the broadest perspective then adding more than the tickers may be warranted.

I definitely don’t think it’s inconsiderste, because I personally do not care.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by oneleaf » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:46 am

Posting both full name AND ticker would be great, since tickers are more searchable... always nice for people to be able to search for previous discussions of a fund.

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Re: A Rant about Ticker Speak

Post by RudyS » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:39 am

In most print media it is practice to spell out the name of any company, fund, group, etc., the first time it is used, then provide the shorthand. My opinion - if it's worth posting, it's worth posting in a format that can be understood by most readers.

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