Stock symbols or ticker symbols are the codes you need to buy and sell stocks or exchange traded funds (ETFs). If you want to make a purchase of an ETF or stock you would need to follow these steps. This is assuming you already have a trading account and know the approximate name of the ETF or stock you wish to purchase.
Find the symbol you want
This step involves either going to a finance site such as Yahoo and find their “symbol lookup“. Enter the company name or ETF name in the box provided and you should see the symbol appear.
For example if you type in “Google” then it should tell you the symbol is “G”.
If you want to buy the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF then type in “total stock market” or “Vanguard total” – once you type enough letters, it will know what ETF you are interested in and you will see the symbol “VTI“.
Most symbols are based on the company name but there are some that are related to the company product:
- Anheuser-Busch (beer company) – BUD
- Cedar Fair (amusement parks) – FUN
- Sun Microsystems (creator of Java) – JAVA
Photo credit – Cishore.