Clever ETF Stock Symbols

Apparently marketing is a live and well even in the world of exchange traded funds (ETFs). Aside from the typical advertising you might come across on TV, in a newspaper, or on the web, ETF providers are purposefully targeting specific ticker symbols for that little extra name recognition.

Here are some examples:

  • Rydex Russell Top 50 ETF which invests in the largest publicly traded companies uses the ticker XLG. The original choice was BIG, but it was already taken.
  • Looking to invest in the most liquid corporate bonds? Check out the Rydex Russell Top 50 ETF which uses the symbol LQD.
  • StreetTracks Gold Trust uses GLD. That's a an obvious one. iShares Comex Gold Trust on the other hand uses IAU. If you remember studying the periodic table you'll recall that AU is the symbol for gold.
  • The Vanguard Telecommunication Services ETF uses the symbol VOX which is the short form for voice operated switch.
  • We also have VCR which is the symbol for the Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ETF whose largest holdings are in broadcasting and television.
  • And finally there's PBJ. While not directly related to every child's favorite sandwich, it is the symbol for the PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage Portfolio.

My only hope is that these fund owners are as creative with their investment strategies!

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