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Hanging on to what you've got

Stock Tickers and Similar Codes

(This is a sub page within a project which tries to spread understanding of how stock market investing works. If you have "dropped in" from outside, and the following doesn't meet your needs, it may be worth visiting Sheepdog Guides Investing's main page.)

In the world of stock market investing, there are industry standard "appreviations" for the thousands of companies of which you can buy and sell stock. If you buy shares in the internet giant "Google", for instance, you can refer to that as "goog". (In the investing world, these abbreviations are usually written all in upper case, GOOG. If you take my advice, you'll use lower case.)

Such abbreviations are called the stock's "ticker", or "symbol".... from the days before the internet when what was happening at the stock market was communicated to the world via a network of "ticker tape" machines.

We will use tickers for many things, for instance our list of the shares we own will refer to the companies by their tickers.

Our first purchase was of two shares of Google, so our portfolio once consisted of...

Shares  Company
  2       goog

We will also use a number of "special", non-standard tickers, e.g. "8mm". No commonly used industry standard ticker begins with a digit, so until further notice, I will start "our", "special" tickers with a digit... "8", in honor of the Chinese belief that 8 is auspicious.

"8mm" will be a "ticker" we can use to show our cash, with one "share" of 8mm representing one dollar. The "shares" in 8mm will be unusual in that the value-per-share won't change from day to day.

A major reason for all of the trouble and complexity I am trying to show you about is that if you are going to be an investor, you need to know where you are, and how you got there.

On the hypothetical "day one" of the exercise, things were easy. We had a nice pile of dollars... $100,000, hypothetically a lottery win.

The next day, we bought 2 shares of Google. This "used up" some of our cash, but it wasn't really "used up"... it merely changed form. We gave up $1344 in exchage for $1244 worth of Google stock. (The $100 was "lost" to the broker's fees. You can track those fees separately, if you want more record keeping, etc. I prefer just to consider them as part of what I put into acquiring the Google shares.)

The following list is short at the moment, and half of it taken up with a "special" "ticker", 8mm. The list will gain many "real" tickers as we go along, and not very many more "special" tickers.

8mm     Money market.. not a "company". 1 "share" always 1 $
goog    Google
ko      Coke
pep     Pepsi

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