What Is A Ticker Symbol?

A stock symbol  or ticker symbol  is a mnemonic used to uniquely identify publicly-traded shares of a corporation on a particular stock market. A stock symbol may consist of letters, numbers or a combination of both. The word "ticker" used to mean "ticker symbol" is specific to U.S. stock symbols.

Examples of Ticker Symbols

  • GOOG - This is the ticker symbol for Google Company.
  • INTC - This is the ticker symbol for Intel Company.
  • WAG - This is the ticker symbol for Walgreens Co.
  • PEP - This is the ticker symbol for Pepsi Company or PepsiCo.

Ticker symbol system was developed by Standard & Poors and became standard for stock market investing in the United States. The term "ticker" refers to the ticker tape machines that individual stock investors used to track the stock prices.

If you are familiar with the television show "The Addams Family" Gomez Addams would have is ticker machine going tracking his investments. Check out the image below:

Gomez Addams With Stock Ticker Machine
Credit: Addams Family

The ticker symbol system also makes it easy for stock market investment publications like Barons and The Wall Street Journal to publish stock market information related to different companies very easily. Imagine if these publications has to publish the full company names of each corporation that has publicly traded stock. The ticker symbol also makes it easier for individual stock market investors to keep track of their stock investments.


So Here Are The Steps To Find Out A Company's Ticker Symbol

To make sure you understand the steps on how to find out what a company's ticker symbol is I will use the Coca Cola company as an example.

Step 1

You need to determine the company that you want to find out the ticker symbol for. For our example we want to find out the ticker symbol for the Coca Cola Company.

Step 2

Go to any search engine and type in the company that we are looking for. The reason for this is you want to get to the company's website.

Stock Market TIcker Symbol(134531)
Credit: http://www.howtobeastockmarketplayer.com

Step 3

Once you have found the company's website address. Then go to the website.

Stock Market TIcker Symbol(134530)
Credit: http://www.howtobeastockmarketplayer.com

Step 4

Once you are at the company website then you need to find a link that says investor relations or investors. Click on this link.

Stock Market Ticker Symbol(134529)
Credit: http://www.howtobeastockmarketplayer.com

Step 5

Once you are in the investor relationships portion of the company website you will be able to see what the ticker symbol is for the particular company you are researching. In our case the ticker symbol for Coca Cola is KO.

Stock Market Ticker Symbol
Credit: http://www.howtobeastockmarketplayer.com

Special Note: If you are unable to find an investor relations link on a company website then chances are the company is private. Private companies do not have stock trading on the stock market. Companies that have stock trading on the market are considered public.

An good example of this is the Mars Candy Company ,the maker of Skittles and Snickers or SCJohnson Company, the make of Mr. Clean and Fantastik.

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