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Reserve your Clever ETF Ticker Before it's Too Late

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that descriptive and catchy tickers for Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are getting harder and harder to come by these days. From the article:

But finding a catchy symbol can be tough these days. Many have already been taken: 1,350 symbols are in use on the NYSE Arca alone, the biggest U.S. market for exchange-traded products. That's up 108% over the past five years, says Ms. Morrison. In addition, fund firms have reserved 2,446 symbols for future products, with about six new ones being reserved each day, she says. Then there are the tickers of bygone ETFs, whose association with failure means many firms won't use them.

We've certainly run across some memorable ETF tickers in our research and casework, and love the effort issuers put into this no doubt critical aspect of financial marketing. Some of our favorites include:

  • Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (MOO)
  • Global X Fertilizers/Potash ETF (SOIL)
  • BarclaysS&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index ETN (OIL) [though we believe futures based ETFs are no laughing matter]

There has also been a good bit of creativity exhibited in leveraged and inverse leveraged ETF pairs [watch out for daily rebalancing]:

  • Direxion Daily Healthcare 3x Bear (SICK) and 3x Bull (CURE) ETFs
  • ProShares Ultrashort (KOLD) and Ultra (BOIL) DJ-UBS Natural Gas ETFs
  • iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX)andInverse S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (XXV) [do be careful with these, too]

We wanted to know: what are some of the best ETF tickers you have come across?