Ticker Symbols

Every asset you own must be identified by a ticker. Press Add at the bottom of the Ticker column to define a new asset. Enter a ticker and press return. You can also delete a ticker by selecting a row and pressing Remove (not shown in the image). The example already has several tickers, with a new one ready for insertion.

Tickers
 

In the usual case the ticker matches a security listed on a major stock exchange, which makes it possible to get current prices from online sources. Unlisted assets require special attention. You can define your own ticker symbol for an unlisted asset, but it must contain an asterisk ( * ).  Prices must be entered manually for unlisted assets.  Here are a few examples so that you get the idea.

  • *950 Elm       (rental property you own)
  • *GE23           (a corporate bond, General Electric due in 2023)
  • *startup         (stock in a private company)
  • *CD18           (a bank CD, maturing in 2018

For each new ticker you will be prompted to identify the asset class and asset type. The "quick pick" dialog will appear.  You can also show quick pick via the main menu.

                 Quick Pick

                 Quick Pick

 

Use the drop down list to specify the class and type for the selected ticker. You can define brand new asset classes or asset types by entering them in their respective text fields. Quick pick displays the information for the selected ticker. The example displays Unspecified because *950 Elm does not yet have an assigned class or type.

You are not required to assign asset classes and types immediately after defining a new ticker.  Defer the entry if you are unsure, since the quick pick window can be opened at any time.

Learn more about asset classes here and asset types here.

Additional entries are required in each ticker row. View these topics for details:

There is one special ticker with the symbol *cash that has a default price of $1.00 and a tax basis identical to the value (hence, no capital gain). This is a convenient ticker to use for a money market fund.


Tips & Tricks

Ticker symbols are not case-sensitive. For example, these all refer to the same ticker: MUB, mub, Mub.  However tickers are case-preserving meaning that whatever style you choose will be "remembered" for that ticker. Asset class and asset type are also case-preserving. 

Some users find it helpful to use a combination of styles. For example, use lower case for individual stocks, upper case for exchange traded funds and capitalized for mutual traded funds.  Its all a matter of personal preference.