Investing in Funny Ticker Symbols: Does It Actually Work?

Joe Goldman  |

Since the recent bull market began on November 15, 2012, investors could have randomly selected a diverse portfolio of stocks and would likely be up on their money. Since that date, the S&P 500 is up 18.7% and a huge majority of stocks stocks are in the green.

But what if investors decided to invest only in stocks with funny and clever ticker symbols?

The FUNY Index is a fabricated, diversified index comprised of 15 stocks and ETFs from the NYSE and NASDAQ. Their businesses range from restaurants to animal healthcare to industrial explosives, and all 15 companies have funny or clever ticker symbols. Here’s how the index has performed since the start of the rally in November.



Surprisingly, the FUNY Index significantly outperformed the broader market. These stocks returned an average of 25.18 percent, while the S&P 500 returned 18.70 percent. The FUNY Index’s return also outperformed the NASDAQ’s 19.48 percent return and the Dow Jones’ 19.01 percent return. Only the Russell 2000 outperformed the FUNY Index, but only by a miniscule .03 percent.

Of course, the FUNY Index’s performance should never dictate an investment strategy. One should never invest in a company based on its ticker, and the Index was arbitrarily assembled without a real investment strategy.

However, the performance of the FUNY Index does carry some teaching value.

During a bull market, a well-diversified portfolio should perform strongly. The FUNY Index is comprised of large and small companies from nearly all sectors, and is therefore able to reap the benefits of a strong economy. Thanks to exceptional returns from Southwest Airlines and OM Group and thorough diversification, the FUNY Index’s performance has been outstanding during this bull market.

[Image via screengrab]

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:


Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
FUN Cedar Fair L.P. 53.26 1.32 2.54 180,432 Trade
OMG OM Group Inc. n/a n/a n/a 0 Trade
HOG Harley-Davidson Inc. 41.38 -0.14 -0.34 2,491,944 Trade
LUV Southwest Airlines Company 53.23 0.75 1.43 5,051,807 Trade
YUM Yum! Brands Inc. 88.79 -0.39 -0.44 2,791,111 Trade
FIZZ National Beverage Corp. 89.61 -0.86 -0.95 246,922 Trade
ZEUS Olympic Steel Inc. 19.16 -0.15 -0.78 63,361 Trade
CAKE The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated 50.30 -0.69 -1.35 527,853 Trade
BEAT BioTelemetry Inc. 62.09 2.09 3.48 490,373 Trade
BOOM DMC Global Inc. 36.18 0.28 0.78 58,879 Trade
PZZA Papa John's International Inc. 59.04 2.81 5.00 2,373,054 Trade
PDM Piedmont Office Realty Trust Inc. Class A 18.65 0.04 0.21 737,405 Trade


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