T

I’ve always thought it was neat that some of the biggest companies in the world were so old, so powerful, and so well respected that their stock symbol was a single letter. AT&T was one of those: T. Ford is another: F. Citicorp is C. Not all big companies are one letter, for instance, General Motors is GM. And anything on the NASDAQ has to have 4 letters regardless, like MSFT, GOOG, and YHOO. (I found one place that said “M” and “I” on the New York Stock Exchange were being reserved if Microsoft or Intel ever decided to leave the NASDAQ). Other tickers are kind of interesting too: 3M is MMM, Southwest Airlines is LUV after its home base, Dallas’ Love Field.

Anyway, in August 2003 I bought some stock in SBC which had formerly been known as Southwestern Bell, (one of the “baby bells” born when AT&T was broken up). The whole reason I bought it was that no one was providing a decent interest rate at the time, but SBC was offering a 5% dividend every year. Power companies pay pretty good dividends too, but I decided against Southern Company. Things have gotten better lately with interest rates. Paypal is paying 3.9% and ING is paying 3.5%. CD’s are over 4%. But at the time nothing could come close to that, plus SBC was even going up in price, so I bought more later that year. The price has stayed about the same since then, but it does keep cranking out a nice quarterly dividend.

Well, SBC just bought its former parent, AT&T, today. Because so many people haven’t heard of SBC, they are going to keep the name AT&T for the whole company. All of the stock traded under T will become shares of SBC, I guess on Monday. But on December 1 this year, my shares will change their symbol to “T”. For Ted, of course.

2 thoughts on “T

  1. I sold T today. My goal with stocks is to make 20%. I had these shares for 3 years before they made 20% finally this year. But the price was a little beyond 20% by the time I noticed it was time to sell. So instead I decided to try my first stop loss order so that if the price went below the 20% gain price, the shares would sell automatically (Scottrade now charges the same $7 for any kind of trade), but if the shares continued up, then I would keep making money. I set the first stop at 28.5 and the stock went up to 30, so I set at stop at 29. Yesterday the shares went over 31 so I put a stop at 30, but by the end of the day the price was only 25 cents above that. Today after an early dip the shares dropped below 30 and the trade was executed at 29.96. It turned out to be a 30% gain, plus I probably got another 15% or so from dividends over 3 years. It was a nice stock to own.

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