(Bloomberg) -- After a rough patch for its gig-economy focused exchange-traded fund, its issuer is turning to a new ticker symbol.
The SoFi Gig Economy ETF (ticker currently GIGE) will trade under the ticker BYOB starting August 9. No, it doesn’t focus on alcohol companies or fast-casual restaurants, as the new ticker may suggest, but invests in companies that let workers “Be Your Own Boss,” as in Uber drivers, Airbnb hosts and Etsy retailers.
Since its inception three years ago, the actively managed fund advised by Toroso Investments, has seen its market cap plunge to about $9 million from a peak of more than $60 million. GIGE’s price has fallen 47% this year and had minimal inflows since January, as consumers have cut back on treats like food deliveries and hand-made gifts due to recession concerns.
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“SoFi is definitely playing on BYOB being a well-known acronym to potentially help sell this ETF even though it has a different meaning in this case,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Seyffart said.
In fact, some ETFs have attracted new investments after a ticker change. The Pimco Active Bond ETF, for example, grew in popularity after it changed its ticker from TRXT to BOND, according to Seyffart.
“Tickers like HACK for cybersecurity or TAN for the solar ETF are all examples of memorable tickers that stand out and likely aided their growth,” he said.
A research study by Pomona College found that stocks with clever ticker names outperform those with plain ones.
“A good ticker can aid in the growth of a fund, especially if you have a bunch of competing funds with similar strategies,” Seyffart said. “BYOB is certainly more memorable in my mind than GIGE but there needs to be a story and performance for a good ticker to truly matter.”
SoFi did not respond to a request for comment on its ticker change.
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