Disclaimer: I am very new to investing, so please forgive me if my question is too naive and ambiguous.

My problem that I don't understand how it is so complex to identify an individual stock.

I find things like:

  • ISIN (which looks like it is not enough)
  • FIGI (which looks like a nice idea but I don't know where to find this in my trader1)
  • Ticker Symbol (which is also not enough)
  • Exchange Symbol (which is confusing and also not clear in my trader1)

Real case scenario: if I want to find the stock of Tesla I see 3 different results:

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Two of them are have the same Ticker Symbol (but different Exchange symbol), the other one has another Ticker Symbol.

If I look for ISIN there is also ambiguity, these are results from DeGiro searching by the Facebook ISIN:

enter image description here

What can I do to resolve my confusion?

1 DeGiro


For the Ticket Symbol un-accuracy I extract this from GoogleFinance API documentation:

It’s mandatory to use both the exchange symbol and ticker symbol for accurate results and to avoid discrepancies. For example, use “NASDAQ:GOOG” instead of “GOOG.”

Also is worth to consider that I am writing from Europe and I am noticing how much the documentation about all the stock market is US focused.

Update 2

I am reading these:

An I am still finding it confusing

  • 2
    I'm not sure what you mean by "it's not enough"? Tickers are the most common for stocks by far, and are unique for a given exchange. So unless you're trading across international exchanges, ticker is the standard way to identify a stock.
    – D Stanley
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 15:33
  • 1
    Most finance sites will show you options when you type in a specific symbol, since tickers can be re-used in different markets. They usually show you the company name, though, so I still don't see what the actual problem is.
    – D Stanley
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 12:43
  • 1
    Yeah, can you explain what, exactly, you're trying to do that you're having difficulty with due to not having this information? Are you trying to use an API? What is an example of one particular stock or company that you're having actual trouble with? Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 11:13
  • 1
    Are you having trouble figuring out which of those results for Tesla is the one you should be interested in? If so, your problem isn't that you don't understand the various ways of identifying a stock; your problem is that you don't know which exchange you want to trade Tesla on. Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 11:16
  • 1
    I recommend posting that as a new question: "Why is Facebook showing up multiple times in these search results? How do I know which result is the one I should use?" The short answer is that the ISIN is enough to identify a stock, but a single stock can trade on multiple exchanges. If you'd like to know the long answer, then go ahead and post that new question. Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 16:39

2 Answers 2


In my experience, a ticker symbol is always sufficient to identify a stock, at least for domestic stocks. (I'm in the United States; I don't know what country you're in.) So you should be able to just use the ticker symbol.

You write that "if I try to use GoogleFinance it requires me the Exchange Symbol as well". That's not true for me; I can just type a ticker symbol into Google Finance and it always brings me straight to the stock I want. What ticker symbols are giving you problems?

  • From the GoogleFinance API doc: It’s mandatory to use both the exchange symbol and ticker symbol for accurate results and to avoid discrepancies. For example, use “NASDAQ:GOOG” instead of “GOOG.”. I know it works also without the exchange symbol but I understand reading this that the ticker symbol may not be unique identifier enough
    – fguillen
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 10:19

@fguillen thanks for your excellent question!

If you look at https://markets.ft.com/data/equities/tearsheet/summary?s=TSLA:VIE and use the drop-down, you'll see that Tesla is traded in a number of exchanges, eg: Tesla exchanges.

Within Germany alone, there are about 10 exchanges where Tesla is traded: Tesla exchanges in Germany.

Your ISIN lookup shows a similar situation: that Facebook common stock is traded on NASDAQ, Xetra, Frankfurt, and Swiss SIX exchange (in EUR and in USD): all under different tickers.

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