A good reference for preferred shares is www.preferredstockguide.com The site is maintained by Flaherty and Crumrine and you can get a user ID and password for free. Once on the site, select 'database search' on the home page. Then enter the ticker symbol (in this case, SFI) and you can view some detail on all of the preferred stock offered by that company. If the ticker symbol for the preferred stock is a derivative of the company ticker symbol, there is no standard format for the symbol. For example, for the 'I' issue of the preferred stock (which I own), Fidelity uses SFIprI, OptionsXpress uses SFIpI, MSN.com uses SFI-I, etc. It is always a good idea to look at the SEC filing for the prospectus of the preferred to ensure that the dividends are cumulative (will be paid eventually even if suspended temporarily, assuming the company does not go bankrupt). Many of the banks issued some non-cumulative preferred shares during 2008. In truth, I don't expect a company to defer payment of a preferred dividend unless it is going bankrupt.