Science mag Nature.com says,

A psychology study has found that, at least in the short-term, stocks with names that are easier to pronounce consistently outperform those with more confusing monikers.

Some really rough tests indicate the effect could last a year. Ridiculous assertion? Shaky evidence? Not at all! For instance, consider the marketability of these names:

Gnyarky names

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  • Yahoo! — How do you pronounce the second syllable? If Yahoo! is in the middle of a sentence, does it get its own shout? What about Spaniards confused by the missing ¡? This company's doomed.
  • Flickr — "Flick-rah". Sounds like a He-man mount to me. Who'd want to buy this startup?
  • Craigslist — All those consonants! What a mouthful! No wonder the newspapers are laughing — this company poses no threat to their business.
  • Cisco Systems — "Kisco"? "Sisco"? NO CHANCE.

Fluent names

  • Boo — What a simple dot-com name! Warp Drive 9, Scotty, and chart a course to profits!
  • Amiga — So friendly! (Handy Spanish tip: it means "female friend"! You might have some!) Destined to beat the world's Intels and Adiums and rise to dominance in the personal computer field.
  • WebVan — Two English words. Couldn't be simpler. Shift into third.
  • Dabble — Whoops, how'd that one get in here?

Simple sounds make for sound investments [Nature.com]