Just When You Think YOLO Is Finished …
Bloomberg Businessweek|November 08, 2021
The gains on faddish investments may not last, but the urge to speculate isn’t sated
Annie Massa and Elena Popina

Although they may not age as well as a bottle of Bordeaux, you can think of the “meme” investments embraced by individual traders as coming in vintages. Each one gives you a flavor of a moment in 2021’s very weird market psychology.

The January vintage is best-known: GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry, and a handful of other hot nostalgia names that denizens of online chat boards were rooting for. The May vintage was all about Dogecoin, a virtual token bearing a shiba inu mascot that reached a record of about 74¢ that month. October 2021 moved on to a special purpose acquisition company tied to former President Donald Trump’s social network; November already has Avis Budget Group Inc. as well as Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.

Anyone who thought betting on inside jokes would end with GameStop Corp. missed the point. With the U.S. staggering back to some version of normal in the twilight of the Covid-19 pandemic, trading as a new great American pastime has endured. The fading of any individual meme name hasn’t doomed “you only live once”-style investing. At least, not yet. “Novice traders who made a lot of irrational trades are absolutely in love with investing—that love isn’t going away anytime soon,” says Tim Ghriskey, senior portfolio strategist at investment adviser Ingalls & Snyder. “The YOLO crowd is looking for the ‘new’ new thing, and what’s considered new is constantly evolving.”

In mid-October you’d have been forgiven for believing meme investing was beginning to subside. Rank-and-file employees were returning to office towers and had less freedom to spend daytime hours trading. Reopened movie theaters, bars, and sporting events gave people other entertainment options. Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy’s Twitter feed, once littered with trading videos, went back to football and pizzeria reviews.

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