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.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
It's the Economy, Stupide
France’s president has an ace up his sleeve as he seeks a second term
Georgia On Our Minds, Again
The Southern state will be the stage for more high-stakes political drama
Fur Tries to SHED Its Image, Again
The industry is betting a new certification program will win back consumers worried over animal welfare
The New Web Vs. the Old Web
Meet Web3, which could replace the Big Tech powers, or be co-opted by them
Cheap, Focused, Mobile—and Not a Bank
How Silicon Valley is winning the money of young consumers
The feds are starting to allocate billions of dollars to pull CO2 from the air. They’ve got a lot of work to do
Velvet Glove Back country
A new generation discovers a love of the great outdoors—provided posh creature comforts come with it
There's Still No Amazon For Buying Houses
Real estate is a big, complex transaction, so companies are focused on making specific parts easier
Gary Gensler Eyes Rules for Robots
The SEC chair who shook up crypto is asking how algorithms might influence investors
The Drugs Are Working
The first step toward fulfilling a New Year’s resolution just might be a class of prescription weight loss pills and shots. The next steps: Getting patients and doctors to trust them and insurers to cover them
HOW NEW ROBIN HOOD CEO BUERY PLANS TO FIGHT NYC POVERTY
Richard R. Buery Jr., is starting his first full year as CEO of Robin Hood. But he’s no stranger to New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization.
TRADING APPS MOVE TO GET A LIVE PERSON TO HEAR YOUR PROBLEMS
It’s one of the downsides of apps that make things like ordering food or buying stocks and cryptocurrencies easier: What happens when something goes wrong?
ROBINHOOD'S CRYPTO TRADING SURGES, AS OVERALL GROWTH SLOWS
After helping a new generation of investors get into stocks, Robinhood is increasingly doing the same for cryptocurrencies.
Who Really Gets Rich From Robinhood
The app makes millions funneling inexperienced investors to Wall Street traders. Did Alex Kearns pay with his life?
BidenBucks Is Beeple Is Bitcoin
In a system rigged by the rich, outsiders have to make their own volatility.
SAFETY LAST: RISKY INVESTMENTS SOARED AT START OF 2021
Who needs safety when the world’s about to get back to normal?
STOCK TRADING APP COMPANY ROBINHOOD FILES PLAN TO GO PUBLIC
Stock trading app company Robinhood said this week that it has submitted a confidential plan to go public later this year.
Did Anyone Hear a Pop?
Investors are worried that stocks are in a bubble— and that it’s going to burst.
A Word About Short Selling: Don't
The fracas in January over a company called GameStop suddenly brought the practice of shorting stocks back into the public spotlight. GameStop sells video games via a network of thousands of retail outlets that have the anachronistic feel of Blockbuster stores. Business has soured, mainly because of online competition. GameStop scratched out a profit in fiscal 2017 (ending January 31, 2018), then lost money in the next two years and is estimated to have lost $680 million in the past 12 months.
INVESTING ABCS: TEACHING YOUR KIDS ABOUT MONEY AND MARKETS
The recent stock market mania over the video game company GameStop, which this week was scrutinized by Congress, has provided a teachable moment for kids.