In Reddit’s parlance, Mr. Chalfant’s diamond-hard hands, unlike the “paper hands” of the salespeople, will not fold. He’s still holding the stock he bought for $ 1,035 – roughly a month’s wages from his pizza shop job and freelance photography business – when GameStop was trading at $ 290. On Friday, his investment was worth $ 220.
“I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ve already lost the money,” he said. “Realistically, the stock won’t go where it was before.”
But the losses are also an investment, said Mr Chalfant. They earned him “internet points” at WallStreetBets. “If you say, ‘I’m still holding,’ you have more influence than if you didn’t,” he said. (Many on the WallStreetBets forum insist that GameStop stocks could rise again. On the other hand, another Reddit forum opened last week where users report losses from trading stocks whose ticker symbol is GME: GMEbagholdersclub.)
Mr Chalfant said he and other teen traders enjoy gamifying the investment, and many of his friends got onto GameStop just because they thought it was fun not to make any money.
“We live in a system where there is no more justice and the whole world is falling apart,” said Chalfant. “Nothing really matters, so we might as well try and have fun while we’re here.”
Terrell Jones didn’t have to invest in GameStop to lose money.
Mr. Jones, a student from Kenosha, Wisconsin, bought $ 300 worth of shares in AMC, the cinema chain whose stocks had also gotten into backlash against short sellers.
“I just caught the social media hype and got into it right away,” he said. “I fell for it.”
When AMC began to fall and he lost $ 112, Mr. Jones panicked.