“Your example literally changed the lives of thousands of ordinary people,” wrote a Reddit user named reality_czech to Mr Gill this week. “Seriously thanks.”
GameStop versus Wall Street
Let us understand you
- Stocks of GameStop, the video game retailer, have risen because amateur investors starting at Reddit have bet heavily on the company’s stock.
- The wave gained momentum when large hedge funds short-sold GameStop stock – essentially betting against the company’s success.
- Sudden demand pushed the stock price from less than $ 20 in December to nearly $ 200 on Thursday. At least on paper.
- It’s not just GameStop. Amateur investors have supported other companies that many large investors have shunned, such as AMC and BlackBerry.
- This bubble around GameStop can force large investors to raise funds to cover their losses or dump stocks in other companies.
Larry Tabb, head of market structure research at Bloomberg Intelligence, said the rise of traders like Mr Gill was “impossible just a few years ago” because there was a fee to trade and the markets were less focused on social media. But with people now stuck at home in the pandemic and having easy access to free trading with online brokers, “these people saw an opportunity and took advantage of it,” he said.
Mr. Gill did not respond to requests for comment. His online accounts and email addresses were linked to his old New Hampshire office and Massachusetts home. Mr. Gill’s mother, Elaine, confirmed on a quick phone call that her son was Roaring Kitty.
“I’m proud,” she said before hanging up.
Mr. Gill’s life as the Roaring Kitty began in 2014 when he started a limited liability company by that name. Before that, he was an All-American runner in college who, according to local newspapers, could run a mile in 4 minutes and 3 seconds. After graduating, he worked as a Chartered Financial Analyst and Financial Wellness Educator, as shown by a recently deleted LinkedIn profile.
He started posting on Reddit in August 2019. Like many other Reddit users, he was familiar with memes and internet expressions like YOLO (You Only Live Once) and showed a love of profanity. The middle letter of the initials of his Reddit username DFV refers to an explanation. He went from Roaring Kitty on YouTube, TikTok and Twitter.
Mr. Gill’s first posts on WallStreetBets featured the screenshot of his e-trade portfolio with the options trades he had made on GameStop. Everyone is betting the stock will go up. In the comments, he stated that Wall Street didn’t appreciate how much GameStop would benefit from the release of new video game consoles.
Shortly after Mr. Gill placed his trades, Michael Burry, an investor known from Michael Lewis’ book “The Big Short”, also showed an interest in GameStop. On Reddit, Mr. Gill pointed to Mr. Burry’s position as an endorsement. When others questioned the investment, Mr. Gill held firm.