The past few years have seen a huge uptick in the number of retail traders that have found their way to different trading markets as the opportunity to do so has become much more accessible than ever before, and as big figures start to become more public in the way they approach different trades largely thanks to social media and the ability to share and offer tips, the finance game as a whole has become much less of a mystery. It has already been seen how much public representation can change how an audience views a certain category, gaming is a prime example as many credit card casinos have managed to grow in popularity with social media and streaming providing a new audience – but where could the big change in finance be seen?
For many, the change could come follow the Gamestop short squeeze that happened earlier this year with the Reddit community of WallStreetBets perhaps being a catalyst for change – at the start of the year, the community pulled together following some of the more prominent figures in the community starting an investment into the retail games company which saw the price of the option move from $20 at the start of the year right up to $400 in an effort to have a bigger impact on the hedge funds shorting the market – the gist of it is that the big hedge funds bet against the company due to the pandemic and thoughts that it would have a huge impact on retail as a whole, after publicly stating that they would be doing so there had been a dip in the price.
(Image from businessinsider.com)
The response from the Reddit community instead had been to buy in bulk and drive the price up, and the impact was immediately seen as the big hedge funds were quick to announce losses of over $1 billion within the first few weeks.
There had been some hiccups along the way, popular platforms like RobinHood fell into hot water after blocking all buy orders on the GME stock for a day which certainly swirled some theories as the parent company of Citadel had been one supporting the big hedge fund losses, but more than anything this big step for the community had allowed retail trading to gain a much bigger platform as the smaller community grew to over four million users strong in a very short amount of time. The interested certainly hasn’t waned either as the still growing community is going strong – but with legal battles on the way and other concerns around what had taken place, is the finance game as a whole changed? That will certainly be seen over the next few months, but it seems that there’s certainly a lot more interest than ever before from an audience that may not have otherwise turned to the finance market.