GameStop shares its plunge, tests amateur investors


Not everyone sees it that way.

“I’ve had at least three, four guys tell me that they lost money and will never invest again,” said Tobi Alli, an amateur trader from Bowie, Md., Who bought 80 shares last week. AMC and 50 shares of Nokia, two other previously unremarkable stocks that have come together in a rebellion against hedge funds.

Mr Alli said he would have walked away with a net gain if he had sold earlier, and now he has lost $ 800 on his initial investment. But he said he didn’t even think about the winnings anymore. Instead, holding onto stock is a protest against brokerage firms that have instituted certain limits or restrictions on trading volatile stocks.

Mr Alli, who owns a small multimedia business, is among those who believe brokerages – like the one he uses, TD Ameritrade – have imposed certain limits under pressure from hedge funds that he and his fellow retailers are trying. to reduce.

“You know you can go in and lose, and I was up for it,” said Mr. Alli, who follows Twitter accounts that post WallStreetBets content. “But what I wasn’t prepared to do was lose based on the manipulation of billionaire guys who are preventing people from doing what is their legal right.”

For investors who aren’t interested in a crusade, the big swings and high stakes are scary.

Ian Poppel, 23, a wildland firefighter in Winnipeg, Manitoba, invested $ 18,000 – the equivalent of an entire fire season’s salary – in GameStop for three days, just before the stock took off. He cashed last Wednesday, a day before the rally peak.

“I haven’t slept,” said Poppel, who started trading stocks as a hobby during the offseason. “I haven’t really eaten for the past few days. I was so stressed out about how this trade would go.

He brought in around $ 40,000, which he called “life changing money.” But he knows it has nothing to do with investing in skills.

“I’ve been lucky,” he said, “and I see people online who say they’ve lost their whole life.”

Tara Siegel Bernard contribution to reports.

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