When you think of the stock market, hopefully you think of a lucrative way of using your money to make more money. Warren Buffett uses the classic example of his first investment: $114.75 at age 13. If that money was used to buy stock in the S&P500 index (which basically means you own $114.75 worth of the top 500 companies in America), and you left the money alone for 75 years, it would be worth approximately $400,000. When trying to get rich in America, slow and steady investment is the name of the game.
Most people of course, don’t want to wait 75 years. Enter the traders. Some are professionals, who use state-of-the-art technology and sophisticated algorithms designed by some of the world’s top physicists to decide which stocks to buy and sell. Some do in-depth analysis of balance sheets and income statements to determine which stocks are undervalued. Then there are the other guys.
As it turns out, when you lock a generation of adults who’ve been told they’re special all their lives at home for months at a time, there are going to be unintended consequences. Since millions of people lost their jobs and were going to be short of cash, the government gave everyone $1200 stimulus checks, including to those with poor impulse control. Some might say that during a time of great uncertainty, that $1200 is best saved so you don’t go hungry or become homeless, which is sort of the reason that money was given out in the first place. Others smell opportunity, or they’re degenerate gamblers, or maybe they’re just bored. Either way the methodology isn’t as important as the outcome in this case: they decide to become day-traders.
To start your day-trading career, you sign up to Robinhood, a commission-free trading app which is the most popular with day-traders. It’s a bad choice, but since your alternative is Questrade these things are relative. Questrade’s allegations include but are not limited to:
⦁ “Questrade is laundering money for the Navarro drug cartel”
⦁ “Questrade stole my land and drove my people into the hills”
⦁ “Questrade did 9/11”
Robinhood functions as a casino for the stock market: you start by getting a “free stock” which you scratch off like a scratch card. Next, it is a good idea to do some reading on stocks before investing your life savings, so you have something resembling an idea about what you’re doing, but this stage is completely optional. The screen turns green when you’re winning, red when you’re losing, nonstop confetti and party emojis are thrown at you, and the app breaks constantly. This is a problem when it is supposed to handle billions of dollars of transactions. For example, the infamous case of “ZeDoubleD” who lost $20,000 when Robinhood went down as he was trying to sell his position. However, unlike your typical corporate overlord, Robinhood acknowledged its mistake, apologized profusely, gave him a $75 credit, and the world carrier on as normal.
But nobody wants to feel they’re in it alone, so Robinhood users flock to the Reddit forum r/wallstreetbets (WSB) for community. The main way of introducing yourself to your fellow members here is as either a fellow “autist” or “retard” – the latter of course being an anagram of “trader” – who seeks winnings in order to afford “tendies” (chicken tenders, which are seen as the ultimate prize, for some reason). The forum is mainly comprised of memes, terrible stock analysis, veneration of Elon Musk (Papa Elon) and “gain/loss porn” where people post screenshots of their huge wins and losses. Attempts to give sound financial advice or to encourage responsible financial behavior will result in a ban.
WSB highlights include the only person confirmed to have been blocked by the United States Federal Reserve on Twitter https://i.redd.it/eb4mb5vwnh451.jpg for tweeting the infamous “money printer go brrr” meme at them non-stop for weeks (https://brrr.money/ – printer speed is adjustable in the bottom left corner). Another example meme is below, from when Tesla (Elon Musk’s company) hit $2,000 a share, capping a meteoric 400% rise in just a few months, making several WSB members millionaires.
And it came to pass that Papa Elon, did lead the many autists to the promised land of tendies, yea and he did bring unto them many yachts, lambos, and chicken selects; for generic tendies were beneath them.
Once you’ve entered WSB, after skim-reading some of it and glancing over some charts you’ve pretended to understand, you should embark on the ultimate WSB move – the YOLO. This means moving the entirety of your IRA and savings into Robinhood and betting it all on whether a stock will go up or down tomorrow. Naturally, the “gain/loss porn” is extreme, with community consensus results usually being, in their words, either:
⦁ waking up at 7am every morning to make breakfast for your wife’s boyfriend
There are admittedly few lessons to be derived from WSB. Those who said degenerate gamblers couldn’t thrive in a pandemic have been comprehensively refuted. Don’t YOLO your life savings. But if you do, please remember to screenshot results and add your gain or loss porn to r/wallstreetbets for the enjoyment of anonymous strangers on the internet.