Jan 2020 was made super exciting by a group of retail investors who decided enough is enough and served corporate Wall Street a dose of their own medicine.
In brief, the group of retail investors had gotten wind of some stocks Gamestop ($GME) and AMC ($AMC) that had been massively shorted by Hedge Funds.
They decided it was an unfair practice as companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic should not be profited from in a way akin to how vultures circle their dying prey, waiting to pounce and feast on them. These modern-day superheroes were part of a Reddit (social media platform) group which was named WallStreetBets. They succeeded in rallying themselves to buy those stocks and sent the stock prices to all time highs, forcing losses on most of the hedge funds who had placed short bets on those stocks.
Here are a few reasons why they remind me of the Avengers.
Sometimes, the establishment is the villain.
Institutional investors – Hedge funds (HF), with their deep pockets and well-funded, highly-complex computation power not only influence the direction of the market sometimes, but bet largely on the demise of companies on the exchange and profit off it. They don’t provide necessary finance or know-how to these companies on how to turn their woes around. They don’t buy them up and turn them around. They simply make huge bets against them and literally sponsor their downfall for profit as they tried to do with GameStop and AMC. One would have thought in this difficult period, caused by the global pandemic, these investors would look more to supporting struggling organisations, but no, they were taking no prisoners.
Heroes in numbers can become superheroes
One typical strength exhibited by superheroes is their ability to do more than what individual humans can do. Ordinary people coming together in large numbers can balance the odds and exhibit superhero abilities when they work towards the same goal. When r/wallstreetbets decided to rescue ‘short’ targets of GameStop and AMC of HFs, they rallied and invested, forcing those stocks up against their predicted trajectory and hurting the villains. Many ‘shorting’ HFs took huge losses as a result.
Everyone has a Superhero in them.
What is notable about r/wallstreetbets is their retail nature. There were all individuals coming together socially for a cause they regarded as a good one. They bonded via a social platform because they had an innate desire to do things somewhat differently. They rallied to the call to rescue endangered companies at the mercy of the “villain-type” hedge funds. They decided to believe in better, rather than bet on bankruptcy. They rose up during a global pandemic using a platform “Robinhood”, one that depicted the robbing of the wickedly-rich to pay the deserving poor.
We all have a superhero in us. It looks quite daunting, taking on the giants in a space or industry like David did with Goliath, but a recognition and empowerment of the heroes in us can make things happen that we never knew possible. Do not despise the superhero in you. Set out on a cause for good and allow the superhero within you to take the lead. Leverage your powers on others for the same just cause and see how villains of poverty, stress, sin, gender-based violence, debt, suicide and many more will be overcome and put away.