WSU Students Form Online Investor Community and Benefit From Volatile Stock Market | Characteristics

A few Wayne State students tried their luck in early January, hoping to get rich from Wall Street and its GameStop saga.

An online community of investors, known as WallStreetBets on Reddit, has banded together to create artificial demand for a failing stock price in late January, according to ABC News. This has led many newbie investors to enter the market. As the amount of stock purchases increased, so did the prices. At its peak, GameStop saw a 14,300% increase in its share value, according to CNET.

This situation, leaving many economists and investors perplexed, continued with GameStop shares doubling and prices soaring in late February.

“There is nothing that motivates a human being more than a random payout, so it’s very tempting to treat the stock market like a slot machine,” said Matthew Roling, part-time professor of finance at WSU. . Rolling also offers investment advice on Youtube.

Roling said he supports a democratized stock market, allowing people more flexibility and freedom when buying stocks, although caution should be exercised.

WSU students who have little or no investment experience join online communities and chat with more experienced peers for investment advice. Some students have even created a Discord server – titled Wayne Stonks University – where WSU students can discuss stocks with each other.

Photo from Wayne Stonks University Discord server, provided by George Mourtos.

The WSU student organization was formed after young computer science graduate George Mourtos had a stock market conversation with his peers during a panel discussion for one of his classes, he said. stated in a March 22 email to The South End.

“(Others) said not to fill the group discussion with things unrelated to the class. So from there we started and a few others were interested in investing, ”Mourtos said. “Now there are a few hot calls and stocks that some of us, the more experienced ones, have our eyes on and if it hits us and takes us for a ride, those who take our knowledge can win or lose. ‘money.”

Students who decide to join the Discord server must agree to a disclosure agreement before being granted access to the server, Mourtos said.

A few WSU students have been lucky with their investments.

“I bought Gamestop shares at $ 42 and ended up selling my shares at around $ 300,” said second-year biology student Neil Rastogi.

Rastogi frequents Reddit and Discord for advice on stocks, he said, but understands that these market bets may not always work.

“It’s important to realize that any investment you make can be lost. Every time you step into a transaction you need to go in knowing that you may never get that money back. But if things work out you can get a great return, ”said Rastogi.

Students should be mindful of how they want to invest, Roling said. Most investments that are considered bets will end in a loss.

“The good news is Wall Street doesn’t care in five, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years,” Roling said. “If you have a very long horizon, you can win.”

Roling recommends that novice investors put their money in long-term index funds, which aren’t high risk but still offer a long-term reward, he said.

“The way you earn is with low fees and diversification, you take the money and put it in an index fund where you have low fees and can continue to accumulate money there,” Roling said. .

The average stock portfolio only earns 9% per year, while the average credit card earns 16% interest, Roling said. People shouldn’t invest in stocks if they have credit card debt, but interest on school or auto loans isn’t as disruptive.

“I understand people want to be rich at 20, but you know what’s even cooler? To be rich at 40 and not get there by gambling, ”Rolling said. “There is nothing more powerful than compound interest, and compound interest feeds on time.”

Roling is unsure of the future of the market, but said he had specific hopes.

“Over the past 20 years you have seen a massive shift in the economy as we have moved from an analog world to a digital world. I think in the next 20 years you’re going to see a massive shift in the economy as we move from oil to a sustainable world, ”Roling said.

WSU students interested in being a part of Wayne Stonks University can join the Discord here.

Arben Gacaferi is correspondent for The South End. He can be contacted at [email protected].

Cover created by Dori Gross, graphic designer for The South End. She can be reached at [email protected].

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