• Member Since 11th Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen July 15th

Bad Horse


Beneath the microscope, you contain galaxies.

More Blog Posts698

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Mar
25th
2021

WallStreetBets is a cult · 3:02am March 25th

You Can't Squeeze the Same Lemon Twice

I've been looking into the recent GameStop (stock symbol GME) saga, including lurking in reddit/WallStreetBets. I'm not gonna write my usual lengthy explication, supported with references and quotations, 'coz I'm busy. But I want to warn you ponies not to go ape for GME.

The first GME bubble, on Jan. 27-29, was a cleverly-planned short squeeze on institutional investors who'd shorted GME. Somebody noticed that so many people were shorting GME that by getting a few tens of thousands of people together, they could buy up most of the available shares and hold them. This would make the price shoot up, and more importantly, making the price shoot up makes the maintenance margin of people who've shorted it go up so much that they get a margin call, meaning whoever loaned them the GME stock to sell (that's what shorting is, borrowing a stock & selling it) is calling in that loan. The shorter would then have to buy that stock at its inflated price, rather than being able to wait for its price to go down before buying it.

This worked really well, once, because the institutional investors thought it was impossible to get enough people to cooperate to make a short squeeze. Porsche famously engineered a short squeeze to take over Volkswagen, but that was possible because they had billions of dollars to spend, and were making a strategic rather than a purely financial investment (they could lose money on it and still win).

It ain't gonna work twice on GME. Institutional investors have become very wary of it, as you can see from the lower trading volume and the seemingly-absurdly-low prices of put options on GME now. What I think is happening now is that the price is being inflated by people who let WallStreetBets talk them into buying more GME, with the promise that it will go up and then they'll all be rich.

The problem is, sure, a few tens of thousands of people can cooperate to make a stock price shoot up. But to spend that money, you gotta sell the stock. If you can't force the big institutional investors to buy that stock and keep the price high, then you have to find some other suckers to keep buying stock after you've stopped buying.

I think I've surfed WallStreetBets long enough to say that there is no other plan at this point. It's now just a ponzi scheme; people who got screwed in the first round are looking for new blood they can screw in turn, by convincing them to buy and hold GME, while they set a trailing stop to dump theirs when the fall begins.

But it's a very clever ponzi scheme. Because it's also a religion.

The Cult of WSB

WSB has a culture. They have their own extensive jargon, even beyond financial jargon; and most-revealing are the ways they talk about themselves: they call themselves "retards", "apes", and "smooth-brains", proclaiming their own stupidity. And in this GME stock rush, they use emojis and meme phrases to claim that they're buying and holding more GME for no reason: "I like the stock!", "To the moon! [20 rocket emojis]", and "HLOD!", which, by misspelling "HOLD!", is supposed to convey that they're holding stock when they don't even know how to spell "hold", let alone how to value stock.

That's the key point that makes everything work: WSB culture teaches people to take pride, not in beating the market, but in being stupid and beating the market.

And when they notice--as they often do--that most of them seem to be losing rather than winning, they double down and post rocket emojis, because that's the stupid thing to do.

They seem to be operating on a myth of karma, or overdue luck, or virtue--something that says that if their stupidity is pure enough, and their losing streak long enough, that they're sure to be rewarded with a big win.

Whenever the stock falls, someone with a grasp of (or a dictionary of) financial terminology writes a long, incomprehensible post allegedly explaining why this is just a temporary fall, and everybody just needs to hold their stock, and it will go back up. It's like an apocalyptic cult that keeps promising the world is going to end next month; and when it doesn't end, its leaders give a long rational explanation about how this was some kind of blip, and it's going to end next month for sure.

But the really clever things about the GME cult are that

  • the financials are so complicated that nobody even expects to understand the explanations given by the "leaders", and
  • they've built a culture which praises blind, stupid, obstinate conformity.

The typical cult leader has to worry each time he explains why the spaceship didn't come for them that people might leave if they don't understand his argument. In the GME cult, if you're not a professional trader, you can't reasonably expect to understand any argument, even if it's correct, and also, failing to understand arguments is considered cool.

Reporters Are Dumber Than Redditards

But the really hilarious / depressing thing is how the news media is covering GME. Most of the stories right now talk about GME's 4th-quarter 2020 report, which they made at 5pm yesterday; and they explain the stock's movement today as a result of that quarterly report.

I don't mean they're saying "the report was worse than expected, so the stock fell", which would at least be not-entirely-stupid if the report had in fact been worse than expected (it wasn't). I mean they're assuming that $200 was the right price before the quarterly report, and debating whether the company is still worth $200 a share based on its financials.

The stock has an underlying value--meaning the monetary worth of one share of stock, given the company's financials--of maybe $10 right now. The stock's movement down from $200 per share has nothing to do with the financials. That's stupid obvious. The stock is not worth $200, not worth $100, not worth $50, not worth $25. It is open and obvious to everyone that the price is due to weird stock-option shenanigans made possible by an army of morons and a small number of available shares. And yet the news media is debating whether GME is now worth $200 or $180.

I mean, somebody who is writing a financial column should, you know, know something about finance? Or at least google the thing they're writing about before posting their column, and read more than the top hit?

But why am I surprised? I've been noticing for years that when academic and library journals publish reviews of technical books, they rarely bother getting someone who knows something about the highly technical subject to do the review.

It's funny how I tend to trust the media, even though whenever they cover anything that I know anything about, I forehead-slap in amazement at their ignorance and incompetence. There's a phrase for this: "Gell-Man Amnesia". It means "forgetting that the media always gets everything you know about wrong when you read about something you don't know about".

Report Bad Horse · 729 views · #GME #con #cult
Comments ( 33 )
Wanderer D
Moderator

I did not know any of this but somehow it doesn't surprise me.

PT Barnum was right, but he underestimated the sucker population. Still, when WSB was hitting on all cylinders, it panicked a lot of the arrogant (censoreds) who were happily shorting companies to cripple and destroy them. That's a good thing. Then it was over, and a bunch of people with exaggerated opinions of their own competence (See Dunning-Kruger effect) are the only ones left. That's a sad thing.

There's a wonderful phrase that goes well here: The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

Invest only money that you won't need for ten years or more, stick to no-load index mutual funds with low 'leakage' and keep it in a 401k that you can ignore until you're over 70. And if you work for a company that matches 401k index fund contributions, TAKE IT even if you eat soup for a week at a time.

5483021
Also Einstein on human stupidity being infinite. (And IIRC that was actually someone in a feud with Barnum at the time, but he probably agreed with the principle)

This is a very common thing. I'm not entirely sure what the remedy is. By trade, I'm an aerospace engineer, and I'm constantly befuddled by the very misleading things about that subject matter in the news, intentional or not. Does that mean you find an aerospace engineer who's also a halfway decent writer to do those articles rather than a journalist? You can't make a career off that, so it'd be a side gig. I certainly wouldn't want to do it. Then what do you leave for the actual journalists to do? Non-technical stuff, I guess, but even your general news can contain a fair amount of sociological or political nuance.

But I feel your pain.

I bristle a bit, because if I have anything like a religion, or a religious conceit, it is the cult of the fool: there's a reason why my profile uses that William Lamb quote. Common obstinancy, considered imbecility, and the conceit of the simpleton are all things that are under-appreciated in my opinion. But I will agree that all things ought to be in moderation, and if WSB are anything at all, they're the very spirit of gross immoderation. The virtue of the fool lies in his humility. An arrogant fool is hardly a thing of virtue. Arrogance is, in this conception, the actual and opposing vice.

On the other hand, we all are suffering from the killing caution of the terrified and well-educated. But that has nothing to do with WSB, and everything to do with why it seems like everybody I know are all seriously ill of things which aren't COVID, while all our medical personnel are both well-vaccinated, and heavily burdened with PPE. My angry little sister can't understand why nurses and other medical small-folk are digging in their heels in large numbers and refusing vaccination, while she still insists that it's absolutely vital that they continue to work in heavy PPE after vaccination. Because vaccination is absolutely vital, and also, useless and not to be relied upon.

This is what I call the killing caution of the terrified and educated. They've looked too deeply into the abyss of the precautionary principle, and they can't stop seeing the disease staring emptily back at them, all-powerful, protean and invincible.

Georg #6 · March 25th · · 1 ·

5483036 Yeah, this year has been murder on any kind of normality. For the entire last year since the 'two weeks to slow the spread' anniversary, our offices have been under weird rules. If anybody in any of the buildings gets a positive test, *everybody* in the building was required to go home and self-isolate for 14 days. Doesn't matter how big the building, how isolated the people, or even (like me) if you have your own office with no other human contact. And about 9/10th of our jobs can't be done remotely. For the small 8-12 person buildings, that's not bad, but we have a major office in Kansas City that shut down last March and has not permitted anybody back in. Doesn't matter if you've had Covid and are immune, if you've had your shots, nothing. Building's closed. Now our normal offices are restricted to 25% occupancy even if nobody tests positive anywhere. We have one office where *everybody* in it has either gotten their full immunizations or recovered from Covid over the last year, but still restricted to 25% staffing.

I suspect part of it is Union, because if Management dares to say "You can only return to work if you've had your shot" they'll get a union complaint that will lock them up worse than the plague. Good God, people. Get your shot and go back to work.

5483041

Get your shot and go back to work.

Well... if you can. Some of us live places where you have to Wait Your Turn. I'm not in any high-risk categories, so... maybe this Summer? If we don't screw something else up before then, anyway. :ajbemused:

Absolute truth, I know enough about stocks to stay away from the GME mayhem, but not enough to game it. If people are willing to put such risk in these ponzi/pyramid/who knows the exact word. Well you can’t stop them.

Who knows, maybe someone will brazenly keep buying the stock until they have the controlling margin :rainbowlaugh: Probably not.

Either way the reports and debates about these gives me nothin but a migraine these days. If you don’t know nothing, about it, stop trying to teach others what to think about it.

Bleh

5483043
Like one of those variants actually avoiding the shot. At that point I’m going to get a bunker in the middle of nowhere and try to make a living 100% online... probably in New Zealand if I get lucky :facehoof:

Yeah I'm glad I considered that little crusade a one off early on. Helps I have family with Masters in Business and Economics that keep me informed of this kinda stuff though.

5483041

I've found that Unions of late have been more interested in garnering a much larger slice of the profit pie to get their members back to work of late than actually well... Get back to work. Most obvious case has been the entire School Unions fiasco that's been crossing the airwaves for the past six months now? Ish? I know it's not every Worker's Union that's going off on this and while I'm no where near a fan of Unions, even I recognize the need to get people back into the swing of things. Of course it's that or just let the Government print us into irrelevancy. I think someone came down hard and decided to cast most of the world into the Second Chinese Curse. Along with a smattering of the first and third.

I think something people underappreciate about investing is the following:

The only way to beat the market—that is, a widely diversified portfolio across a lot of asset classes—is for somebody, somewhere, to get something very wrong. Most people playing the market are constantly on the lookout for that someone, somewhere. This means, the more people who are looking, the less chance there is that anybody's getting anything wrong enough for you to take advantage of it.

You beat the market by working in weird places where other players have poor understanding of what's going on, assuming you have better understanding. (Then again, if you're working in one of those places, it's often pretty easy for you to be the somebody, somewhere.)

I've started working in certain classes of collectibles that have a good track record and enough trading volume to be at least marginally liquid, but where people demonstrably have low levels of understanding on how investing works. And I don't put a whole lot of money into that, either, proportionally. I mostly stick to ETFs tracking the overall market, staying well diversified. That's the safe play, and over the long run it's still very profitable. Anyone looking to make a quick buck is very likely to end up as the somebody, somewhere. Almost always, unless they've got access to a special pool of knowledge others in that market don't have.

Duh.
5483024
I mean, I’m a telecom engineer by training. Graduated from France #1 engineering school in that domain (https://www.telecom-paris.fr/en/home – I had my first email address in 1990 :p). I switched gears and became a technical journalist very early (I did a single year of engineer stuff only), something I've been doing for over 20 years now. After these 20 years, my monthly salary is barely over $2000 (and less than that since we've been furloughed, now one year ago).

It’s not even what newly graduated students from my school earn in their first job. I think if my salary was known to the other alumni, I'd be the laughing stock of my school.

No wonder you get terrible technical journalists. If they were paid more, maybe the profession would attract more talented people. Though that might be a pipe dream after all, given how most engineers are totally inept at writing.

Georg #13 · March 25th · · 1 ·

5483043 In the US, we've hit about the quarter-done mark with 2/340th of the population getting a shot every day. That puts nearly all (for a given value of 'nearly') of the high-risk residents either immunized or recovered or offered and refused. Since our county (as an example) has not had a fatality under the age of 65-70, that moves us from 'deadly pandemic' to 'bad flu season' in terms of severity, and the immunization sites have gone from "prove you're old and in Group 1" to "Group 2, or 3 if there's nobody waiting, or heck if there's nobody in line just get over here." Since none of the vaccines are approved for kids, and kids have a near-negligible incidence of death or serious reactions, that puts the US at the end of April into a position where pretty darned near anybody who wants the shot will have had it. There's a lot of anti-vaxx nonsense running around for this, and people have been eating it up regardless of political persuasion or racial background, so after April, the rules are going to get all changed around again. I don't mean to go all 'black helicopter' but don't be shocked if we are not 'permitted' to do certain activities without proof of vaccination by then, much like right now where the CDC has finally said that immunized people can gather 'in small groups' (how nice of them).

5483225
We’re right at the opposite over here. The number of people jabbed is lagging w/r to the planned target by several hundred thousands.
Not that I care much, I don’t plan to get that vaccine anyway. But it’s still somewhat appalling.

Well, most science writing is done by Journalism majors, and the results are what you'd expect. Before we bang too hard on J-school, though, let's pause to consider the wickedness that editors do.

At their most innocent they will try to "tighten up" a complicated paragraph by deleting a sentence or two, sometimes making the resulting explanation patently false. At their worst they will demand stories written in tones of controversy or panic that are just not warranted, because that will sell papers/attract clicks/drive engagement. They're right about that--they're news editors, that's their job--but as a result the actual science or economics in the story gets ground into sausage.

But then, can you imagine a scientist writing for a news outlet? "...yes, I know I missed the deadline: I need an extension to run down these last three citations...so what if the Times published first, this isn't a scientific paper!..."

I had considered paying a little bit into GME. Not because I was sure I could make money, but just because I liked the idea of fucking over the vultures who game our economy. And because I like the idea of shoring up the last bit of physical retail. The retail industry, while undoubtedly floundering, didn't deserve the hit from the pandemic. And I do lament the loss of physical mediums, and the ethics of an entirely electronic industry.

So I'm pretty sure a sizeable chunk of anyone still holding onto Gamespot ( or AMC, etc.) is in it for the statement and sense of actually challenging something.

I was following WSB for awhile before the whole GME situation and it’s been fascinating. Before, it was a collection of massive gambles, some well thought, some not, and people having fun acting like idiots. Then GME happened.

Holy Sunset did things change. First was the hype. The DFV meme came true, GME was shorted to hell and back, and the stock skyrockets. It hits the news, drawing a ton of attention, and the sub triples in size. Tons of new people were suddenly on board along with a fair few bots. The media coverage ranged from negative to passive aggressive, and GME kept going up. At this point, the sub was becoming a massive GME circlejerk to the point were mods were nuking something along 9/10ths of GME posts, as they were spammed nonstop.

At this point, a ton of emotional stories started popping up. People were talking about how the 2008 crash destroyed their parents and now they can hit back or how GME was able to help them pay off debts or got them enough money to pay for higher education. Combo that with still relatively fresh memories of Toy’s R Us’s death along with other nostalgic businesses going under. The whole tone shifted from massive gambles and gain and loss porn to a GME hype fast with a stick it to the man mentality.

Then came the buy freeze from Robinhood, and the price tanked. The move was so ridiculous that everyone got involved and there was even a hearing. One of the broker chairmen even said that without the buy freeze, GME would’ve gone much high, even into the thousands.

Alongside that was the whole mod drama. To my understanding, the original founder of the sub tried to monetize it a few years back (selling extremely expensive courses and the like). Mods worked with the admins and he left, but came back during the GME hype, kicked most of the old mods, and tried to monetize it again. Mods worked with admins again, and this time he was booted, but there was a period when his mods were in charge.

And the stock price goes up again. The Everyman vs financial giants narrative was set, and people were heavily invested. There was still a ton of shorts as well, (there’s a good chance that many of them were new, but that didn’t stop the hype), and soon, the price started going up again. It also helped DFV was still in, and him generally being a really nice guy.

But now, it’s gotten to the point where it feels like Copium. The feel good stories haven’t stopped (the whole Gorilla adoption thing was particularly fun) and it looks like all the initial conditions that led to the original spike dissipated. I won’t say there’s no chance of something happening with GME because I honestly don’t know anything about stocks or the market, I just found the whole thing fascinating.

All this is to say, I wouldn’t call WSB a cult quite yet. It’s close, but I think there’s still a chance for all the emotion around GME to fizzle out and the sub returning to what it used to be.

WSB used to be about laughing at ppl catapulting their 6 figure life savings into ornamental gourd futures or having to take physical possession of 1000 barrels of crude oil because their futures bet went tits up. Ever since gamestop its not been the same.

The best part of the WSB fiasco was watching regular peons openly play the stock market like a casino. I’m not surprised or disappointed that it’s now being played like a Ponzi scheme.

RE: journalists getting basic facts wrong
Science journalism is at its worst when it gets its leads from university press releases. No, that’s not a promising cancer cure. Woo-woo alternative scams gain their legitimacy from PR releases on ordinary scientific papers. Overstating relevance to clean energy and anti-cancer drugs is the game you play as a scientist to get the grant money.
When culture journalists write articles about online drama, it’s obvious how much agenda-pushing is going on to fellow terminally-online people. It’s not so much that the facts are incorrect in that case as they arrange correct facts into an unrelated narrative. Of course, if they told the whole story, their readership will promptly dump them for either “playing both sides” or for “being libcucks”.


5483144
You can’t pay journalists more to get better journalism because there simply isn’t enough money in the industry. Ads, not subscription revenue, have more or less always been the primary income for newspapers. Thanks to the internet (and our adblockers), the value of an ad impression asymptotically approaches zero. Furthermore, people are ditching their local newspaper subscriptions in favor of large publications, which further concentrates ad revenue.

5483237
Which vaccine do you plan to get?

5483024

Does that mean you find an aerospace engineer who's also a halfway decent writer to do those articles rather than a journalist?

Come on. You know the answer:

5483278 As someone who used to work in computer game development, I rejoice in the elimination of physical mediums, because they made computer games suck for 20 years. There's no room for indy games, or innovative games, or niche-market games, at a brick-and-mortar store. Those poor, helpless chains like GameStop (used to be Babbages) were ruthless exploiters of game developers, charging outrageous fees just to have your game put on the shelves. So games that weren't going to reliably become mass-market hits weren't worth making. People inside the game dev industry saw the brick-and-mortar storefronts as the tyrannical gatekeepers crushing the soul of gaming.

5483520
I’m very well aware of the nosedive of the ad market. And you’re perfectly right: less ads means less budget, which in turn leads to lower salaries, meaning less talented people writing, meaning poorer articles, which in turn push the readers away, thus advertisers become unwilling to advertise in less popular media, and so on. It keeps spiralling down.

Unfortunately, I don’t know how this vicious circle can be broken. I know more and more companies are willing to pay for advertorials or whatever you call them. That can give a boost to magazines' budgets, but unfortunately it contributes to the lowering of the editorial standards. Quite a pickle and a bind, to be honest.

As for my vaccine, I don’t intend to be vaccinated. I’m not at risk. I gladly pass to people more in need than I am.

EDIT: Yikes. They’re all positive at home. I’m cornered………………………… :p

5483597 I'm not sure there's an intersection in the set of "Aerospace engineers" and "half-way decent writers"
5483673 Small games with brilliant ideas behind them can have amazing paid user bases in this modern era i.e. Among Us.
5483771 Got my first shot today. Drove my wife to her school teacher shot appointment at the end of the day and they had leftovers. So I haz got and got shot, so I should be good. They're getting 10-12 doses out of a 10 dose bottle, so end of day leftovers are more common than one would expect.

5484100
I’m sure the set of half-decent writers and engineers is close to ø.

Good! I finally don’t know if I need a vaccine. It’s been, what?, four days people at home are all positive, with the English variant, and I’m as right as rain. Not even a runny nose.

Go figure :p

I hope neither you nor your wife won’t suffer from any side-effects. Last time I went to the ophthalmologist she indeed recommended me to swing by a vaccination centre late in the day, as they all have leftovers, mainly due to people who schedule an appointment and don’t show up.

5484407 Nothing on the day of the shot, other than Toto's Tacos and my rare burrito reward for rolling up my sleeve and taking the needle (um.... So good, but can't eat there too often of I'll get fat) On the day after, I got up feeling like I had the flu, but Motrin and Tylenol took care of it, and by evening I was/am back to about normal.

5484673
Happy to know you’re fine. I've heard that the second jab was tougher, though, which is quite obvious, since your body has been taught how to react to the invader.

They’re mentioning a new total lockdown over here. The idea of being cooped at home for another month is enough to depress me…

Not having to pay student loans for an entire year and selling my car made it so that I was accumulating savings, so I started putting money into a brokerage.

I'm saving up for a down payment for a house, so I stuck any non-critical funds into value stocks/utility and broad index funds.

When WSB hype came about I read a "due diligence" post about QRTEA (QVC network) and their recent acquisitions finally paying off. So I bought some options contracts for the first time.

They expired yesterday and I sold them for a $550 loss. RIP and lesson learned. I might revisit options later down the line but I cant imagine a scenario where buying an options contract would be less risky than just buying the stock.

WSB has gotten a lot less entertaining since the GME hype, not to mention how the glut of people caused the community to fracture into five or six different subreddits. Or perhaps its just me running away from something after it gets popular.

5499696 Buying a put option is safer than short-selling (selling a call), because the most you can lose is the cost of the put, while the most you can lose in short-selling is however high the stock goes. Buying any kind of option gives you the chance to make a lot more money if you bet right, because you can get gains many times as great as your investment if you're right and the market is wrong. Guys who think they're hot traders like options because they want to win big fast.

What I don't understand is non-diversified hedging. Like buying covered calls, or buying long and short positions in the same stock at the same time. WTF is the point of that? Theoretically, it shouldn't be profitable if the market is efficient.

5500661

Heh, in this particular case I would have lost either call or put because the price was flat.

A more accurate term would be that I sold the call options that I had previously bought.

When I bought the 3 contracts they were worth about 2.50 (~$750) and I sold them right before expiry at .40. Simple purchase and sale of a futures contract.

As for why people have cover strategies, I think it's largely a way to spend a little more to cover a larger swath of probability-space. In theory. Not too important for someone who is just going to stick money in an index ETF for 10+ years.

"Safe" investments don't yield good returns nowadays, so more and more people and organizations make riskier investments and hedges to chase yields.

All good, no worries, nothing to see here~

Former WSB retard here.

I fell down the wallstreetbets rabbit hole in early 2020, right before the Covid crash. I was looking to start investing, and I didn't want to do any of that long term buy and hold crap. "It's time in the market, not timing the market." Yeah, but which one's more fun?

My internet research lead me to WSB and I immediately connected to the complex, yet stupid humor that was prevalent everywhere. "Like 4chan found a Bloomberg terminal" as the bio reads. The memes required a novice to intermediate level of options trading knowledge to understand, but once you knew the rules and the slang, they were the funniest damn memes on the internet, and I still stand by that. Even the lore videos about u/ironyman and the infinite money glitch incidents were hilarious and made me fall in love with all the dumb shit the sub represented. The dichotomy of using hyper specialized investing knowledge to do incredibly dumb shit with large sums of money was a spectacle I couldn't find anywhere else on the internet.

Back then, WSB only had about 700,000 members but its content varied a lot more. People posted gain and loss porn in equal measures. We idolized the winners that made hundreds of thousands overnight and laughed at the losers that lost their life savings. If someone made a DD post using actually analytics, they were told to fuck off to one of the sane investing subreddits. Tesla was the meme stock of the month/year. They managed to push Tesla up like a 1,000% over the year, but it flew under the media's radar since it didn't happen overnight like Gamestop. I'm still convinced that WSB is one of the main reasons why the stock market decoupled from the economy last April. When unemployment levels continued to climb and the pandemic showed no signs of slowing down, the market rebounded sharply and is still going up. The power of bull gang is not to be underestimated.

I put some skin in the game and started losing money immediately. "That's okay. I'll get it back eventually," I kept telling myself. Robinhood gives out option trading access like candy, and for that I'm forever grateful. Most other brokerages gatekeep options if you don't have experience, but how are you supposed to gain option trading experience when they won't let you trade options due to a lack of experience? Robinhood may be a piece of shit broker, but at least they gave people the ability to make their own mistakes with minimal hand holding (at least, before the GME fiasco).

To WSB, the stock market is a casino, but like gamblers in a casino, their intelligence isn't correlated to how much they win or lose. The smartest poker player in the world won't win if he's dealt a shitty hand(s). I'm not implying that WSBers are the smartest people in the room by any means, but just being aware of options and beginner strategies would put them in the top 5% for investing knowledge compared to the general population. The slang and self-deprecation is an acknowledgement that we are all degenerate gamblers who don't value money as well as we should. It is very much used ironically.

I ended up losing around $7,500 in total. I tried just about every strategy in the book and won some and lost more on all of them. They say not to risk more money than you're willing to lose, and for better or for worse, I've mastered the art of being emotionally disconnected from my money. That was the cost of education for me.

Still, I had fun doing it, and I learned more about investing than I ever thought possible. I've pivoted over to Tastyworks and theta gang strategies. Options are essentially insurance contracts. Who do you think wins over the long run, those who sell insurance or those who buy insurance? Options trading is something I find genuinely fun, and it's given me the dream that I can one day build up an account and trading methodology strong enough to quit my day job and do it full time. Building wealth the slow way isn't sexy, but it's a hell of a lot more practical. The "safer" option plays require larger capital, which is why small accounts are almost always destined to self-destruct.

This might sound cringy, but I believe wallstreetbets has made most of its members richer, regardless of how much wealth they gained or lost. At the end of the day, we're just trying to have fun and make memes. Maybe I've drank too much of the Kool-Aid, but I don't really see WSB as a cult. It is a toxic sub-community comparable to 4chan, and you could be justified in saying that the GME hype squad is a cult within the wider WSB culture, but the subreddit as a whole is pretty upfront about what you're getting yourself into.

Sorry about making a mini-blog post inside your comments. Just wanted to give my side of the experience.

5510782 Thanks for giving an inside perspective!

5510782

The smartest poker player in the world won't win if he's dealt a shitty hand(s).

You really don't understand poker, because it's the exception among gambling. The game where you're in direct competition with the other players, so the house doesn't have to care how often a given player wins because their cut will be the same regardless. If you want your metaphor to be "smarts can get the average payout to be positive, but you can still be screwed over by randomness", that's blackjack.

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