GameStop short-seller Melvin Capital suffered a 49% loss in the 1st-quarter after being hit by the Reddit-fanned trading frenzy

Gabe Plotkin
Melvin Capital founder, Gabe Plotkin.

  • Gabe Plotkin’s Melvin Capital extended its first-quarter losses to 49%, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.
  • Melvin declined 53% in January, reversed some of that loss with a 22% gain in February, but slid 7% again in March.
  • Reddit traders hammered the hedge fund’s short positions against GameStop earlier this year.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Melvin Capital, the hedge fund that dug itself into a hole during the GameStop saga, extended its first-quarter losses to 49%, according to a Bloomberg report.

The firm, founded by portfolio manager Gabe Plotkin, saw a 53% decline in January, reversed some of that loss by gaining 22% in February, but slid another 7% in March, Bloomberg said, citing sources.

Melvin was among a handful of short-sellers that got torched by the Wall Street Bets army that bid up GameStop’s shares, leading to massive losses for those that wagered bearish bets against the video-game retailer.

“51% to go,” a Wall Street Bets user posted on Reddit in response to Melvin’s first-quarter decline.

The fund closed its short position against GameStop on January 27. It started out this year with $12.5 billion in assets under management, but ended January with about $8 billion. Steve Cohen’s Point 72 and Ken Griffin’s Citadel injected a $2.75 billion investment in Melvin to support its battle against the Reddit army.

Plotkin racked up about $860 million through 2020 after his firm returned 53%, but January’s deep decline left him with an estimated personal loss of $460 million, Bloomberg reported.

Plotkin was grilled before a congressional panel in February, where he defended his short position and said it was never part of an effort to “artificially depress, or manipulate downward, the price of a stock.”

A spokesperson for Melvin didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Indian millennials are taking to the stock market, as the bored and young start driving markets worldwide

india stock trading
Young investors in India are turning to the country’s stock market.

  • Millennials in India are driving the country’s stock market, Bloomberg reported.
  • They are likelier to take risks than their elders, departing from the asset investments typical in India.
  • Worldwide, young investors are shifting investing trends – and economies along with them.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Millennials in India might be changing the country’s stock market.

Driven by quarantine boredom, many 20- and 30-something Indians have turned to stock trading during the pandemic, reported Bloomberg. The stock market rally and rise of trading apps and social media has lured these young investors, Bloomberg wrote, many of whom are day trading for the first time.

The influx of young investors is a similar story around the world, but an especially positive sign for India’s economic development, as active investor accounts increased to a record 10.4 million in 2020. Only 3.7% of the country’s 1.36 billion people invest in equities, per Bloomberg, compared to 12.7% in China and 55% in the US.

“India could easily equal China’s market cap in the next five to 10 years because going forward, growth in India’s market will probably be faster,” emerging-market investor Mark Mobius told Bloomberg. “China, because of its size, will probably grow more slowly.”

It also signals that internet adoption is extending to areas of the country beyond the big cities of Mumbai and New Delhi. Securities firm Angel Broking told Bloomberg that more than 50% of its new customers in its fourth quarter were from “smaller cities and towns.”

Indian millennials are more likely to take market risks, a departure from other investors’ traditional investments in bank deposits and physical assets like real estate and gold, the latter of which served as an “insurance policy and a retirement plan in a country that lacks robust social welfare systems or widespread access to formal credit,” Bloomberg wrote.

This appetite for risk-taking is common in other markets’ experience of millennial investing, though, pointing to a more volatile economy as younger participants join the stock market.

Millennials are driving big investing trends

Worldwide, the bored and young fueled a big shift in investing in 2020.

Bitcoin was buzzing, surpassing its previous peak from December 2017, a year when it had a “wild run,” rising by more than 1,300% and going mainstream before tumbling the next year as it and other cryptocurrencies slumped.

But substantial millennial interest brought the hype alive again. The conditions of the pandemic and resulting search for an investing hedge against potential inflation, more widespread availability on PayPal and Square, and new Wall Street regulators, could be contributing to its rally.

Stock-trading startup Robinhood also saw explosive growth during the pandemic thanks to a new generation of novice traders flocking to the stock, options, and cryptocurrency platform, Insider’s Graham Rapier reported. The free-trading investing app, whose average user is 33 years old, added 3 million users to its current total of 13 million this year alone. The company even raised $200 million in funding in December.

But the boom hasn’t been entirely positive: It’s triggered outages and angry customers, and amateur traders have lost thousands of dollars through high-volume day trades.

More recently, a group of day-trading Redditors from The WallStreetBets forum used the platform to incite frenzied trading in the shares of GameStop in response to hedge funds “shorting” the stock. Their trades sent GameStop soaring, causing an estimated $19 billion of losses for short sellers in the company as of January 29.

As the young come into both money and access to day trading, their investment trends are ultimately shaping economies across the globe, from the US to India.

Read the original article on Business Insider

GameStop millionaire Keith Gill is testifying before Congress on Thursday. Meet the investor who upended Wall Street with cat memes, reaction GIFs, and fundamental analysis.

GameStop millionaire u/DeepFuckingValue
GameStop investor u/DeepF—ingValue.

  • GameStop millionaire Keith Gill is testifying before Congress on Thursday.
  • Gill goes by u/DeepFuckingValue on Reddit and Roaring Kitty on YouTube.
  • The value investor, who loves cat memes and reaction gifs, was a leading figure in Wall Street Bets’ clash with short-sellers.
  • Ten of his Wall Street Bets peers shared their views of him with Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A retail investor who goes by u/DeepFuckingValue on Reddit and the name Roaring Kitty on YouTube is set to testify before Congress on Thursday.

The man behind those usernames is Keith Gill, a 34-year-old marketer and financial educator at insurance firm MassMutual. He shot to fame last month for turning an initial $54,000 investment in GameStop in 2019 into a $48 million fortune at the height of the GameStop boom, according to screenshots he posted on Reddit that Insider was unable to verify.

DFV is one of several witnesses set to appear in front of the House Financial Services Committee to discuss their roles in the GameStop saga.

Members of Wall Street Bets – a retail-investing subreddit – led the charge in driving GameStop shares up as much as 2,000% in January. They also worked in concert to spike the stock prices of AMC, BlackBerry, Bed Bath & Beyond, and other heavily shorted stocks. Their goal was to score quick profits and squeeze short-sellers into covering their positions, sending the stocks even higher.

DFV didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment from Insider. However, several of his peers on Wall Street Bets shared their insights into his character and explained why he’s earned their respect and admiration.

Cat memes and cash flow

DFV is a far cry from the stereotypical day trader many associate with Wall Street Bets. Rather than flitting from hot stock to hot stock, his only posts on Reddit have been screenshots showing the value of his GameStop position, dating from September 2019 to February 3.

His Reddit comment history and Twitter feed may be littered with cat memes and reaction GIFs, but DFV has repeatedly stressed that his goal is to invest shrewdly and maximize his long-term returns. 

He’s calmly and confidently defended his GameStop investment thesis since his first post about it. He’s dismissed daily price moves, trumpeted the video-game retailer’s free cash flow, touted its cheap shares, highlighted its competitive moat, underscored the opportunity for share buybacks, and celebrated its shareholder-aligned management.

“I’m a fundamental value investor through and through,” he said in a Reddit post in December 2019.

Read more: A veteran options trader breaks down the intricate strategy that Reddit traders used to outsmart Wall Street’s bet against GameStop – and shares 2 ways the parabolic rally could permanently alter the stock market

On his YouTube channel, he even described GameStop as a “a roach not a cigar butt a la Warren Buffett,” referring to the famed investor’s analogy that buying cheap businesses in terminal decline can be like picking up a discarded cigar butt and enjoying one final puff.

“GameStop is an established, uniquely positioned player,” DFV said. “Its final puff is a legitimate opportunity to reinvent itself as a premier gaming hub. That last hit might not be the prettiest or the cleanest, but it could get the job done.”

Making the case

DFV laid out his investment case for GameStop in an hour-long YouTube video in July 2019, the month after he made the stock the biggest holding in his portfolio. The shares were trading around $4 then, giving the retailer a paltry $260 million market capitalization (it surged past $30 billion at one point last month).

The retail investor said he was bullish on GameStop because he viewed the threat of an industry-wide shift to digital game purchases as overblown, thought the negative sentiment around the company was overdone, and believed the value of its business was being overlooked.

While DFV takes investing seriously, he also plays to his audience. He often pairs a bandana with sunglasses, and recently dunked a chicken tender into a glass of champagne to celebrate his massive windfall – a reference to “tendies” being the slang for investment gains on Wall Street Bets.

Moreover, he has a self-deprecating sense of humor. When a commenter pointed out he had made a profit on his GameStop position in December 2019, he replied, “SO FAR BUT THAT IS IRRELEVANT YELL AT ME FOR BEING DUMB OR BE DOWNVOTED.”

Read more: A Wall Street expert warns that restricting GameStop and AMC trading from Robinhood could trigger ‘one of the worst-ever’ market crashes as retail investors lose trust

Yet DFV has been unabashed about the money he wants to make.

“Given the risk I’ve taken on, I’m shooting for at least 10x on the position,” he said in a Reddit comment on November 2019. “15-20x would be terrific. 20x+ is possible but not worth seriously entertaining right now.”

When GameStop shares hit $20 last December, he uploaded a screenshot to Reddit showing he had $1 million in cash and $2.5 million worth of stock and bullish call options.

DFV downplayed the rigorous research behind his lucrative bet in a Christmas Day video.

“When you have a thesis and by and large it unfolds as you hope that it could, that’s nice,” he said. “This was a true YOLO for me. I don’t know what I was doing, I still don’t.”

He also underscored what the gains meant to him.

“When I was building this position last year, we had nowhere close to $1 million,” he said. “I certainly do not drive a lambo, we rent this house that you see, so it’s been a wild ride for us as a family.”

Other Wall Street Bets members praised DFV’s diligence, humility, and unwavering self-belief in interviews with Insider.

They also compared him to Michael Burry, the investor from the book and movie “The Big Short” who was widely ridiculed for making a billion-dollar bet on the US housing bubble to burst in the mid-2000s, but ultimately proven right.

Here’s what 10 Reddit users said about DFV:

“He was never arrogant. He was the quirky guy doing his thing until people started to ask him what he saw.” – SoDakZak

“I don’t see him as a leader. I just see him as a guy who made a decision and stuck to it.” – Auslander

“He genuinely cares about helping people and showing the resources available to individual investors so they can study the market. He’s created the spark and now there’s a lot of momentum behind it.” – Dancinrobot

“DFV ultimately showed people that they can make it in the stock market just like the big hedge funds. He’s started a revolution.” – 360T-Posed

“DFV is the Michael Burry of this story. He believed in GameStop since 2019 and held despite all the bullying he received and all the losses he endured. He became a legend.” – mad-max-308

Read more: Value investor Adam Mead shares 7 key insights into Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway after writing its complete financial history

“A lot of people laughed and thought he would lose it all until a few months ago. He’s basically WSB’s Michael Burry. He had an impact on all of us.” – mEDo4

“DFV is an example of learning the ropes of trading, putting in the hours to gather all the relevant information for an investment thesis, and ultimately having the strength of willpower to stand by your plan.” – BarTendiess

“He’s been harping on about GameStop since it was $4 a share and was being laughed out of Wall Street Bets. He never faltered in his conviction. His ability to take criticism and roll with it is incredible. He would just reply with memes or little quips. I’d say he’s the Michael Burry of this generation. He saw an opportunity and he capitalized on it when no one else would even listen.” – Xylosoxidans

“Most of Wall Street Bets just wants to get a lucky lotto ticket, so when someone like DFV comes along and shows them a different way of doing things, it’s like seeing a shining star in the darkness. People tend to gather around the light and the light DFV gives off can’t be ignored.” – Xylosoxidans

“DFV taught a lot of people in this sub to be patient if they want to play out a thesis. You would think he is some arrogant douche that only flaunts his gains. Far from it. If you see his videos, he might be the most mild-mannered dude you might ever come across. And very humble too.” – GadnukBreakerOfWrlds

“He is the quintessential WSB member that we all aspire to become.” – I_shah

Read More: MORGAN STANLEY: Buy these 17 stocks with strong earnings that are expected to outperform into 2022 even if the broader market sinks

Read the original article on Business Insider

Meet the GameStop investor upending the stock market with cat memes, reaction GIFs, and fundamental analysis

GameStop millionaire u/DeepFuckingValue
GameStop investor u/DeepFuckingValue.

  • Reddit user u/DeepFuckingValue is a leading figure in Wall Street Bets’ clash with short-sellers.
  • The value investor, who loves cat memes and reaction GIFs, claimed to have turned a $54,000 bet on GameStop into a $48 million fortune.
  • Ten of his Wall Street Bets peers shared their views of him with Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

An amateur investor who goes by u/DeepFuckingValue on Reddit and the name Roaring Kitty on YouTube has become an overnight celebrity in the battle between Wall Street Bets and Wall Street.

DFV’s real name is Keith Gill, a 34-year-old financial educator for a Massachusetts insurance firm, according to the New York Times. He shot to fame this week for turning an initial $54,000 investment in GameStop in 2019 into a $48 million fortune as of Wednesday, according to screenshots he posted on Reddit that Insider was unable to verify.

Members of Wall Street Bets – a retail-investing subreddit – have led the charge in driving GameStop shares up as much as 2,000% this month. They have also worked in concert to spike the stock prices of AMC, BlackBerry, Bed Bath & Beyond, and other heavily shorted stocks. Their goal is to score quick profits and squeeze short-sellers into covering their positions, sending the stocks even higher.

DFV didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment from Insider. However, several of his peers on Wall Street Bets shared their insights into his character and explained why he’s earned their respect and admiration.

Cat memes and cash flow

DFV is a far cry from the stereotypical day trader many associate with Wall Street Bets. Rather than flitting from hot stock to hot stock, his only posts on Reddit have been screenshots showing the value of his GameStop position, dating from September 2019 to this Thursday.

His Reddit comment history and Twitter feed may be littered with cat memes and reaction GIFs, but DFV has repeatedly stressed that his goal is to invest shrewdly and maximize his long-term returns. 

He’s calmly and confidently defended his GameStop investment thesis since his first post about it. He’s dismissed daily price moves, trumpeted the video-game retailer’s free cash flow, touted its cheap shares, highlighted its competitive moat, underscored the opportunity for share buybacks, and celebrated its shareholder-aligned management.

“I’m a fundamental value investor through and through,” he said in a Reddit post in December 2019.

Read more: Value investor Adam Mead shares 7 key insights into Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway after writing its complete financial history

On his Roaring Kitty YouTube channel, he even described GameStop as a “a roach not a cigar butt a la Warren Buffett,” referring to the famed investor’s analogy that buying cheap businesses in terminal decline can be like picking up a discarded cigar butt and enjoying one final puff.

“GameStop is an established, uniquely positioned player,” DFV said. “Its final puff is a legitimate opportunity to reinvent itself as a premier gaming hub. That last hit might not be the prettiest or the cleanest, but it could get the job done.”

Making the case

DFV laid out his investment case for GameStop in an hour-long YouTube video in July 2019, the month after he made the stock the biggest holding in his portfolio. The shares were trading around $4 then, giving the retailer a paltry $260 million market capitalization (it surged past $20 billion on Friday).

The amateur investor said he was bullish on GameStop because he viewed the threat of an industry-wide shift to digital game purchases as overblown, thought the negative sentiment around the company was overdone, and believed the value of its business was being overlooked.

While DFV takes investing seriously, he also plays to his audience. He often pairs a bandana with sunglasses, and recently dunked a chicken tender into a glass of champagne to celebrate his massive windfall – a reference to “tendies” being the slang for investment gains on Wall Street Bets.

Moreover, he has a self-deprecating sense of humor. When a commenter pointed out he had made a profit on his GameStop position in December 2019, he replied, “SO FAR BUT THAT IS IRRELEVANT YELL AT ME FOR BEING DUMB OR BE DOWNVOTED.”

Read More: A chief investment strategist breaks down how the GameStop saga could upend long-standing practices on Wall Street – and shares her 4-part advice for navigating the frenzied trading environment

Yet DFV has been unabashed about the money he wants to make.

“Given the risk I’ve taken on, I’m shooting for at least 10x on the position,” he said in a Reddit comment on November 2019. “15-20x would be terrific. 20x+ is possible but not worth seriously entertaining right now.”

When GameStop shares hit $20 last December, he uploaded a screenshot to Reddit showing he had $1 million in cash and $2.5 million worth of stock and bullish call options.

DFV downplayed the rigorous research behind his lucrative bet in a Christmas Day video.

“When you have a thesis and by and large it unfolds as you hope that it could, that’s nice,” he said. “This was a true YOLO for me. I don’t know what I was doing, I still don’t.”

He also underscored what the gains meant to him.

“When I was building this position last year, we had nowhere close to $1 million,” he said. “I certainly do not drive a lambo, we rent this house that you see, so it’s been a wild ride for us as a family.”

Other Wall Street Bets members praised DFV’s diligence, humility, and unwavering self-belief in interviews with Insider.

They also compared him to Michael Burry, the Scion Asset Management chief who was widely ridiculed for making a billion-dollar bet on the US housing bubble to burst in the mid-2000s, but ultimately proven right.

Here’s what 10 Reddit users said about DFV:

“He was never arrogant. He was the quirky guy doing his thing until people started to ask him what he saw.” – SoDakZak

“I don’t see him as a leader. I just see him as a guy who made a decision and stuck to it.” – Auslander

“He genuinely cares about helping people and showing the resources available to individual investors so they can study the market. He’s created the spark and now there’s a lot of momentum behind it.” – Dancinrobot

“DFV ultimately showed people that they can make it in the stock market just like the big hedge funds. He’s started a revolution.” – 360T-Posed

“DFV is the Michael Burry of this story. He believed in GameStop since 2019 and held despite all the bullying he received and all the losses he endured. He became a legend.” – mad-max-308

Read More: MORGAN STANLEY: Buy these 17 stocks with strong earnings that are expected to outperform into 2022 even if the broader market sinks

“A lot of people laughed and thought he would lose it all until a few months ago. He’s basically WSB’s Michael Burry. He had an impact on all of us.” – mEDo4

“DFV is an example of learning the ropes of trading, putting in the hours to gather all the relevant information for an investment thesis, and ultimately having the strength of willpower to stand by your plan.” – BarTendiess

“He’s been harping on about GameStop since it was $4 a share and was being laughed out of Wall Street Bets. He never faltered in his conviction. His ability to take criticism and roll with it is incredible. He would just reply with memes or little quips. I’d say he’s the Michael Burry of this generation. He saw an opportunity and he capitalized on it when no one else would even listen.” – Xylosoxidans

“Most of Wall Street Bets just wants to get a lucky lotto ticket, so when someone like DFV comes along and shows them a different way of doing things, it’s like seeing a shining star in the darkness. People tend to gather around the light and the light DFV gives off can’t be ignored.” – Xylosoxidans

“DFV taught a lot of people in this sub to be patient if they want to play out a thesis. You would think he is some arrogant douche that only flaunts his gains. Far from it. If you see his videos, he might be the most mild-mannered dude you might ever come across. And very humble too.” – GadnukBreakerOfWrlds

“He is the quintessential WSB member that we all aspire to become.” – I_shah

Read more: As Redditors flood the stock market, UBS breaks down 6 options strategies investors can use right now to protect their portfolios

Read the original article on Business Insider