A sharp downturn won’t scare away the horde of retail investors reshaping the market. We spoke to 5 experts and day traders who explained why they’re here to stay.

Wall Street Bets Reddit Retail Traders GameStop
In this photo illustration the WallStreetBets page seen in the background of a silhouette hand holding a mobile phone with Reddit logo. Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

  • The surge of retail investors will likely be in the stock market for the long haul, experts told Insider.
  • Fee-free trading, access to market data, and social media, are making it easier to trade.
  • “They see it as more than just a trade or an investment. They see it as a movement,” one expert said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The horde of retail traders who have flooded the stock market in the past year are here to stay – even when the market turns sour, experts told Insider.

Since January 2020, retail investors bought $400 billion in stocks, doubling their total equity purchases from years prior, according to Vanda Research. Stock buying had been on the upswing for years before that though as more everyday investors had better access to market data and fee-free trading, thanks to brokerage apps like Robinhood, among others.

Dave Lauer, a stock market structure expert who has been interacting with retail investors, said the COVID-19 pandemic simply accelerated the number of day traders joining the market. But now that they’re here, “they’re here to stay,” he said.

For the first time, he’s seeing hundreds of thousands of people wanting to learn about how markets work and improve them.

“They see it as more than just a trade or an investment,” he said. “They see it as a movement.”

Matt Kohrs, a 26-year-old day trader with more than 300,000 followers on his YouTube trading channel, said the community of retail investors came together because they’re “tired of the tilted game” of Wall Street.

“The driving factor is a huge social-cultural movement,” he said. “It just happens to be playing out on a stock chart.”

Retail traders have joined the stock market in droves before.

Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco, said the dot-com bubble in the 90s had an “extraordinary level” of retail participation.

During that time, “it was not Reddit and Wall Street Bets and forums; it was taxi drivers in New York City talking about their favorite dot-com picks,” said Darren Schuringa, the founder of ASYMmetric ETFs, a firm designed to empower retail investors.

The difference now, according to Tuttle Capital Management Chief Executive Officer Matt Tuttle, “is the access now to all sorts of information, it’s the ability to trade for free and to trade quickly, and it’s the fact that they’re connected.”

That connection, Tuttle said, has given them the buying power of institutional investors.

For example, in January, hordes of day traders mobilizing on Reddit drove shares of GameStop to sky-high prices and caused short-sellers to lose billions. The event started the trend of “meme stocks,” and since then, the traders have driven share prices of multiple other companies, like AMC Entertainment and BlackBerry, up as well.

“They’ve got some power,” Tuttle said. “What history tells you is people who have power don’t give it up, at least not willingly.”

Even a market correction isn’t likely to faze retail traders, though they’ll likely face losses and some will exit, the experts said.

Hooper said a market correction could be on the horizon, though it will be short lived and won’t dent retail appetite.

“If you only have a downturn that lasts a few days and then stocks start going back up, will it shake out a lot of retail investors? Probably not,” she said.

However, a correction could hit meme stocks “quite hard,” she said, “because if there is one area where the fundamentals aren’t backing it, it’s meme stocks.”

Lauer, on the other hand, said meme stocks might avoid a correction because they appear to trade “relatively independent of what the market is doing.”

Kohrs said because retail traders make money off volatility, they could have even “bigger gains” in a bear market if executed properly.

“If you have proper risk management,” Schuringa said, “you can make money on both sides of the trade.”

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From a mining company to a mortgage REIT, day traders have been flocking to new meme stocks all week and driving more eye-popping gains

reddit blind community
A Reddit logo is seen displayed on a smartphone.

  • Retail traders are flocking to new meme stocks.
  • Among the names are Cleveland Cliffs, Clean Energy Fuels, ContextLogic, and Invesco Mortgage.
  • The new names have a lower short interest rate than Reddit favorites AMC and GameStop.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Retail traders have been flocking to a horde of new meme stocks this week – from a mining company to a fast-food chain and a car retailer.

The stocks, from a wide variety of sectors, don’t have much in common, except that they’re seeing increased social media hype and price volatility. Even their short-interest rates – a coveted metric that Reddit traders use to determine if a stock is primed for a short squeeze – vary considerably.

Restoration Hardware was among the new names. The home-furnishings retailer soared as much as 15% Thursday amid a jump in positive Reddit chatter.

Another new meme stock is Clean Energy Fuels. The Newport Beach, California-based natural gas provider has become so popular this week that it took over as the most-hyped company among retail traders on Reddit investing threads, HypeEquity data showed. Reddit listed the company on its “daily popular tickers thread” alongside Clover Health and BlackBerry.

Even so, the company has had a volatile 24 hours. It closed Wednesday 31.5% higher only to fall in Thursday trading.

It isn’t the only new meme stock this week to whipsaw from big gains to losses.

ContextLogic, a mobile e-commerce company, surged Tuesday, erased some gains Wednesday and turned back upward Thursday. Quiver Quantitative listed the company as the most-discussed ticker on June 9 on Reddit with nearly 4,000 mentions. By comparison, meme-stock classic AMC Entertainment had just 1,400 mentions.

The second-most mentioned stock according to the data was Cleveland-Cliffs, an Ohio-based iron-ore mining company.

The stock, listed under the ticker CLF, jumped 14.6% in Wednesday trading to its highest since 2014, briefly continuing the rally Thursday before turning lower. Bullish posts from Redditors put the stock at a “strong buy,” according to HypeEquity data, as it had three times the number of buy to sell mentions.

Wendy’s is another new name. The fast-food restaurant surged 26% Tuesday, thanks to social media hype from retail traders, and then it erased half its gains from the day prior on Wednesday and continued to fall Thursday.

One Redditor with a long comment history advised others, “Cut your losses and get out.”

Positive social volume about Invesco Mortgage, a Nebraska-based real estate investment trust, took off on Reddit this week, too, as the stock rallied 17.8% Wednesday and continued to build on its gains Thursday.

Little-known UWM Holdings, the Pontiac, Michigan-based mortgage lender, saw about 1,000 mentions on Reddit, Quiver Quantitative data showed. Redditors have pointed out the opportunity for a short-squeeze in the stock in the past, as it has a 21% short interest rate, according to MarketBeat.

Though causing big losses for short sellers has been a stated goal for traders on Wall Street Bets since the GameStop saga earlier this year, the newer meme stocks do not have as high of a short interest that set the stage for other short squeezes.

Compared to meme-stock classics, AMC and GameStop, which have a 21% short interest rate, the new stocks don’t have as much, as retail traders have actually scared off some short sellers.

Wendy’s, for example, has just 4% short interest rate, while Cleaveland-Cliffs and Clean Energy Fuels have a 9% and 7% rate, respectively. ContextLogic, Restoration Hardware, and Invesco Mortgage have the highest with an 11.5%, 13%, and 15% short interest, according to MarketBeat data.

The Geo Group, the Boca Raton, Florida-based private-prison company, has also been mentioned as a potential new meme-stock name. The company has a 35% short interest rate, and soared 38.4% Wednesday before declining Thursday.

But Geo wasn’t listed on HypeEquity as trending or listed among top stocks on Quiver Quantitative. Many Redditors shunned the idea that they were responsible for the record gain Wednesday. One Redditor, echoing the confusion among Wall Street Bets followers, said, “GEO jumped up 30% pre market without a mention on the wsb sub. No explanation though.”

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BestInvest calls out the top 5 worst performing asset management firms, with Invesco taking pole position for the sixth time running

worried trader
the funds must have underperformed the benchmark by 5% or more over the entire three-year period of analysis to make the list.

  • BestInvest, an online investment platform, just released their twice-yearly “Spot the Dog” report.
  • The report analyses the worst-performing funds across different sectors.
  • These are the five firms that had the most assets under management in the list.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Even the biggest names in asset management can get it wrong and BestInvest just called out some of the top losers.

In its twice-yearly ‘Spot the Dog’ report, the online investment service names and shames the top underperforming funds and firms, and Invesco has topped the list for the sixth time in a row.

“The top slot in Spot the Dog continues to be held by Invesco with 11 funds totalling £9.2 billion. Four of these funds are Tibetan Mastiff-sized beasts,” the report said.

However, the report, which doesn’t win any popularity contest among fund managers, does note that Invesco’s number of funds that made the list has fallen this time.

What is a ‘dog fund’?

So how does BestInvest identify the funds that fall into this somewhat cruel category using two filters?

First, it filters by fund universe to identify “those that have failed to beat the benchmark over three consecutive 12-month periods,” the report said.

The benchmark chosen by BestInvest is determined by the sector the fund, designating one that operates in an index that “represents the overall movements in the market that the fund operates in,” it said.

This highlights those that have consistently underperformed and allows the research to remove those that “may simply have had a short run of bad luck,” it added.

Secondly, the funds must have underperformed the benchmark by 5% or more over the entire three-year period of analysis.

The Kennel Club

These are the firms with the most assets under management, which made the list because of their “dog funds”:

1. Invesco

For the sixth time running, Invesco has landed the top “dog” spot, with 11 funds making the list, worth £9.2 billion in total. Admittedly, this is down from 13 funds valued at £11.4 billion from the last report.

Two of the firm’s funds were repeat offenders on the list: Invesco’s UK Equity High Income and UK Equity Income funds, delivering -21% and -19% respectively over a three year period compared to the benchmark.

But, in the firm’s defence these funds were only recently handed to new managers, “who are now tasked with turning them around,” the report said.

Moreover, Invesco has gone through a broad shakeup over the last year after the appointment of a new chief investment officer, Stephanie Butcher.

“This is clearly a work in progress,” the report added.

2. Jupiter

The UK-based firm Jupiter leapt up the rankings from ninth to second place in this report following its July 2020 acquisition of Merian Global Investors, making it “rescue home for two sizeable beasts,” the note said

The now enlarged group oversees 8 “dog funds”, totalling £4.1 billion of assets. The biggest of these is the Merian North American Equity fund, which has seen a -14% return in the last three years compared to the benchmark.

3. St. James Place

St James’s Place’s (SJP) in-house fund range has frequently “lurked near the top spot in the hall of shame” and sits in third position with four funds totalling £4 billion, the report said.

The number of SJP funds that made this edition has halved since the last with the SJP UK High Income fund, previously managed by fallen star Neil Woodford, escaping the shaming.

The SJP Global Smaller Companies fund was one of this edition’s biggest losers in the Global sector, coming fifth in that particular list and trailing the benchmark by -32%.

4. Schroders

Schroders took this edition’s fourth place after it number of funds to make the list rose to 11, with an increase of £4 billion in asset.

Three of the Schroder’s included are managed by its QEP team, the report highlight, who use a “systematic, data driven investment process.”

Both the Schroder European Recovery and Global Recovery funds – which target undervalued companies – made the list, underperforming the benchmark -22% and -33% respectively. These, and the firm’s income funds investing in the US, Europe and globally, struggled in the 2020 environment where ‘growth’ stocks significantly outperformed.

These growth sectors include technology and communications services which have been the biggest ‘COVID-winners’, like video-conferencing software Zoom and EV company Tesla.

Therefore, growth strategies largely left funds targeting undervalued companies or dividend-generating businesses lagging in the dust during 2020.

However, if the global economy recovers as most banks are forecasting, these ‘recovery’ or ‘value’ plays could catch-up, making significant gains.

Of note, the report excluded the £3.3 billion ‘dog fund’ managed by the firm in its joint venture with Lloyds Bank.

5. JPMorgan Asset Management

JPMorgan’s inclusion in the top five came down solely due to the JP Morgan US Equity Income fund with its huge  £3.2 billion in AUM, which fell -27% below the benchmark, the report said.

Unfortunately for JPMAM, the fund has been underweight technology stocks in a period when companies like FAANG and tech cult names like Tesla have been market leaders, as many tech companies do not pay dividends.

But, like Schroders, this could turn around if value sectors like Banks and energy – which are the main dividend payers – catch up on any economic recovery.

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