Meme stocks: Are they still something investors should care about in 2024?

Nick Sundich Nick Sundich, November 30, 2023

Meme stocks have become a popular topic in recent years, especially within the investing community. We thought we’d take a look at what meme stocks are, and if they are still worth investing in.


What are meme stocks?

Meme stocks are stocks of companies that have gained popularity primarily through social media platforms, and their value may not necessarily be tied to their financial performance. Thanks to the rise of online communities and forums such as Reddit and Twitter, retail investors now have a platform to discuss stock ideas and share investment strategies. This has led to the creation of “meme stocks” – stocks that gain significant attention and hype through social media, often driven by online communities.


What are some examples?

Two examples of meme stocks include GameStop (GME) and AMC Entertainment (AMC). These companies have seen a surge in their stock prices due to intense discussions and speculation on social media platforms. Although these aren’t the only stocks to have endured this, these stand out because it is unlikely they would have gained such attention otherwise.

GameStop is a video game retailer that has been struggling to stay afloat in the digital age. With the rise of online gaming and digital downloads, physical retail stores for video games have become less relevant. As a result, GameStop’s stock price has been on a steady decline for years. However, in January 2021, the stock suddenly skyrocketed from around $20 per share to over $300 per share.

So, how did a struggling company suddenly become the talk of Wall Street? It all started with a group of users on the popular subreddit r/wallstreetbets. This community is known for its irreverent and unconventional approach to investing. In a coordinated effort, these users encouraged others to buy GameStop stock, causing a massive short squeeze.


The shorters under pressure

A short squeeze occurs when investors who have placed bets on a stock’s price going down are forced to buy the stock at higher prices in order to cover their losses. This creates a domino effect, driving the stock price even higher. In the case of GameStop, many hedge funds had shorted the stock, believing it would continue to decline. But with the sudden surge in demand, they were forced to buy back shares at much higher prices.

The success of GameStop’s short squeeze caught the attention of other investors, leading to a similar situation with AMC. The movie theater chain, which had also been struggling due to the pandemic, saw its stock price rise from around $2 per share to over $20 per share in a matter of days.


Should you invest in meme stocks?

The answer is not a simple yes or no. On one hand, investing in meme stocks can be incredibly risky as their value is largely driven by hype and speculation rather than financial fundamentals. This means that their prices can be highly volatile and unpredictable.

On the other hand, if you are a risk-tolerant investor and are able to conduct thorough research and analysis, there may be potential opportunities to capitalize on the hype surrounding meme stocks. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these stocks can also experience sharp declines once the hype dies down.

Ultimately, investing in meme stocks requires a high level of caution and due diligence. It’s crucial to not get caught up in the hype and to approach these investments with a long-term mindset. Make sure to thoroughly research the company and its financials before making any investment decisions.


Risky Business

In conclusion, meme stocks can be an intriguing topic for investors, but they come with significant risks. It’s important to carefully consider your own risk tolerance and do thorough research before jumping into any meme stock craze. Remember, investing is a long-term game, and making impulsive decisions based on hype can lead to significant losses.

As with any investment, it’s essential to approach meme stocks with caution and a well-informed strategy. So, while meme stocks may seem like an exciting way to get rich quick, it’s important to keep in mind the potential risks involved.


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