Wednesday night.

An excerpt from a message I sent to my investing-related email group earlier today:
“This. Was. Epic. This was the revenge of Millennials on the industry that brought you the 2008 financial crash. This was the financial equivalent of the French revolution, with a mob of peasants decapitating their sovereign God-given ruler. This was as close to redistribution of wealth as we’ve seen in quite a while. This was the death knell of Melvin Capital, and any other hedge funds who were so greedy that they shorted 138% of outstanding shares. That was hubris. This was payback. This was karma. This was revenge.

I invested… not the plurality, but close to it of my portfolio. As of right now, my portfolio is up 153.4% from where I started in May. Full and fair disclosure: after 12 peaks with Amazon, my ability to hesitate has evaporated. I don’t jump at any risk in front of me, but if I do the math and find that the odds are in my favour, I will rush at that risk head-on whereas a baseline person would either back away slowly, or maybe just dip a toe instead of a significant chunk of their portfolio. I had fully prepared to lose the money I’d put into into GME on Monday.”

I sold my Gamestop stock as soon as the market opened today for $293, or a 276.1% gain. This is unreal. This still feels so very unreal. Each time I log into my online brokerage account, I have to laugh at the absurdity of the numbers staring me in the face. This is it. The endgame. I have won. Through the combination of intestinal fortitude, some sharp analysis, occasional recklessness, and plain dumb luck, I turned my life savings in May and turned them into an impressive amount that has exceeded my retirement goals. And my other stocks have yet to grow and fully reach their potential… (Granted, none will grow as fast as Gamestop, but it’ll still look mighty impressive in six months.) Of course, I still need to pay taxes, yada yada yada, but I’ll still have plenty left at the end.

Gamestop’s adventure will continue, but it will do so without me. Like I wrote earlier, I strongly suspect that there’ll be highly unethical shenanigans. Earlier today, just about every online broker suddenly claimed technical difficulties that kept people from buying GME (aka pushing up the price) for as long as several hours. Either the combined might of Reddit broke the Internet (which, to be fair, is not impossible) or The Powers That Be have decided to start playing dirty. Online and in the media, financial professionals and hedge fund people are either laughing and congratulating the Reddit folks, or utterly horrified and issuing empty threats of lawsuits, investigations, etc. That’s really exposing the existing hypocrisy: when large companies conspire to manipulate a stock price, that’s fine – but when 2 million people come together and go “oh wow, this stock is cheap and ridiculously oversold, let’s tell all our friends!” then that’s bad. Heh.

A lot of random everyday people on social media are seeing this hypocrisy, and learning about shorting, and especially naked shorting (which is not nearly as kinky as it sounds, alas), and realizing just how ridiculous the current system is. Some financial VIPs/pundits/talking heads have gone so far as to say that discussing stocks on social media should be illegal, or that the stock market needs to be frozen for a bit to allow major players to readjust their positions. That is every bit as ludicrous as it sounds. It looks like the main hedge fund behind the shorting effort, Melvin Capital, might go broke. It looks like a few other hedge funds might join it. If and when they decide to beg Congress for a bailout package, things will get especially interesting.

This is historic. This will inspire books, docu-series TV shows (like the ones Netflix and Hulu made about the ill-fated Fyre Festival), and of course a movie. I pledge to pre-order every single one of them. This really is an epic saga, eh. In the months to come, we’ll learn the hedge funds’ and major movers’ side of the story, and that will be really fun to read about. (Come on, there is no way every trading platform just spontaneously took a break.) GME traded between $249-$380 today, and is at $292 in the afterhours. I wish only the best of luck to all the crazy bastards who chose to remain on that train. The r/wallstreetbets community on Reddit has grown from 2 million to 3.9 million users in just the last 72 hours. That is utterly insane. A lot of these users seem to be suspiciously new, and prone to posting random things encouraging people to sell Gamestop and buy other stocks. Also, the community’s Discord channel (a sort of advanced chatroom) got allegedly sabotaged by outside provocateurs who wrote some really bad things in non-English font (so the auto-mods wouldn’t be able to spot and delete them), took screenshots of those posts, and sent them out. Like I said, an awful lot of dirty tricks…

Today was amazing and perfect, eh. I wish I could preserve it in amber and revisit and re-live it over and over whenever I chose. Okay, so one thing was less than perfect: I definitely shouldn’t have drunk an entire bottle of champagne. That was a definite overkill. (But a nap and two Tylenols took care of that.) I kinda wish they sold solo-sized half-bottles of champagne, but now that I actually wrote it down, I realize how goddamn sad that would be.

In far less epic but just as interesting developments, I’ve figured out how to make hardboiled eggs with my instapot! This is actually mildly interesting… Twelve years ago, it’d take me 45 minutes to make a dozen hardboiled eggs: 15 minutes each to boil the water, to let them simmer, and to cool them. Five years ago, I bought a fairly complicated kitchen gadget that would pressure-cook up to eight eggs at a time. That still required quite a bit of work, but took just 10 minutes or so. Now I can just throw them into my instapot, splash some water on top, et voila! – perfect hardboiled eggs just five minutes later. I’m very well aware that not everyone can afford a $100 Instapot (I certainly couldn’t when I was younger), and this is yet another clear and visible way in which pricey technology can make your life significantly faster and better. (Because hardboiled eggs are delicious, and everyone should have them daily.)

And finally, in covid news, this is pretty funny. Oklahoma is trying to get a $2 million refund for all the hydroxychloroquine they bought from the private sector back in April. At the time, that anti-malaria drug was being promoted as a miracle cure against covid, though that was later shown to be wrong. If you read the earliest entries in this blog series, you’ll see that I’d mentioned hydroxychloroquine on my Walmart shopping list, back when xgf and I were hiding out in the tiny town of Deep River. Like everyone else, we tried and failed to get our hands on it – it was yet another thing we could do to slightly boost our odds. Well, it looks like Oklahoma got carried away a bit. (Utah was the only other state to buy that drug from a private company.) In retrospect, it seems pretty funny, but it may have made sense to them at a time. Alas, there’s no malaria in Oklahoma (though who knows what global warming will bring), so that particular gamble didn’t pan out.

Good night, y’all, and join me in the worldwide celebration of Wall Street’s greed coming back to bite it.