Tag Archives: Options

The Great GameStop Short Squeeze of 2021

I haven’t slept well in three days. My typical day consists of reading from midnight until 4 a.m., taking either a benadryl or melatonin (both?), and finally falling asleep at 5 a.m. I then wake a few hours later around 9 a.m. stressed and anxious and fall back asleep around 10. That lasts until noon or 1 and then it’s time to pound coffee and head to work.

What’s with the waking up at 9 a.m.? Stocks, that’s why. I’m sure you’ve heard about this little company called GameStop that has dominated the news and social media the past week. I’m sure you have a vague idea what “short selling” is, know how evil hedge funds are, know that small investors are using Rohinhood to finish the crusade that Occupy Wall Street failed so miserably at before, how millions are finally righting the wrongs of the Great Recession, and so on. There’s so much to cover that everyone has already covered that I’m not sure what to say about it. Any kinda “factual” reporting here seems boring and pointless. How about an insiders perspective? Someone who’s been on the WallStreetBets sub-Reddit for quite some time, someone who’s blown their account up a few times (long $ROPE), someone who finally figured out how options work, and from someone who saw the GameStop hype brewing about a month ago.

(Shameless plug here: I wrote a book about trading options. Check it out if you’re interested.)

Looking at my past orders I purchased 100 shares of GameStop on December 28th 2020. r/wallstreetbets, the now infamous subreddit, was my go-to source for hot stocks to consider. My strategy that has been working pretty well: find hot stocks that that my fellow idiots on WSB were buying options on and sell options to them. So I loaded up on 100 GameStop shares and sold a thing called a covered call. This gives you a few hundred dollars and is kinda like a “guaranteed sell” if the stock goes above the options strike price which inevitably caps any gains you can make. I’m a proud member of theta gang — people who sell options for modest profit over risky YOLO trades — so I did what any theta gang member naturally does: rake in that sweet options premium.

I want to point out that GameStop wasn’t very special at the beginning of year. It was turning into WSB’s darling, but that was all. Everyone knew it was heavily-shorted but no one at the time was trying to force a short squeeze or knew how culturally massive GameStop would be in a few weeks. I had 400 shares at one point and was gladly selling covered calls against them. Buy 100 shares at $18, sell a call for $20, and collect my free money. Repeat as often as you can. Once it popped past $30 I basically ignored it. That was the then-fabled short squeeze and I made a few thousand off it. Time to move onto the next hot meme stock. Hmm…maybe AMC? Blackberry was also talked about a lot too…

But GameStop kept going up! It went from $30 to $80, then up to $150, and then near $500. “Holy shit,” I thought, “I really messed up here.” Had I held the 400 shares I had I’d have $100,000 in my name, all in the course of a few days. One thing you learn to deal with in the market is to quickly banish those “what if?” thoughts that can kick your ass. Yes, I could’ve made $50,000 off Tesla last year. Yes, I missed a once in a lifetime $100,000 on GameStop. Oh well, at least I earned a few thousand and didn’t lose anything.

Everyone around me has taken notice and has been asking me about it. Last week my sister asked me about investing which she had no interest in before. Work is even crazier with everyone asking me about GameStop, AMC, Blackberry, and whatever other hot stock is in the news. I’ve went from the guy who sometimes trades, a person who happily mentions the hundreds of dollars I lose occasionally, to everyone’s stock market guru somehow. Even coworkers who aren’t interested in the market are asking me about it. A newer employee I haven’t talked to really was showing me Tik Toks about GameStop. People are constantly showing me memes on Reddit and Twitter. Two other coworkers opened up Robinhood accounts and are snagging up AMC and BB shares with the small amount of cash they chucked into it. One friend on vacation texted me a few days ago saying, “Please tell me you’re fucking rich off GameStop.” (Hint: I wasn’t. Thanks covered calls.) Best of all was Thursday when I found myself and a coworker on break trading Dogecoin of all things together. I made out with a cool $100 and he made $25. Hours later one of the new investor guys came up and asked us about Dogecoin. Three people trading dogecoin while on break at UPS? Come to find out later, he held and took some losses over the next few days. Better to learn the lesson sooner than later.

I left work Thursday totally destroyed. I’m not big on socializing and having people constantly asking me about GameStop, AMC, and how to buy and sell stocks was surprisingly exhausting. What are the tax implications? How much have you made in a single day? How much have you lost in a single day? What are limit orders and market orders? And so on. It was exhausting to talk about stocks as much as I did, being used to minor comments here and there about my trades. It’s cool though — I’ve always wanted people to be more financially literate and to invest — but this is insane and I’m not prepared for the hype and popularity of it all!Β 

I’m also worried for all the newbs who jumped into the market the past month or so thinking they can simply buy stocks and make a ton of money. GameStop can move higher I think — the shorts still haven’t covered — but these people buying in at $300 and $400 have a long way down if the stock decides to move that way. It’s great so many are interested in investing, but riding GameStop down to double digits and losing 60% of their cash isn’t going to be a good introductory investing experience for them.

What’s really blowing my mind with The GameStop Short Squeeze is how it’s taken on a life of its own. As stated, even two or three weeks ago the “investors” at WallStreetBets weren’t trying to fuck over hedge funds or make some grand statement about societal change; they just want to make some money. Once GameStop exploded the zeitgeist of the sub grew and morphed into something much greater than making money. It wasn’t about that anymore, it was about fixing the flawed financial system. Letting the little guy have his share, taking the power back from the 1%ers, giving back to your family and community. A bunch of recent posts detail Redditors buying Nintendo Switches for children’s hospitals. One person donated $5,000 to a charity. Another literally brought bags of peanuts into a local GameStop store with $100 bills attached to them. I plan on chucking $500 at the local food bank in the name and glory of GameStop. WallStreetBets is actually pretty generous with their earnings because they’re the little guys. They don’t care about their second yacht or a fifth vacation beach home. No, when you’re living off $30 or $40,000 per year, making $500,000 in a week means you can piss it all away by helping people. You’re well aware you don’t need it so large chunks can be given away. You damn well the hedge funds aren’t as generous with their gains.

The consensus on the sub now is one of millions of people on a mission: fuck over Wall Street. Everyone is snagging up GameStop shares wherever they can find them and they’re stubbornly holding. No one is giving into the temptation of cashing out for thousands or millions of dollars because it’s suddenly bigger than any one person. We’re all on a mission and that mission is HOLD, DO NOT SELL UNTIL GME IS $5,000 $10,000 PER SHARE! Nearly every comment consists of diamond and hand emojis and (having “diamond hands” mean you won’t sell when things seem iffy. Compare that to “paper hands” someone who sells at the first sign of risk or danger.) WSBers have taken out a few billboard and even airplane banner ads directing people to NEVER SELL!

Our hero u/DeepFuckingValue. Source.

I’m not sure how all of this is going to end, but damn is the journey a hell of a one. I bought back in with five shares at a price of $330 just to go along for the ride a bit more. I’m not trying to get rich or anything, I just want to say I was holding with diamond hands like everyone else. No one knows what the next few weeks will hold and it really feels like we’re living through a notable time, something that is literally making history as we witness it. I never expected this to happen with stocks or investing or fucking GameStop of all companies but here we are. HOLD HOLD HOLD and DO NOT SELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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