The recent GameStop short squeeze has piqued worldwide interest in getting small investors more involved in stocks and chipping away at the hegemony that wealthy parties and Wall Street have over the markets.
A pair of friends have created a new Super PAC, under the not-so-subtle name “WeLikeTheStock.wtf,” to ride that momentum and help put the power of stocks back into the hands of the people by giving them an organized political voice.
Chad Minnis and Christian Freed created the Super PAC in February to put hedge funds on high alert that the small-time, everyday investors that made headways from online communities like Reddit are here to stay, they said.
“They’ve described us as a collective group of degenerates who are ruining things,” – Chad Minnis told the New York Post.
“They’ve described us as a collective group of degenerates who are ruining things,” Minnis told the New York Post recently. “But we have already disrupted the markets by becoming the first decentralized hedge fund.”
The group is looking to get that message across by raising $250,000 to buy a full-page ad in The New York Times. The ad will feature artwork and messaging from users of the Reddit community r/wallstreetbets, which rose to prominence after its users coordinated the GameStop short squeeze that saw the video game supplier’s stock price to reach 30 times its initial value.
The saga captured the world’s attention as it led to big losses for massive investment firms that had been short selling GameStop stock. When the popular brokerage app Robinhood and other trading platforms decided to disallow the buying of GameStop shares, it served as a reminder to many that Silicon Valley and politicians would rather protect the interests of the elites rather than uphold a free market.
“WeLikeTheStock.wtf” proposes to give power to small retail investors, by giving them a political outlet to hold politicians accountable when they curry favor to powerful hedge funds and Wall Street firms.
“I want to do the opposite of a Super PAC,” Minnis told the New York Post. “Instead of having a few rich people that fund most of it, I want a bunch of real people giving a little to make it happen.”
Minnis and Freed said that this is a new twist on Super PACs, as it won’t take large donations from wealthy groups of donors. It will be “the first retail investor Super PAC,” they wrote in a press release; one that focuses only on contributions from small donors
“Retail investors for the first time in history have been given access to the same tools as the political elite to amplify their message,” the Super PAC creators said in a recent press release. “We can’t wait to hear what they have to say.”
Minnis is an operations manager for a concrete mixture company in Northern California and Freed is a day trader. The duo decided to register the paperwork for their Super PAC with the Federal Election Commission after seeing the news coverage of the GameStop short squeeze and the subsequent inaction from Capitol Hill. While finding inspiration from the group of individual investors on Reddit and other forums, the pair leading this new Super PAC has already found success from that broad community of motivated stock enthusiasts.
They told MarketWatch that they have received thousands of dollars in donations so far, with the average donor giving nearly $22 per contribution. In addition, they will be accepting popular cryptocurrencies for donation payments.
Minnis said that he and Freed take exception to the fact that many media outlets belittled retail investors during the January spree of stock purchases. That has only added to their goal to allow these smaller stock traders to define their own image and hopefully create a political future that gives them agency over giant investment firms.
“The goal is to be irreverent but honest,” Minnis added. “It lets us break away from what the mainstream media says we are and say who we really are.”