Students get involved in stock market craze

Caleb Holmes-McGahan, Staff Writer

Recently, companies that were booming during many of our childhoods have come into the spotlight again, but not because they are selling new products or have made big expansions in their companies –rather, these corporations have emerged into the media through the stock market. Companies such as GameStop, AMC and Nokia have made big news, even though most of them are experiencing all-time lows in profits. 
This all started when a subReddit, r/wallstreetbets, had noticed that hedge funds had started to short sell these companies stocks in an attempt to make a profit off the decline of these companies. To cash in on this opportunity, Redditors went on Robinhood, a stock market app that has been focused on getting inexperienced every day people into the stock market.

Through the subReddit, many Robinhood users joined forces to buy into these stocks, so the stock price would rise. In turn, hedge funds were forced to invest in the stocks– this raised the price of the stock even more, causing everyday people to profit.
Many of the students at Milford joined in on the trend, with one of them being Senior Logan Laughrey, who was able to buy into these short squeeze stocks on his 18th birthday.

“I was very skeptical about stocks like GameStop the first few days when it started, but then I saw how quickly GameStop shot up, and I knew I had to invest,” Laughrey explained.
For many Milford High School students, this unique situation is what intrigued them in the stock market as young people across the country started investing. “It was almost too perfect,” said Laughrey.  “I had been interested in the stock market before doing stock market games where I would be able to mess around and get a feel for the stock market. When the short squeeze started, it was the first time I was able to invest, so I put some of my money into AMC and Nokia stocks to see if they would reach the point that GameStop was at.” 
Unfortunately, this amazing short squeeze trend that had quickly made so many people money abruptly stopped when brokerages like Robinhood stopped allowing people to buy into the newly deemed “meme stocks”, like GameStop.
Many like Laughrey were very upset about this move, especially since Robinhood is supposed to be an app for the less experienced to be able to get into the stock market.

“Before this happened, I didn’t have any negative opinions about hedge funds, but now, seeing the blatant market manipulation that has occurred without any repercussions has made me think very negatively about them,” Laughrey said. “Knowing that the stock market is supposed to be a tool for the average person to make money and to support companies, this has me baffled seeing that the government has done nothing.”

Luckily, Laughrey has been able to make his money back in the past few weeks after the crash caused by Robinhood closing trading.
On Jan. 28,  many lost their profits when Robinhood and other brokerages stopped the trading on “meme stocks”, causing the stock value of these companies to drop drastically.

Senior Joe Bjorkman, who is going to compete at DECA Internationals for his Stock Market Game event, had, luckily, not invested yet. “I was lucky that I didn’t invest into one of the short squeeze stocks from the Stock Market Game,” Bjorkman shared.  “I knew that it is better to invest in companies that have long-term potential.” 
While it was a crushing blow to the average investor, it has now changed the future of investing  to do with how we can communicate to bring about major changes in the stock market. “It was cool to see how the average person could communicate to take from the one percent and get that money back into the hands of the people,” Bjorkman said. “I could definitely see how this would happen more in the future. However, I don’t think it will ever get to this magnitude again.”
While being an absolute rollercoaster of ups and downs, people have taken notes around Milford High School to learn a lot from this historic moment.

“I don’t think I would invest if this were to happen again, but it has been an amazing experience [to hear] everyone in our school talking about it for days, leading many of us into valuable lessons that will help us as we transition into becoming adults,” Laughrey said.
While the pandemonium has slowed down, it has definitely been a great time for many of the students here to learn as they become adults, as it is such a unique, unprecedented and historical moment that has changed students’ perspectives and opened the door for many to invest into the stock market.