These Stocks Are More of a Gamble Than An Investment
And the no.1 Is a Reddit favourite.
And the no.1 Is a Reddit favourite.
As with seemingly everything in markets these days, it all ties back to the Reddit Wall Street Bets message board.
No, we’re not talking about GameStop (ticker: GME). Rather, Castor Maritime (CTRM). The dry-bulk commodities transportation firm was trading around 20 cents earlier this year until it was swept up in momentum as users of the message board recommended the company, sending shares as high as $1.95.
The stock was identified as a potential gamble using methodology from recently published research paper—from Alok Kumar of the University of Miami, Houng Nguyen of the University of Danang, and Talis Putnins at the University of Technology Sydney and Stockholm School of Economics. The group proposed looking at the average volume over 30 days compared to market cap as a way of determining what they called lottery stocks. “We assume that gambling in stock markets involves disproportionate amount of trading in lottery-like stocks,” they said.
Castor topped the research group’s list of New York Stock Exchange- and Nasdaq-listed companies that were potential “lottery stocks.” Barron’s added to a filter to the list to look at companies with market caps of at least $500 million and published the list in January.
We ran our version of that screen again this month. Castor Maritime topped our list this time.
Sundial Growers (SNDL), the cannabis stock, and Genius Brands International (GNUS), the children’s media company, appear high on the list too. The top NYSE-listed stock was AMC Entertainment (AMC), the movie chain operator that, with GameStop, became a poster-child for the so-called meme stock revolution.
And what about GameStop itself? It’s not in the top 20, but the methodology does put the video-games retailer high: Out of more than 3,000 stocks, GameStop ranks 128th as a lottery stock.
The stock scoring lowest in the lottery stock rankings was Google owner Alphabet (GOOGL).
|3.||Genius Brands International|
|8.||Ebang International Holdings|
|12.||Invesco Mortgage Capital|
Reprinted by permission of Barron’s. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: March 22, 2021.
Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’
Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual
Investors are taming impulsive money moves by adding a little friction to financial transactions
To break the day-trading habit that cost him friendships and sleep, crypto fund manager Thomas Meenink first tried meditation and cycling. They proved no substitute for the high he got scrolling through investing forums, he said.
Instead, he took a digital breath. He installed software that imposed a 20-second delay whenever he tried to open CoinStats or Coinbase.
Twenty seconds might not seem like much, but feels excruciating in smartphone time, he said. As a result, he checks his accounts 60% less.
“I have to consciously make an effort to go look at stuff that I actually want to know instead of scrolling through feeds and endless conversations about stuff that is actually not very useful,” he said.
More people are adding friction to curb all types of impulsive behaviour. App-limiting services such as One Sec and Opal were originally designed to help users cut back on social-media scrolling.
Now, they are being put to personal-finance use by individuals and some banking and investing platforms. On One Sec, the number of customers using the app to add a delay to trading or banking apps more than quintupled between 2021 and 2022. Opal says roughly 5% of its 100,000 active users rely on the app to help spend less time on finance apps, and 22% use it to block shopping apps such as Amazon.com Inc.
Economic researchers and psychologists say introducing friction into more apps can help people act in their own best interests. Whether we are trading or scrolling social media, the impulsive, automatic decision-making parts of our brains tend to win out over our more measured critical thinking when we use our smartphones, said Ankit Kalda, a finance professor at Indiana University who has studied the impact of mobile trading apps on investor behaviour.
His 2021 study tracked the behaviour of investors on different platforms over seven years and found that experienced day traders made more frequent, riskier bets and generated worse returns when using a smartphone than when using a desktop trading tool.
Most financial-technology innovation over the past decade focused on reducing the friction of moving money around to enable faster and more seamless transactions. Apps such as Venmo made it easier to pay the babysitter or split a bill with friends, and digital brokerages such as Robinhood streamlined mobile trading of stocks and crypto.
These innovations often lead customers to trade or buy more to the benefit of investing and finance platforms. But now, some customers are finding ways to slow the process. Meanwhile, some companies are experimenting with ways to create speed bumps to protect users from their own worst instincts.
When investing app Stash launched retirement accounts for customers in 2017, its customer-service representatives were flooded with calls from panicked customers who moved quickly to open up IRAs without understanding there would be penalties for early withdrawals. Stash funded the accounts in milliseconds once a customer opted in, said co-founder Ed Robinson.
So to reduce the number of IRAs funded on impulse, the company added a fake loading page with additional education screens to extend the product’s onboarding process to about 20 seconds. The change led to lower call-centre volume and a higher rate of customers deciding to keep the accounts funded.
“It’s still relatively quick,” Mr. Robinson said, but those extra steps “allow your brain to catch up.”
Some big financial decisions such as applying for a mortgage or saving for retirement can benefit from these speed bumps, according to ReD Associates, a consulting firm that specialises in using anthropological research to inform design of financial products and other services. More companies are starting to realise they can actually improve customer experiences by slowing things down, said Mikkel Krenchel, a partner at the firm.
“This idea of looking for sustainable behaviour, as opposed to just maximal behaviour is probably the mind-set that firms will try to adopt,” he said.
Slowing down processing times can help build trust, said Chianoo Adrian, a managing director at Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America. When the money manager launched its online retirement checkup tool last year, customers were initially unsettled by how fast the website estimated their projected lifetime incomes.
“We got some feedback during our testing that individuals would say ‘Well, how did you know that already? Are you sure you took in all my responses?’ ” she said. The company found that the delay increased credibility with customers, she added.
For others, a delay might not be enough to break undesirable habits.
More people have been seeking treatment for day-trading addictions in recent years, said Lin Sternlicht, co-founder of Family Addiction Specialist, who has seen an increase in cases since the start of the pandemic.
“By the time individuals seek out professional help they are usually experiencing a crisis, and there is often pressure to seek help from a loved one,” she said.
She recommends people who believe they might have a day-trading problem unsubscribe from notifications and emails from related companies and change the color scheme on the trading apps to grayscale, which has been found to make devices less addictive. In extreme cases, people might want to consider deleting apps entirely.
For Perjan Duro, an app developer in Berlin, a 20-second delay wasn’t enough. A few months after he installed One Sec, he went a step further and deleted the app for his retirement account.
“If you don’t have it on your phone, [that] helps you avoid that bad decision,” he said.
Commercial property sentiment has improved for a consecutive quarter.
An influx of people could calm future volatility.