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Meme stock investors reflect on the past two years of trading since 2021 frenzy

Yahoo Finance markets reporter Ines Ferre spoke with several meme stock investors about how their investments have fared since the trading frenzy in 2021.

Video transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: Well, it's been two years since meme stocks became a thing. It started in January of 2021 with investors buying up shares of video-game retailer GameStop. Retail traders would also get on to buying shares of AMC and Bed Bath & Beyond at wild rates.

Yahoo Finance Ines Ferré got to speak to some of these traders who were reflecting on the meme-stock craze and probably not feeling so good about it, huh, Ines?

INES FERRÉ: Yeah, that's right, Dave. Some lost. Some did, though, see some gains. I will say that one Reddit user reached out anonymously to me and said, look, I bought a hundred shares of AMC at around $8.50. Then he sold them at $35 and $55. He saw this cult-like phenomenon building around GameStop and AMC.

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But then I spoke to another retail trader who sells stock-related merchandise online, and he said that he bought AMC thinking it would be the next Tesla. He said to me, "I was so stressed. I lost so much money that my wife threatened to divorce me." Now, luckily they're still together. They went through that rough patch. But nonetheless, look, some people definitely lost money with this.

We reached out to Vanda Research that showed us this chart that you're seeing right there, and that's a net buying for GME, AMC, and Bed Bath & Beyond since January of 2021. The peak for GME was around January 27 of 2021, the day before. Some brokerage firms had temporarily halted the Buy button, remember, for GME and some other stocks as well. Certainly these stocks have gone through volatility in 2021, 2022 as well.

Will we see another meme wave the way we've seen with these going forward? Well, I spoke to Vanda Research that said, look, we struggle to see how that will happen, to how these levels will be revived to those 2020, 2021 levels, mainly because stimulus checks are gone. You've got a tighter monetary policy. Most retail-trader portfolios are down about 35% on average. And they've noticed that as the P&L has worsened, activity has also waned as well.

DAVE BRIGGS: A meme stock love story. I really think that has a nice ring to it, Ines. We might want to make a little reality show out of that.

INES FERRÉ: We should.

DAVE BRIGGS: I think there's potential. Ines Ferré, thanks so much. Enjoy the weekend.