WallStreetBets retail traders are here to stay forever: Founder Jaime Rogozinski
The founder of the WallStreetBets said companies targeted by the Reddit message board users can't do much to sway the market moves caused by posts rallying investors to either buy or sell stock.
"If WallStreetBets is talking about a company, there's nothing a company can do. That's what a free market does," said Jaime Rogozinski, who founded the Reddit investing forum in 2012 but has no current role running it.
"I think they monitor it to see if they're getting kind of a pleasant surprise but at the end of the day, there's nothing technically they could do."
WallStreetBets has emerged over the past several months as a highly influential online forum that has spurred investors to pile into many companies that hedge funds and other major investors may either be betting against or ignoring entirely. Some of those companies, including GameStop Corp., BlackBerry Ltd., and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., have seen increased volatility since they were targeted by some WallStreetBets users, leading many to post outsized gains and losses on their investments.
That rapid rise of the so-called "meme stocks" has raised the ire of regulators including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is looking into trading activity on several companies including GameStop.
Rogozinski said he's aware that regulators may be sifting through comments on the WallStreetBets message forum to ensure no insider trading or foul play is involved but expects any changes they could make to the financial system to ultimately be positive for investors.
"At this point, all of the regulations that I've been hearing about are trying to improve the system so that it works better, such as this two-day settlement period, which caused GameStop to be traded on exchanges like RobinHood," Rogozinski said. "If they actually implement that to a case like that, we will have a stronger system at the end of the day."
Regardless of whether regulators take a closer look at the "meme stock" phenomenon, Rogozinski believes that the WallStreetBets crowd, as well as other offshoots specifically looking at commodities or cryptocurrencies, are here to stay."The curtain has been lifted. People realise they can be empowered, people realise they can do this themselves," he said. "Maybe they'll make money, maybe they'll lose money but they realise that this is something that people actually want to control for themselves. So, I think it's here to stay, not just for a couple months, but forever."