It feels like not a day goes by where there isn’t a strange occurrence in the stock markets. The latest story involves Elon Musk and Sandstorm. With 45.4 million followers, a great track record (Paypal, Tesla, Space X) and being the richest man on the planet, Elon Musks tweets have the power to move markets. Every tweet he shoots off garners attention from his followers worldwide. And this has lead to people trying to capitalise on this. Just look at how Dogecoin, GameStop and Signal (albeit the wrong one) spiked upon mention by the richest man in the world.
But what happened yesterday takes the cake!
He tweeted the following ‘Sandstorm is a masterpiece‘.
Anyone with a sense of the slightest bit of musical knowledge would have gathered that Musk was probably rereferring to the 2000 hit techno music track ‘Sandstorm’ by Darude. However, readers of the app did not seem to care, sending the stock price of an obscure Gold Mining company by a similar name up by 55%.
Sandstorm Gold, a $1.3 billion gold miner that trades on the New York Stock Exchange and is based in Canada, saw their stock skyrocket briefly following Elon’s tweet. Thankfully it has climbed back down now as the company has nothing to do with the Sandstorm music track Elon was probably referring to.
The frenzy in shares of Sandstorm Gold is much like final month’s advance in Sign Advance, which surged practically 12,000% after Musk tweeted his help for the equally named personal messaging service, Sign.
The case of mistaken identity also appears to have occurred with Reddit favourite AMC!
All these trading frenzies have to lead to the gamification of stock markets. A lot of new entrants over the past year have come in with the expectation of high immediate returns. For some, the instant gratification of modern day stock trading smartphone apps can be downright addictive, triggering risky behaviour and driving compulsive trades. This younger generation (Gen-Z or younger Millennials) of investors use these easy-to-navigate apps to invest, forging ahead without truly paying attention to trends and research.
Furloughs and lockdowns have lead to those with a weakness for gambling to use these apps as a replacement for the local casino, compulsively trading riskier and riskier stocks and putting their individual wealth on the line. In some cases, day trading stocks online could even be a gateway into a devastating gambling addiction, no small risk in a modern world filled with easy access to sports betting and casino games.
Many of the barriers to stock market investment have been minimized, or totally eliminated, by the modern fee free stock brokers. Whilst apps like Freetrade need to be lauded for democratising investing, zero trading commission investing gives people the desire to constantly buy and sell and this can be overwhelming. People need to understand that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Or just because something is free doesn’t mean you should partake in it.
Whether you’re a brand new investor or an experienced builder of wealth, the new generation of trading apps come with a world of opportunity — and no small amount of risk. If you’re thinking of opening an account with one of these platforms, it’s important to educate yourself, do your homework and use your common sense before logging on.