Can you hear them now?
Retail traders have now donated more than $10,000 to a political-action committee called “WeLikeTheStock.wtf” aimed at giving individual investors a political voice in their ongoing campaign to stick it to the institutional powers of Wall Street that they believe have rigged the markets.
While the super PAC’s co-founders Chad Minnis and Christian Freed have used a lighthearted voice and grassroots approach to organizing and funding their operation, the response has been anything but a joke.
Since receiving their first donation on March 4, the two now say that their little political war chest grew over five figures in just under six weeks with the average donation coming in just north of $20 as donors show their resistance to being called “degenerates” and “dumb money” but instead want to focus on how they used message boards and no-fee trading apps to squeeze and cripple short selling hedge funds like Melvin Capital.
While Minnis told MarketWatch on Tuesday that the PAC is still short of its first goal of raising enough money to take a full-page ad in The New York Times, he considers the $10,000 mark “a major milestone of traction” for a group that has made a point of eschewing help from political consultants and large donors.
In an email to the PAC’s donors sent on Tuesday and seen by MarketWatch, Minnis doubled down on the apolitical and outside-the-mainstream voice he and Freed have tried to foster, pledging to the group that they have not spent a single dollar donated to the PAC and will keep an open bipartisan dialogue going on their website.
“We want to amplify what you have to say,” Minnis wrote to donors. “Not be in control of the messaging.”
While there has been some data suggesting that the amount of individual traders on no-fee trading apps has shrunk since January’s wild short squeezes, the growing size and reach of groups like WeLikeTheStock does demonstrate the sustained interest of many retail investors still inside the meme stock trend that has caused manic volatility in shares of companies like GameStop /zigman2/quotes/203755179/composite GME -0.78% , AMC /zigman2/quotes/200235402/composite AMC -2.34% and others.
For Minnis and Freed, what happens next is where the meaning of the so-called Reddit Rally movement will be found.
“While nobody knows exactly how or when the meme stock saga will come to an end, one thing has been made abundantly clear,” the co-founders said in a statement. “Retail investors aren’t waiting around for things to change; they are spearheading the movement themselves.”