The Age of Fan-vesting: Trade or Not to Trade

Everything has value. However, flawed rationale can’t justify hype behind the stock market. Many people find ways to be productive during the coronavirus-induced lockdown. Working from home makes it easy to relax between Zoom calls. It also increases screen time for online shopping, entertainment and day trading. Smartphones make trading very accessible and you don’t need to have a financial adviser to get on trading these days. Target assets vary from typical assets like stocks, bonds, derivatives to alternative assets like commodities and even arts, NFTs and bitcoins. 

Abundant liquidity to sustain the global economy continues to drive up market value of any asset. Markets are going crazy even if we appreciate a handsome return from investment. A textbook can’t explain these ups and downs in the recent stock market scene. 

The glamorous world of celebrities can seem a very long way away if you are a small business owner. If an endorsement deal is done correctly, though, it can have a huge positive impact on sales although the nature of celebrity endorsements is changing rapidly. 

The world we live in now is all about social media influencers, and that’s where all celebrities really exist nowadays. People constantly click “like” or “subscribe” if they are engaged on YouTube or Instagram. While some influencers are just starting to build their audience, others already have follower counts in the hundreds of millions, sometimes bigger than ordinary TV stars. Leading social media influencers make serious money. But nothing comes for free. 

“One source multi use” is a proven content strategy that is tied up with the entertainment & media industry as if everyone wants to be Disney. Content creators can re-use existing intellectual properties and cartoon characters to create a new revenue stream in connection with other media properties and merchandise distribution channels that may be created and controlled by third parties. 

Influencer’s brands are more valuable than what they are. However, influencer’s brands are only as important as the audience it sustains, not like traditional media assets. Influencer’s brands are just themselves like iconic designer brands. Becoming an influencer means you get to build your audience and followers by doing what you are really good at. In this multi channel network  environment, a major platform’s sophisticated algorithm helps you reach to the right audience.    

In the startup scene, successful founders have earned every ounce of their achievements on their own merits. It is hard to detach founders from their business. Can you imagine Tesla without Elon Musk or Apple without the passing Steve Jobs? 

Some entrepreneurs become rock stars thanks to their incredible success and their tactical use of social media. What they tweet goes an extra mile. As people wonder what rockstar entrepreneurs are betting on, they quickly accumulate followers and gain popularity. Successful entrepreneurs are determined to succeed no matter what it takes. Venture capitalists want to spot the perfect wave to ride on with this type of entrepreneurs and help further amplify social influence of them using the hottest Clubhouse and other major social media platforms. If there is a deal with rockstar entrepreneurs, venture capitalists will do whatever they can to create value or sometimes hype. It is like a snowball effect. 

Robinhood, a free stock trading pioneer, and Reddit, a popular Internet community platform, were backfired when GameStop’s 2,400%+ roller coaster rumbled towards a reality. Easy accessibility and convenience of stock trading and information gathering may create more choices for the investors like a long-tail effect in the e-commerce space. However, uncertainty kills the long tail. Under high uncertainty, demand will be much more concentrated as investors disproportionally choose the most reputable companies and brands. 

Tech stocks have continued to drop, dragging markets lower in the recent weeks. However, is the current level of tech stock price justified even if it fell a bit? Technology demands putting heat in tech stocks’ rally and tech giants in the US and China are increasingly dominating the stock market as the companies will continue delivering robust growth and are highly sought after by ordinary individual investors. Sometimes, they are just like the hot fashion brands where key leadership often appears really cool with visionary statements for better futures. Investors are often compelled to become fans of the business and its leaders. They also try to buy from them as a loyal repeat customer. It really plays into the economic value of fan behavior. The true power of social media is influence and investors increasingly act under this influence.               

Who’s really banking on the GameStop saga, though? Some said that GameStop ignited a trading revolution. Robinhood and Reddit have really taken on Wall Street. The masses believed that they had democratized finance. But who are the real winners and losers of this unprecedented market event like this, and where it leaves all of these novice so-called social investors now when the dust has settled. They might have felt that their small but collective actions were putting the huge pressure on Wall Street’s hedge funds. These massive numbers of shy investors really acted like social activists indeed.  

Don’t forget who is really making a buzz behind the stock that became a star overnight on social media. When fans are gone, so will be their privileges. Oh, well, Robinhood files for IPO amid GameStop controversy. So, we will see if Robinhood can ride out this storm stirred by the GameStop-Robinhood saga and continue pioneering fan-vesting along with a cult social media platform like Reddit. The senate panel now explores options for new regulation in the coming months.