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HomeInvestmentMeme Shares and Systematic Threat

Meme Shares and Systematic Threat

“Meme shares” are a dangerous bunch. Susceptible to wild and unpredictable swings primarily based on rumors and web message board discussions, they’re traded largely by retail traders in the hunt for the following large factor and with little regard for valuation fashions or the enterprise’s underlying fundamentals. 

Whereas the actions of meme shares happen seemingly at random and exhibit unsystematic threat, how do meme shares transfer relative to inventory market indices and different meme shares?

As soon as a inventory turns into a meme, we discovered, it not solely reveals better whole threat, or volatility, but in addition better correlation with US inventory indices and with different meme shares. Actually, as soon as a inventory achieves meme standing, its correlation with different meme shares jumps over 80%, in keeping with our estimates.

So what’s a meme inventory? In our evaluation, we outline them primarily based on their prominence on Reddit’s WallStreetBets dialogue board. As soon as a inventory crossed a specific consideration threshold on the discussion board, we categorized it as a meme and recorded the date when it reached that benchmark. AMC Theatres, GameStop, Tesla, Mattress Bathtub & Past, and Tilray, amongst others, all attracted the requisite consideration on WallStreetBets, in addition to amongst retail merchants and the media, to qualify as memes and had been added to our record.

Utilizing this dataset, we first examined how a inventory’s correlation with numerous indices modified as soon as it grew to become a meme. We discovered meme shares jumped most in correlation with the Russell 2000 as soon as they enter meme territory: Their correlation coefficient elevated from 0.29 to 0.39. Their correlation with the S&P 500 rose from 0.26 to 0.27.

Huge transfer days we outlined as these when a meme inventory’s worth swung at the very least 10%. When a meme inventory jumped 10% or larger, the S&P 500 rose 0.26% on common. On days when a meme inventory fell 10% or extra, the S&P 500 elevated a mean of 0.13%. Once more, this highlights a optimistic correlation between meme shares and the market.


Know-how Choose Index S&P 500 Index Russell 2000 Index
Meme Shares (Earlier than) 0.244 0.260 0.288
Meme Shares (After) 0.285 0.269 0.394

So how did the correlation of meme shares change over time?

The typical correlation amongst pre-meme shares was 0.21. As soon as they grew to become meme shares, nevertheless, their correlation with each other jumped to 0.38. That’s greater than an 80% enhance in co-movement with fellow meme shares.

For context, GameStop and AMC had a correlation coefficient of 0.08 earlier than they grew to become memes. As soon as they crossed the meme threshold, their correlation with one another jumped to 0.45.

Financial Analysts Journal Current Issue Tile

Volatility on an unadjusted foundation additionally rose considerably as soon as a inventory attained meme standing. Pre-meme shares had a mean volatility of 83%. That jumped to 106% as soon as they grew to become memes. As an example, AMC’s volatility spiked from 134% on an annualized foundation pre-meme to 239% post-meme.

Meme Inventory Correlation

Earlier than Turning into Meme Shares 0.208
After Turning into Meme Shares 0.378

In all, shares traded way more carefully with the Russell 2000 small-cap index and with different meme shares after they grew to become memes. This elevated correlation suggests a threat that traders could wish to take note of.

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All posts are the opinion of the creator. As such, they shouldn’t be construed as funding recommendation, nor do the opinions expressed essentially mirror the views of CFA Institute or the creator’s employer.

Picture credit score: ©Getty Photographs / Bruce Bennett / Workers

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