What is a Retail Investor?

Retail investors are non-professional individual investors like you and me. Generally, this means that retail investors do not have licenses or certifications that allow us to invest other people’s money within stocks, securities, and bonds. We use a variety of investing tools like Robinhood, Acorns, Sofi Invest, or larger companies like Fidelity and E*TRADE to trade our own money and try to get a piece of the pie. 

Retail trader’s goals are just as diverse as our investing styles. Some of us are looking to make a career as traders while some are looking for a way to invest our money for the long term to be safe in retirement. Our goals also define whether we focus on short-term or long-term investing. In this way there is no right or wrong way to be a retail investor as long as we book profits on our trades. 

One of the benefits of being a retail trader is there is no requirement to have a certain amount of capital. You can be a retail investor with as little as $100 or up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is our versatility and number that makes us a force to be reckoned with as seen by the massive jump of GameStop (GME) stock in 2021. 

 There is no wrong time to become a retail investor. If you have money that you can afford to put into the stock market, it can be an extremely rewarding and stimulating hobby. You will need determination and an open mind to become a successful retail investor and always do your due diligence before buying stocks. Hopefully, Seabird Stocks has become be one place for you to learn and grow your investing passion. 

If you are new to the world of retail investing, dip your toes in and get a feel for your favorite stocks. Start small and with enough determination, grit, and savviness you might surprise yourself with hefty profits! If you are an expert, make sure to help those starting out as we are a great and growing community. 

Be Smart, Be Safe, and Trade! 

Have Hedge Funds Been Stopped by The GameStop Revolution of 2021?

As we have seen last week, retail investors can exercise quite a bit of power in the broader market when they band together. In the past 3 weeks GameStop stock has risen over 1,600 percent driven by the operation of a multitude of retail investors pushing up the stock price to trigger a massive short covering by hedge funds. The ultimate question is have hedge funds been pushed out of the stock never to return or is this a temporary blip? 

Let us start by taking a quick look at how hedge funds have been doing in the stock market. In truth, hedge funds haven’t been doing that well compared to gains shown by the S&P. Hedge funds have underperformed the S&P 500 every year since 2009. Hedge funds are also facing increasing competition from automated investing companies placing investments in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Even with these headwinds there is no denying the power that hedge funds have due to the massive amount of wealth they have at their disposal to affect individual stocks and the global stock market. 

My belief is that in the end hedge funds will win and the main reason is the amount of wealth they have at their disposal. While some hedge funds have taken a beating after covering their short positions in stocks like GameStop (GME), Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY), and AMC Entertainment (AMC), most have the ability to ride out this rough patch. Yes, some hedge funds like Melvin Capital may go under but there will be many more hedge funds to take their place.  

Most retail investors, however, do not have the amount of capital needed to survive if the stocks quickly plummet and stay down. Losing a couple of million dollars can be a drop in the bucket to large hedge funds but a retail investor losing $5,000 could mean the difference between paying rent or not. There is a saying that the house always wins and in this case the house is the hedge funds. 

For this reason, Seabird Stocks has not jumped on the bandwagon and invested in these hot stocks and is waiting for the dust to settle. Congratulations to everyone that has booked profit on the dramatic rise of stocks like GameStop but do not expect the hedge funds to take this revolution lying down.  

Be Smart, Be Safe, and Trade! 

Failing Quickly and Smartly Makes A Successful Investor

All retail investors have made bad calls and mistakes. I would even go so far to say that all investing experts and professionals have made bad calls from time to time. Learning from these mistakes and discovering how to invest better is how retail investors can grow and earn money.  

One mistake I have personally made is investing in Neovasc Inc. (NVCN), a specialty medical device company that develops, manufactures, and markets medical devices. In 2016 Neovasc was a promising company that had intellectual property that could make it a leader in the treatment of mitral valve disease which is a multibillion-dollar business. If they could bring their product to market the stock would shoot up and lead to massive stock price gains. Unfortunately, the medical device industry is ruthless and NVCN lost a major legal case resulting in hefty fines and forced profit sharing. The result, the stock lost 90% of its share price in two months. This led to my largest loss ever. While it was costly, the lessons this loss taught me were worth it. 

The first lesson is taking risks and making a bet on a company’s chances of succussing are sometimes worth it and if the risk is high, never place a substantial part of your portfolio into these stocks. This will reduce your downsides and ensure you have the capital to live another day. Another lesson is that when news is released that is bad enough to take down the company you invested in, make sure to cut your losses early rather than doubling down. Finally, this mistake taught me to focus on companies with profits as they can better weather negative news and will not need to dilute the stock price and split their stock. 

Be Smart, Be Safe, and Trade!