Do as I Say, Not as I Do, GameStop Edition | Sidnaz Blog

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Keith Gill at work station in his basement, where he works on his stock market picks and streams his YouTube videos.



Photo:

Kayana Szymczak for The Wall Street Journal

Thinking of day trading?

“Teens and retirees are especially susceptible to this potentially risky idea that could greatly affect their financial health” wrote “In Good Company,” a financial wellness site run by insurer MassMutual. It spelled out the dangers if a person you know is using a “free trading app.”

The advice, which goes on to warn about the allure of quick gains in stock options, is sound. But, just as those words were being published last September, an employee of the group wasn’t practicing what his employer preached. His name is Keith Gill. You might know him better through his screen names of DeepF*ckingValue and Roaring Kitty on Reddit and YouTube, respectively. His bold bet on

GameStop

helped ignite the wild rally in meme stocks.

Mr. Gill, a Chartered Financial Analyst, left the firm late last month and wasn’t the author of the MassMutual blog post. It is safe to say, though, that the positive influence of In Good Company’s advice was vastly outweighed by Mr. Gill’s popular videos and posts. He never directly encouraged reckless trading, but his success and boldness certainly inspired many who probably lost big in recent days.

Mr. Gill did too, but he will be OK. In addition to movies being made about him, his paper profits still were well over $20 million as of Wednesday based on a screenshot of his account statement.

Kids, don’t try this at home.

Write to Spencer Jakab at spencer.jakab@wsj.com

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