This was the week when a bunch of amateur traders made Wall Street’s finest look like idiots.
From Jan. 25 through Jan. 29, a ragtag army of individuals sent shares in GameStop Corp. up 500%, and sent many others skyrocketing too. In three days, many of these stocks gained more than most do in a decade. The hedge funds on the other side of these bets lost billions.
This movement is the culmination of nearly five decades of the democratization of markets set off by none other than the late founder of Vanguard Group, Jack Bogle.
For all the hyperventilating over this week’s financial revolution, though, investors should regard it as the latest phase in a long evolution—and unlikely to disrupt markets overall.
Still, this is a remarkable moment. It’s as if a bunch of couch potatoes watching a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game on TV belted down their beer and nachos, barged onto the court—and proceeded to block LeBron James’s shots and mercilessly dunk on Anthony Davis.