The New Era of Stock Market Traders; Some lead by Dave Portnoy

Tom Lombardozzi
3 min readJun 18, 2020
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So high school clearly didn’t teach Gen Z enough finance, because once the car-rental company, Hertz, announced bankruptcy, shares skyrocketed over 450%. People should realize that once companies announce bankruptcy all shares are essentially worth $0…

Anyways, as you have probably heard, day trading has been a huge trend during quarantine. In fact, the popular investing app, Robinhood, “saw a historic 3 million new accounts in the first quarter” (CNBC). I would place a big bet that the average age of these accounts is under 25. You see, I’ve been interested in market for about 5 years, and now more than ever people have been reaching out to me and asking my opinion about what stocks to buy or how to invest.

A good portion of these new traders is also due to Barstool Sports founder, Dave Portnoy, who started livestreaming himself day trading with $5 mil at the beginning of quarantine. People admire his personality and will follow any trend that he gets involved in. To show how much of an effect Portnoy has on the market, let’s look at the penny stock NSPR. One livestream, Dave mentioned the stock, and not more than a few minutes later the stock moved upwards, and fast. shows that before Portnoy spoke, only 10,000 users held the stock. After Portnoy’s “tip”, the users holding the stock jumped 60% to 16000. This amount of volume can move a small stock like NSPR up very quickly.

There is also an art of mob mentality and FOMO when these new investors get into the game. When kids see all their friends moving into a stock like NKLA they don’t want to miss out, so they jump in too and the volume shoots up. We saw this trend happen back in 2017 with cryptocurrency. People heard of this way to “get rich quick” and tried to hop in, and as we saw the volume, along with the price skyrocketed.

Here is how this may end: I only know one thing for certain about this trend, Barstool, more specifically, Portnoy, is going to evolve in this sector and find out more ways to monetize it and drive more revenue for Barstool. Beyond this, I really can’t tell how this will end. The addition of 3 million robinhood accounts is staggering, and as more and more beginners realize how hard this game is, they will become smarter. They will most likely lose money and stop investing in these stocks without doing research. Another possibility is they will just get tired of trading in a few weeks and forget about their accounts. It’s going to be a fun scene to watch play out for sure.

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