I remember when a friend of mine told me five or six years ago that he had bought some Dogecoin. I thought “what is he doing?” and dismissed it as something silly and or crazy.
Dogecoin was initially introduced in late 2013 and 7 1/2 years later it has amassed a market cap of $43bn and is one of the most popular crypto assets in the world. It may be silly and crazy, but it has also been a good investment for my friend and anyone who bought it in the early years.
For those that don’t know, Doge is an internet meme that became popular around that same time. The combination of memes and investing is a powerful cocktail that I have been ignoring for a long time, probably incorrectly.
More recently we have seen meme investing move into public market stocks like Gamestop, AMC Theaters, Wendy’s, and more. The community that drives these “meme stocks” is based in Reddit and the combined purchasing power of this community is substantial, particularly in illquid stocks (and crypto assets).
It is easy to dismiss meme investing. The market capitalizations that these meme assets trade at make no sense on any fundamental analysis. But, as I’ve come to understand, that is not the point.
Memes are fun and memes are also something to come together around. Speculating on the popularity of memes and their staying power is no different than any other form of speculation.
But more than that, and this is where my head has been going on this topic, the market caps of these memes are also economically powerful. If the board and management teams of the companies with meme stocks choose to issue more shares at these prices, they can raise a lot of capital to transform these companies. Similar opportunities could exist with meme tokens. AMC recently did this with their “meme stock.”
I’ve decided that I am going to stop ignoring and dismissing meme investing and start trying to understand it better. I think it is not something that is going away anytime soon and may turn into something even more interesting.
That said, I am not suggesting that anyone invest their retirement money or their savings for their kids’ eduction into memes. I believe it is more appropriate for speculating right now. That may change. Or it may not. That is yet to be determined.