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Investors Will Get Bored of GameStop - The Wall Street Journal

This column is part of the Heard on the Street stock-picking contest. You’re invited to play along with us here.

Like fidget spinners, ice-bucket challenges and “Pokémon Go,” GameStop shares are a fad that will likely fade.

The videogame retailer has had an astounding 2021. App-wielding investors crowdsourced a wave of stock purchases that pushed the price up to a high of around 17 times where it started the year. After a couple of loop-the-loops, the shares are still up more than 700%.

As long as trading remains free, the army of retail investors that propelled GameStop and a clutch of other unlikely stocks beyond all expectations earlier this year will remain a force in the market. Over 10 million individual-investor brokerage accounts were opened in the first half of the year, according to JMP Securities.

But that doesn’t mean such investors will always want the same thing. On the contrary, the appeal of GameStop trading has progressively waned, and it is hard to see what might turn the tide.