Retail investors have captured headlines this year, and none more so than those supporting Gamestop (GME), a beleaguered gaming retailer in the US. The passion and commitment of a community of retail investors to a brand they love turned the tide of a Wall Street short and gave a floundering company a new lease on life. The latest example of that community’s dedication to the brand they love was the demand for voting at its Annual General Meeting on June 9th.
Which is why, when eToro investors asked to participate in the voting ahead of GME’s AGM on June 9th, we listened, accelerating a pilot to facilitate voting for this event.
And our community jumped at the opportunity to have their say; 63% of eligible Gamestop shares held on eToro were voted. This level of engagement was beyond anything we could have hoped for, and speaks to a wider movement across Europe and beyond. People are now actively engaging with their investments, investing long-term in the companies they know, use and love.
This is a story indicative of the last eighteen months in the global financial markets. As the pandemic hit and lockdowns moved us all indoors and online, we saw a new wave of investors join the markets, driven by increased government stimulus, wide coverage of volatility and more time to upskill in lockdown.
This increase in retail investor engagement worldwide has been well documented. And, thanks to occurrences like that around GME, the public is now understanding that they can and should have a say in public markets. Information is no longer held by the few, and institutions do not necessarily have the edge anymore. There is a wealth of information freely available to those who want to learn about the markets and engage with them, from company filings and online courses to eToro investors, who share information and ideas with a community of over 20 million registered users. Retail investors are knowledgeable, driven and here to stay.
Our goal is to empower people to grow their knowledge and wealth as part of a global community of successful investors. We want to revolutionize the way that people invest and enhance investors’ financial education. Our social network is a forum for investors to share information and ideas with others. It is built on the premise that studying businesses and asset classes and engaging with your investments is the cornerstone of financial wellness.
Retail participation can be a positive force for good in capital markets. This is a narrative eToro has been championing since we were founded in 2007 and our vision remains unchanged – to open the global markets so that everyone can trade and invest in a simple and transparent way. We fully support increased retail participation in capital markets and believe that the public should have a greater say in the public markets.
We can’t guarantee when we’ll be able to support voting on future events, for GME or other stocks, but we are pleased we were able to support our community in this instance and ensure that those who wanted to vote had their voice heard. We are thrilled by the level of engagement and believe it speaks to the positive impact that the rise in retail participation can have on global markets. We remain committed to a process of enabling voting for stocks offered on eToro.
It would be remiss of us if we did not end with a reminder. No investing is without risk. Many stocks, including GME. have been highly volatile so far this year. We urge all investors to remember the basic tenets of investing; understand what you are investing in, diversify and don’t invest in an asset simply because it is going up.
This communication is for information and education purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice, a personal recommendation, or an offer of, or solicitation to buy or sell, any financial instruments. This material has been prepared without taking into account any particular recipient’s investment objectives or financial situation, and has not been prepared in accordance with the legal and regulatory requirements to promote independent research. Any references to past or future performance of a financial instrument, index or a packaged investment product are not, and should not be taken as, a reliable indicator of future results. eToro makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication.