Adrian Dominguez made $500 in 30 minutes after buying three shares of GameStop.
“Right now is pretty historical,” Dominguez said. “It doesn’t feel real.”
Like many UT students, advertising sophomore Dominguez tracks the stock market each day from open to close. He watched as Reddit users united to buy shares in the declining GameStop stock for $13.66 a share on Jan. 11. Two weeks later, GameStop’s share price had skyrocketed to its Jan. 28 value of $483. Wall Street investors who bet against the company were forced to repurchase the stock for much more than the selling price, destroying nearly $30 billion dollars of on-paper wealth.
After seeing Elon Musk’s “Gamestonk” tweet on Jan. 26, Dominguez said he immediately invested in GameStop.
As the company reached its peak share value, Dominguez started a Twitter group chat for UT students to “talk about ‘stonks’.” He said his goal was to help students navigate the GameStop phenomenon and the broader financial world with confidence.
“I do research 24/7 … who to follow, what to look for, how to sell, how to plan,” Dominguez said. “(I would advise) not to invest anything you’re not willing to lose.”
Dominguez launched the group chat at 12:12 a.m on Jan. 28. By 1:23 a.m, it had reached its 50 participant maximum.
“This past week, I slept six hours in four days,” Dominguez said. “I talk in (the group chat) every day.”
Marketing senior Alec Alvarez chose not to invest in GameStop, but he said he joined Dominguez’s group chat to gain a basic understanding of the stock craze.
“It’s a dangerous game,” Alvarez said. “I (wanted) to see how other people (felt) about the situation that both know about finances and don't.”
Both Dominguez and Alvarez taught themselves how to invest through books, YouTube and a variety of online platforms. Dominguez said he comes from a low-income family, so learning to be financially independent has always been important to him.
“Since 2012, I remember watching (YouTube financers) and learning everything about finance, about making money from passive income. I’m all self-taught,” Dominguez said. “(Last Monday), I made a month’s worth of (income) for my dad.”
Isaac Martin, the president of Texas Financial Derivatives, said people playing the stock market should think carefully before following financial advice from others.
“Just from the way someone can sound explaining something, you might think, ‘This totally makes sense,’” finance junior Martin said. “But a lot of investing theses that you hear aren't fully fleshed out. No one has all the answers.”
Martin said a main mission of Texas Financial Derivatives is to increase financial literacy among UT students.
“It was a little bit concerning that people who didn't seem to know a lot about finance were buying into (GameStop),” Martin said. “I feel like some of those people might have been a little bit misled and might have suffered losses because of that.”
Alvarez said his main takeaway from the GameStop stock boom is the need for education reform surrounding finances.
“If we push for financial education at the high school level, a lot of people’s lives will be better because they're going to make better decisions with their money,” Alvarez said.
Almost halfway to his goal of a $100,000 portfolio, Dominguez said he will continue to supply financial tips to fellow students through the Twitter group chat.
“I’ve always seen myself going up in all aspects of life,” Dominguez said. “I've never had as much money as I have today.”