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YouTube star trader Matt Kohrs: Wall Street 'permanently changed' by meme stocks and retail trading

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  • GME
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Matt Kohrs, YouTube host and investor, shares his perspectives on the virality of cryptocurrencies and meme stocks to online communities.

Video Transcript

JARED BLIKRE: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live. Meme stocks are perking up again this week. We've seen Avis Budget Group surge 200% earlier this week. GameStop flying high as well, along with AMC. And guess what? We have Matt Kohrs, YouTube host, here to break it all down for us. And Matt, thank you for joining us here today. Glad to have you.

I'm just wondering because we were all here for the initial Reddit, GameStop phenomenon. And we've seen it repeat where we have these clusters of stocks that just get a lot of attention, the prices surge. This is either iteration three or four for the group, even though we have smaller ones constantly getting attention. I'm just wondering what you make of this whole phenomenon and where we are right now in this cycle.

MATT KOHRS: For me, I think the biggest takeaway is it really feels like the foundation of Wall Street and how stocks are interpreted, viewed, and how people make their decisions, it almost feels like it's permanently changed. I was thinking about this a lot. And at the start of the year-- and I get it, a lot of mainstream media, a lot of media in general is like, OK, this is, like, kind of a fad. It's crazy. We could talk about it later.

But we're now 11 months into this thing. And it shows that retail's ideas and concepts of where they find value, where they don't find value, is obviously here to stay. And that kind of comes back to my original point. It just feels like all the foundation, especially from the retail segment, it's different. And it seems like we're seeing Wall Street itself shift before our eyes.

ZACK GUZMAN: Hey, Matt. It's Zack. Good to have you back on, man. I mean, when we look at maybe how the views of all this have changed, too, you know, there's a lot of people who look back at the original kind of Robinhood, GameStop trading drama earlier in the year and point to that as, like, reasons to think that some of this stuff is rigged against them, at least when you're a retail trader. When you look at it, though, how does that maybe fuel what we've seen in people now shifting to crypto? Some people out there that say that that game is just as rigged. I mean, how are you seeing retail traders look at stocks versus crypto now?

MATT KOHRS: So, two different things there. With crypto, I think it's a human, I guess, desire to just-- it's always exciting when you see massive gains. I know SHIB's been in the news recently. And it's just some of these gains, and you see that a lot. It's like, it's always fun, and people always-- it's almost daydreaming of, like, man, imagine if I put in so much, I would be up this percent. That's, I think, just a desire of like, oh, it would be fun to have that kind of money.

I'm far more up to date on the structure of the stock market, like the actual market structure, opposed to crypto. So I don't know too much about the overlap there. But referencing about the feeling of feeling that it's rigged against us, I mean, I would argue that it's not really any more that tinfoil hat thing. I mean, we all read the GameStop report, but beyond that, it's very obvious right now with these two stocks, AMC and GME specifically. You're having about 60% of it traded off exchange. To me, how during that make sense for the point of price discovery, market efficiency? How does it make sense that less than half of it is being traded on lit exchanges?

So this community, as it's growing, it almost feels like a hive mind of knowledge. And we're all sharing it. And now that we're 11 months into it, at the start, many of us didn't know what we didn't know, but as we're getting into it, we're starting to point out these various things. Like, is payment for order flow the best thing for market structure? Is it good to have so much trading done off lit exchanges, settlement cycles?

Is PDD-- PDT fair? What about these 13Fs? Right now, why are shorts not being reported for when you have to report longs, calls, and puts? Why is that one left out? And I think all of these are just very legitimate questions that maybe the group at the start, like I said, we didn't know what we didn't know, but I think the knowledge within the group is expanding rapidly.

JARED BLIKRE: Matt, I got to tell you, I love talking market microstructure before noon. Never too early to do that. I want to ask you about your followers. I'm looking at your YouTube channel right here, 374,000 subscribers. You have a pulse on this new crop of traders who have come in. I don't know where you were at the beginning of the year, but you've seen the evolution here. A lot of these traders got burned on trade. Some of them dropped out. But maybe some of them are sticking with it. I'm just wondering what your experience is with your viewers? What's their journey that they're going through?

MATT KOHRS: I think the journey has been a wild one. And whenever it comes into money, obviously, there's always a heightened sense of emotion. And just by pure numbers, when you're talking with a movement that includes millions of people, you're going to have people who absolutely destroyed it, may have locked in some money, other people who have been burned. That is the nature of the market.

And on more of a moral, personal level, I find that to be one of the things because I know when you have a voice, that's why I go out of my way every single day to stress, hey, I'm a 27-year-old. I'm sharing what I know. But I'm by no means a financial advisor. In fact, I don't think anyone should be making any financial decisions based solely on what you found out on social media. But this journey, it's full of high highs and definitely low lows.

But as it's going on, I think one of the things I find to be the most impressive is that people within the community, there really seems to be that strong appetite for really truly fighting for the market reform, market transparency. To me, and I think to a lot of experts who know about market structure, we admit, it's not perfect. I'm not saying the system is completely-- like, we have to go to 0.

It's just we're pointing out certain issues that I think it takes time to jump into, reform, and I think we should reform because right now, it seems to be profiting for a select amount of people when it's, I would argue, putting the overall system at risk. But for the journey, it's an exciting one. And I think we're still in the early stages of where this ape nation is going to end up going in the long run.

ZACK GUZMAN: I have seen a lot more interest from a lot of people who may have overlooked investing for a long time. So Matt Kohrs, YouTube host, appreciate you coming on here to break it down for--