GameStop’s stock has fallen back to something like a reasonable price and Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy claims he lost about $US700,000 ($906,080), but the future of meme stocks is not yet written. And at least one New York-based quantitative fund seems to think there’s still a glimmer of gold to be found in the brain trust of r/WallStreetBets.
Cindicator Capital is the kind of investment fund that relies on software and algorithms to model investment strategies based on any number of disparate factors. In the wake of the WallStreetBets subreddit throwing hedge funds into chaos and driving stock prices to non-sensical extremes, Cindicator has posted a job listing on LinkedIn hoping to hire one of the Redditors to conjure up some unintuitive data points.
The listing, for a Sentiment Trader, limits its search to applicants who have at least a year’s active membership on WallStreetBets and at least 1,000 of Reddit’s goodwill karma points. Job seekers should understand probabilities, but “higher education in economics or finance” is disqualifying. “In-depth knowledge” of the language of the finance world and its mechanisms is required.
The rest of the listing gets more esoteric, saying prospects should display “unbiased thinking that defies authority,” and they will spend most of their time “on Reddit, Discord chats, and Twitter to feel the pulse of the tens of millions of retail traders.” Additionally, “a refined taste for memes and a sense of humour” is essential.
While it sounds like a joke or an example of trend-chasing that some recruiter will regret in the near future, the listing does make a certain amount of sense. The salary is $US200,000 ($258,880) plus bonuses, which is a lot of money to me but not outrageous in the world of finance. A meme translator with an understanding of internet communities could easily contribute $US200k worth of valuable intel when working with the right data scientists.
If you’ve put in the work on Reddit and Robinhood and think you’re ready for the big leagues, Cindicator promises parties in Korea and a place to say at Burning Man when the pandemic’s over. But if you’re just a casual trader trying to get in on the next hot meme stock, take note that the masters of the universe don’t intend to get caught with their pants down again.