What would happen if someone put a group of anonymous millennials in charge of a $50,000 trading account?
We’re about to find out…
Thanks to an adventurous Amazon engineer, we’re about to see if millennials are savvy traders – or the next generation of stock market cannon fodder headed to the front lines.
The experiment is called StockStream.
It’s a live feed on the Twitch video game streaming network where anyone can log on and vote on what stocks to trade.
“Mike Roberts, the Seattle-based Amazon engineer behind StockStream, is letting players vote on how to invest $50,000 of his actual savings on the real-life stock market,” Business Insider reports. “So far, about 60,000 people have come through to play along, or at least gawk at the spectacle.”
Here’s how it works: A new round of voting begins every five minutes. Twitch viewers type in the tickers they want to see bought or sold in the chat window. When time runs out, the top trades are executed on the Robinhood trading app and another round of voting begins.
Believe it or not, these crazy kids haven’t lost all the engineer’s money yet! When I last checked just before Monday’s closing bell, the account was up almost $900.
Here’s a screenshot:
Not a bad start!
Now I know what you’re thinking…
Millennials don’t care about the stock market.
America’s youth would much rather frolic at music festivals, post selfies to Instagram, or bet their meager saving on bitcoin. But stocks? Fuggedaboutit. Buying equities is about as old-fashioned as your great-aunt’s AOL account.
But it’s important to remember that young people aren’t completely oblivious to the existence of the stock market. Let’s not forget how they all piled into the ill-fated Snapchat IPO just a few months ago.
Will StockStream succumb to a quick and painful death? Or will it usher in a new trading utopia for millennial investors who are eager to cash in their first profits for starter home down payments?
My bet is the former.
Investing is hard. Trading is even harder. Anyone who as ever traded a single share knows it. I seriously doubt a group of 60,000 anonymous kids on the internet can collectively beat the market by trading every five minutes. I’m actually surprised a group of trolls or pranksters hasn’t attempted to hijack the voting to tank the account.
Plus, there’s no reward to the voters for picking winning stocks – and no consequences for botching a trade. The creator didn’t think that one through…
“He feels like it would be disingenuous and discouraging if he told players that their goal was something as straightforward as doubling his money; he’s really in it for the love of the game,” Business Insider notes.
Love or money – it doesn’t really matter. StockStream isn’t going to make anyone rich.
But hey, maybe I’m being too cynical. Prove me wrong, millennials! Turn that $50,000 into $100,000 by the end of the year – and don’t forget to brag about your gains in your next Snapchat post…