Investing

How I Successfully Rode the AMC Moonshot for Fun and Profit

Even if the stock price goes higher, I’m satisfied with my gains

Photo by John Baker on Unsplash

Please note: Denise Shelton is not a professional financial advisor. Nothing in this story should, in any way, be taken as investment advice. Please consult a professional before investing in the stock market.

I first began writing about my experience with the subreddit group r/wallstreetbets (WSB) bets in March. Here’s a link if you’re interested. As I mentioned in my earlier story, WSB members banded together and have been promoting heavily shorted “meme” stocks like GameStop ($GME) and AMC Entertainment Holdings ($AMC).

The subsequent rise in some meme stock prices, off and on over the last few months, has cost hedge funds and other short sellers plenty. Much of the credit for these increases has been attributed to retail investors like those on WSB.

According to CNBC, the AMC stock rally in the lead-up to Memorial Day weekend resulted in $1.23 billion in losses for those selling the stock short. Stock in the theater chain shot up 116% in one week of trading. Since January, AMC’s stock price has increased by 1,100%. During this time, I purchased relatively small amounts of both GME and AMC stock. Here’s how I did.

Getting in on the action

“I never bet an amount I can’t afford to lose.”

As a retail investor, it’s important to remember that the stock market is a casino. Investing in it is gambling, pure and simple. Therefore, I never bet an amount I can’t afford to lose.

On February 1, I dipped my toe in and purchased a single share of AMC for $16.31. As the price dropped, I purchased more shares several times in the next four weeks. By the end of the month, I had increased my holdings to 50 shares, paying an average of $9.04 a share, with my total investment being about $452.00. On March 19th, I bought another eight shares for $13.98, averaging up to a little less than $10 a share.

My perspective shifts

“Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.”

When I filed my income taxes in April, I had an unpleasant surprise of owing much more than I thought I would. In the next few weeks, a few more unexpected expenses cropped up. I decided to adhere to another adage: “Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered,” and sold 38 shares at $13.50 on May 14.

The $513 I got on the sale nearly covered the $563.84 I spent on 58 shares. Now I was mostly playing with the house’s money with my last 20 shares. This relieved a lot of the anxiety I was feeling over my investment. Up to that point, I was watching the stock prices compulsively, multiple times a day. After the sale, I checked in only once or twice a day.

Conventional wisdom

I decided to act on some information I read on the Investopedia website:

“In the U.S., Fridays that are on the eve of three-day weekends tend to be especially good. Due to generally positive feelings prior to a long holiday weekend, the stock markets tend to rise ahead of these observed holidays.”

On the Friday before Memorial Day, I took advantage of the rally that more than doubled the stock price and sold my remaining 20 shares at $31.03, a total of $620.61. All in all, my profit on AMC stock this year has been $569.77.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda

Would it have been better for me to have held on to that other 38 shares and sold everything simultaneously? Financially, sure. I’d be $666.13 richer, but I’m okay with that. I still more than doubled my money, and that’s not too shabby.

If I had held on to all 58 shares, I may have panicked on May 21 when the stock dipped to $12.08 a share, sold the whole shebang, and only netted $136.80. I’m happy with a little over four times that amount.

Summing up

I initially invested in AMC because I liked the idea of giving the hedge fund managers grey hair. I even bought two shares of GameStop to be in on the fun with that, too. But, after following WSB for months now, it became obvious that plenty of retail investors were shorting the stock as well.

I began seeing comments on WSB like, “Well, I just blew my life savings.” The meme stock game just wasn’t fun anymore. I sold my shares of GME last week, too, for a profit of $15.51, total. It doesn’t look like there’s a Lamborghini in my future, but that’s okay, too.

©2021, Denise Shelton. All rights reserved.

Poet, scribbler, actor, and all around great gal. Available for freelance assignments. Visit me at denisesheltonwrites.com.