The investor who helped direct the world’s attention to GameStop, leading a horde of online followers in a bizarre market rally that made and lost fortunes from one day to the next, says he’s just a normal guy.
“I didn’t expect this,” said Keith Gill, 34 years old, known as “DeepF—ingValue” by fans on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum and “Dada” by his 2-year-old daughter. He said he didn’t set out to draw the attention of Congress, the Federal Reserve, hedge funds, the media, trading platforms and hundreds of thousands of investors.
“This story is so much bigger than me,” Mr. Gill told The Wall Street Journal in his first interview since the unboxing this week of a volatile new stock market game. “I support these retail investors, their ability to make a statement.”
To many of them, Mr. Gill—who until recently worked in marketing for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.—is the force behind the triple-digit gains in shares of the videogame retailer GameStop, up more than 900% this year through Thursday. On Wednesday, the stock jumped 135% to $347.51, a record, before plunging to $194 a share Thursday as online brokerages clamped down. At the start of the year, GameStop shares went for around $18.
Many online investors say his advocacy helped turn them into a force powerful enough to cause big losses for established hedge funds and, for the moment, turn the investing world upside down.
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