Who wants to buy some shares of a couple of embattled players in the r/WallStreetBets saga?

GameStop… said in a separate filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was evaluating whether to sell additional stock “primarily to fund the acceleration of our future transformation initiatives.”

Robinhood has filed confidential paperwork to pursue an initial public offering…. Prior to the GameStop controversy earlier this year, Robinhood had been valued most recently at about $12 billion in a 2020 financing round.

That’s right, you buy a piece of company in the painful process of becoming an entirely different company whose stock price is once again in freefall but which still undoubtedly vastly too high given that it just missed its quarterly sales targets, or you can buy shares in a trading platform in which young people take enormous risks with their stimulus checks/rent money/life savings without even really knowing anything about the stocks they’re buying that is currently being sued several dozen times over for allegedly screwing over those very young people when they wanted to buy a ton of GameStop shares and is thus loathed by a significant portion of its customer base. Or you could buy both. And if that’s not enough risk or shares in companies with trash customer service another is giving investors an opportunity to set their money on fire.

As Coinbase prepares to go public in the next few weeks, cementing its status as one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency enterprises, its users’ experiences show how the company sometimes still struggles to address basic customer service complaints…. Concerns have centered on two main issues, according to legal documents and interviews with more than a dozen Coinbase users, as well as social media posts and surveys of customers: that the company’s security was fooled by attackers who infiltrated their accounts and then stole their money, or that they were suddenly barred from their accounts, either because of a technical glitch or seemingly for no reason at all….

The frustrations have been compounded because the company is often unresponsive to entreaties for assistance, users said…. One of Coinbase’s most frustrating aspects, some users said, is that a real person does not appear to be reading their complaints.

“There’s nobody on the other side,” said Cheryl Hung, a marketing consultant in Los Angeles.

Now, in the interest of fairness, we do have to acknowledge that not every Redditor and Robinhood devotee is quite this reckless. In fact, you can even get them to do something relatively responsible-seeming with their money with a little bit of education and branding.

Michael Bowers, a 21-year-old Colorado college student, first heard about QQQ on the Reddit forum WallStreetBets. He bought $1,000 worth of fund shares last summer because the ETF tracks companies he knows and whose products he uses, ranging from Apple to Facebook…. SoFi estimates about one-quarter of its clients’ fractional buys are ETFs, with QQQ being one of its most popular.

On Reddit groups like r/investing and r/stocks, new investors often post asking how much to invest in QQQ—or “the Q’s” as some call it—with others in the comments offering advice and discussing the fund’s past performance…. Invesco has stepped up marketing spending in a bid to cash in on QQQ’s moment, sponsoring for instance a March Madness-themed “QQQ Hoops” game that gives you the opportunity to shoot hoops, showing off the potential performance of investments. Marketing spend for QQQ was $66.8 million in 2020, compared with $19.6 million for State Street’s SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, according to the State Street prospectus.

Robinhood files confidential paperwork to go public [CNBC]
GameStop says it is considering selling additional shares [NYT]
GameStop shares fall 29% on lack of transformation detail, possible share sale [CNBC]
GameStop misses Q4 sales expectations, hires Amazon exec [N.Y. Post]
Coinbase Users Say Crypto Start-Up Ignored Their Pleas for Help [NYT]
Young Traders Are Taking ‘Big Financial Risk’ on Investment Apps [Bloomberg]
Young ETF Buyers Discover the Tech Sector’s Old Friend, the QQQ [WSJ]
Don’t Buy the Wrong Volkswagen [WSJ]

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