While the financial markets have long been dominated by significant, well-known companies that are household names, it is no longer always the case. The Internet has given rise to a new type of company called “meme stocks,” often not included in traditional market indices.
What are Memes?
Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coined the term “meme” in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene.
It is considered one of the fundamental units of culture, like genes are for biology.
Memes spread through the Internet much like viruses spread from person to person. A meme can be an image or video copied and distributed rapidly across the web, typically accompanied by humorous text.
Some popular memes include Doge, Rick Roll, Planking and Nyan Cat.
Meme stocks are companies that do not meet formal requirements to be included in an index but have managed to achieve high valuations because of memes created about them.
An example is Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), whose stock increased significantly after its chief executive officer made a joke about cryptocurrency mining on Twitter. At present, there are no official indices for meme stocks.
Still, investors are beginning to create their own “meme indices” by looking at how often certain companies are mentioned alongside memes on social media platforms like Reddit and 4chan.
Due to lack of liquidity, meme stocks also tend to trade on alternative markets such as Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board or pink sheets.
The demand for meme stocks is still in its infancy, and their valuations are highly speculative. They also tend to be highly volatile, as the popularity of memes can change rapidly.
Some examples of meme companies listed on OTCBB include:
- Dole Food Company (DOLE),
- GreenGro Technologies (GRNH) and
- Eastman Kodak (KODK).
Note that these companies do not meet requirements to be included in major stock indices like S&P 500 or FTSE 100.
Some examples of meme companies listed on pink sheets include:
- Internet Gaming Entertainment (IGE),
- com Inc. (OSTK) and
- Long Island Iced Tea Corp. (LTEA).
As with OTCBB-listed stocks, these companies do not meet requirements to be included in major stock indices.
The market for meme stocks is still in its infancy, and investors should exercise caution when investing in them.
Many of them are highly speculative, and their valuations can change rapidly. It is also important to remember that its stock price does not always reflect its underlying fundamentals.
So, even if a company is associated with popular memes, it doesn’t mean that its stock is a good investment.
Most popular meme stocks in MENA.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
AMD’s stock increased significantly after its chief executive officer made a joke about cryptocurrency mining on Twitter
Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency initially meant to be a parody of the multitude of other virtual currencies. However, the coin has since gained significant traction and even had its own Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
Eastman Kodak (KODK)
On 7 January 2018, Kodak announced that it had licensed its brand name for use in connection with digital crypto-currencies. The stock price tripled upon this announcement.
Dole Food Company (DOLE)
One of the largest producers and distributors of fresh fruit and vegetables in the world
Destiny Media Technologies Inc. (DSNY)
Destiny provides video game developers with video compression services so that these games can function across consoles, mobile devices and personal computers.
DotDash provides digital marketing solutions for businesses. Its stock price has almost tripled since the beginning of 2018, mainly due to an article speculating on its potential acquisition by Snap Inc. (SNAP).
IGE is a leading seller of virtual assets; members buy these items with fiat currency or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The company’s stock experienced a significant increase in share price after reporting strong revenue growth during the third quarter of 2017
Kodiak Island Gold Corporation (KOG)
Kodiak Island Gold Corporation is an exploration stage company with two mineral properties in Alaska. Its stock price has increased by over 4000% in the past year.
Long Island Iced Tea Corp. (LTEA)
Long Island Iced Tea Corp. is a beverage company that makes and distributes iced tea, lemonade and fruit drinks.
The company announced that it would change its name to Long Blockchain Corporation in December 2017, which resulted in a significant increase in its stock price.
Nvidia Corporation (NVDA)
Nvidia is a technology company that manufactures graphics processing units (GPUs) for the gaming, professional visualization, data centre and automotive markets.
The company’s stock price has jumped significantly since the beginning of 2018 as demand for its GPUs has skyrocketed due.
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