The meme culture and the new wave of investors: a study on the power of retail investor sentiments in moving markets

Rasheedh, Ahmed Juman (2022) The meme culture and the new wave of investors: a study on the power of retail investor sentiments in moving markets. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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The year 2021 began with a highly volatile US Market with retail investors making large gains at the expense of large hedge funds and other instructional investors. At the centre of the spectacle was an unorthodox investment forum, WallStreetBets, on one of the most popular social media, Reddit. The paper utilises a dataset of over 9 million message postings on the Reddit forum to analyse the informational content and effect of the sentimentality of the forum on the market movements. The paper contributes to the growing literature in the field of investor sentiment and behavioural finance.

With data spanning two calendar years; the analysis utilises a lexical methodology to analyse the sentiment of the text. The study uses a vector autoregression and a logistic regression to examine the causal linkages between the sentiments and the market movements. Making use of the feedback system built into the forum, the study attempts to identify the effect of behavioural contagion. By quantifying the attention of the forum using the message volume, the informational content of the forum is further examined.

The results of the study indicate possible causal linkages, however, the results are only minimally statistically significant. The study provides evidence of the investor irrationality present in the forum with the average sentiment, the feedback weighted sentiment and investor attention having a causal impact. With the study highlighting the impact of the new age retail investors and the meme culture on the market, newer and stronger policies need to be constructed to avoid volatile periods such as those of early 2021.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Rasheedh, Ahmed Juman
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2022 01:28
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2022 01:28

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