Many of us are watching the Gamestop share price story play out with keen interest. David versus Goliath....
Long-story-short, excuse the pun, small investors aggressively bid up Gamestop shares, forcing a short squeeze that inflicted billion-dollar losses on hedge funds and made unexpected millionaires out of long-term investors and recent punters. Notwithstanding the regulatory challenges and ethics of thousands of small investors colluding on social media channels to take on large institutional investors, the fact that small investors have organised and used their power in a concerted and very direct manner is fascinating and prescient.
What does this mean for the world of finances and investing? Where will power lie in future? And what parallels can we see in more wholesome movements such as financial education and sustainable investing?
As we have seen in recent years and weeks in the political sphere - US and Russian politics, for example - democratised access to technology platforms that give disparate individuals voice and connection can create powerful forces for change - progressive, malevolent or otherwise. This web-enabled power-to-the-people trend with transparency and voice at its core has been and will remain the dominant force in transforming business, institutions and society.
The investment industry has rarely seen such a shift in power dynamics in such a short space of time. Pressure is building, from regulatory bodies and sheer competitive forces, to capture investor market share in the context of shifting priorities and a decarbonising economy. Trustees, asset owners and fund managers must close the gap in understanding what drives value for the end investor: you and me, a pension member or ISA saver.
Who doesn't want to aggregate their limited individual power with millions of others to make big waves in how their money shapes their lives?
So, over at Tumelo, we watch the Gamestop sideshow play out, quietly excited about the impact we are set to have. We are helping an ever-growing community of investors and pension members to be more engaged with the companies they invest in and to combine their small voices into a powerful influence on the ESG issues they care about, this time driving long-lasting and positive change.