“Your example has really changed the lives of thousands of ordinary people,” a Reddit user named reality_czech wrote to Mr. Gill this week. “Really thank you.”
Larry Tabb, head of market structure research at Bloomberg Intelligence, said the emergence of traders like Mr. Gill “wouldn’t have happened a few years ago” because every transaction comes with fees and less focus on social media markets. media. But for those who are now stuck at home in a pandemic with easy access to free transactions at online brokers, “these people saw the opportunity and they took it,” he said. to speak.
Mr. Gill did not respond to a request for comment. His online accounts and email addresses are tied to his old office in New Hampshire and his home in Massachusetts. Gill’s mother, Elaine, confirmed in a brief phone call that her son was Roaring Kitty.
“I’m proud,” she said, before she hung up.
Gill’s life as Roaring Kitty began in 2014 when he founded a limited liability company with that name. Before that, he was an all-American athlete in college, who could cross a mile in four minutes and three seconds, according to local newspapers. After graduating, he worked as a chartered financial accountant and a financial health educator, a recently deleted LinkedIn profile showed.
In August 2019, he started posting on Reddit. Like many other Reddit users, he is familiar with memes and internet expressions like YOLO (you only live once) and shows love for obscenity. The middle letter of his Reddit username acronym, DFV, mentions an explanation. On YouTube, TikTok and Twitter, he followed Roaring Kitty.
Mr. Gill’s early posts on WallStreetBets show screenshots of his E-Trade portfolio with the options he made on GameStop, all with a stock bet going up. In the comments, he explained that Wall Street did not appreciate how profitable the GameStop would be when the new video game console was released.
Shortly after Mr. Gill placed the deal, Michael Burry, an investor best known for Michael Lewis’s book “The Big Short”, also expressed an interest in GameStop. On Reddit, Mr. Gill pointed to Mr. Burry’s post as an endorsement. When others questioned the investment, Mr. Gill remained adamant.