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THE FIRE TAKE ON WALL ST BETS, GAMESTOP, AND MEME STONKS

The investor community is split into two factions: FIRE vs. YOLO.

The YOLO crowd includes the people who read Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets, who chase speculative trades, who place margin trades on Robinhood.

They share stock tips on Discord and bet on whatever appears in their chat feed. Earlier this week they piled investments into Galway Metals, Inc., briefly shooting up the trading volume, for no reason other than that its ticker symbol is GAYMF.

They poured into Dogecoin last night, a cryptocurrency with the face of a dog that started as a joke, causing the price to skyrocket 205 percent in a single day.

They’re placing margin bets on GameStop, triggering a short squeeze, and riding it to the moon.

They treat the stock market like a casino; they feed off tales of survivorship bias. They’re seeking alpha*, buying meme stocks**, and turning their $600 stimulus checks (“stimmies”) into the ultimate prize: enough profits to purchase a meal of chicken tenders, or “tendies.”

They’re nothing like the FIRE folks.

The FIRE crowd is passionate about index funds, passive investing, and long-term buy-and-hold. We prefer Vanguard over Robinhood and embrace the Boglehead investing philosophy.

We hope to keep pace with the overall market, not beat it, and we cite academics and advisors with peer-reviewed research to back up our ideas.

We debate about whether the 4 percent withdrawal rule is too conservative or aggressive; should it be adjusted to, say, 3.5 percent – 4.5 percent? We agonize over asset allocation and wonder whether we should add a REIT or international equities component to our two-fund portfolio. We know the expense ratio on our Vanguard target date fund.

The YOLO crowd thinks the FIRE crowd is boring, slow, conservative.

The FIRE crowd thinks the YOLO crowd is bro-ey, speculative, and unmoored from reality.

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