I'm also the founder of popular subreddit r/wallstreetbets, a sub which the book is largely based. Over the years I've been a witness to some of the most outlandish shenanigans imaginable done by fearless traders at the expense of their bank accounts. I just wrote a book on how the US (and by extension global) financial system is being used as a legal conduit for gambling by the younger generations. Ask me anything!.

Links to the books: kindle as well as paperback. Note these links are to the US amazon. If you live elsewhere, just search for "wallstreetbets" in your local market to find the version and avoid region conflicts.

Use of my reddit account with indisputable proof of sub creation/ownership seemed to be insufficient proof last time I tried submitting here, so here's a link to an unverified twitter account, belonging to a self-proclaimed troll, with a picture in it: link

Comments: 1286 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

All_The_Numbers1429 karma

How fast can you turn $10k into $0?

jartek1489 karma

really really fast. but i suppose that depends on whether it's a monday or a friday.

flyer716816 karma

What are your thoughts on the 'Guh' guy and that whole Robbin Hood Gold exploit?

jartek590 karma

I have a lot of thoughts on that, you'd have to elaborate your question.

flyer716403 karma

Okay that's fair lol.

Is that Robbin Hood Gold exploit something you see a lot with WSB (i.e. a ragtag trading platform that can be easily exploited) or was that highly out of the ordinary?

jartek627 karma

I think people looking for "cheat-codes" is a thing of the younger generations. They look for them everywhere (both trading and non trading). Even my wife sometimes tries decoding and manipulating discount codes for online shopping to get an edge. It's only natural that they try it with the stock market.

The fact that we have so many brokers entering the field, and hurrying up to offer such complex financial instruments without fully understanding them, opens up the opportunities for them to overlook stuff. In the case of Guh guy, he actually was not the first to get infinite money. u/1r0nyman first discovered a variant of this exploit almost a year before Guh guy in a spectacular fashion.

The younger generation's mentality coupled with the speed at which the brokerage and financial industry is changing is the perfect combination to find and exploit these kinds of loop holes. There will undoubtedly be more of them.

NenPame432 karma

Your book title implies the stock market is a trap for millenials. Care to elaborate? Or is it just wallstreetbets

jartek560 karma

The message I meant to transmit with my book title, was that grown-ups (or boomers) are to blame for enabling risk-seeking millennials to treat the stock market the way they do.

Millennials certainly play their part for doing what they're doing with the market, but it wouldn't be possible if they didn't have the tools, motivation and regulatory blessing to do so.

Kiiasert339 karma

Thoughts on $TSLA?

Also, one of the mods said they fucked my mommy im scared?

jartek347 karma

I really want a model X

proptrader123326 karma

Howdy /u/jartek. Long time.

How many of the original wsb crew are still around?

jartek403 karma

Holy shit prop how've you been??? I'm good, thanks for asking. you?

How many of the original wsb crew are still around?

Most of them still hang out in IRC. I gave them a shout-out in the foreword:

To my good friends—park, talon, phaser, bacon, o2, rm, the russian, boshi, leesin, TL, greb, and rawb—thank you for the endless hours of fun, enlightening, educational, and inspirational conversations.

I'd have thrown you in there but haven't seen you in years. Hope you're well.

CandyCheetoSteamboat241 karma

Where would you recommend as a resource for getting a 'general knowledge introduction' to buying and selling stocks?

I checked out your subreddit, and while amusing, I was a bit lost. Lots of talk about "$5 puts" for "easy tendies" and the like.

I chuckled, but I don't think I'm smart enough to start on your sub.

PS: not a troll. Actually interested in learning about the stock market.

jartek53 karma

Yeah don't pretend to give any sort of investment advice, sorry. There's plenty of resources out there. Good luck!

bigfootlives823173 karma

Why do stonks only go up?

jartek342 karma

Because people fuck <---- serious answer.

-Haliax17 karma

Can you elaborate please?

ubiquitous_apathy88 karma

More people = more iphone sales

jartek14 karma

Something like that. Or to use a fancier term: inflation.

HauntedHairDryer152 karma

How long did it take before WSB became... what it is today?

jartek273 karma

There are certain elements that were always there. The sense of humor, the high appetite for risk, the trolls, etc.

But there have been changes. At one point, the sub was more focused on "trading." At least the language being used on posts and people's attitudes towards long-term self-preservation has evolved. I'd say around 2016 (right around when the term YOLO started bineg used) was when WSB started in a new direction to what it is today. It's also when it started with exponential growth

mortpo148 karma

Are you genuinely afraid of your creation?

jartek218 karma


mortpo120 karma

Follow up. Has the SEC ever contacted you?

jartek92 karma


micholas_norse137 karma

What’s your favorite STD you’ve contracted?

jartek115 karma

The kind associated with ADR.

strewnshank92 karma

I honestly can't tell, is r/wallstreetbets full of good advice, terrible advice, or a mix of the two that only people with good insight and market knowledge will be able discern between?

jartek236 karma

WSB is not a place for advice. It's a place for comfort.

derpacell85 karma

What the most money you've lost in a trade or bet?

jartek151 karma

hm... don't remember exactly. maybe 10k? my biggest blow-up of an account was 20k.

jackyalin12 karma

Those are rookie numbers. You want to blow 50k in a week shoot me a PM.

jartek20 karma

Yeah I'll admit, what people do today on WSB makes the old-school WSB look like peewee league. A $2k win back in the day was heroic, now its a rounding error.

JustTheWriter51 karma

What, if any, collective – regulatory, legal, etc – consequences do you think will (or could) follow the kinds of...shenanigans... that have recently plagued RobinHood (infinite leverage, the box spread debacle, etc)?

Do you think additional regulations à la Pattern Day Trading restrictions could be enacted to keep out – or limit – individual traders?

EDIT: words

jartek101 karma

I don't know. this is a good question and it's an important underlying topic of the book.

Regulatory agencies have a tough job because irresponsible traders aren't the only ones that are problematic. Brokers that allow them to behave the way that do, and institutions that provide them with ridiculous financial instruments to do it with are also at fault.

The biggest problem is the ingenuity displayed by the millennial and gen-x generation. They can run circles around the SEC and FINRA, pass "questionnaires" with flying colors, and find legal work-arounds to get the job done.

The government needs to look at the system as a whole and address the issue and consider all the moving parts. They also have to do so without harming serious investors. And right around the time they successfully figure that stuff out, zero-commission hft automation will be available world wide and they will have to start all over.

good-afternoon9 karma

What do you think of increasing the activity fees for higher frequency trading? Would it decrease risk?

jartek13 karma

Probably but it could have adverse unintended consequences. The financial system is extremely complicated and interconnected on a global scale. It's very difficult to predict what the result would be. HFTs do serve a very legitimate purpose. An example - making sure futures and underlying prices match up.

opiablame50 karma

Why did you leave the USA? I understand if you prefer not/can not answer.

jartek148 karma

I love Mexico. I was born and lived here until my early teens, and now I'm married to someone from here and my kids were born here as well.

That said I love the US as well. I spent nearly 20 years living coast to coast: DC, Chicago, Boston, SLC UT, San Jose CA. And one day a great opportunity presented itself down here, so I went for it. I'm dual citizen so I can go back and forth whenever.

GSD_LOVER43 karma

Have you ever actually traded a stonk outside of robinhood?

jartek88 karma

I don't have robinhood.

OzzyBuckshankNA41 karma

What about starting WSB are you most proud of?

jartek108 karma

I don't know, I suppose I don't really feel personally responsible for a lot of the stuff that takes place.

The growth has been entirely organic, so thanks goes to the users. I'll take some credit for the culture, having set the tone early on but the current mods kept it up and do a great job with it.

So I'd have to say the name. I'm most proud of the name I came up with. Turns out it was much more important than I could have anticipated.

Skeptophile7 karma

Did you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when u/CHAINSAW_VASECTOMY and the mod team pulled the hilarious April's fools?

jartek10 karma

That was a classic.

CSV is an invaluable mod and well respected member of WSB. He was also the loudest voice of reason warning people to stay away from box spreads when 1R0NYMAN was running around preaching risk free money

comradenas39 karma

What happens when an investment that is fool proof goes tits up?

jartek109 karma

it literally can't happen.

GSD_LOVER33 karma

What did you do before robinhood?

jartek69 karma

Never used robinhood. When I lived in the US I primarily used OptionsHouse (this was back in like 2012) for trading. They had the cheapest commissions. I used ToS for charts, which I still have and use. I had a bunch of other brokers that I used for specialized reasons but those were the primary ones.

Now I live in mexico so I use international brokers which are much different.

Aleman_22231 karma

What exactly is a FD?

jartek57 karma

it's a high risk options trading strategy, popular on wsb

Pm_Your_Duck_Pics28 karma

Do you feel that index funds are artificially inflating their underlying holdings?

If everyone is buying the same 500 stocks wouldn't anything left out of a arbitrary index be unfairly priced?

jartek41 karma

I know what you meant to ask, but the question makes no sense.

There's certainly inefficiencies that are caused by the existence of certain types of ETFs (but not necessarily indices), which can have inadvertent adverse side effects on the functionality of the markets. I see this more of a systemic risk than I do a fundamental inefficiency in "price valuation" of individual stocks.

bass162727 karma

How afraid is Wall Street of Bernie Sanders?

jartek57 karma

No idea. I have politically exhausted.

FlowSoSlow17 karma

Why is it boomers VS millenials? Hasn't high risk daytrading been a thing since long before millenials?

jartek54 karma

Yes absolutely. But being able to turn $2k into $1 million#Infinite_money) using "cheat codes" is very new. And so is the willingness for someone to try this just to YOLO (let alone a whole group of people).

What you see on WSB does not resemble daytrading in the slightest. They don't care about charts, or risk management, or anything that is sustainable in the long term. They're buying lottery tickets hoping to score big and walk away.

Beeboobumfluffy17 karma

Under what conditions do you see box spreads going tits up?

jartek69 karma

you don't understand how they work, they're risk free. you get paid when you open them.

Sakira-Cadman16 karma

How many of these millenials "traders" do you think will be out of the stock and have a hate for the stock market after the next recession?

jartek84 karma

I know what you meant to ask, but your question is flawed. These millennial traders don't care whether there's a recession or not. The thing about trading is they can bet that prices will go up as well as bet that they will go down. In theory, if you were to correctly predict that today is the top of the bull-run market and tomorrow will be the beginning of the recession, then WSB would simply change their betting strategy and bet against the market--and make money that way.

That said, I do fear that when market conditions change, many people in WSB will lose their sh*t. These market conditions have been insanely easy to trade and making money is a joke. It's easy for new traders to make tons of money, and just as easy for them to think it's their skill that got them there. As soon as we get some market volatility they will be humbled pretty quick and only seasoned traders who have seen markets that don't resemble vertical lines that point upwards will make it through.

kawaiian15 karma

What’s the intended audience for your book? What type of people have the most to gain from reading it? I don’t know anything about Wall Street - would I still enjoy this book?

jartek33 karma

You'll absolutely enjoy it. I wrote it with two audiences in mind: people who know nothing (or little) about the subject, as well as people who are well versed in finance (including WSB).

None of the explanations are technical in nature, and are accompanied by easy-to-understand analogies as well as real life stories. My wife, who knows nothing of finance, said she "started reading the book because I'm her husband but then she couldn't put it down until finished because it was very entertaining."

Chuck_Peligro15 karma

Do you think the quality of the writing in the first sentence of your IAMA description on this page will make people want to buy your book?

jartek96 karma

No clue. I paid professionals to grammar my english good for my libro.

TheChickening15 karma

Do you know what happened to /u/MartyMoho? The micron guy?

jartek16 karma

I do not

sixfourthree15 karma

Can you explain what a tendie is and the background for the joke / reference?

jartek75 karma

It's a reference to a chicken tenders. It's what people from WSB purport to buy with their profits from successful trades.

Under_the_Milky_Way13 karma

Generation X checking in. Do you people even know we exist?

jartek23 karma

What is gen x?

zpwe12 karma

bruh, youre still doing this ama 9 hours later ?

jartek13 karma

What can I say. I'm dedicated. To be fair I took an 8 hr break in between to freshen up.

cicalino9 karma

What's with this Boomers vs. Millennials language? Why are you turning this into a generational conflict? “Everything will be better once all the old people die off” is a lazy policy. It takes attention away from actually addressing the problem and instead fosters the millennials -as-victims mentality.

jartek20 karma

I don't want old people to die off, but I do believe there's a large generational component (largely addressed in the book) to why Wall Street is being used for gambling by millennials.

There are reasons I outline for explaining my reasoning, but by no means will "things be better" when anybody dies. It's an arbitrary line I drew to help contrast behavioral patterns as well as attitudes. I wouldn't do justice to my argument if I tried to summarize in a comments.

What I can point out, is that the difference in the behavior between generations is evident. There are no boomers on WSB throwing out YOLO trades. Instead they're on TV calling us psycopaths.

BlameItOnTrump8 karma

Does intervention by the Federal Reserve affect the stock market?

jartek14 karma

I believe it does.

youremumaregaye8 karma

Has the SEC ever contacted/tried to question you? I know the sub itself was investigated a couple times for insider trading

jartek15 karma

Really? Your insider information seems to be better than mine.

AFAIK the SEC has never contacted the sub to investigate. They definitely have never contacted me. Whether they've contacted the reddit admins or not is beyond my pay grade.

jongbag8 karma

What are your opinions on trading cryptocurrency? Have you ever dabbled yourself?

jartek14 karma

Crypto is interesting from an academic standpoint, it's not practical to trade. and no I have not. But check out r/AmericanPegasus. He apparently made and lost millions with it. I interviewed him as part of the book and was fascinated by his story. Sadly I wasn't able to make it fit into the bigger thesis so I didn't include him. It's still very interesting.

Paincoast898 karma

What led you to create the subreddit and did you intend for it to become what it has become today?

jartek16 karma

I certainly never intended it to become what it did today. I was motivated to have an alternative to r/investing where people could talk about riskier investment / trades.

I invited mods to help out and had a pretty hands-off approach to letting things go where they go. And, well, here we are.

Fake_William_Shatner5 karma

Can we stop saying "Boomers" made the casino? Every generation has to contend with the rich and powerful trying to rig the game -- the people of a certain age aren't buying Yachts to hold their Yachts. Nothing let's the Oligarchy off the hook more than getting the plebes to fight stupid turf wars.

It isn't Boomers, it isn't Jews it isn't Americans it isn't Saudis, it isn't any GROUP other than the Oligarchy. Who benefited? Who has $50 billion in an offshore account? Let's narrow the target because we have enough to deal with.

jartek4 karma

someone's judging things by their covers.

SwissMyCheeseYet4 karma

A month ago, I took $75 and invested it in 4 companies I picked on gut instinct and a little bit of logic (one's a cannabis company). As of today, I am at 9.92% gain, and it feels pretty cool; although I'm not sure how cool I should be feeling about that.

But I guess my question is, what's an easily avoidable mistake that many newbies make when dabbling in investing?

jartek8 karma

WSB doesn't really do much investing. What they do barely constitutes as trading -- they make bets.

Depending on what your goals are, my advice would vary widely but I'd just tell you to be careful with early success. I've seen tons of lucky newbies let their success early on (due to luck) get to their head, only to watch it blow up in their face .

Ghostz183 karma

Thoughts on cryptocurrencies? Do you have a favorite?

jartek10 karma

They're interesting from an academic standpoint. I have little interest in trading them. If for no other reason, they offer shitty technical conditions (like low volume and wide spreads).

ZekoriAJ3 karma

What are some tips you can give to someone, who's never traded before but is willing to try?

jartek20 karma

Beginners luck is a curse, not a blessing. Trade what you can afford to lose, stay humble, and enjoy it.

MILE0132 karma

If I’m a college student, should I invest at all? How do you recommend investing with relatively little capital?

jartek18 karma

I'm really not the person to ask. Not sure if you read the description but I represent a forum that dedicates itself to gambling.

freddyv32 karma

What was your biggest gain from a single play?

jartek3 karma

... not sure, maybe 10-15k?

Vicodinner2 karma

How old are you? Have you lived and traded through a significant bear market?

jartek4 karma

39 - Yes. (edit: formatting caused my age to make it a numbered bullet point)

yolotarded2 karma

Do you trade/invest? How does your portfolio look like? Tell us something about finance in your life. Thanks!

jartek4 karma

I trade, but I wouldn't call it a portfolio. I used to trade options when I lived in the US but now I trade CFDs - since that's what these international brokers offer. They're leveraged instruments that are good enough. In the past few years I've gotten heavy into forex and index futures.

BrundleBee2 karma

What are your credentials?

jartek4 karma

As it pertains to trading? I suppose you'll think my undergrad in econ and masters in finance are relevant but it's really not. To trade, the majority of people really need to know basic arithmetic and stats. No need to know how or why numbers bounce around the screen the way they do.

As it pertains to the book, it's more relevant. I explore the moral hazards, risk asymmetries, microeconomic incentives among the various actors, etc.

Ardesic532 karma

Whats my quote in the book?

jartek6 karma

Whats my quote in the book?

idk, you'll have to remind me later when i'm not answering all these questions to go find it. what makes you think you're in the book if you don't know what you said?

Brunosrog2 karma

This is all very intresting to me. Does this all stem from the 2008 financial crisis and professional trader's over use off credit default swaps or is this referring to purely amateur investment?

jartek3 karma

I do believe the 2008 financial crisis played a role in all of this, but it's not because of the CDS - but rather the culture it created afterwards. Younger generation got hurt by the crisis and completely lost confidence/respect for the financial system. And as such are giving it the respect it deserves by using it to YOLO.

wolahipirate2 karma

What are your thoughts on factor investing?

jartek3 karma

factor investing? don't know what that is.

wotdsm2 karma

Wtf is a casino for millennials?

jartek7 karma

Wall Street is.

warren_buffoon1 karma

What's the origin of your username?

jartek2 karma

I don't really remember how I came up with it but it's a combination of my initials and the fact I like technology j.a.r.tek (Jaime Aaron Rogozinski)

tempe19911 karma

Why the picture of the sub an obvious baby trump?

jartek3 karma

I don't know. TBH I'm not sure which of the mods designed the logo. I give them lots of free reign.

Midgetfarm1 karma

Your bearish or bullish for 2020?

jartek5 karma

I've been the biggest critic of permabears since I started learning about the market. December 2018 I made the fatal flaw of publicly turning bearish and got my ass handed to me.

I'm no longer bearish until the market becomes a bear market. Until then buy calls.