Meet the Stock Market's New Investors

A new wave of mostly young and fearless individual investors is taking the stock market by storm.

Stock trader David Nathanson sitting on a couch smiling at the camera.
David Nathanson, 30, began trading stocks to ward off lockdown boredom and stay connected with friends.
(Image credit: Photograph by Gina LeVay)

David Nathanson remembers the moment when the frenzied and risky world of day trading took hold of him. While working at home in late January during the pandemic, his phone lit up with a text from a friend: “Look what’s happening with GameStop!”

The 30-year-old software account exec from Brooklyn, N.Y., wasn’t totally new to investing when the troubled video game retailer became an overnight sensation earlier this year, going from a brick-and-mortar Wall Street laggard to a white-hot “meme” stock. In March 2020, to ward off lockdown boredom and stay connected to friends who were trading stocks on investing apps, he signed up with a discount broker. He invested $5,000, mainly in stable buy-and-hold stocks. Apple. Walt Disney. General Motors. “My little pod of blue chips,” he calls them. But aside from a winning trade in COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna (“I felt like a genius,” he says), nothing got him excited about investing.

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Contributing Writer