At the beginning of 2021, the share price of GameStop, a video game retailer, skyrocketed in what was later termed a short squeeze. Keith Gill, known to many until then by his online name, Roaring Kitty, was seen as someone who forecasted the increase in the price and talked about it on social media. This led to others buying up the shares and driving up the value. Netflix’s ‘Eat the Rich: The GameStop Saga’ is a three-part docuseries that explores what happened and how Keith’s positioning seemed to have affected the stock market, making one wonder where he is today as well.
The Man With the Diamond Hands
Born in 1986, Keith Patrick Gill is the son of Elaine and Steve Gill and grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts. He was a long-distance runner in high school and then went to Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. Keith graduated in 2009 with an Accounting major, but he was also an established athlete who won many accolades. During his time at the university, Keith participated in cross country and track events and earned All-America honors.
Sometime after that, Keith became interested in investing and eventually took up a job with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. in 2019. He worked as a Financial Wellness Education Director with them and held the designation of a chartered financial analyst. In June 2019, Keith noticed that GameStop’s stock price had decreased. At the time, he believed the company was undervalued, so he bought call options. Over time, Keith continued to analyze the company and bought more shares.
Around that time, Keith began to post on WallStreetBets, a forum on Reddit. There, Keith would post screenshots of his trade accounts and showed that he put in more than $50,000 into GameStop, a move widely seen by many as something that wouldn’t work. Many hedge funds bet on GameStop failing and against its stock back then. In this scenario, hedge funds would sell the shares and hope to repurchase them at a lower price, pocketing the difference.
Keith also had a YouTube channel called Roaring Kitty, where he analyzed stocks and talked about why he thought GameStop was an excellent investment. In August 2020, Ryan Cohen, the founder of a pet food site, bought a stake in GameStop, increasing its share price. What Keith was doing appeared to have encouraged many other online traders to buy GameStop shares. As a result, the hedge funds that bet on GameStop failing began to lose money as the share price went up. This increase is termed a short squeeze.
Keith later stated that he didn’t entirely bank on that phenomenon but knew others did. Eventually, GameStop, which trended at $4 in 2020, rose to a high of $483 at one point in January 2021. Many used apps like Robinhood and WeBull that charge no fee for trading; consequently, many began buying up GameStop shares. It appeared that the common motivation for these multiple first-time investors was possibly fueled by revenge against Wall Street.
Keith Gill After the GameStop Short Squeeze
The sudden increase in the number of buyers on Robinhood prompted the company to restrict buying GameStop stock. The value continued to fluctuate wildly, with Keith’s share value going up to $48 million before coming down. All of this led to a congressional hearing where Keith testified. As per the show, he was accused of market manipulation, but he always maintained that he did not provide investment advice in exchange for money.
Keith said during his testimony, “I did not solicit anyone to buy or sell the stock for my own profit. I did not belong to any groups trying to create movements in the stock price. I never had a financial relationship with any hedge fund. I had no information about GameStop except what was public. I did not know any people inside the company, and I never spoke to any insider.”
While Keith has maintained a low profile since everything has happened, he has continued to invest more in GameStop. Keith has stood by his initial assessment that the company would make a turnaround. He added, “In short, I like the stock. And what’s stunning is that, as far as I can tell, the market remains oblivious to GameStop’s unique opportunity within the gaming industry.” Keith seems to live in Wilmington, Massachusetts, with his wife, Caroline, and their young daughter. He worked at an office supplies company and a software startup before moving on to the financial world.
In an interview in January 2021, Keith said that he never imagined the GameStop trade would change his life the way it did. Keith added that it was of great help to his family, especially after a challenging 2020 where he lost his sister. Furthermore, Keith hoped to use the money to buy a house and later build an indoor track in Brockton. He also wished to continue making YouTube videos; Roaring Kitty has over half a million subscribers despite Keith not being active for about a year.