May 24 • 16M

What's next for the retail investor?

 
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Counterintuitive ideas about building digital communities.
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In 2018/2019 I felt certain that the “retail” investor was on the rise. I was extremely excited about all of the new applications being built to service this class, and even started a 10-part podcast series documenting apps like Robinhood, Public, etc.

My thesis was basically that, for the first time, individual investors had access to more knowledge, information, and opportunities than ever before. This was when we saw…

  • Public blockchains launch, with alt-coins functioning as pseudo-VC

  • Rolling Funds, both lead by and invested in by individuals

  • New financial tools and primitives, apps like Composer or Uniswap.

Then, fueled by stimulus and lockdowns, the retail investor had its moment in the sun.

There were a few key moments that stick out to me which have happened since then:

  1. The AMC/Gamestop/Robinhood moment.

  2. The fundraising for “ConsitutionDAO”

  3. Ukraine aid in the form of cryptocurrency donations

All three of these were about the coordination of capital by a large set of retail investors.

Money is a way to coordinate energy and attention.

These moments gave hints at a future wherein, by coordinating capital, crowds can direct attention and resources on a dime. This, no doubt, has massive political ramifications.

The pushback against crypto bills in congress, and the support that has come with politicians using crypto to garner political capital also hint at the way that there is a new overlap between the world of media and influencers and finance.

What I don’t know is where this trend goes, if anywhere at all? Will retail traders have this type of power/influence in coordination in the future?

One thought: I can’t help but think that retail was sucked into the last push of the bubble which is now being drained of liquidity.

In today’s podcast I share some thoughts on where this is might be going.


XX I’m David Sherry, I coach early-stage founders, invest in crypto, and write on the overlap of investing, crypto, and the creator economy.

You can join my Telegram chat for more real-time notes on what I’m thinking.