(WCCO/CBS Local) — A Minnesota man has ridden the GameStop stock wave to some big bucks that he’s using on charitable giving.
Hunter Kahn, 20, cashed in big on last week’s rally that was propelled by an online Reddit forum called “Wall Street Bets.” He bought six Nintendo Switches, and games, to donate to Children’s Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis.
“It was a better feeling than waking up in the morning and seeing that [GameStop’s stock price] was on the moon,” Kahn said. “I love video games. I know it would be terrible being a kid in a hospital with like no joy helping them through.”
Kahn’s post on Reddit about his donation has more than 175,000 “upvotes,” which is Reddit’s version of likes. Many amateur investors like Kahn purchased GameStop stock to beat wealthy hedge funds at their own game.
“A lot of people are saying that this is somewhat like a transfer of power, but if the money’s going from here just to the other side, there’s no difference if we just are acting the same way as the people that we’re criticizing,” Kahn said. “It’s important that we don’t become men in suits ourselves, and use our money for good.”
Paul Vaaler, a business and law professor at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, says the GameStop story shows the power of the internet. He’s less bullish on this populist investing movement sustaining itself long-term.
“Getting a mob to move in one direction is a tough thing to do,” Vaaler said. “In this case, they did. Don’t hold your breath that it’s going to happen again soon.”
Despite his success, Kahn says he doesn’t want to work on Wall Street or in finance. He’s an engineering student whose dream is to build spaceships for Elon Musk.