Day 9 of the Afrobloggers WABC.
I learnt something about the stock market, and how some people on Reddit tried to turn Wall Street upside down! I hope you learn something new!
Oh and everyone that’s falling for Mawuli, please calm down 😀 I have a feeling you have some Mawuli in your life, and you’ve pushed him into the friendzone…. please release him 😛
“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”
– Dale Carnegie
The internship was with an art company that curated art for different procurement companies. They dealt with very different clientele, and I was mostly supposed to help sell paintings and sculptures, help them place values on them. For the most part, I was really only going to shadow someone that was doing the real work.
They also had a digital art component which was great, because while I could paint and do my artwork, the digitalization part was still something I needed to work on.
I was to shadow Sheena. She was a very sophisticated young woman – about 5’11, with very light skin, a pointed nose, and naturally long overly curly hair… traits that told you that she most likely was not fully Ghanaian. Sheena was very beautiful. And she knew it. She wore clothes that accentuated her features and knew how to make sure all eyes were on her!
“So, the main part of what we do is to decide which of our clients like which kind of art. We have a standard consultation with each of them, to discuss their wants and needs, and of course, their budgets. Based on that, we put together a portfolio, and they get to go through that, and decide which pieces they want.”
“Sometimes, there’s no available artwork based on what they want. We either create the artwork they want or import something they request specifically. Yours is not much of a paid position, you already know that, but beyond the National Service allowance, we will give you a commission on any pieces that you help sell. And we will provide you with breakfast, lunch and transportation… hopefully that should help cut it for you.”
“Oh, and keep in mind that here, the client is always right. No matter what! Our customer service is top priority, and so you need to learn how to work it out. Don’t worry, it’s one of the first things anyone learns here.”
I was honestly in awe of it all. It seemed surreal. First of all, how did I know anything about these people when I was still in school?
She took me around and showed me where my office space would be. I shared it with three young men. A deputy financial advisor, Kwesi, and two digital artists Mensah and Nii Ayi.
They seemed really nice, and everyone was willing to teach or offer help.
Another thing I was excited about was that nobody sent me on their lunch errands. Because according to a few of my colleagues from school, that was all they were considered good for at their new workplaces!
Over lunch, there was usually banter about one thing or the other. Today, Mensah and Kwesi got into a stock market discussion. I knew absolutely nothing about the stock market, so I sat down and just listened.
“Okay, let me explain, you look a little confused.”
“In the past year, the stock market has just been dramatic! Because of the pandemic, many many companies have suffered financial setbacks. The two we will talk about today are AMC and GameStop. AMC Entertainment holdings is an American movie theater chain… Largest in the world. GameStop is an American video game and electronics retailer.”
“Make sense so far?”
“Hedge fund managers – a.k.a the financial bigwigs or top-shots or the wallstreet gurus, placed a bet that these companies were going to fail. Which sort of made sense because nobody was going to the cinemas or arcades during the pandemic. Now if that actually happened, the betters were going to make a boatload of money!
So, some normal everyday retail investors and individuals mobilized themselves through Reddit… you know the app right? In a group called WallStreetBets, just to fight back these bigwigs.”
I smiled and nodded again.
“So they bought millions of these shares on trading platforms such as Robinhood and Webull, to counterattack the hedge funds. That meant that the top-shots would end up losing their money instead.”
“Now pay attention… Because this is why we are boycotting Robinhood. When they noticed this attack, they closed down their trading apps, so that people couldn’t trade as planned. And that meant that they were probably in some dealings with the hedge funds. Because it appeared they didn’t want the hedge funds to lose money.”
“Now people started panic selling their shares and in the end, the bigshots didn’t lose as planned… and many of the regular investors ended up losing a lot of money.”
“Keep in mind that this is something that the hedge fund managers do all the time. And it’s considered fine. But when regular individuals from Reddit tried to do it. Robin Hood didn’t let them!”
“And now, it’s an ongoing war between the retail investors and hedge fund managers. The retail investors are anticipating a big “squeeze.” – a grand rise in the stock prices for them to make so much money, at the expense of the wall street top-shots!”
“This is overly simplified, but I hope it makes some sense.”
I kept looking from Kwesi to Mensah, as they spoke, and before lunch was over, I had learnt about this reddit saga, the different stocks to trade in and what to not even think about!
I liked that even though I was there for specific work, I was getting more and more knowledgeable in other fields!
It intrigued Mawuli so much how much I enjoyed working there.
“I wish I could say this about the first place I worked at. The only thing I learnt properly was the different waakye orders of each of my bosses!”
I knew it wasn’t as bad as he made it sound, but that was something that needed to disappear. Interns were not there to run errands!
I’m enjoying work so far. It’s definitely a lot of work, but it’s not so bad when the people are amazing and are working just as hard themselves. Sometimes we can stay in close to midnight, just putting portfolios together. But then when the clients are really satisfied, it’s all worth it! I haven’t seen much of Mawuli this week, because work got crazy for him. He’s picking me up to therapy next week though. I’m surprised how much I miss him!
PS. A really big Thank You to my maanzz, who helped with most of the research for this!!