Need to Know: Here are the five dumbest ways you could have gotten rich in 2021


After a record-breaking start to the week for stocks, markets are looking less charged for Tuesday. A two-day Federal Reserve meeting is kicking off in what will also be a big week for data with payrolls at the end of it.

We send a hat tip to Reformed Broker’s Downtown Josh Brown and Irrelevant Investor’s Michael Batnick for leading us to our call of the day from blogger and traveler Jack Raines.

Raines, who quit his job to travel the world and writes about it at Backpackin’, is behind the Young Money blog, with such entries as All My Homies Hate Taxes and Bitcoin or Bitcon?.

We zero in on his most recent post, Play Dumb, Get Rich, where Raines (inspired by the below tweet) explores the millions that could have been made in 2021 by investing in five really dumb ideas the moment they began going viral.

His rules: An investor starts the year with $100,000 and plans to invest $20,000 into “five incredibly dumb ideas” as soon as they get wind of them, and not on any real news, just hype. Then he adds the returns. Here we go:

You got in on Jan 4., long after you read a WallStreetBets post of October, 2020 that got the crazy ball rolling on the videogame retailer. The month is full of news and momentum, the stock hits $327, and you get out at your sell limit, $300. Your original stake is worth $347,826 just 22 days later; portfolio value $427,826.

That same month, the viral meme cryptocurrency of a Shiba Inu was starting to take off, but you didn’t hear about it until February. You buy $20,000 on April Fools’ Day 2021 at $0.06, with a sell limit at $0.69. Helped by more tweets by Tesla CEO and Doge enthusiast Elon Musk, it hits $0.72, you sell at $0.69, and your investment is worth $230,000 in 36 days. Your portfolio is up to $637,826.

$MAGA. Former President Donald Trump’s media group goes public via SPAC
Its valuation is based on Trump’s prior social media following, without revenue, media content or even a functioning website. You buy on Oct. 27 for $10.50 a share, with a sell order of $100. The next day it hits $175, and you’re out, making $190,476 in one day. Portfolio value $808,302.

SHIB. You picked up another Shiba Inu-inspired meme cryptocurrency at $0.000006 in September for no other reason than you whizzed past one of those cute dogs while jogging. You set a sell order set at $0.00008, with low expectations. It goes nuclear in October, and in a month your $20,000 is worth $266,667. Your portfolio is up to $1,054,969.

NFT. Ah, the nonfungible token world, which you got wind of via “NBA Top Shots” in February. You bone up and then comes CryptoPunks and NFT artwork that sells for millions. Then EtherRocks — 100 animated rocks from 2017 — get your attention. You pick up one for $20,000, sell for $1.2 million, making that amount in a month. Your portfolio is worth a grand total of $2,234,969.

Here’s Raines summing up: “So should you just throw your money into your five dumbest ideas next year? Lol no. For everyone one of these successes, there are dozens of fortunes lost and bagholders created. Still, it’s pretty wild to consider how much money was made in these wild trades.”

“However, if you have to try for one of these home runs, keep it small. If you’re right, small is all you need. If you’re wrong, small is all you want. If you get lucky, maybe your trade can make the list for 2022,” he said. Check out Raines’ post and more here.

The buzz


shares are sliding, after CEO Elon Musk questioned the stock rally related to the recent Hertz

deal that he said isn’t signed yet. Tesla is also recalling more than 11,000 vehicles due to a software glitch.


shares are tumbling, after the materials and chemicals company posted an earnings beat, but cut its full-year outlook. Separately, DuPont announced a deal to buy Rogers Corp. 

for $5.2 billion in cash and those shares are up around 30%. 


posted a beat, with ConocoPhilips

and Under Armour

still to come, followed by Amgen
Activision Blizzard

and Caesars Entertainment

after the market close, to name a few.

Chegg stock

is down 30%, after the online education provider posted a miss amid an industry “slowdown”.

At the U.N.’s COP26 climate summit, President Joe Biden is set to announce a tougher stance on methane emissions. Meanwhile, some carping over hundreds of private jets used to ferry leaders and VIPs like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos:

Listen to the Best New Ideas in Money podcast

The markets


Stock futures



are mostly steady, with most assets holding steady as the Fed meeting kicks off. The 10-year Treasury yield

is slipping, currently around 1.5506%.

The chart

Note, Beijing sparked some online concern after telling families to stock up on food for the winter and officials to work on supply and ensuring prices.

Random read

$3.3 million netted in an alleged “Squid Game” coin scam.

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