This film retells the true story of GameStop and its investors from late 2020 until around March 10th 2021 - but that is only the beginning.
Hollywood the Storyteller
The Big Short (2015) was based on a novel from March 2010, allowing time for the dust to settle before piecing together its visual approach the crash of 2008 and worked to display each step of the crisis. Conversely, Dumb Money is based on a novel from September of 2021, and can only tell the beginning stages of an ongoing story. New chapters are still being written in real time with real people all around us today.
Dumb Money ends just before the greatest twist is revealed: retail investors have had a secret weapon for decades, and it is only recently becoming understood and utilized.
Direct Registration is Discovered
The most crucial financial discovery since the events covered in this film is that retail investors have the option to hold shares in their own name rather than leaving custody to the broker.
This revelation can not be understated. That's right - investors buying through a broker don't own them by default. Investors keeping shares in a retirement fund don't own those shares either. The SEC released a bulletin in July 2023 helping to explain these types of ownership you can find here, and also check out posts from FINRA, NASDAQ, or Investor.gov.
When stock is bought through a broker, an entitlement to profit and loss and to voting rights is provided to the investor - called Beneficial Ownership. This nuance enabled "turning off the buy button" and while this move was powerful, it was unprecedented at this scale, and it inspired thousands of dedicated activist investors to familiarize themselves with the market and educate others about ownership and about DRS.
A Summary So Far
After buying shares at the market, investors have access to them through their broker, which entails buying and selling even though they are not the owner. Cede and Company, nominee of the centralized depository DTCC, is the legal owner of most shares in the United States. Effectively, this equates to other people and organizations potentially using "your" shares - legally - without your knowledge or consent.
The market will never be the same. The battle to expose Wall Street corruption is ongoing - and, again, you can help. The Direct Registration System is one of the most valuable market functions household investors have, and each investor deserves to know the protections available to them through self custodial ownership.
The Story Continues...
Since March 2021, looking at the chart for GameStop will show a slowly declining line. It seems at a glance that the fervor which led to the explosive market growth shown in Dumb Money has passed by. However, the passion of retail investors has only grown since then - shown in the growing amount of those investors utilizing DRS to hold stock in their own name.
This passion from investors is what makes GameStop unique. As far as we have seen, there has never been more individual investors holding as much of a company's total shares than what is happening with GameStop today.
GameStop started reporting DRS ownership information in their quarterly financial filings starting in October of 2021, and that number has been growing or steady ever since. You can see this reflected below, and a full interactive version of this graph on our homepage. Investors own about 25% of GameStop through DRS.
Benefits of Direct Registration
Although Direct Registration offers benefits to both the investor and to the issuer, it isn't the best holding style for every trading style. Day traders, for example, are likely to prefer the benefits of holding with a broker rather than in your own name. The WhyDRS.org Information Packet is a great deep dive for the curious.
In general, benefits of Direct Registration are going to be more appealing to long term investors, such as:
🟣 Investors can guarantee deliver of their shares
🟣 Investors secure their shares from borrowers and short sellers
🟣 Every vote cast from DRS holdings will be counted
🟣 Investors have the ability to communicate with the issuer directly
🟣 Investors can submit shareholder proposals much more easily
🟣 Positions are protected in case of broker insolvency
🟣 Receive dividends first, and are taxed on those dividends more favorably.
The company also benefits through reduction in cost of corporate action and having a more direct understanding and communication with the distributed stockholders who support the company.
From March 10th to Today: GameStop's Next Chapter
Financial Outlook // Take Control of your Investment // What is a Transfer Agent? // Opening a Computershare Account // GME Timeline of Important Events // Take Ownership Back // Section 7 // Section 8
GameStop has a $1.3bil position in cash or in cash equivalents and is well positioned for a sustainable future. GameStop holds effectively no debt in a continually higher-than-normal high interest rate environment, with a low-interest French loan pertaining to COVID-19 the only debt carried and amounting to $41mil.
Check the Q2 2023 Earnings Report for more recent details.
Insiders continue to buy more shares regularly, with Ryan Cohen maintaining the largest piece of ownership for a single individual. Ryan Cohen had great success in the past with Chewy, and gaming is a larger market than pet products with a recognized market of over $340 billion in 2022. GameStop is a household name.
Ryan Cohen and other insiders together own about 13% of GameStop, and a larger portion is owned by retail investors through direct registration. About 25% of the company is recorded to be officially owned by regular people all around the world (this doesn't include most retirement accounts! Only one kind can be DRS) - and GameStop is unique in this distribution and ownership. Check Computershared.net for more.
Take control of your investment
When a typical investor initially buys shares through a broker, they will need to go through another step to move those shares into their own names and claim legal title. As shown in the SEC Bulletin from 7/12/23 or on similar articles hosted on FINRA, NASDAQ, or Investor.gov - shares bought with a broker or "street name" shares legally belong to Cede and Co until DRS is complete and the retail investor can take ownership.
Here on DRSGME.org, we have step by step guides for well over a hundred brokers worldwide so that all investors can hold directly with the issuing company and maintained by the Transfer Agent.
What is a Transfer Agent?
Each publicly traded company must maintain an ongoing record of all ownership in their company. This ongoing record is called a ledger, and while companies can maintain this record themselves, most choose to contract out this responsibility to a Transfer Agent. Transfer Agents track real time ownership, distribute shareholder information such as proxies or statements, and maintain sponsored issuer plans.
Computershare is the largest transfer agent by market share in the world, providing services for many large and popular stocks such as Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Disney, Amazon - and GameStop.
Once an investor has an account at Computershare, reviewing shares and positions for which you are the legal title holder can be accomplished with a single login.
Opening a Computershare Account
The steps to open an account will vary depending on where an investor lives. DRSGME.org has detailed guides available on this page.
When your first DRS transfer from a broker is completed, an account will be made at the Transfer Agent automatically. However, international investors can have a harder time completing their first DRS transfer as some international brokers do not support DRS or charge high fees to complete them.
In these cases, GiveAshare is a service which allows anyone to DRS any share for anyone else in the world, using only the recipients name and address. Check out this guide at WhyDRS.org for more information.
GME Timeline of Important Events
The events mentioned in the Dumb Money movie are only the first chapter in an ongoing story. This website is only one of the many community driven resources inspired by the greed of Wall Street and Hedge Funds.
Check out the following timeline websites for chronology and key milestones in this financial revolution.
More important than anything else, direct registration provides the best chance to expose and hold Wall Street accountable for destroying families and lives across the nation and world.
GameStop has a shareholder-base which shows loyalty like nothing the market's seen before - and who are DRSing more shares every single day and creating resources like this one to talk about it. It's unprecedented.
Read about your rights as an investor. Tell your friends and family. Your labor equity and your retirement savings can be used against you by nefarious actors capitalizing on this bizarre ownership structure. You have the protected right to become the legal title holder to your investments. Use it.