Skip to content

Retail Traders Trail Professional Stock Pickers by Most Ever

  • Stocks favored by mom-and-pop continue to underperofrm
  • Losses in Tesla, Beyond Meat contributed to gauge’s rout
Shoppers wait to enter a store on Black Friday.
Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg

Individual investors, who reaped eye-popping returns that made some pros chuckle earlier this year, are facing a moment of reckoning. 

The obsession with risk-on assets -- short-handed by the term YOLO for “you only live once” -- was a blessing for amateur traders during the meme-stock craze. Well, it’s since turned into a curse as the going got rough in every nook of the stock market last week. A basket of the 50 most-popular stocks among individual investors plunged 7.8% last week, trailing companies most-favored by mutual funds by 5.8 percentage points, the most ever, data compiled by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. show.