By the time Robert Misener heard about GameStop Corp.’s frenzied rally in January, the meme stock was already well on its way to becoming a national sensation. For the 50-year-old Florida resident, it was a signal to buy.
Mr. Misener, who in the past had largely invested in blue-chip companies, was gripped by a fear of missing out and excited by talk of squeezing hedge funds. He pulled the trigger, near the top, buying as high $349.48 a share.
Then, the videogame retailer’s stock crashed—and crashed hard. Within days, it appeared Mr. Misener’s hopes for big gains had evaporated.
Mr. Misener’s story could have ended there. Instead, in February, as GameStop’s stock careened toward $40, Mr. Misener did what at the time seemed unthinkable: He kept buying. Amid the wreckage, he started discovering there was a lot to like about GameStop, he said. He bought in again, and again—seeing it as an investment in the company’s future.
Today, Mr. Misener has earned more than $18,500 in paper profits from his GameStop position, buoyed in part by a surprise resurgence in meme stocks over the past two weeks. GameStop, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and other stocks popular with individual investors on social media have soared and swung wildly in recent sessions, even as the broader stock market has been stuck in place.