With $1,000 in savings and two US government stimulus checks, Chris Zettler began investing in 2020. First he bought companies he knew, he says, “but then I got bored with it”. He moved on to call options in companies with volatile share-prices, riding the price swings. He used a win to buy 100 shares in the meme stock AMC at $30 in May and sold at about $65 in June.
The 35-year-old finance major at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, had a TD Ameritrade account that allowed him to trade on margin (borrowing money from the brokerage to amplify potential returns) and place nearly $8,000 in bets with his original $4,000 of capital. He turned that into $18,000.