How I Got Sucked Into a Discord Stock-Trading Group and Made Thousands

Reddit’s WallStreetBets isn’t the only online hangout for passionate amateur traders

Omar L. Gallaga
Marker
Published in
11 min readFeb 23, 2021

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The Discord app displayed on the screen of an iPhone.
Photo: Fabian Sommer/picture alliance/Getty

Just around dawn, before I’ve brushed my teeth, fed the cat, or even put on my glasses, my iPhone hovers glowing just above my face as I launch my trading app. From first glance, I can tell if it’s a red morning (market dumping) or a green one (the bulls are buying). I glance over the gains/losses percentages in my positions tab. If there’s a huge deviation — if bitcoin surged overnight and my shares of MARA, a bitcoin-adjacent stock, have skyrocketed, for instance — I might put in an order to sell shares, or adjust an existing order.

Next, I jump into my Discord app and race through alert channels on Xtrades, a paid discussion group I joined back in November where amateur analysts share tips. When the GameStop meme-stock bubble blew up in late January, attracting a swarm of new investors, I’d already been in the Discord group long enough to understand what was happening and why it might be best to avoid jumping in. When Dogecoin and bitcoin rose dramatically, I was already positioned to benefit from some of the related interest in stocks I was holding. Groups like WallStreetBets and communities such as StockTwits have attracted lots of users and media attention, but the relative calm and order on Xtrades appeals to me, someone who is still finding my feet in trading.

When I check Xtrades each morning, I’m searching for advice, tips, and signals. There’s a guy on there named Wags. I don’t know anything about him, but his morning plays are incredible. If he’s confident with a short-term day trade, I will probably follow, throwing $100 to $250 to follow a trade that he’s engaging in. When I feel like I’ve done all I can in the 10 minutes between waking and when trades can actually go through (7 a.m. central), I get coffee. I’ll be at my desktop computer when options trading starts at 8:30 a.m.

This didn’t used to be my life. I didn’t used to obsess over stocks or cash-covered puts or the halo effect of bitcoin prices. Now, I might be a little bit addicted to what at first felt like gambling, but now feels like a lifestyle choice.

Dipping my toes into day

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Omar L. Gallaga
Marker

Tech culture writer and podcaster, now freelancing in Texas. Bylines: Washington Post, WSJ, CNN, NPR, Wired, Texas Monthly. Here for all your wordy needs.