Stuck at home without a job during the pandemic, Kelly Mills initially turned to video games for escape. Then she decided to try her hand at a real world game: the stock market.
“I figured if I’m putting this much effort into the trading of these fictitious turnips, then surely I can figure out how the actual stock market works,” she says.
Soon the 34-year-old from Louisiana, who worked in the film industry, was following company rumours on Reddit, dialling into executive conference calls and tracking share prices as obsessively as posts on Instagram.
“I’m cooped up, I’m bored, I’ve got nothing better to do,” she says. “This isn’t me trying to make money. I’m just trying to pass the time.”
Like Ms Mills, millions of new investors in the US have piled into stocks in recent months, enabled by a dramatic crash in share prices in March, online brokerages