Church took part in the GameStop and Tesla craze, security deposits show
(ABC4) – As it turns out, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appears to be one of those “diamond-handed” groups, taking GameStop and Tesla “to the MOON” earlier this year.
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Recent security deposits show that the Church’s investment arm, Ensign Peak Advisors, has bought a large amount of GameStop shares – 46000 to be exact – towards the end of 2020. At the time of this purchase, the interest was valued at less than $ 1 million, or $ 867,000.
Following the short stock squeeze in the video game retailer, which was catapulted by movement to a Reddit forum called “Wall Street Bets” in the first quarter of 2021, the value of that purchase has exploded. Ensign Peak indicated that these 46,000 shares were worth $ 8,732,000 at the end of the first quarter of 2021, which means the hedge fund made a profit of over 900% on its investment at that time.
The GameStop share price has fluctuated this week, but if Ensign Peak maintains “diamond hands” and owns those shares, the stake would be worth $ 7,727,540 at market opening time on Thursday.
ABC4 contacted Ensign Peak to find out if the fund planned to keep its GameStop holdings, but calls were not immediately returned.
The stock market phenomenon GameStop took American culture by storm in January 2021 when the Reddit community coordinated to ease a short squeeze on the company’s stock market value, increasing the struggling video game retailer’s stock further. by 1500%. GameStop action started the month with a value of $ 17.25 and reached an all-time high of $ 483 on January 28, with no other reasoning than the rallying support of Internet bros, social media and the ease of stock trading on platforms such as Robinhood.
Phrases coined on Reddit, such as “Diamond Hands,” which identified GameStop shareholders unwilling to sell their stock despite market volatility, and “TO THE MOON,” expressing their enthusiasm for the astronomical increase in value stocks, have become commonplace on social media and in the American vernacular due to the craze.
Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk, who is said to have also raised and lowered other markets such as cryptocurrency Dogecoin with his remarks on Twitter, was in the mania. He sent a simple tweet, “Gamestonk !!”, a play about a popular meme, after the action from GameStop hit $ 200 on Jan.26.
Interestingly, Ensign Peak also cashed in Tesla shares, bringing his holdings in the Musk company to a value of $ 433 million, according to the same regulatory filings.
The Church was criticized in December 2019, when David Nielsen, a former employee of Ensign Peak Advisors, revealed evidence that the hedge fund had climbed to a value of $ 100 billion and alleged that the Church had abused of that money, which had been collected by tithing funds. and intended for charitable purposes, Nielsen claims.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responded to Nielsen with the following statement.
“We take seriously the responsibility of caring for tithing and donations received from members. The vast majority of these funds are used immediately to meet the needs of the growing Church, including more meeting places, temples, education, humanitarian work, and missionary efforts around the world. For many years, a part is methodically safeguarded thanks to judicious financial management and the constitution of a prudent reserve for the future. It is a strong doctrinal and financial principle taught by the Savior in the parable of the talents and lived by the Church and its members. All Church funds exist for no other reason than to support the Church’s divinely appointed mission.
The statement made on December 18, 2019 continued:
“The complaints currently disseminated are based on a narrow perspective and limited information. The Church complies with all applicable laws governing our donations, investments, taxes and reserves. We continue to welcome the opportunity to work with officials to answer any questions they may have. “
ABC4 has contacted the Church for comment on the GameStop action fills; we will update this article if any requests for comment are returned.