I had every intention of being all done with this very fun project, and then …
So some glorious, generous ape (who would like to remain anonymous) went ahead and funded/launched another GCS survey, duplicating my methodology but swapping out $GME for $AAPL.
In other words, we finally have a control, and what is shows is AMAZING!
Before we get into the tasty bits, let me start by saying none of this is financial advice. Please do your own due diligence, question everything, and never invest more than you can afford to lose. My personal advice (again, not financial advice, but what I am doing) … I’m buying shares of $GME, hodling shares of $GME, and shopping at GameStop every chance I get.
If this project is totally new to you, I suggest checking out the two links below.
The first link is my initial Google Consumer Survey post, and it contains tons of information about my methodology, research biases, sample size analysis, etc.
The second link was my most recent (and, I thought, final) post on this project. It also contains what was, at the time, my best guess at how many $GME shares I thought were in circulation in total. Although after seeing these AAPL results, my new guesstimate would be much higher.
Initial research post (with tons and tons of detail): https://www.reddit.com/r/Superstonk/comments/o2cnd4/using_randomized_representative_surveying_data_to/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
Most recent update (with N=2,200 results): https://www.reddit.com/r/Superstonk/comments/omdafo/final_update_of_google_consumer_survey_n2200_at/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
For anyone new and too lazy to be bothered with the above links, here’s the skinny (TL;DR) … I used Google Consumer Surveys to model $GME ownership among a sample of 2,200 U.S. adults using a randomized, representative survey. With these results, I was able to extrapolate ownership across the whole of the U.S. While this isn’t a scientific study per se, and it certainly has its shortcomings, I have discovered this to be the best shot we apes have at understanding the minimum number of shares held by retail investors.
VERY IMPORTANT — PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
This research is intentionally designed to provide an underestimation of shares held. This research is not about providing the precise number of shares held, but is instead about establishing a minimum threshold for shares held. The thesis for this project is that U.S. retail investors hold more than the Outstanding shares of $GME, so more than 73MMish shares.
Two specific elements of the research’s ensure this is the case:
1) Survey response buckets of shares held (see survey links) were intentionally capped at 101 shares … in other words, if someone responded to the survey and they have 600 shares, 499 of those shares would be completely excluded from these results; only the first 101 of their shares would be counted.
2) Coupled households have received a 50% penalty for all shares held … the reason for this is to ensure shares are never double-counted, which is good, but at the same time this approach completely discounts coupled households where both individuals might hold shares in separate accounts, and it assumes all shares held in coupled households are held jointly.
The result: the derived number of shares held is most certainly a fraction of the true number which is okay, because again, the premise of this research was simply to show that U.S. retail owns more than the 73MM outstanding shares of GME.
So without further ado, here are the updated results with the $AAPL control, as well as links to the actual surveys.
$GME Survey Links
So what does this new $AAPL control data tell us?
Well, for one thing, it clearly demonstrates what a massive underestimation this methodology produces. It’s certain U.S. retail investors own way more than 367 million shares of Apple. In other words, this methodology is doing exactly what is was designed to do … show just the tip of the iceberg.
While I had a very tough time discovering exactly how many shares of Apple U.S. retail investors might own, I can tell you it’s a hell of a lot more than 367 million shares. Apple has about 16.5 Billion shares outstanding, and even with 11.7 Billion shares held by institutional investors (per fintel.io), and another 1.1 Billion shares in ETFs (per etf.com), that still leaves about 3.7 Billion shares. Let’s assume only half of these shares reside within U.S. hands, so that’s 1.85 Billion. And let’s assume half of these are with Insiders, family funds, or small institutions that don’t report. So we are left with a paltry 925 million shares of Apple, compared to 16.5 Billion Outstanding. Even after we hack and slash our way here, it looks like this methodology, the very same methodology we used for GameStop, is producing an estimate that is at best only 40% of the actual.
Throughout the comments in my previous posts, people were clamoring for a control. Well, now we have one, and it seems to strongly support what I have thought all along … hard data (really the only hard data we have) continues to suggest there is an epic buttload of $GME shares way, way beyond the number authorized by GameStop. And not just a few shares, but tens of millions, and likely hundreds of millions.
So remember … no matter how much they say the squeeze has squoze, no matter how much they tell you the shorts have closed, no matter how many times they tell you you’re wrong, it’s just like Max Fischer claiming to get a handjob from Dirk Calloway’s mom in the back of a Jaguar. It’s nothing but …