Roaring Kitty became a cult figure amid the 2021 GameStop short squeeze meme stock saga. Now, the position he holds in financial culture isn’t too dissimilar from that of iconic investor Warren Buffett, one hedge fund founding partner believes. 

The 93-year-old CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is leading a tribe of “older-generation boomers” who believe in reasonable price-to-earnings ratios, said Statos founding partner Rennick Palley.

But the 37-year-old Keith Gill—known as RoaringKitty on Twitter, or DeepFuckingValue on Reddit—is leading a younger generation of millennials and zoomers with a distinctly different investing ethos, the hedge fund partner told Decrypt.

“The only way to really approach it is with humor and online community, because their entire experience with the financial system has been extremely volatile and clearly manipulated by the FED,” said Palley, whose firm bought in on meme coin Dogwifhat (WIF) at 1 cent.


“A lot of these people were in high school or even younger than that in the financial crisis of 2008,” he added, “and that was their first introduction to how the financial world worked.”

In turn, a generation of financial nihilists was raised. This group sees the financial system as broken, Palley explained: housing is unaffordable, inflation is rising, and government policies aren’t helping. For them, the way of investing outlined by Buffett doesn’t work as well as it used to, forcing youngsters to look for alternative approaches. 

This is why Palley believes the financial nihilist is looking towards Roaring Kitty the same way the boomer generation follows Buffett.

“Both groups look to the leader to understand how they should think about investing. And then second, they more or less mimic everything that they do,” Palley said. “It's nearly a religion, and anything else other than [the leader’s approach] does not constitute investing.”


At its essence, Palley suggested, these forms of tribalism are the same despite the varying investment approaches. Aside from investing ethos, the main material difference is that Roaring Kitty is able to get his message out there much quicker, through social media, while Buffett’s followers have to wait longer for his annual meetings. But Roaring Kitty has faced more criticism for allegedly manipulating markets with his tweets and posts.

While there are similarities between their disciples’ actions, in many ways Warren Buffet is everything that Roaring Kitty’s followers are against. 

“Warren Buffett has only ever been a very serious investor, doing significant research on what he buys with the intention of holding it for a long time—and being generally very pro-United States,” Palley said. “Whereas Roaring Kitty has never purported himself to be anything other than a joke, and a protest vote against how the existing government and financial system works.”

In that sense, the two figures are complete polar opposites. Buffett explains his investment thesis in lengthy five-hour annual meetings, while Roaring Kitty posts 30 second movie memes. (That said, Roaring Kitty has also posted hours-long deep dives into his approach.)

“The Wall Street Bets tribe is like an anti-Warren Buffett vote,” Palley told Decrypt. “It's a protest vote against the existing financial system. They say: 'You guys think GME should be worth $100 million? Fuck you guys! We're gonna pump this thing to a billion just so that all the boomers on CNBC sit there yelling at the TV.'" 

In a way, Buffett is just the original financial influencer. Some 19,000 people traveled to Omaha, Nebraska to hear Buffett speak at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting earlier this month, hoping to hear tips on how to manage their portfolio. Less than two weeks later, Roaring Kitty returned to Twitter to a crowd of 1.2 million followers. 

The stage they preach from is different and the people in the crowd may vary—but that tribal spirit has carried across generations.

Edited by Andrew Hayward


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