Mormon Church made millions in GameStop stock craze

New York Daily News/May 21, 2021

By Joseph Wilinson

They weren’t playing games.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints saw a nearly $8 million increase in the value of its GameStop stock during the trading frenzy earlier this year.

The Mormon Church’s investment arm, Ensign Peak Advisors, bought 46,000 shares of GameStop in December 2020, investment filings show. GameStop was trading around $10 to $20 at the time.

By January, it had skyrocketed into the $300 range, fueled by online day-traders trying to stick it to Wall Street hedge funds, which had bet against the video game retailer.

The Church’s original $870,000 investment was worth about $8.7 million at the close of the first quarter, Business Insider reported. If the Mormons held their shares with “diamond hands,” their investment would be worth around $8 million as of Friday, as the stock is still trading around $175.

Ensign Peak Advisors manages around $100 billion for the church, according to a December 2019 whistleblower complaint that claimed the money was being misused. Mormon leaders have defended the investment firm, describing the stockpile as a rainy-day fund.

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