There have been a lot of winners in GameStop’s dizzying, over tenfold rise in the last year. An unlikely one is the Mormon Church, which made over $8 million on GameStop shares through its investment arm:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ play for stock in GameStop paid off big-time as the Utah-based faith saw its shares in the video game retailer swell in value from $867,000 to $8.7 million in a matter of months.
Overall, the church’s largest investment fund, managed by Ensign Peak Advisors in Salt Lake City, grew by $2.4 billion in early 2021, continuing a dramatic rebound from pandemic-induced losses last spring and catapulting its total value to $46.5 billion.
Their timing was superb: Ensign bought 46,000 shares at the end of 2020, just before a short squeeze briefly pushed the stock to prices over $300. The church also scored huge gains on Tesla shares. Ensign Peak Advisors is wholly owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, making it perhaps the only church in the world with its own hedge fund.
The fund’s assets total over $100 billion, greater than the GDP of Ethiopia. The church has banked up over $6,000 for each member, a staggering rainy day fund. This money comes primarily from all members being required to donate 10% of their income to the church, a practice called tithing.
I’ve always found the Mormon church fascinating and have read several books about it. I was intrigued to find out they played a part in something as far removed from religion as the GameStop saga!
Dig into these posts for more on GameStop:
- GameStop Pays Off $216 Million in Debt
- Hedge Fund Loses Half Its Value on GameStop Trades
- GameStop Sales Down 40% in 2 Years
Photo: “Salt Lake City Temple” by SheldonPhotography is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
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