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Being born into a family of stockbrokers, I was raised on colourful tales of the stock exchange floor and trading pits.


But nothing could prepare me for the morbid fascination of watching the inner workings of a Telegram account dedicated to pumping ASX stocks. In real time, in a blaze of memes and animated rocket emojis, I witnessed a bunch of anonymous traders will the stock of Australasian Gold Ltd, or A8G, higher.


On that day, three weeks ago, my colleague Tom Richardson had written about the group so the chat was populated with banter about their newfound fame and incredibly, no restraint about its activities. If anything, the group was emboldened.



The speed and reach of pump and dumps is truly mind-blowing.


To get a sense of the flavour, these are some of the midday posts: “Let’s pump A8G again and finish what we started. For everyone’s sake in the group.”; “FIRE UP YOU APES”; "thoroughly researched. Best small cap Gold and Lithium at the same time”; “Hope the down rampers go to hell with the AFR”; “any publicity is good publicity”.


As the stock took off, the emojis came thick and fast. Few words. Many pictures. I had a busy day, so I logged off but when I checked back later shortly before the market close the mood had changed.


“I'm down 22% guys what should I do?”; “Cheap lesson”; “It’s the clowns who sold”; “It’s done the group’s had a big impact”; “you realise most of us are in the red”.


Date with dignity

It was four sharemarket seasons in one session, but that’s how things work in the world of meme stocks. I couldn’t shake the sense of deja vu. I’d seen this sort of activity before.


Almost two years ago, a friend of mine confessed that he’d lost a staggering amount investing in a cryptocurrency called Dignity Coin.


Over a bar crawl through the city, he told me how these coin issuers recruited a high powered advisory board including a Fortune 500 exec, how the Bermudan government had rolled out the red carpet, that some obscure but apparently expert analyst had tipped it to take-off (after he was gifted some coins). In his mind, it was a sure winner.


He also explained how he’d been cultivated by apparent insiders and when certain flagged developments appeared to come to fruition, he became convinced he was getting the inside word and bought more.


The following morning I found I’d been added to the Dignity Telegram group. The same rollercoaster of emotions were on display.


My hunch is that the digital playbook that has been unleashed on listed penny stocks around the world, and including on the ASX, has been developed and perfected in the world of cryptocurrencies.


But judging by the brazenness on display, it appears many that are playing this game don’t know how dangerous it is.


Last week, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission issued a warning reminding investors of the stiff penalties associated with pump and dump activities.


Most schemes are likely far more sophisticated than the Telegram meme show. And market manipulation is certainly not limited to penny stock punters, as enforcement action shows.


Pump and dump schemes are as old as stock markets themselves. But the speed, reach and anonymity in which pump and dump schemes are being operated is mind blowing.


It’s facilitating a transfer of wealth from naive outsiders to insiders on an unimaginable scale. And the bright animations and dark forces of greed and orchestrated deception can be viewed in real time.

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How can I apply for the small business tax offset?

You don’t need to apply for the tax offset. You simply need to lodge a tax return for the year in question and the offset will be automatically calculated for you.




only $1000, but better than nothing i guess. :B):



"individuals who are small business entities (such as sole traders)". stock market trader included i reckon!!

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