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Trump supporters rushed to buy shares in Truth Social, and some are seeing the payoffs


There's been skepticism about Truth Social since it went public a couple of months ago. The social media platform's been losing money since it was begun by Donald Trump, and yet a legion of amateur traders has brought up shares anyway. NPR's Rafael Nam has this look at their investment.

RAFAEL NAM, BYLINE: Justin Peedin became a Trump supporter while living in Israel in 2015. He was teaching English in an Arab village. He wanted to contribute to peace in a volatile world, and he felt Trump was the man to achieve that.

JUSTIN PEEDIN: I just think we need strength. Unfortunately, the world's not just hugs and kisses everywhere. There's people that really want to do harm, and we need strong leadership.

NAM: Peedin is now married. He has a toddler and works in sales in Florida. When Donald Trump started Truth Social after being banned from X and Facebook, Peedin became a regular user. He loves the social media platform and knew he needed to invest. Above all, Peedin says he believes in Trump.

PEEDIN: I'm scared for the future, so the 2024 is a big year, and that's why I'm invested in this, you know?

NAM: Peedin invested early. To date, he's spent roughly $50,000 on the stock. He says he wishes he could buy even more, but he can't.

PEEDIN: No, not right now because my wife will kill me, but... (Laughter).

NAM: In total, he owns about 1,500 shares, shares he admits that have been incredibly volatile - all over the place, really. But he's sitting on a decent return - over $15,000. Now, not every shareholder has made money. Some bought the stock too high. One person who's done incredibly well - Donald Trump. He owns about 115 million shares. His stake is now worth over $5 billion.

MICHAEL ROGERS: He's a businessman, a very smart businessman.

NAM: That's Michael Rogers. He doesn't love everything about Trump. He wishes he'll tone it down on social media, but he does respect Trump's financial success. Rogers owns a masonry company in North Carolina. He's been buying and selling shares and currently owns just over 1,000. He's in it, he says, for the long haul because Trump will be president again, and that means very big returns.

ROGERS: Therefore, I think he'll be - potentially be extremely successful, and, you know, people who invest have the potential to become very rich.

NAM: Potentially. That's because the business is not doing well. It only has a tiny, tiny fraction of the active monthly users that X has. Truth Social lost $300 million last quarter, and there's almost no revenue. Professional investors think very little of the company. It's a sentiment media billionaire Barry Diller put best on CNBC recently.


BARRY DILLER: I think they're dopes. It's a scam, just like everything he's ever been involved in is some sort of con.

NAM: Others see it as a dangerous meme stock. It can stage huge rallies followed by big falls, like GameStop. The risks are very real here. This stock could be wiped out. The man behind it is facing a lot of legal problems, and then there's the fact Trump could bail and sell his shares. But investor Justin Peedin in Florida brushes all that aside.

PEEDIN: I think this is one of his biggest legacies he's going to leave behind, and I really think he believes in it.

NAM: Peedin - he's a true believer. He's part of the army of supporters who are ready to stand behind Trump no matter what. Rafael Nam, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Rafael Nam
Rafael Nam is NPR's senior business editor.