When Pokémon Go was released for mobile phones, Nintendo saw its stock value almost double. But not long after they slid some–about 17%–when people “learned” that Nintendo doesn’t actually own the mobile game and wouldn’t really be making any money off it. But this wasn’t an example of Nintendo misleading investors: they never claimed to own the game and simply wanted to clarify that to investors. It is, however, an example of a bunch of people trying to get in on what seemed like a hot stock without bothering to do the research.
Never take a financial action like investing in stocks without doing some research. Investors could have done a few simple Google searches and found out that, while Nintendo does have a 32% stake in The Pokémon Company, as well as shares in Niantic, the company that actually made Pokémon Go, they don’t actually own the game. It’s like assuming that, because Sony makes Spiderman movies, they own the character and make money off the comics. They don’t. Marvel does.
Intellectual properties, and the ownership thereof, can be confusing, but that’s no excuse for haphazard investing. In this day and age you can generally find out who owns what with just a few clicks. If you want to invest in the video game industry, you need to know something about that industry, just like you need to know something about oil insurance before you invest in those industries.
And, of course, when you’re dealing with stocks, you need to have a longer view than the immediate future. Pokémon Go is popular with more than just Pokémon fans and will likely draw new players in for subsequent games actually produced for Nintendo consoles, like the two games coming out for Christmas 2016. Which you’d know about if you did a little research.