Regardless of whether you're a new investor or someone who's navigated their way through many market cycles, the stock market always has new tricks up its sleeve.

Last year, we witnessed the quickest bear market decline of at least 30% in history, as well as the most robust bounce-back rally to new highs on record. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures also plunged into negative territory. It was a history-making year in many respects.

But 2021 hasn't been without its firsts. The Reddit-fueled retail investor frenzy has been responsible for heightened volatility in heavily short-sold companies and dozens of penny stocks. With the idea of "getting back at the big money," retail investors on Reddit's WallStreetBets community chatroom have effectively banded together to buy shares and out-of-the-money call options on heavily short-sold companies and penny stocks. In some instances, they've effected historic gains over a very short time frame.

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