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November 3, 2021
November 5, 2021

Squid Game and diversification

You knew it was coming. A reference to Squid Game. The most popular show in Netflix’s history, now at 111 million viewers, and being watched in 90 countries. But there’s a reason.

If you haven’t seen it, this email might annoy you. Sounds like a kids’ thing. Like that Hunger Games. The TV equivalent of TikTok. Something that will make me feel old.

But it’s not as bad as all that. It’s doable.

Once you’ve done it, come back and let’s discuss.

Because the show has issues. About money. Debt. Desperation. Risk.

In episode 3 for example, there’s a specific reference to investment in the form of diversification.

But let’s pull back.

The show is based on a series of childrens’ games that are actually deadly. The 456 South Korean contestants are so desperately in debt that they’ve no choice but to play each game to win a cash prize of £29 million. But those who fail are shot dead.

It’s gruesome, but seductive. The soundtrack, the cinematography, the outfits, which have become this Halloween’s go-to, provide a contrast to the relentless human carnage.

In episode 3, the contestants are asked to pick from four shapes: a circle, triangle, star and umbrella. A small group of ‘good guys’ have formed a team, and failed banker Cho Sang-Woo advises them to each choose a different shape. He says that it’s best to: “Try not to keep all your eggs in one basket,” and he’s right.

The task is that each shape must be cut out of honeycomb in one piece. The circles are easy. The umbrellas are not. Anyone who breaks their shape gets shot. All our guys survive.

It’s high stakes, exciting. The sweat on their skin is visible at all times (they must smell to high heaven by now).

It’s no wonder the show has inspired a crypto currency called Squid, which has turned out to be a scam, with its developers reportedly making off with around £2.5m.

More proof of the dangers of investing in alternative currencies.

Much better to invest in a group of ‘shapes’ – especially one being looked after by a kindly, gentle human.

Simple hack

Keep your logins locked down with a password manager such as Dashlane or LastPass. Both will actively monitor the dark web, and alert you if your information has been compromised.

Stat of the week

Nearly half of all first-time buyers will use funds from the Bank of Mum and Dad this year, according to Savills. Parental contributions will reach £9.8bn – a big hike from last year’s £6.1bn, and equivalent to £58,000 per child. Phewee.

Digital clothes

Still wearing clothes for the real world? Get with the programme Grandma! Today’s digital-conscious consumers are also buying digital outfits for their online presence via sites like  DressX.

Child’s play

GoHenry is another trending topic. A pre-paid bank card designed to teach children financial responsibility, it’s part of the junior banking services ‘meta trend’. Big players in this space such as Revolut are also launching child-focused products.

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