The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


You Can’t Blame People For Chasing Crazy When You Made Them That Way …

OK, so Friday’s post was an April Fool joke.

I say that because some people seemed to believe it until they got to the very last line. Which obviously made me very happy … no doubt helped by the fact April Fools Day started upto 20+ hours before some parts of the World.

But today’s post is real, even though it’s even more of a joke.

It starts with a tweet I saw a few weeks ago …

I don’t mind admitting, I laughed my socks off when I saw it.

Because it’s true.

The amount of people – read, men – who talk about crypto like it’s a guaranteed money earner despite [1] not looking into how it actually works [2] realising there are a vast amount of choices that are out there and [3] all have experienced incredible and – in many cases – huge losses, is amazing.

But I also kind-of get it.

Because the sniff of winning big can be intoxicating.

Especially if you don’t think you otherwise have a chance.

And for many people they don’t …

Not because they’re not smart or talented or capable … but because life is unbelievably unfair.

Which is why for all the questions that need to be answered about the role, legitimacy and even legality of certain crypto, the reality is many people think the chance of making it big on what is essentially a giant wheel of roulette is still better than the chance of doing OK following ‘traditional’ paths.

I get it. I was in that situation.

I was living in Australia, broke … with a seriously ill Dad and a Mum who couldn’t pay the bills.

I didn’t know what I was going to do when someone I knew asked if I wanted to get involved in a pyramid scheme.

Out of desperation – and a belief I didn’t think I had anything to lose – I said yes.

Of course that is mad, because I did have a lot to lose, from the initial ‘investment’ to the chance to get out of my situation within a year.

I ended up being very lucky.

Because I got in very early. I made back many times my initial investment within 2 weeks.

[I should point out that while I was able to help my Mum and Dad out as soon as this happened, I never told them what I’d done. Part of this was because they’d have been fuming and part of it was because it was hard enough to get them to accept presents from me, so if they knew, then I’d never be able to financially help them out again]

And while the time between ‘investing’ and ‘vesting’ were some of the most exciting, intense and scary weeks of my life, the minuscule chance of making something sizeable out of it drowned out the highly likely chance of losing all of it.

Would I do it again?

No. I am in the incredibly fortunate position to be in a good position now. But I get why people would do it and why crypto is so tempting for so many.

Nothing brought this home than some information Natwest Bank sent me last week.

It was their interest rates.

I say ‘interest’ but what I mean is arrogance.

Have a look at this …

What the hell?

Seriously, what the absolute hell?

Do they think this is good?

Do they think this is going to make people want to invest with them?

Even with their ‘bonus’ percentage, their ‘best’ rate is 0.05%.

And that’s their best. The rest are 0.01%.

ZERO POINT ZERO ONE PERCENT.

Not just many times less than inflation.

Not just many times less than the amount you’ll be charged in fees.

But less than fuck all.

Why would anyone choose to invest their money with a bank?

And I mean anyone … from someone with one pound to one million.

Seriously, you somehow manage to get a million quid and Natwest will reward you with 100 pounds in interest.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

So much for all their talk of ‘caring about your future’.

Of course, they think they can get away with it because they think they hold all the cards.

And right now they probably do.

But for all their advertising claims that are seemingly designed to make the board of directors happy rather than their customers, the vast majority seem to have failed to grasp the one thing that could undermine them all.

People go where the chances are.

Doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect. Doesn’t matter what the research says. If what’s on offer is dramatically better than what the establishment offers – and it’s ‘generally’ legal even if it’s highly risky – then they’ll explore it.

I never imagined I’d be the sort of person who would be part of a pyramid scheme – but circumstances of desperation meant I did. Which means I am pretty sure there’s a hell of a lot of people you’d never imagine would be into crypto, who are.

Not because they’re money hungry assholes – though there’s definitely a bunch who are that – but because with banks taking the piss out of their hopes and dreams with a miserly 0.01% interest rates, suddenly the risk of crypto looks like the most sensible investment for the future they can make.

And then, it’s not just the banks who will be screwed, we all will be.


22 Comments so far
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I had forgotten about your pyramid scheme adventure. On brand for luckiness. This is a really good post. The quote at the top is perfect and you have helped me understand the attraction so many have for crypto. Have you watched “Trust No One” on Netflix? It’s the other side of the promises.

Comment by George

I watched that. I thought it was going to be up there with ‘don’t fuck with cats’, but it’s just another story of a scammer.

Comment by Bazza

havent watched it. waiting for you to tell me they then got a job in fucking government. in the treasury.

Comment by andy@cynic

You should watch it Andrew, you would love it. Or I should say you would love screaming at the screen as you watch it.

Comment by George

proof campbell signed a deal with satan number 20487457398234

Comment by andy@cynic

I watched it.

I don’t know if I can say I enjoyed it, but I found it very interesting.

The mob mentality from those that lost their money was fascinating. I get it … losing that much money must be terrifying … but the journalists comment at the end summed it up.

Not only was it incredibly misogynistic, but their anger was probably driven by the fact someone had cheated them when they thought they were so clever in cheating the system. Except they didn’t … they mistook luck/timing/good fortune for their own brilliance, which is the conditions scammers love to feed on.

Comment by Rob

Your last paragraph in this comment is key Robert. I have seen vast amounts of money be wasted because financial facts were blurred by the investors ego.

Comment by Lee Hill

The only reason I like crypto is because it would hurt the banks. Though they rarely lose do they? They win more than the casinos.

Comment by George

those pricks dont lose. theyre investing in crypto with other peoples cash. theyre even worse than you.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s insulting to even call that an interest rate.

Comment by Bazza

thats why they dont call it interest. even they havent got the fucking nerve for that shit.

Comment by andy@cynic

indifferent interest.

Comment by Bazza

Even lower than the interest in this blog.

Comment by John

My family lost everything in that pyramid scheme.

Comment by Showmethe money.

everyone loses everything to campbell. be grateful it was just cash.

Comment by andy@cynic

I must admit, I am shocked I did it. I certainly wouldn’t do it again. But that’s the point I’m making in the post … I was so far down I felt I had nothing to lose. [Which, is mad, I know ]

And while I was fortunate – simply because of timing – I felt very conflicted about it for a very long time. That said, everyone in it knew the risks. It was talked about very openly – far more than I have had with investments with banks, that have almost all universally been busts. The ridiculous thing is banks are literally pushing people to this place … happy to charge ridiculous interest on loans and debts but resisting giving people a chance to build something that can help elevate their life.

Of course it’s not all the banks fault, but if they’re offering 0.01% interest on balances of ONE MILLION QUID, then they are definitely complicit in the lack of trust society has towards them.

Comment by Rob

I hate crypto bros, but you have made me look at them differently. Well maybe not them specifically, but the people who go all in because they have nothing else. The sad part is the majority won’t come out in a better position and then the banks will own their lives even more. As you once said to me about communism, it’s great in principal but terrible in practice.

Comment by Pete

Hahahaha … yep.

Even if communism was based on the ‘highest living standards’, it still would see people want more than someone else to satisfy their own ego.

Comment by Rob

The thing that interests me is the number of people I’ve noticed dabbling in crypto recently. They’re neither bros nor the desparate, but much more like gullible pyramid scheme fodder, people who are going to lose (though not a significant amount) but are convinced they’re going to make a lot. People who thibk they understand what’s going on becaus they’ve done their research. Sadly, they’ve done their research on social media.

Comment by John

This really is very good Robert. You have offered a perspective on crypto currency I had not considered. That said, people investing should remember the law of gambling. Never bet more than you can afford to lose. Problem occur when, as John points out in his latest comment, you think you are going to win, because then the amount you are willing to invest has no limit.

Comment by Lee Hill

How about NFT? Do you think the brand owners are all jumping on the NFT-bandwagon simply to get exposure? Or to prove that they are relevant?

And what do you think of the decision that consulting companies are making to choose which creative/digital agencies they want to buy up? Accenture Interactive has acquired PacificLink in Hong Kong but it is still puzzling me as to why because when you look at PacificLink’s works, you wonder why on earth they would think those were good?

Comment by TroubleMaker

Well said Rob. With an interest return that you could barely get a bus ticket with, I think banks are just mocking humanity at large.

Comment by Freeman




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