Guest Post: Money Lessons That Squid Game Has Taught Us

This is a guest post by @GrandpaLemon, posted here with permission

If anything, Squid game has been a teaching experience and I just want to call out a few money lessons that one should have learnt from this show, you know, just for the future’s sake.

Hospital and Surgical Insurance

I am not selling any, don’t worry

I always joke with my wife saying if anything happens to me, send me to any public hospitals. Hence, for my entire life, I only buy Integrated Shield Plan for Public Hospital Class A coverage with rider. In my mind, I only think of the Hospitalization part, it never occur to me that I might need a day surgery.

These few months, I have some health issue. My underwear is getting wet every time, and I am sure is not from my shooting gun. For those who are not aware, rectal discharge refers to any substance other than faeces that comes out of the rectum and in my case, is mucus. No blood detected.

For someone that eat well (oats, salmon, grain-fed chicken) and sleep well, no smoking and minimal drinking, goes gym almost every day, this is shocking. I was like WTF.

I assume is something minor, but after weeks, seems like my condition is not improving. I went to see my GP for guidance. He has no clue what it is, but he suspects it could be piles, wrote me a referral letter to see a colorectal specialist. That’s when I really go into deep research and I suspect I could have colon cancer.

I tried to book an appointment with SengKang Hospital, but I was given 4 weeks wait. Wow, my leaking tap cannot wait 28 days, hence I book an appointment with a private surgeon in Farrer Park Hospital and got an actual day schedule. The surgeon explains that what I have is a polyp (simi sai lai de?) which are abnormal tissue growths. Some types of polyps can change into cancer over time. He says needs to cut it immediately.

The assistant asks me, got insurance or not, I say yea. She asks private or public coverage. Hong Gan, I am not covered for private.

Fortunately, my company covers all hospitals and after obtaining the Letter of Guarantee, I manage to get the surgery done within a week. The diagnosis indicates no dysplasia or malignancy, meaning no cancer. The nurse explains to me that if got cancer, they would have call you the next day to arrange “get well plan”. So in healthcare world, no news is good news. Phew!

I also upgraded my IP plan from public coverage to private.

Best Practice: It is always good to have choices, especially when it comes to healthcare. Get private IP if you can afford it.

Know Your Risks, or Risk Your Future

Always invest money I can afford to lose.

As with any investment, if you don’t understand it, you shouldn’t buy it.

Stocks are a volatile investment class, and stock price fluctuations are inherent to their nature. It is very difficult to predict, and one can’t be confident of stock price movements, no matter how many risk management strategies you apply. Investing in stocks should ideally be done with funds you do not have immediate need for. Adding to that, stocks take their own time to compound. Often, they go through phases of muted growth or even severe losses. In these instances, you tend to lose money briefly.

Best Practice: Never invest in a business you cannot understand

Learn to ignore the noise

For investors, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the relentless stream of news about markets.

There’s a reason why people tell you to ignore the noise. Follow the stock market closely enough and you can easily fall into a dizzying sea of numbers and narratives. Stocks are undervalued! No, everything is expensive! Wait, here comes inflation!

For investors, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the relentless stream of news about markets. Being bombarded with data and headlines presented as affecting your financial well-being can evoke strong emotional responses from even the most experienced investors. Follow the stock market closely enough and you can easily fall into a dizzying sea of numbers and narratives, just like the 1st player who is trying to cross the bridge

No one could have predicted the pandemic but, in hindsight, it would have been wise to consider the chance that something would come along and disrupt the incredible bull market of the previous decade. If history is any indication, it would also be wise to believe that we’d get through it and emerge stronger on the other side.

Best Practice: Noise is the best chance for you to jeep at a cheaper price. KISS!

Retirement can be a scary thing

Probably the #1 thing to say you are ready to retire (besides having achieved FI) is to have something to do in retirement!! Preferably something you love to do, have already tried doing and feel comfortable dedicating large amounts of your time to. Stopping work prior to having that can be risky. You don’t want to retire without any plans, and risk sitting around with nothing to do. That would be the worst.

Best Practice: Planning is key

Diversification can be a bad thing

In the candy game, Sang-Woo advised his team members “Not to put all your eggs in one basket” and to choose a different shape. While conventional wisdom will tell you different asset classes perform well at different times, therefore diversifying your investments means that the risks are covered.

However, the biggest risk of over-diversification is that it reduces a portfolio’s returns without meaningfully reducing its risk. Each new investment added to a portfolio lowers its overall risk profile. Simultaneously, these incremental additions also reduce the portfolio’s expected return.

Best Practice: Diversify only if you feel the addition will add value

Only Look forward

While the marble game will send most people crying and arguably is the best episode, my most memorable game is the deadly version of “Red Light, Green Light.” I felt the giant robotic doll truly resembles the stock market. The timer is your lifespan. When one invest, your goal is to cross the finish line before the timer runs out. Follow the instruction of green light, and cheong forward. There is no looking back. If you paper hand during red light, and sell during market correction, you ought to be shot.

Best Practice: Stay Focused on Long-Term Goals

Trend is your friend

Some of squid games best surprise teach us that common conumdrums can possess uncommon solutions.

We live in an age where on-demand is the norm and here to stay. The shift to embrace flexibility and work from anywhere means Software-As-A-Service (SAAS) has been a big driver of this mentality.

Netflix, one of the best-known SAAS platforms, estimates Squid Game will be worth almost $1.2 billion to company. And once Netflix became streaming, hardly anyone has ever wanted to have a DVD anymore.

Business have followed suit as well. Software like Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, Google Apps have become essential for modern business for email, documents, spreadsheets and CRM. These tools allow for faster and easier collaboration, as well as secure access from any computer,

Bottom line: SAAS-based solutions are here to stay. Moving forward, many businesses are adopting hybrid work environment

Bonus: I have also started a position in GTLB. The company, whose code-sharing software competes with Microsoft’s GitHub, raised about $650 million in its IPO.

Until next time, entertaining you always.

K, tks, BUY

Grandpa

3 comments

  1. Hi Doc,

    Glad to know that you are well and no major health issue. Thought you are way too young to do a colonoscopy and good news is the next time for deep cleansing will be a decade later.

    Insightful to derive investment principles from the Squid Game, learn much! Although would be better if I can learn how you know instead of feel that diversify only when the addition will add value.

    Wish you in good health.

    Like

    1. Oh just scrolled to the top and realised it was a guest post. Nonetheless glad that the gust writer is ok too. Think I need a bigger phonetic see the full picture 😂

      Like

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