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YOLO, financial markets and you


24 May 2021

Ever since Canadian rapper Drake coined the phrase YOLO (“you only live once”) a decade ago. It’s become the battle cry of many young risk-takers when rationalising a move that others might consider rash. During the past year and a half, this mantra has evolved into an entire way of life, and we’re even hearing people talk of the “YOLO economy”.

Simply put, this phenomenon refers to an increased willingness among those in their late 20s and early 30s to shun their well-paid but soul-sucking professions and start following their hearts. It could be as simple as taking a step down the career ladder in exchange for more time with loved ones or as extreme as quitting their job outright to start a business or focus on a passion project.

So, what’s the YOLO economy all about?

The implications of this new economic outlook are far-reaching and likely to continue long after we return to the ‘old normal’. As more and more individuals start using the savings they’ve been able to amass during lockdown to start a business or take a side gig full-time, this has the potential to create real economic growth far outstripping what any central bank asset-purchasing programme could hope to achieve. Naturally, a large number of these ventures will come to nothing, and their initiators will be back looking for another daily grind come next year.

Still, this mass rejection of the 9-to-5 has been enough to force some prestigious firms to start offering additional perks like continued flexible working hours, lifestyle allowances, and extra holidays — all in the hope of dissuading their staff from throwing in the towel. Such radical changes to working arrangements will be virtually impossible to reverse, and so the legacy of the YOLO economy is all but assured for the foreseeable future.

Where the financial markets come in

For those millennials without a business brainchild or existing side gig, trading and investing has proven a lucrative and accessible method of embracing the age of YOLO over the last year or so. With a sharp increase in disposable income amid a near-total shutdown of the services industry and the introduction of government stimulus checks, the stock market crash really couldn’t have come at a better time for the new breed of millennial investor. And though we’re now at new all-time highs, many analysts believe there are still opportunities to be had in the markets. But the most important message of the times — one that leading financial broker Libertex endorses — is that investing shouldn’t be done rashly or due to FOMO; it should instead be a means to a clear and considered end.

This is tricky since YOLO has typically been used as a justification for all kinds of half-baked actions. But if we really apply the idea behind the catchphrase, “you only live once” can be interpreted as not allowing fear of failure hold you back from making a life-changing decision that you know in your gut to be the right one for you.

Trade for more with Libertex

This philosophy, which Libertex has termed Trade for More, essentially invites people to think of the financial markets as a vehicle to achieve their heart’s desires. First, however, you need to determine what ‘more’ means to you. It could just be more money, or it could be more time at home with your family, more freedom to do the things you love, more life and less work, basically. Once you have a definite end-goal in mind, you can start tailoring your investing approach to facilitate the realisation of these dreams. It might seem a little daunting at first, but first designating what you want to get out of trading or investing makes it much easier to stick to the course while concretely gauging your success. 

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