Sunday 12 November 2023

29 years old and already $250,000 in debt... Either get rich or have no future | Undercover Korea and thoughts on it

Saw this video on Youtube and it was rather eye-catching with it’s title and after watching it, it was scary seeing how crypto and investments can make individuals addicted as they are not in fact investing but gambling as they aim to strike a huge pot of gold. A lot of people invest with the mindset of striking something big as seen in the video and in South Korea, a huge proportion of people in their 20s and 30s are hoping that cryptocurrency can be the one to help them strike big.

Individuals in the video

Many of the individuals borrowed or used leverage when they invested hence they are currently in debt. Besides that, most of them wants to make it big in a short time and preferably via one trade. This means that they are banking all on that one trade and also resulting in them trading and not have any long term perspective or positions.

It is sad seeing their families suffer especially those who are married and had children. Imagine having to provide for your family but being crippled with debts and addiction. For some of them, their spouses have decided to leave them or stay apart until they have solved their addiction.

Allure of making it rich with one trade

Cryptocurrency is huge in South Korea as they see it as the alternative investment that can make them rich.

According to an April survey of 1,855 office workers by local recruiting portal Saramin, 40.4 percent of the respondents said they invested in cryptocurrencies while the rest did not. Those in their 30s were the most avid crypto investors, with 49.8 percent investing in crypto assets. Among those in their 40s, 34.5 percent said they traded crypto coins, while 16.9 percent of those in their 50s said they were crypto investors. - The Korea Herald

There are many South Koreans who game and people who game are very comfortable with in-game currencies which I would say is like cryptocurrencies so it is easier for them to adopt it and use it.

The other side of the trade

Besides telling the stories of those who are in debt and lost more than their money but also relationships, they also showed “successful stories” where individuals film on social media how they have made 6 digit profits in a single month. They share stories of how they started with 4 digits and turn it into millions.

These stories sound so appealing and make it seem like I can make it too but how true are those stories? No one knows as stories can be made up and even if they did achieved that, telling people that they are double leveraged not showing the risk they took and that it could also go very very wrong.


The stock and cryptocurrency market has become a place for people to park their money as it is easily accessible and property seems so unachievable particularly those who live in the cities where property prices has gone up relentless over the past few years.

Many think that the older generation made it through property and that there is no way the younger generation can afford property considering the rise in prices and so they put all hopes into stocks and cryptocurrencies.

Many of the brokerage also gamify investing, showing lists of top traded stocks, news that is related to a certain stock and even encourage you to do more trades with free gifts or zero commission charges and even using margin or leverage. There was a time where you needed to call your stock broker to make a buy or sell action. Today, everything has become so much more accessible but the lure of taking up loans and leveraging is very dangerous and most do not know the consequence of it until it happens.

It is contradicting as well as the government wants the stock market to look good during their time so an upward bull market is like one of the checklist to showing that you are a great leader hence they need money to flow into the market.

It is important not to take on debts or leverage and make sure you know what you are doing, do not follow blindly on the advice of others and make sure that you secure the basics first before proceeding. It is sad to see news of people in debt and having their family repay them together as it is not only affecting a single individual but everyone around him suffers as well. It really is a good documentary to understand what some of the South Korea citizens are facing.

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