What Love Island can teach us about investing

No-one wants to admit to watching Love Island but millions of us are. I confess to being fully signed up since 2018. Where else do you get to see the complex psychology of attraction and competition play out? Time investment to pay-off ratio is fleeting though and even die-hard fans could probably be doing something more rewarding than watching Saturday night’s Unseen Bits.

But really what Love Island has to teach us is about the risks of picking individual stocks.

In 2021, anyone trying to buy and hold shares in the early front-runners Jake and Liberty lost the lot when she dumped him for not “loving me for me”. Investors who panic-sold their stake in Liam and Milly when he kissed Lillie in Casa Amor were proven wrong when he won Millie back with a cheesy speech. Likewise, investors who offloaded Faye and Teddy any of the numerous times she acted like she didn’t deserve him also got out at the wrong time. Both those couples reached the final and are still together a year later.

This year, it’s not clear who the smart money should be on. Davide and Ekin could be the risky tech startup that goes the distance. Those looking for the safest buy and hold might opt for Gemma and Luca, Paige and Jacques or Dami and Indiyah. Twice bottom three, poor Andrew and Tasha seem to be as popular as investment bonds with viewers.

If you’re looking at it in terms of couples, you’re attempting to do the equivalent of picking stocks. Which looks like what the whole Love Island thing is about: recognising who’ll be the winners and losers in love. But, picking individual stocks is notoriously difficult to do, even for professional analysts.

Buy individual shares if you really want to but there are much less risky ways to invest.

A much “safer” bet, that has historically shown positive gains over time, would be to bet on the show itself.

Think of Love Island like an index fund where, typically, the ups and downs average out over the years to show an overall upward trend.

Plus the fact the show’s format has been sold to over 20 countries means the Love Island index would probably pay out pretty nice dividends.

For the record, I am going to bet on Davide and Ekin-Su. I think the dynamic makes them less predictable but more interesting an investment than the other more “stable” couples. (For what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s pride holding him back, it’s a deep masculinity-threatening fear of being cuckolded. Maybe there’s nothing she can do to prove she’s trustworthy after the Jay thing but she’s going to give great TV either succeeding or failing.)

It’s a bit of a cryptocurrency investment.

If I’m right I’ll tell everyone I’m a genius and if I’m wrong I’ll keep quiet about it.

I’m not a financial advisor and I won’t manage your money for you, but I’ll teach you everything you need to know to do it yourself.

No Love Island knowledge necessary.

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