If you had a spare couple of million dollars lying around, what would you spend it on?
Well, if you’re YouTuber Logan Paul… you’d buy… Pokemon cards?!
Yup. That just happened.
He’s bought six boxes over the past three months costing $2m in total, some of which cost up to $400,000 (£295,000) each. Each box contains 36 packs with around 400 cards in them.
His aim is to uncover some of the rarest cards, some of which — such as a first-edition Charizard (sold at auction for $183,000 just last year) can go for eye-watering sums of money.
Think about that for a second. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. For a single card with some colours and text on it.
The world’s gone crazy.
But it’s nothing new. It’s just another ‘bubble.’
A bubble is something of perceived great value that is created through the hype of humans, but is essentially artificial and of little value in reality.
Plenty of examples of this can be seen throughout history.
An interesting one is ‘Tulipmania’ from Holland 500 years ago. These new exotic flowers, the likes of which had never been seen before were seen as the flower of extravagance for the affluent — which drove up the market price. At the height of the bubble, tulips skyrocketed until they were sold for approximately 10,000 guilders, equal to the value of a mansion on the Amsterdam Grand Canal!
Other famous examples include the dot com bubble 20 years ago, the crypto bubble in more recent times, and of course the whole recent GameStop saga.
In effect — everyone rushes around and is keen to invest their ‘money’ in these commodities as the perceived return on investment is seen to be very high — or much higher than other investments at least.
They all end the same way though. What eventually happens is that once the realisation sets in that the commodity is not actually worth the inflated price being charged — everyone looks to exit and in this way, the bubble pops — people are left counting the cost as they realise their investment has not reaped what they thought. It all sinks without trace to what it’s truly worth. Zilch.
What is left is the regret that their hard earned money has been wasted over something that they thought was valuable but was in fact worthless.
There’s two things to take from this.
If you must invest, invest in something with intrinsic value. Gold, Silver. Something not prone to human hype.
But most importantly, we must learn that we don’t invest our most precious asset in the same careless way — our time and attention. The loss is much, much more grave.
This is why the dunya can be considered to the same as these ‘bubbles’ — it is artificial but appears to be something of great value. So we think we need to spend all our ‘money’ (i.e. time and attention) on it to succeed and we sit there, hoping for a good return on our investment (success and riches).
Only when we go to our grave does this bubble pop and the realisation sets in that we have in fact ‘backed the wrong horse’ — and wasted our time completely. Unfortunately then, it will all be too late.
The sooner we realise the dunya is an illusion and the akhirah is where we should be investing our time, with good deeds being our currency — then inshallah we will get a huge return on our investments — bigger than we could ever envisage.
Let us move our ‘wealth’ from Pokemon and to prayer, productivity and service, insha’allah.
A lifelong learner, avid reader and passionate writer, I am the founder of KNOW and a serial entrepreneur.
I am a huge believer in personal development and am also the co-founder of Muslim CEO.