Megan Fraser

Business Development & Marketing

August 2020

For those comfortably ensconced in committed monogamous (or polyamorous) bliss, the concept of dating apps may be somewhat foreign. The mating dance for today’s recycled singles has become virtual…and it’s a whole new cha-cha-cha. Even suburban couples have swapped the ‘house parties/car keys bowl’ for the android version.

Plotting a course through this cybernetic terrain, it struck me that the way one embarks on this journey is very similar to how one navigates the investment journey.

For the blissful, uninitiated it works like this… as with anything in life there are the ‘-ees’ and the ‘-ors’…let’s work with investees and investors. (There is a much cruder version of the ‘-ees’ and the ‘-ors’ which also works, but we’d like to keep the PG rating on these articles.)

The investee is the modern-day version of the traditional matchmaker while the investor is the one on the lookout for Mr/Miss/Ms/Mrs Right-For-Now (I did say it’s the modern-day version).

There are numerous investee options; websites and apps, that entice and inspire investment of time, energy and self…and then, of course, cash. The investees can easily be found online; according to the Google, the most common being Tinder, Dating Buzz, Badoo and Hello Cupid.

As an investor, your first challenge is where to invest your time/energy/self/cash. The questions that need to be answered relate to cost, security, privacy and expected deliverable/outcome. As with any investing, caveat emptor. There are any number of scoundrels waiting to pounce on your hard-earned moola like car guards, airtime salespeople and government officials with a PPE tender application. And the last thing you want is to land up as another Carte Blanche investigation report…

The next step the investor must take is to assess their investable assets – what are they prepared to invest, how best to describe/present these assets to insure that they attract the attention/return they undoubtedly deserve and how much leverage to apply to the facts (i.e. how much gearing) bearing in mind that the lights will come on (or go off) at some stage.

The amount of time an investor is prepared to spend on researching the options probably depends on how seriously they take the outcome and/or their capacity for picking up pieces and moving along quickly.

Simply put, there are two ways to approach this challenge: the analytical, academic, data-based approach as Amy Webb, a futurist who went all Graham and Dodds on the data, explains in this ,TED talk, or the WYSIWYG approach – What You See Is What You Get – where marketing, smoke, mirrors and surprises are kept to a minimum with the idea of under-promise and over-deliver (which leads to a different type of data-based analysis…that is best supported by a decent amount of red wine!).

Many platforms offer free-to-play versions which can be upgraded to a Premium version that (allegedly) increases the likelihood of a satisfactory return. There are also platforms that unashamedly have a ‘no-pay-no-play’ policy. The challenge facing the investor is to properly understand the total costs, whether the additional layer of costs adds measurably to the return on your investment and then how to cancel the payment from your credit card (it’s probably easiest to close the account and change banks…maybe even emigrate).

And two final scenarios that align with the investment experience:

Having met on a platform whose purpose is to introduce people who are looking for the same type of return, very often one of the investors is reluctant to permit the time and space to allow the interest to accumulate. The expectation is for an immediate return rather than applying the patience that is necessary for any investment to mature…except perhaps a pyramid or Ponzi scheme.

Lastly, once you’ve met someone via the platform, there appears to be mutual interest and a happy little hum, but…one of the investors is not convinced they’ve done the best that they can do. So, although they realise this is a very decent investment opportunity and could result in satisfactory returns, there is the nagging feeling that there might be a better opportunity out there (i.e. good old fashioned FOMO). And so, they cash in their chips and move onto the next shiny thing. Very often, with the benefit of hindsight, they realise they’ve made a mistake, but when they try for a re-investment, they find that the asset is no longer on (in?) the market.

In conclusion, while discussing the idea for this article with a colleague, I was asked ‘how are you still single?’ My response was this: there are three things that completely baffle scientists: how gravity works, how light travels and why I’m still single. Mae West understood when she said, “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.”…and so it is with any sound investment.