The Youth’s Fascination with Scammers in Finance: Impact on Capital Markets and Financial Literacy?

Hey there! My first post here so bear with me please.
So, have you noticed how some of the youth (some of my friends as well) are into idolizing scammers in finance ever since the “Scam 1992” show and movies like “The Wolf of Wall Street” came out? It’s kind of surprising and fascinating at the same time! They seem to find figures like Harshad Mehta so captivating, almost like stock market gods!

But what I find interesting is that even with all this enthusiasm for these characters, it seems like many of them shy away from studying basic finance. Like, they’re all about posting Insta reels pretending to be Harshad Mehta, but when it comes to actually learning about the stock market, they don’t seem that interested.

Do you think this whole trend could end up having a negative impact on the stock market in the long run? I mean, if people start believing that scams and shortcuts are the way to success in the financial world, it could lead to some serious problems, don’t you think? Unrealistic expectations and risky behavior might become more common.

It’s kind of concerning that there’s this lack of interest in learning the basics of finance among the youth. Financial literacy is super important, and it empowers people to make smart decisions with their money. So, how do you think we can encourage them to understand the fundamentals of finance and the stock market better?

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The lure of quick money has always been the reason why people have gotten attracted to capital markets. This is not a new behavior. It is worse today because of how easily people can build an audience on social media and how there is a perverse incentive that pushes everyone to be loud on social media to build an audience.

I guess the only way is to have another group of people constantly keep setting the expectations right on social media. I think this as one of the key reasons for me to exist on social media. :slight_smile:


As always, thank you for leading the work of setting the expectations right. @nithin

You know what’s interesting? When we look at shows like “Scam 1992,” it seems like many people just focus on the fact that Harshad Mehta used bank loopholes and manipulated markets to make a ton of money real quick. And guess what? The GenZ crowd finds that kinda “cool” for some reason!

But the thing is, not many really understand the nitty-gritty of how he pulled it off. It’s like, they’re all in awe of the quick riches but have no clue about the tactics behind it. Some of my friends even opened trading accounts after watching the show, all hyped up with high expectations for easy money. Additional Source: Surge in Demat Accounts Scam 1992 - Money Control

The tricky part is, they didn’t feel the need to understand the scam properly, maybe because it’s kinda complex. Instead, they just focused on Harshad’s cool dialogues and got stuck in the illusion of quick money without knowing the whole picture.

If only they knew that the tactics used in those scams are totally illegal, not something a regular person can pull off, and rely on more than just trading skills. I bet that knowledge would have shattered the illusion of “quick” money created by influencers who often promise the moon.

I mean, let’s give credit to the show, it was great for those who had some basic financial knowledge and helped them realize the messed-up system of the '90s.

So, do you think if people had better financial knowledge and a deeper understanding of these scams, the shows could have actually helped reduce the illusion of quick money, instead of fueling it? Like, if they knew that quick money is often linked to scams around 70% of the time, would it make them more skeptical and less susceptible to these false promises?

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As they say, correlation doesn’t imply causation. The reason for new accounts that were getting opened at that time is that we were in peak bull market in late 2021 when this article was written. Nifty almost doubled from the Covid lows.

If anything, I think the producers of the show got their timing right. :slight_smile:

If you made the show more technical, it wouldn’t appeal to the mass audiences. How many watch highly technical documentaries on financial crimes? In any case, the show ends with the protagonist losing everything. In that way, the message was conveyed.


What’s wrong if he has done something illegal, there were others too who have done such things or even worse.

That’s the response i generally see on this matter :slight_smile:

Other than the flashy dialogues, brilliant screenplay and storytelling, it’s natural for audience get fancied by one against society/system stories.

One thing that I’ve observed in my own life and in general, everything is cyclical. It all depends on the nature of cyclicality. Whether it’s a quick cycle or a long one.

Trading comes under extremely quick cycle category unless the trader is extremely disciplined and knowledgeable and set his/her expectations right and the same applies more or less in every other profession in life but the cycle only gets longer.

Coincidentally, I read this piece by Morgan housel couple of days ago.

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