The current stock market frenzy has people dreaming about more than free lunches. The following adverts are from Money Daddy (钱爸爸), an online trading / investment platform based in Shenzhen. Of note? In addition to the pyramid scheme promises of rapid wealth, the site address plays with both “rich daddy, poor daddy” ideology and Cantonese numerology, where the number 8 is a homophone for the character for father and can also represents the character for “get rich”.
Translations of Money Daddy advertisements show “ideal” middle class Shenzheners enjoying their high returns. The underlying
anxiety point is actually quite simple: if you’re earning an honest living in any of these jobs (including an ordinary bureaucrat), you’re not earning enough for carefree spending. And carefree spending is, of course, the site where the self is being constructed as “macho”, “successful”, “loving”, “sexy”, and “independent”, respectively.
Ideal #1: the boyfriend / job placement worker. “I invested my first 10,000 yuan annual award on Money Daddy and earned 100+ yuan in 1 month. So I invited a goddess to see a movie. Who says there’s no free movies? There are on Money Daddy!
Ideal #2: the working girl / lawyer. “I invested the 190,000 yuan that I earned this year on Money Daddy and earned 4,000 yuan in 2 months. So I moved to a rental apartment near my office. Who says there’s no free rent? There is on Money Daddy!
Ideal #3: the loving husband / bureaucrat: “I moved 250,000 yuan from the stock market to Money Daddy and in 6 months earned 11,000 yuan. So I took my wife on a trip to Thailand. Who says there’s no free tourism? There is on Money Daddy!
Ideal #4: working girl / admin: “I invested 50,491 yuan of spending money on Money Daddy and in 3 months earned 1,900 yuan. So I could final purchase La Mer cosmetics. Who says there’s no free beauty? There is on Money Daddy!
Ideal #4: retired teacher / independent father: “I invested half my life savings–600,000 yuan–on Money Daddy and in 15 days earned 3,700 yuan. So I bought a new cell phone without bothering my son. Who says there’s no free cell phone? There is on Money Daddy.