I admit it. I’m a hold out. I’m the stubborn one who is always late to the party. I didn’t want anything to do with Facebook once upon a time, and still have zero interest in Clubhouse. Hey – what can I say? It takes a lot to win me over.
I remember hearing about crypto currencies and Bitcoin years ago, thinking to myself, “what a scam!” It felt weird, foreign, dangerous, and super suspicious. Until I talked to someone I trust and respect, who is a successful investor in that space, and seeing it close to home humanized it for me. It’s not some far-off “weird” scam, as it turns out. I’ve come to see that it’s a thing that sane, rational people are interested in and investing into.
When once I was skeptical, I’ve since completely changed my mind. This page is to share how I changed my mind and why, hook you up with some great discount codes that benefit you and benefit me, and to share my enthusiasm for the subject. Please use them to get started, and you’ll be able to get your own discount codes.
Ultimately, perhaps you’ll come to agree with my rationale and want to give it a shot, perhaps you won’t. I’ll also share some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way, and the sage wisdom that I’ve gotten from others as well as some hard-won lessons from doing it wrong. As always, I’ll be candid about everything.
Quick disclaimer before we dive in: I’m not an expert nor a financial advisor, and nothing I say here or elsewhere on financial subjects should be regarded as financial advice or an inducement. As with all investments, there is great risk, and that’s something you agree to fully shoulder the responsibility of.
Great, that’s all set – let’s do this. There are a few key sections you can jump to:
- The Overview – talks about some myths you might believe against some truths you should believe
- What Changed My Mind – talks about why I decided to give it a shot and some of the rationale
- Reasons I Believe in Crypto – talks about four solid reasons I believe in crypto as a sound investment vehicle for me and others
- Don’t Get Into Crypto If – talks about some legitimate reasons you’d want to avoid the entire space
- Sound Wisdom I Was Given – advice that’s helped me to be a smarter investor
- Beginner Mistakes I Made That You Can Avoid – talks about the dumb things I did, lessons I learned, and how not to repeat my mistakes
- Where To Start – how to dive in as a newbie (also, use the column to the right with all those links)
As an average human who isn’t an expert, here’s what I thought (False) versus what turned out to be true (True):
FALSE: Bitcoin is the entire ecosystem.
TRUE: Bitcoin is a single coin which spawned an entire ecosystem comprised of thousands of coins.
FALSE: Blockchain is a difficult concept and I won’t be able to get it.
TRUE: Blockchain the general ledger for crypto currency.
FALSE: Crypto is for criminals.
TRUE: Crypto has zero anonymity. Ever single transaction ever is recorded on the blockchain. You do something bad; Liam Neeson will find you.
FALSE: I’ll be a millionaire overnight.
TRUE: While that’s possible, it’s more likely that I’ll lose money if I go in with that attitude.
FALSE: Crypto can make me rich.
TRUE: I make me rich by learning, studying, and crypto is just another tool.
FALSE: Crypto currencies are just random things you invest in.
TRUE: Crypto currencies are projects (much like stocks), all trying to do something in the world.
FALSE: Crypto is easy.
TRUE: Crypto is easy to dive into a little bit at a time, and the more you uncover, the more you discover there is to uncover.
FALSE: Crypto is new… it’s a fad.
TRUE: It’s here to stay, and El Salvador made it legal tender. America will be last, but it’s coming.
FALSE: The US Dollar cannot collapse. All my investments are safe.
TRUE: The dollar is already experiencing record-breaking inflation (devaluation).
FALSE: This is too hard for me.
TRUE: We all can learn anything, and I can learn this too (and am). I need to be patient with myself.
FALSE: I don’t fully understand everything to do with it, so I shouldn’t get involved.
TRUE: Very few people fully understand everything to do with the money they already have, but that hasn’t stopped any of us from using it.
FALSE: I’m too late to make money on it – I missed my chance.
TRUE: Wrong. Until everyone has it (and we’re FAR from that), you’re still an early adopter and can potentially realize large gains.
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What Changed My Mind
My investment portfolio has always had a good mix of high risk and low risk assets. I have holdings in long- and short-term asset classes, majority ownership in three companies, and real estate. However, all of the risk profiles have been largely mild to moderate – nothing with high risk. Yields are there, 100%. At the same time, my core belief that great risk offers potential great reward made me curious about more risky endeavors. While I didn’t wish to set my holdings on fire and unsecure my secure investments, I still wanted to explore something with greater upside potential.
About a year before I dove into crypto, I was spending time with a friend (Friend #1) who has about 5 times the wealth asset holdings I do. While sitting at his kitchen counter, I saw some weird-looking red and green financial charts on a tablet, propped up and he was passively watching. I asked about it, he gave me a 50K foot view explanation of crypto currencies, why he was watching, how it helped him, and that was that. However, I couldn’t help but notice the wealth disparity between us. I wondered silently what kind of a role his crypto currency holdings and attention made on his overall wealth.
About six months before I dove into crypto, I spent time with another friend (Friend #2) who was making a good living just doing day trading in traditional stocks, using options. I knew that multiplying my wealth was possible using crypto, and stocks felt more traditional, therefore manageable. I also couldn’t help but notice her wealth growing daily, and felt like I could do it. I began researching the stock market, reading books, and more. I found it difficult to grasp and more than a little overwhelming.
One day, while having a conversation with Friend #1, the subject of crypto came up again. He explained a lot more, and gave me some great beginner advice that I’m going to share with you. On the heels of being frustrated by the overwhelm after being inspired by Friend #2, seeing the wealth of Friend #1 and seeing it wasn’t a scam in real life, I decided to give crypto a shot, because it felt easier and like something my brain could process. It also seemed sexier because while the lows were lower, it had seemingly higher highs (which meant massive opportunity if timed right). I took a tentative leap (speculative), and invested a small amount of money that would be great to multiply, but not heart-breaking if I lost it. I made money right away, and it set off a chain of events that have led to crypto currencies making up 10% of my asset holdings, where I’m in it for the long term. I made mistakes, learned a ton, and am still making money. I’m writing this page on a day where I’ve made $10,000 in one day – and I’m just in awe of the whole thing and how it all works and the massive potential the entire space has that has yet to unfold.
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Reasons I Believe in Crypto
- Through my research and self-education, I learned that crypto currencies as a whole align with my personal and political beliefs more than the traditional stock market offerings, and it feels better mentally. While that might feel stupid to you (and did to me at one time), I’ll be DAMNED if I’m going to invest in companies I don’t believe in, because I’d be funding ideas I don’t support. I won’t do that. As a lifelong rebel, I love crypto currency because my money can be aligned with who I am and what I believe. While there are lots of stocks I could support and would support, I’d rather back the future of currency with novel ideas that push us forward in an environment I can understand. This is the ultimate voting with my wallet.
- The volatility of the crypto space is an asset to any portfolio, in my humble opinion. While 90% of my holdings are safe and lower risk vehicles, I’m excited to hold something that can wildly swing all over the place (and does). I can make $10,000 in one day, or a multiple of that. I can lose the same or more as well, but that’s where the self-education comes in. I’ve invested money I don’t need to use right now (or ever), and I can excitedly watch as the market does what it does, and potentially 10x my wealth in that asset class in a shorter time period than the stock market or any real estate holding ever could. As a largely un-emotional person who doesn’t panic buy or panic sell (or really have many feelings about money), the volatility doesn’t bother me. Watching my portfolio go down (and I have) is a non-event. It’s a buying opportunity that I pounce on, period. Watching my portfolio goes up (and I have) is also a non-event. It’s a selling or holding opportunity, period. It’s delightfully emotionless. As a person who deals in feelings and warm-and-fuzzy for a great deal of my work, it’s nice to mentally punch out and live in the entirely pragmatic space.
- Bitcoin is the grandfather of all crypto currencies and the original that started it all. The entire motive of it was to decentralize finance and get banks and obnoxious governance out of the way that slows down money movement. Ever notice that sending money internationally can take a few days instead of instantly? Ever deposit a check and have to wait for “funds to clear?” Ever notice that banks will take up to a few weeks to clear a deposit of a large amount? I have, and it’s entirely unnecessary in the time we’re living in. It’s red tape we just tolerate because we don’t believe there’s a better way, but there is. Bitcoin transactions, as well as other crypto transactions happen near-instantly – globally. And the crypto space is all a global currency. While I’m a huge fan of the lack of governance and less rules, it carries more risk. You don’t have the FDIC insuring your money in a bank – you’re in charge of protecting your assets, which you can do.
- I believe crypto currencies, particularly Bitcoin, are a hedge against our dollars being devalued. If you were to give someone $10 to spend and they spent $15, and then came knocking on your door, demanding more, would you be happy? Nope – you wouldn’t. And it’s already happening. I’ve just describe taxation and government spending that is wildly out of control. We as mere mortals need to live within our means, but the government doesn’t? If you cut a pie into in 8 pieces, and gave 4 pieces to another person, and then they came back once they ate their 4 pieces and decided to cut your remaining 4 pieces in half so you’d have 8 smaller pieces and then take 4 of those… you’d be upset about that too. That’s already happening, and that’s called inflation. Printing more money doesn’t make more of it, it simply devalues what’s already there by reducing it’s value fractionally. So that said, when the government overspends and devalues the dollar to defend their overspending – who pays the price? You and I do. However – Bitcoin and crypto currencies are not government-backed currencies – they’re a currency by the people and for the people. When and if the dollar becomes worthless (as the Venezuelan Bolivar did), at least 10% of my assets are safe in a digital currency that isn’t tied to my government and their financial mismanagement.
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Don’t Get Into Crypto If…
- You’re emotional and can’t handle your asset values plummeting and soaring, sometimes all within a few hours. If you’re not stoic, STAY OUT.
- You are low-risk tolerant in your investing profile and aren’t comfortable being ultimately responsible for your money.
- You have no interest in learning something new and watching it several times a day/week/month and becoming richer by getting smarter.
- You’d rather have your financial planner handle all things money-related for you. As of now, you’re on your own. Perhaps brokers and crypto managers will be a thing someday like with stocks and mutual funds, etc – but they aren’t now.
- You need your money and can’t risk losing it completely.
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Sound Wisdom I Was Given (& Employ)
I’ve been given lots of advice from my financial planner, from my wealthier friends, and from good ol’ Mom & Dad.
- Only invest what you can afford to lose
- FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) has no place in investing
- Create a plan up front (or stoically build it as you go), and stick with it
- Learn, learn, learn. Never stop.
- Ask questions and be on a continual quest for knowledge
- Do not “set it and forget it” – pay attention
- Consider “dollar cost averaging” as a strategy
- Leave your emotions at the door. Do not panic buy or panic sell. Ever.
- Research the companies/projects you are considering investing in before putting in one penny
- Don’t take financial advice from friends or the internet. Research for yourself and make your own decisions.
- Secure your assets using a hardware wallet
- Get a VPN to anonymize your financial information
- Store your passwords in a password manager
- Don’t re-use your passwords
- Know yourself and your risk tolerance fully before diving into any investment
- Know yourself and your expertise – stay in your lane
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Beginner Mistakes I Made That You Can Avoid
The First: Being what’s called a “speculative” investor. Know what that is? Dumping money in and hoping it works out, and thinking I’m an expert when the market takes an upswing. When anyone invests in something they don’t understand, they’re speculating… which is a fancy term for “guessing” or “gambling.” I knew Bitcoin was going to be my primary investment vehicle, but I didn’t understand why or how the market works. When I made an initial investment and it worked out well, I thought I’d figured it all out and that’s all there was to it and jumped in harder. While that worked out initially and ultimately, I could have gotten super toasted. Ah… to be so naïve.
- What I should have done instead: Learn about the markets and watch quite a few shows before I dove in (like the ones I showed you).
- What I learned: I don’t know nearly enough to call myself an expert, but it doesn’t mean I can’t make money. I’m not an expert but I’m making money. I make money because I understand that I need to stay in my lane and stick to what I know and avoid what I don’t (until I do).
- What I do now: I research projects (coins) before investing. I watch the news and try to get a sense for what’s coming and when, so I can time purchases and sells. I talk to others and pay careful attention to market transactional analysis, even when I feel like a total imposter and I don’t get all of it. Some of it sticks, and it makes more and more sense every day.
- The lesson for you: Realize you’re going to be a speculative investor from day 1, you won’t know much, and therefore should probably consider entering the space conservatively and then get involved more and more as you learn more and more. Everyone has to start somewhere. Don’t internalize initial wins as you being a rock star (like I did at first), or losses as you being a failure (I did that too). It’s not; it’s only luck. It’s gambling when you don’t know what you’re doing, but it’s one of the best ways to learn (hence the advice to begin conservatively). You WILL learn by holding crypto currency of whatever coin you invest in. Be smart and never stop learning. Get curious and stay at it.
The Second: Getting emotional. During a major market selloff (prices plummeted rapidly in a short period of time), I panicked. I broke my own rule. I sold off to minimize my losses, intending to purchase again at lower rates when the market would plunge lower. And then… I saw the market making a rapid break upward and panicked – I got FOMO (fear of missing out), and began to doubt my plan. I started thinking I was an idiot for selling (I wasn’t!). So I had sold low, and in my moment of panic, I ended up buying back in at higher than I sold for. I lost money! While my losses were minimal, I learned that lesson precisely once. Thankfully, I’ve since made up for my losses, but it really taught me some valuable lessons about how not to get emotional.
- What I should have done instead: Stick to my plan and hang on to my reinvesting point. Breathe into a paper bag if needed, but let the moment pass and stick to the plan!
- What I learned: In hindsight, I learned that my rational plan had lots of merit to it, and would have worked out well if I’d just been stoic about it, which I’d been all along previously. FOMO is a feeling, not a strategy.
- What I do now: I solidified my strategy and I’ve since watched more of the shows to get the cool-headed insights that keep me on track and keep emotion out of my plan. I’ve had plenty of chances to panic since – and have let them all go. I learned my lesson once. Don’t need to repeat it!
- The lesson for you: Come up with a plan ahead of time and stick to it. Some folks employ “dollar cost averaging,” which is investing the same amount at a regular interval. That’s historically been a solid investment strategy across stocks and now this type of asset class as well. This is one of three strategies I use. My three strategies are: 1) dollar cost averaging, 2) HODLing (holding on for dear life), looking at the investments in a particular account as long-term and I’m not going to make any trades and 3) I watch my favorite Youtubers (below) for transactional analysis (you’ll learn that eventually) and learn everything I can to time my buying/selling for the accounts I want to more actively trade in. Before all that though, I decide up front what accounts I’ll trade with, which ones I’ll HODL, and which ones I’ll use the dollar cost averaging methodology. Your take-away: build a plan around your risk tolerance, need for funds, goals, and what you want to do, and STICK WITH IT. I let my emotions get the best of me exactly once. You can let your emotions win… exactly never.
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Where to Start
The advice I was given was to start small, and learn as I go. I was also told that the best way to learn about crypto is to have some. How right my friend was. I started small, and it was like a little pet I cared for every day. I watched it grow, shrink, and do all kinds of stuff. I was organically curious about it and the more it did, the more I wanted to know. Remember those funny little Tamagotchi toys from the 80’s? It’s like that. I fed my pet, I nurtured my pet, I dropped my pet once (oops – won’t do that again!), and I learned more about my pet, what my pet would become, and how to help my pet grow. And when I felt I could handle another pet (and more), I got more. Now that I’ve completely murdered the metaphor, let’s just assume you get what I’m saying.
My suggestion is to use the column to the top right of this page (or at the bottom if you’re on mobile) to use all the links I’ve supplied you with – in order.
If you want to do what I did, start with a small investment on Coinbase. It’s got the easiest-to-use platform for beginners and helps you to feel confident and like you can handle it. If you buy or sell over $100, both you and I make $10 in Bitcoin. Also, Coinbase has an “Learn and Earn” feature which literally pays you to learn about different crypto currencies (projects). I am always a fan of free money.
When you’re ready to graduate, you can either transition to CoinbasePro, or Binance. I have both. For asset holdings, I strongly recommend a hardware wallet, which is a term for a doo-dad that you stick on your keychain that keeps your assets from getting stolen. Worth the $. For letting your assets appreciate more than just sitting there bobbing up and down with market trends, check out Celsius.
As for your general knowledge, I strongly advise learning every single day. I have a number of podcasts and YouTube shows I can’t live without. I went from super zero n00b to kinda-sorta-know-what-I’m-doing n00b. I invest accordingly as my skills and knowledge continue to expand. And I’m getting better every day. Here are my favorites:
- https://www.youtube.com/c/CryptoCasey – excellent high level educational videos to start with – I love her and she does a great job explaining things in plain English
- https://www.youtube.com/c/CoinBureau – search through their videos for beginner content and then listen to their shows daily once you get past the beginner concepts. Excellent show to stick with.
- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjemQfjaXAzA-95RKoy9n_g – very helpful for beginners as well. The videos will be confusing at first, but the more you watch the short videos and the interviews, it’ll make sense
- https://www.youtube.com/c/MitchRayTA – for when your brain can handle complicated stuff and you want to learn the technical analysis stuff
Finally – there is so much more to crypto than what I’ve shared. This is the tiniest point of the tip of the iceberg. I continue to learn more all the time, and you will too. I hope you get excited about this like I did, and learn how to make yourself rich. Remember – YOU are responsible for your own investment success or failure, and you will either be your own biggest asset or your own biggest enemy. Your emotions determine which!
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