Am I Trading My Soul For Wealth?
“Ideally, the whales would forget how to breathe and the bears would go back into hibernation…permanently!”
I’ve been money hungry for years, but I’m like the glutton who can’t reach his cake. At the beginning of 2021, my cousin mentioned that he’d been dabbling in Bitcoin for a while. It was a word that I was vaguely familiar with, nothing more. I associated it with instability and arms dealers. Taking into account that my cousin is a bright chap, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by his endeavours. It turned out that he invests in a number of different securities, however, I was mostly interested in the currency of the criminal.
Within a few weeks, I had formed a base knowledge of this sphere and threw £200 pounds into Coinbase, a well-known starting point for newbies. It was a Sunday and the market was down by just a few percent. My impatience got the better of me; I just wanted in as quickly as possible. This initial mistake was realised the next morning. I turned on my laptop and might as well have been greeted by a troop of laughing monkeys. My initial investment had gone down to $170 as the market was now down. By the time I had checked my WhatsApp messages, the hypothetical troop of monkeys would have been throwing miscellaneous condiments at me. My cousin had sent me a message informing me that now was the perfect time to buy cryptocurrencies.
Fast forward to today and I have learned some valuable lessons via a handful of stupid mistakes. Everyone makes them and they are essential in order to grow. Training is useful but there is no substitute for experience, of which mistakes are an integral part of. Here are mine…
Do Your Own Damn Research
Youtube videos are a lazy tool for the weak mind. What’s more, the majority of them are subjective. If you’re gonna base all your investing decisions on some clickbait cowboy, be prepared to fall off your own horse. We’re talking a Chris Reeves landing too. I’m not saying that every Youtuber in crypto is wrong. I’m saying that if you rely on them for investment advice, you’re more likely to behave irrationally. When the market does something unexpected and your favourite Youtuber doesn’t post a video to explain it within half an hour, panic selling may prevail. This will be shortly followed by a rally in the market, causing you to buy back in at a higher price, only for the market to dip again. This time, your favourite Youtuber will post commentary. Doesn’t matter, though. Now it’s too late and you’re punching your sofa like a toddler who’s dropped their ice cream.
If you insist on binge watching anything, then I would recommend the channel Coin Bureau. At roughly 1 million subscribers at the time of posting, the presenter, Guy, maintains a very objective style and provides a solid foundation for any asset that he covers. Furthermore, he doesn’t shill those notorious shitcoins and he’s practically the only “not a financial advisor” that hasn’t diluted his content with advertisements. Oh…he recites his own brand of poetry in many of his videos too!
The best research tool is your own aptitude for turning stones over. Resources like Coinmarketcap and Coingecko list most of the 7000+ cryptocurrencies and present statistics such as price, market capitalisation, volume and all time highs/lows. The exact information you wish to see can be stipulated according to your needs and you can also run a search for coins based on your own filters. Checking the team behind each project can be done by visiting the website and verifying credentials via LinkedIn and Twitter. When I first heard the term “whitepaper”, I expected it would be a whirlwind of overwhelming tech babble. I would sooner define it as the project’s technology and goals written in layman’s terms. In fact, I’m surprised at how easy some of them are to understand. It’s like reading a chapter from Crypto For Dummies.
This segues effortlessly into my next point. Reading. There are hundreds of books about trading, investing and cryptocurrency. Warren Buffet swears by The Intelligent Investor - Benjamin Graham.I find that low-quality video content goes in one ear and out the other. Devouring the written word ensures the information stays tattooed on your money-hungry gonad. Whether you’re in search of fundamental crypto knowledge, or you wish to hone your technical analysis, a quick Amazon search will point you in the right direction. I would also recommend using sites like Coindesk and Cointelegraph to keep up to date with the most recent crypto developments.
2) Take Some Profit And Fuck The Prom Queen
Seeing your investments double in price is guaranteed to have you tingling inside. This is just the beginning too. The crypto sphere is incredibly volatile and millionaires can be made overnight. This positive fluctuation can lead to a false sense of security. If you’re not taking profits occasionally, there’s every possibility that your investment will spiral back down to where it started. Moreover, if you’re not playing the game right, you can end up in the red very easily.
A prime example of this common scenario is Pro The Doge, a.k.a - The Dogecoin Millionaire. This 30-odd-year old American invested his entire life savings into Dogecoin, a joke currency started in 2013. His fame came swiftly, and well known Youtube personalities like Andrei Jikh reached out to give him advice. Jikh and his millionaire entourage advised Pro to cash out, pay his taxes, and live the American dream. Pro was determined to HODL until Dogecoin reached a dollar. After Elon Musk’s appearance on Saturday Night Live, Doge dropped severely.
I am currently finding myself in precisely the same situation as Pro. The difference is that Pro is still a wealthy man. I’m far from broke, but at the time of writing this article, the crypto market is a disaster. Possibly a bear trap, possibly a bear market. Either way, it’s nail biting stuff and I’m sincerely wishing I had taken profits to reinvest during this ginormous dip. Like many others, I suspect, I didn’t want to hinder my chances of making larger amounts of money by cashing out halfway through an ascent. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of this. The market can dip at any time.
3) Set Emotions To The “Off” Position
In the real world, we have a soft spot for whales and bears and we are trying to save them from extinction. The world of crypto does not mirror this sentiment. Ideally, the whales would forget how to breathe and the bears would go back into hibernation…permanently. They are both a pain in the ass. While most of us struggle to float, the whales bask in the glory of market manipulation. One cheeky phone call from these big fish and most of us are waving goodbye to our short-lived gains. While us humble retail traders are drowning, the bears often glean triumph by hosing us down with their “I told you so” quips. Such distasteful mockeries are normally backed up with FUD articles concocted by better writers than myself.
The journey down is like being repeatedly kicked in the groin by a Muay Thai fighter. Just when the stomach pains and nausea is beginning to recede, the same thing happens again, only worse. This game is not for the emotionally weak. In fact, you need the type of mental control one would expect from creatures of an advanced civilisation. Something I am still trying to master is the simple art of just avoiding one’s devices. No phone, no laptop. In terms of practicality, making life simple again is a walk in the park. And this is precisely an activity that should be employed. A long walk in the countryside. An interesting book, preferably not related to trading, investing, finance, money or crypto. Cooking, playing a musical instrument, sudoko - hopefully these numbers will be less stressful - chess, masturbation, communism. If it distracts you from the frantic world of trading and investing, it’s worth a shot!