My degree in Economics should have taught me better; but I got greedy, and fearful. The dust settled, I learned a lot, and now I will make wiser investment decisions and not allow the FOMO or greed to influence my investment decisions. Fortunately, my learning experience did not cost me any money, but that's only because I got lucky.
Lately, Bitcoin has gone up over $60K and even hit a new ATH of $61K when I looked last. With that, considering that it was at around $48.5k when I pulled $10k out, I could be more than $2,000 richer today if I had left the $10K in Bitcoin . Why don't I regret this, seeing how much I could have made?
Of course I wish I was $2k richer, but the risk was not worth the reward. Even if Bitcoin was $100k today, it still would not have been a mistake to pull the $10k. Why? Because as I mentioned, I had about half my ($20k) savings in there, and the consequences of losing a significant portion of my savings would have greater repercussions than gaining 20% or even 50% on my savings.
The truth is that I did not earn the $2k in ROI because I did not have the $10k to lose in the first place. I had 20k in my bank account, but considering where I am in my life, pursuing higher education and more skills, growing my small business, and plans for moving in the next few months - possibly thousands of miles away; the consequences of not having enough money to thrive on in my savings would be significant, if Bitcoin were to go down significantly instead of up.
PART 2: Gains vs Losses
You see, it's one thing to lose $2,000 that you would have gained, but still have 100% of your savings that you need to live on. It's another thing to gamble your savings and risk losing a significant portion your savings.
Moreover, even though Bitcoin went up, it just as well could have gone down - even by as much as -40%, realistically. Even though "this time is different", the truth is that all that has to happen is that Musk pulls his Bitcoin investment or some law passes hurting trust in Bitcoin , and all the cards come crashing down.
This time is different, yes. There's a higher than ever chance that Bitcoin can skyrocket, due to all the institutional investors getting in. However, there's also a high chance that Bitcoin could crash, because the market is so volatile and the risk of a major negative announcement is so high.
In 2018, Bitcoin hit an ATH , and then crashed for 2 years. I can't afford to lose $5,000 and then hold half my savings in Bitcoin for a couple years in hopes to get it back. Because I can't afford to HODL the extra $10k I had in Bitcoin , then the wisest move for me was to pull it, because the truth is I didn't have it to invest. Just because the money exists in your bank account does not mean you can afford to invest it.
PART 3: Risk vs Reward
$2k bonus money would make a little difference for me; but not much, especially because I can't use it if I'm HODL it in Bitcoin . Having $10k more savings in liquid cash at my disposal enables me the security that I need in life right now, especially considering the pivotal time in my life that I am facing. Soon I may be in a different city in a new state doing a different venture and looking for a new job. Who knows, maybe I'd even be getting married in 1 year, who can predict the future? I can't wisely keep such a high percentage of my liquid savings in a volatile asset; and especially not in a volatile economy.
Therefore, even though I could have profited off Bitcoin's $60k price had I kept the $10k in, the truth is that hindsight is 20-20. Only in hindsight can you know what the market will do. No one can predict the future, we can only bet against it in the most savvy way possible. This is why the wisest financial advice you will ever hear is:
Never Invest More Than You Can Afford To Lose.
Since I could not afford to lose the $10k, then I did not have it to invest in the first place. Gambling with the money you need to live on is dangerous. It's not that I lost $2k in profits. You could also say I could have invested the full $20k of my savings and then profited $5k - but it simply would not be worth the gamble to potentially lose half or more of my entire savings in 1 day if Bitcoin went down considerably.
PART 4: Investing Strategies & Tips
I am unmarried and without children at the moment, so I would not be gambling away my family's future. However, I would be gambling on my own future. If you have a family and children, though, then you should be even more wise. My putting in the $10k in the first place was unwise, but it's only my life affected. If you have a family and children, than that is a much larger gamble than the gamble I took. I got lucky when I came to my senses and pulled the $10k without a loss. But putting it in was a mistake, even though I didn't lose anything on it. It would have been a much bigger mistake if I had anyone depending on me.
The best strategy for investing, is
- Only invest after you have a considerable savings - 1 year of savings is a good rule of thumb.
- Only invest 10% to maximum 20% of your savings. This means if you have $20k cash, then only invest $2k to $4k MAX. I have $2k invested now (which is presently at $2.6k).
- Only invest what you are willing to lose 100% of.
- Consider your money invested as money that you do not have anymore. That way you can HODL without being tempted to pull it.
- Remember that the only way to possibly recoup major losses is to HODL - and to hold for possibly years before the next boom. Therefore, you must consider anything invested to be money you do not have.
If you are able to invest a certain amount and not feel devastated if 100% was lost in 1 day, then that is a wise amount to invest. You don't get anything in this world by being too safe, but you can lose everything overnight if you are foolish by gambling with the money you need to live on.
By thinking about the money as "gone" once you invest it, and living as if you did not have that money, then you free yourself of the emotional investment and potentially life-threatening stress (by heart attack, stroke, suicide, alcoholism, or some other consequence) if the market crashes and you lose the money. Since you already thought of the money as gone, then you won't be devastated if it collapses, but you will be peacefully pleased if it increases.
For example, if I had half my savings in there, then I should live as if I simply no longer have half my savings. If I can do that, then it's ok, although really not a wise decision. When I first put it in, I thought I could, but my emotional reaction when it went up a lot or down a lot over the following month proved to me that I really did need that money. It would be wiser to put in a smaller amount that may multiply considerably one day, but which if it cuts in half or less, I am not tempted to pull it out and cut my losses. Instead, I can keep it in there near forever.
Since $2k doesn't mean much to me, then having it in there is fine. If Bitcoin goes down to $20k or even $10k one day, no problem. I would be slightly sad, but it won't affect my mood and won't cause me to do anything drastic. And it won't inhibit my life. Since the $2k is not needed, then if it cuts in half then I don't mind leaving it in for years to hopefully recover the losses.
Conversely, if Bitcoin goes to $50 million or something crazy in 10 to 20 years, then I can remember, "Oh yeah I had $2k bitcoin , now it's worth $2 million!" And then it would be time to pull it out, for sure. Just like if I had been wise enough to put in $1000 when I could in 2013, then I'd be rich today. Lesson learned. But if I had put in all my savings in 2018, I would have lost most of it, so that would not have been a wise investment.
PART 5: Investing & Your Health
Another point is the stress factor. Putting in too much money is stressful. I am relatively young and healthy, but I have always believed that the small things you do every day will have a big impact over time, because they add up over 20, 50, 70 years. That's why I eat extremely healthy and take great measures to reduce stress. That's why I make sure to get enough sleep and go to great measures if something is causing me to lose sleep (such as moving if I get a loud neighbor).
The little things you do to take care of your health will add up and have a big impact . Conversely, if you allow little stressors and little poisons, these also add up to significantly reduce your life span.
Therefore, for me, it was also good to remove the stressful quantity of money for my own health and wellbeing. I did not like the high stress I felt every time I looked at the BTC price and feared it going down and was excited when it went up. It isn't healthy. $2,000 is not worth the stress it could cause if you invested too much and feared losing money.
Know yourself. If you think you can take it, fine, but don't gamble away your health and longevity on small financial gains. There are other ways to make $2,000 that don't cause you stress and cost you your health in the long term. I believe that even if you think you can take the stress because you are young and healthy like me, you still shouldn't because by reducing stress day by day over the years, you can add decades of healthy life to your life. If you're older or unhealthy (or both), then it's even more reason to reduce stress and not risk investing too much money that you can't afford to lose.
Even when I was 18 years old, I took great measures to reduce stress, eat healthy, sleep well, and maintain good health, because I believed that by doing this every day, it would add up over time. It has paid off because I currently look 10 years younger than my age, and I feel it too.
Health is more important than money. You can always make more money. At any age, if you have good health then you can always get a better job, start a business, get a promotion. On the other hand, it is much harder to restore your health once you've lost it, so you should take care of your health as a high priority at every age, even when young. This is my life philosophy.
PART 6: Investing is not get-rich-quick
Remember that if you want more to invest, you need to have 10x more in savings. If you want to invest $20k, you should have $200k in the bank.
Investing is not a get rich quick scheme. If you think you're going to get rich overnight from investing, you're about to find out what poverty means. But if you are patient, hold for a long time, and only invest what you are able, then it is possible to eventually get rich from small investments over time.
I hope you have learned something from my experience and that this has made you a little it of a wiser investor.
I will keep my $2.5k in Bitcoin for a long time. I also invested a much smaller amount ($1 to $10 each) into a lot of different altcoins which may or may not go anywhere, and will keep it in there for the foreseeable future in case any takes off one day like Bitcoin did.
PART 7: Bad Times Coming for USD
My major concern right now if not Bitcoin , but it's the US Dollar . Based on the fact that in 2020 they printed 100% more US Dollars (devaluing the dollar by half), and it looks like they are doing it again in 2021, then I fear that it may not be long before the dollar collapses, and the US economy with it. Other currencies besides the US Dollar may be a lot wiser to hold you current savings in, whether it's Bitcoin or simply another country's currency.
Bad times are coming for the US Dollar , and I fear massive hyper and the eventual collapse of the Dollar. It might not happen, but I believe that the people controlling America now are intentionally bleeding the US Dollar for every penny it's worth by stealing from the value of the Dollar by limitless printing, in order to usher in a new age of digital currency. Will it be Bitcoin? Maybe, but probably not. It is is Bitcoin , then maybe it will have a change of hitting $50 million or more. Who knows.
My major concern right now is not Bitcoin; it's the US Dollar. Based on the fact that in 2020 they printed 100% more US Dollars (devaluing the dollar by half), and it looks like they are doing it again in 2021, then I fear that it may not be long before the dollar collapses, and the US economy with it. Other currencies besides the US Dollar may be a lot wiser to hold your current savings in, whether it's Bitcoin or simply another country's currency.
Bad times are coming for the US Dollar, and I fear massive hyper-inflation and the eventual collapse of the Dollar. It might not happen, but I believe that the people controlling America now are intentionally bleeding the US Dollar for every penny it's worth by stealing from the value of the Dollar by limitless printing, in order to usher in a new age of digital currency. Will it be Bitcoin? Maybe, but probably not. If it is Bitcoin, then maybe it will have a chance of hitting $50 million or more. Who knows.
* Driving 150mph on the highway (60mph speed limit)
* Investing 50% of your savings
Never invest what you cannot afford to lose.