Lessons I’ve Learned From Investing In Crypto since 2017
Crypto has taught me a lot overall about investing – not only in coins, but in everything. With this article I wanted to share some lessons from the mistakes I’ve made. I’m doing well in it now, but there sure were some expensive mistakes I made to learn these lessons. If you’re reading this, you don’t have to make these mistakes.
Short story on how I got involved in crypto
In late 2016, I went to a conference on making passive income in a more heart-centered, courageous way. I was working at a pretty shitty job, and I was getting frustrated with it, so I took some days off to go to this conference.
The conference wasn’t about crypto at all, but I met up with some people who were invested in crypto. They not only showed me how to get into crypto, but why I should get into crypto, so I did. I signed up with Coinbase, and I bought about $100 worth of Ethereum (ETH) when it was then trading at $448.64 on December 7th, 2017. Within a month it had doubled and almost tripled. Ethereum had skyrocketed and was selling at almost $1200 per coin. I remember lookin at this like I had hit the jackpot. Up until then, I had not made any other investment that had almost tripled my money, and so fast.
I. told. everyone.
Everyone who was in my world at the time knew I invested some money in crypto because I shouted it from the rooftops, and I had friends that jumped in too.
What I didn’t realize about the market, was that that was the peak. Bitcoin and the rest of the market, including Ethereum, tanked and went down in value for the next two years.
This is when I learned my first lesson, and it continues to be the most important lesson to this day – Fomo will get you wrecked.
Lesson 1: FOMO will get you wrecked.
FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out. When a coin or stock is going up in value and everyone is talking about it or it gets heavy news or attention, people are like “damn…I don’t wanna miss out! I gotta invest now!”. Many times new people invest from this pressured, emotional place, and it might take you getting wrecked to learn not to FOMO into an investment. The danger in investing when all the excitement is happening is that that coin or stock or other investment could easily dip or even crash in value right after you invested, because you may have invested at a peak.
When everyone is excited and talking about an investment – whether it be stocks, real estate, crypto – anything, it’s way better to be ahead of the herd. Be in it before everyone starts talking about it. There are always opportunities to be ahead of the herd – to get in before things go up in price and value and attention, but it means you have to take your focus AWAY from where everyone is right now (the news), and being able to predict where things are going. You can even wait until things die down and buy the dip, but don’t FOMO in.
Buy low, sell high. Accumulate in the bear market when nobody is talking about what you want to invest in, so you’ll be positioned to take profits when the bull market inevitably comes and every one is talking about it.
Right now, everyone is talking about Bitcoin, but there are amazing opportunities in certain alt coins (every coin except Bitcoin) to make life-changing profits if you’re willing to learn and be patient.
One thing that we did in that conference mentioned above was made a list of trends that would be important in the future, so we could be ahead of the curve. We listed things like online education, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, robots, cyber security, cloud computing, e-books and audiobooks. These are trends that are going to be important in the future. These are places where you can be ahead of the herd.
Lesson 2: Only invest what you’re willing to go to 0. Don’t invest more than you’re willing to lose. Do not bet the farm!
I lumped all these together in one lesson. I ignored them all starting off. I said to myself, “if this investment is going to triple, why would I not put everything I own into it?”. Here’s why.
Having a significant portion of money and cash flow outside of your crypto (or any other investment) will lesson your sense of neediness. You won’t be constantly looking at it every day to see whether it goes up or down or left or right. You can leave it alone and not think about it so much because its not a huge part of your net worth. You can have strong hands when you see your investment take a slight or heavy dip in value and you won’t panic sell.
ALL MY CALLS WERE RIGHT in 2020! but I put almost all my money in crypto. This was the mistake. When I needed cash, I had to sell my crypto – giving away all my early positions. It wasn’t very fun to see the whole crypto market as a whole rise like crazy while I had almost nothing invested in it.
Lastly, if you haven’t bet the whole farm on crypto, you’ll have cash to invest in opportunities you see. If all your money is in crypto and the crypto market dips, your overall money will dip as well. If you have cash, you can take advantage of the dips and buy on those dips.
Lesson 3: Start small, find good projects and be patient enough to let it grow
It doesn’t take much to start investing in crypto. I put $200 in PAINT and it gave me a little over 100,000 coins. If PAINT goes to being worth $1, in maybe 2-5 years then that’s $100,000 off a $200 investment. If it goes to being worthless then I’m out $200. PAINT is in the NFT space and NFT’s are on fire right now, so I think it’s a good bet, but I’m willing to be wrong. (This is not financial advice and I’m not a financial advisor. Also, PAINT has not sponsored me. I just like the project).
That same $200 isn’t going to get you very far if you just invested it in Bitcoin. I would bet bigger if I was investing in Bitcoin or Ethereum because they’re the safest bets.
Good projects have a good team, solid roadmap, good use case. It takes time to sift through and find the solid projects amongst the thousands of coins – that’s why they’re called gems. The lower the market cap, the higher the risk of the investment. I start with low to mid-size market caps and play the waiting game for them to rise in value. Coin Gecko and CoinMarketCap tell you market cap information on coins and much more. I use them all the time.
I start with YouTube. It’s in a YouTuber’s interest to give you good, solid information that’s valuable. It helps their channel grow. That being said, I only use it as a starting point. I do my research on specific coins AND the YouTuber that mentioned the coin and put it against my own knowledge and reasoning. You are ultimately responsible for your profits and losses.
Lesson 4: Take profits
You’re not going to want to do this. When you see your investment rising in value, it will be hard to sell a portion and actually take some profits because you think it will continue to rise. It might, but nothing goes straight up and continues to go straight up. There are twists and turns and peaks and valleys – lots of them in a relatively new and emerging market like crypto/blockchain. WHEN to take profits is a personal choice, but take them. In 2018 many crypto investors, including myself, learned this lesson the hard way when the crypto market came crashing down and we rode those coins all the way to the ground.
Lesson 5: Look at the world like a sea of opportunity
How you see the market and how you relate to the market will affect how you trade.
If you look at the world like a sea of opportunity, then you won’t panic sell or be stressing out when a coin doesn’t do what you want/expect it to right when you want it to. You won’t be dejected and down in the dumps when another coin that you don’t have rises in price. You’ll know there are opportunities that come along all the time, so there won’t be any need to stress about an opportunity you think you missed. Jay Z said “There’s a million ways to get it…choose one”. If you can see the ocean of opportunities that are always there, you won’t be as attached to the outcome of any one particular investment. You won’t be hanging on its every move.
Imagine you’re a surfer and you’re trying to catch a good wave (your investment). If one wave doesn’t go how you want it to, just wait. There are plenty of good waves comin.
Lesson 6: Develop trust in yourself
Notice I said “develop”. You’re not going to start off with trust in yourself, but it will come with time and more engagement with the market. You’ll be able to see the places you can get in early. More importantly, if you’ve developed a string of small wins (meaning you’ve done a lot of step #3 already), you can start to trust yourself to bet bigger, and thus bigger profits come. Trust will come from learning what to look for and conditioning yourself to buy good projects low and early and sell high.
Lesson 7: The gold is in private communities. Pay to be in them if you have to.
Private communities, private telegram groups, and private memberships are all ways to get exclusive information. Many times people have done research in those communities for you and are trying to help everyone do well and/or find the hidden gems.
You’re going to need to learn the language. Here’s a great article on some common phrases and what they mean. I would also give Coinbase Learn an in-depth look. They might seem boring now, but learn about them again when nobody else wants to learn. If you don’t take away anything else from reading this, take this message away – be ahead of the curve.
That’s all I got for now! Have some fun investing!