Famed writer Hunter S. Thompson was known for his “gonzo” journalism, where he not only reported on an issue, but immersed himself completely in the story.
It was never my intention to embark on this style of cryptocurrency reporting, but accidentally I am the perfect case study of the highs and lows of this wild financial frontier.
Like millions of others, I had watched the growth of crypto for years without ever really dipping my toes in the water.
I was intrigued by the buzz and even more interested in some of the profits being made, but also quite wary of the fact that it seemed to be an industry for tech savants and seedy shonks.
But last year, over a few beers with friends, I was convinced. They all made a very neat profit and in the end I thought “if these regular guys can control the cryptocurrency world, why not me?”
However, the old-fashioned investor in me made me follow the golden rule of only investing as much as you’re willing to lose.
I put a fairly insignificant amount into an account, asked my friends which coins I should invest in, and certainly as night followed the day, my wallet went up.
And up. And up!
Within a few months, I had more than doubled my money and suddenly found myself fooling myself for being so careful about my initial spending.
More specifically, my wife and I were struggling to buy our first marital home at the time, and I lamented the fact that if I had put our deposit into crypto, just a few months later we would have been ready for a much nicer place to stay.
But what can you do?
I reconciled my situation and thought I would just leave my crypto account there and continue to do its thing, and if it stayed at its current rate of growth, maybe a few years later, it could be a down payment for another property good .
Frankly, after a few months, I forgot that I even had a cryptocurrency portfolio. That was until I got a message from one of my friends who first convinced me to invest.
It said “Holy shit… did you see what happened to crypto?” followed by the brain-exploding emoji.
Having only known the good times for crypto, my first thought was a mix of greed and glee.
Perhaps the price of some of the obscure coins I had dice into had gone up while I hadn’t been paying attention.
I opened the app on my phone and popped up the chart of my portfolio.
Instead of flying to the sky, it fell through the floor.
I lost 85 percent in one day.
The coin my friends talked about the most, the coin I invested the most in, was called Luna. It’s worthless now.
It was so obscene I just had to laugh. What else could I do?
Rather than being consumed with disappointment, I found myself grateful for having been so careful when embarking on this crypto rollercoaster.
Unfortunately, some of my friends had been much more optimistic.
They often messaged me saying “buy the dips” and deposited thousands of dollars more every time Luna’s price fell.
On paper, they were killing it.
They had made many tens of thousands of dollars.
But the truth is that their spending was still miniscule compared to many other run-of-the-mill investors in Australia who thought they had discovered a get-rich-quick scheme that actually worked for once.
That was, until it didn’t.
So while I’m glad I dodged a bullet, I know a lot of others didn’t.
And such is the tragedy of this crypto crash – the number of latecomers, seduced by the hype and Hollywood recommendations, who piled up their savings and retirement savings at the peak of the market, only to find themselves in a huge trough both financially and emotionally.
I feel very sorry for them, but suspect there is quite a bit of glee in other parts of the community.
Maybe it’s a good reminder for everyone of that other financial golden rule: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
#Tom #Steinfort #Dodged #Bullet #Investing #Cryptocurrency