Testing the Tide | Monthly FIRE Portfolio Update - June 2020
We would rather be ruined than changed. -W H Auden, The Age of Anxiety This is my forty-third portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal. Portfolio goal My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars). This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent. Portfolio summary Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $726 306 Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $42 118 Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $78 730 Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $111 691 Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $201 745 Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $39 357 Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $231 269 Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 668 Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 310 NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $5 532 Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $117 757 Secured physical gold – $18 913 Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $10 479 Bitcoin – $148 990 Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 841 Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) – $2 553 BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 484 Total portfolio value: $1 765 743 (+$8 485 or 0.5%) Asset allocation Australian shares – 42.2% (2.8% under) Global shares – 22.0% Emerging markets shares – 2.3% International small companies – 3.0% Total international shares – 27.3% (2.7% under) Total shares – 69.5% (5.5% under) Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over) Australian bonds – 4.7% International bonds – 9.4% Total bonds – 14.0% (1.0% under) Gold – 7.7% Bitcoin – 8.4% Gold and alternatives – 16.2% (6.2% over) Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio. [Chart] Comments The overall portfolio increased slightly over the month. This has continued to move the portfolio beyond the lows seen in late March. The modest portfolio growth of $8 000, or 0.5 per cent, maintains its value at around that achieved at the beginning of the year. [Chart] The limited growth this month largely reflects an increase in the value of my current equity holdings, in VAS and A200 and the Vanguard retail funds. This has outweighed a small decline in the value of Bitcoin and global shares. The value of the bond holdings also increased modestly, pushing them to their highest value since around early 2017. [Chart] There still appears to be an air of unreality around recent asset price increases and the broader economic context. Britain's Bank of England has on some indicators shown that the aftermath of the pandemic and lockdown represent the most challenging financial crisis in around 300 years. What is clear is that investor perceptions and fear around the coronavirus pandemic are a substantial ongoing force driving volatility in equity markets (pdf). A somewhat optimistic view is provided here that the recovery could look more like the recovery from a natural disaster, rather than a traditional recession. Yet there are few certainties on offer. Negative oil prices, and effective offers by US equity investors to bail out Hertz creditors at no cost appear to be signs of a financial system under significant strains. As this Reserve Bank article highlights, while some Australian households are well-placed to weather the storm ahead, the timing and severity of what lays ahead is an important unknown that will itself feed into changes in household wealth from here. Investments this month have been exclusively in the Australian shares exchange-traded fund (VAS) using Selfwealth.* This has been to bring my actual asset allocation more closely in line with the target split between Australian and global shares. A moving azimuth: falling spending continues Monthly expenses on the credit card have continued their downward trajectory across the past month. [Chart] The rolling average of monthly credit card spending is now at its lowest point over the period of the journey. This is despite the end of lockdown, and a slow resumption of some more normal aspects of spending. This has continued the brief period since April of the achievement of a notional and contingent kind of financial independence. The below chart illustrates this temporary state, setting out the degree to which portfolio distributions cover estimated total expenses, measured month to month. [Chart] There are two sources of volatility underlying its movement. The first is the level of expenses, which can vary, and the second is the fact that it is based on financial year distributions, which are themselves volatile. Importantly, the distributions over the last twelve months of this chart is only an estimate - and hence the next few weeks will affect the precision of this analysis across its last 12 observations. Estimating 2019-20 financial year portfolio distributions Since the beginning of the journey, this time of year usually has sense of waiting for events to unfold - in particular, finding out the level of half-year distributions to June. These represent the bulk of distributions, usually averaging 60-65 per cent of total distributions received. They are an important and tangible signpost of progress on the financial independence journey. This is no simple task, as distributions have varied in size considerably. A part of this variation has been the important role of sometimes large and lumpy capital distributions - which have made up between 30 to 48 per cent of total distributions in recent years, and an average of around 15 per cent across the last two decades. I have experimented with many different approaches, most of which have relied on averaging over multi-year periods to even out the 'peaks and troughs' of how market movements may have affected distributions. The main approaches have been:
An 'adjusted income' approach - stripping out the capital gains components of Vanguard funds to reach an estimate of underlying income generation, both across the entire investment period, and during the sharpest low of the Global Financial Crisis
A long-term asset class approach - relying on long-term historical data on averages of the income produced by various asset classes
A 'tax method' approach - this derives an income estimate as a percentage of the portfolio by drawing on taxable investment income totals from tax return records
Simple historical rolling average - this is a rolling three-year measure, based on the actual distributions record of the portfolio
Average distribution rate approach - this method uses a long-term average of annual distributions received as a percentage of the total portfolio since 1999
Each of these have their particular simplifications, advantages and drawbacks. Developing new navigation tools Over the past month I have also developed more fully an alternate 'model' for estimating returns. This simply derives a median value across a set of historical 'cents per unit' distribution data for June and December payouts for the Vanguard funds and exchange traded funds. These make up over 96 per cent of income producing portfolio assets. In other words, this model essentially assumes that each Vanguard fund and ETF owned pays out the 'average' level of distributions this half-year, with the average being based on distribution records that typically go back between 5 to 10 years. Mapping the distribution estimates The chart below sets out the estimate produced by each approach for the June distributions that are to come. [Chart] Some observations on these findings can be made. The lowest estimate is the 'adjusted GFC income' observation, which essentially assumes that the income for this period is as low as experienced by the equity and bond portfolio during the Global Financial Crisis. Just due to timing differences of the period observed, this seems to be a 'worst case' lower bound estimate, which I do not currently place significant weight on. Similarly, at the highest end, the 'average distribution rate' approach simply assumes June distributions deliver a distribution equal to the median that the entire portfolio has delivered since 1999. With higher interest rates, and larger fixed income holdings across much of that time, this seems an objectively unlikely outcome. Similarly, the delivery of exactly the income suggested by long-term averages measured across decades and even centuries would be a matter of chance, rather than the basis for rational expectations. Central estimates of the line of position This leaves the estimates towards the centre of the chart - estimates of between around $28 000 to $43 000 as representing the more likely range. I attach less weight to the historical three-year average due to the high contribution of distributed capital gains over that period of growth, where at least across equities some capital losses are likely to be in greater presence. My preferred central estimate is the model estimate (green) , as it is based in historical data directly from the investment vehicles rather than my own evolving portfolio. The data it is based on in some cases goes back to the Global Financial Crisis. This estimate is also quite close to the raw average of all the alternative approaches (red). It sits a little above the 'adjusted income' measure. None of these estimates, it should be noted, contain any explicit adjustment for the earnings and dividend reductions or delays arising from COVID-19. They may, therefore represent a modest over-estimate for likely June distributions, to the extent that these effects are more negative than those experienced on average across the period of the underlying data. These are difficult to estimate, but dividend reductions could easily be in the order of 20-30 per cent, plausibly lowering distributions to the $23 000 to $27 000 range. The recently announced forecast dividend for the Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) is, for example, the lowest in four years. As seen from chart above, there is a wide band of estimates, which grow wider still should capital gains be unexpectedly distributed from the Vanguard retail funds. These have represented a source of considerable volatility. Given this, it may seem fruitless to seek to estimate these forthcoming distributions, compared to just waiting for them to arrive. Yet this exercise helps by setting out reasoning and positions, before hindsight bias urgently arrives to inform me that I knew the right answer all along. It also potentially helps clearly 'reject' some models over time, if the predictions they make prove to be systematically incorrect. Progress Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below. Measure Portfolio All Assets Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 81.0% 109.4% Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 98.8% 133.5% Total expenses – $89 000 pa 79.2% 106.9% Summary The current coronavirus conditions are affecting all aspects of the journey to financial independence - changing spending habits, leading to volatility in equity markets and sequencing risks, and perhaps dramatically altering the expected pattern of portfolio distributions. Although history can provide some guidance, there is simply no definitive way to know whether any or all of these changes will be fundamental and permanent alterations, or simply data points on a post-natural disaster path to a different post-pandemic set of conditions. There is the temptation to fit past crises imperfectly into the modern picture, as this Of Dollars and Data post illustrates well. Taking a longer 100 year view, this piece 'The Allegory of the Hawk and Serpent' is a reminder that our entire set of received truths about constructing a portfolio to survive for the long-term can be a product of a sample size of one - actual past history - and subject to recency bias. This month has felt like one of quiet routines, muted events compared to the past few months, and waiting to understand more fully the shape of the new. Nonetheless, with each new investment, or week of lower expenditure than implied in my FI target, the nature of the journey is incrementally changing - beneath the surface. Small milestones are being passed - such as over 40 per cent of my equity holdings being outside of the the Vanguard retail funds. Or these these retail funds - which once formed over 95 per cent of the portfolio - now making up less than half. With a significant part of the financial independence journey being about repeated small actions producing outsized results with time, the issue of maintaining good routines while exploring beneficial changes is real. Adding to the complexity is that embarking on the financial journey itself is likely to change who one is. This idea, of the difficulty or impossibility of knowing the preferences of a future self, is explored in a fascinating way in this Econtalk podcast episode with a philosophical thought experiment about vampires. It poses the question: perhaps we can never know ourselves at the destination? And yet, who would rationally choose ruin over any change? The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
Two Roads Diverge | Monthly FIRE Portfolio Update - May 2020
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken This is my forty-second portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal. Portfolio goal My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars). This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent. Portfolio summary Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $727 917 Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $42 128 Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $78 569 Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $110 009 Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $187 003 Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $39 987 Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $225 540 Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 726 Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 741 NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $5 652 Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $117 714 Secured physical gold – $18 982 Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $11 395 Bitcoin – $159 470 Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 357 Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) – $2 492 BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 477 Total portfolio value: $1 757 159 (+$62 325 or 3.7%) Asset allocation Australian shares – 41.4% (3.6% under) Global shares – 22.2% Emerging markets shares – 2.3% International small companies – 3.0% Total international shares – 27.4% (2.6% under) Total shares – 68.8% (6.2% under) Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over) Australian bonds – 4.4% International bonds – 9.7% Total bonds – 14.1% (0.9% under) Gold – 7.8% Bitcoin – 9.1% Gold and alternatives – 16.9% (6.9% over) Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio. [Chart] Comments This month featured a further recovery in the overall portfolio, continuing to effectively reduce the size of the large losses across the first quarter. The portfolio has increased by around $62 000, leading to a portfolio growth of 3.7 per cent. This means that around half of the large recent falls have been made up, and the portfolio sits around levels last reached in October of last year. [Chart] Leading the portfolio growth has been increases in Australian shares - particularly those held through the Betashares A200 and Vanguard VAS exchange traded funds, with both gaining over four per cent. Most other holdings remained steady, or fell slightly. Markets appear to be almost entirely disconnected from the daily announcements of the sharp effects of the global coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions. Bond and equity markets seem to have different and competing expectations for the future, and equity markets - at best - are apparently intent on looking through the immediate recovery phase to a new period of strong expansion. [Chart] On some metrics, both major global and Australian equity markets can be viewed as quite expensive, especially as reduced dividends announced have largely yet to be delivered. Yet if historically low bond yields are considered, it can be argued that some heightening compared to historical equity market valuations may be sustainable. Reflecting this moment of markets holding their breath before one of two possible futures plays out, gold and Bitcoin remain elevated, and consequently above their target weightings. Perhaps the same contending forces are in evidence in a recent Australian Securities and Investment Commission study (pdf) which has found that average Australian retail investors have reacted to uncertainty by activating old brokerage accounts, trading more frequently, and holding securities for shorter periods. My own market activity has been limited to purchases of Vanguard Australian shares ETF (VAS) and the international share ETF (VGS), to bring the portfolio closer to its target allocations. Will Australia continue to be lucky through global slow downs? Despite this burst of market activity in the retail market, it is unclear how Australian markets and equities will perform against the background of a global economic slowdown. A frequently heard argument is that a small open trade exposed commodities provider such as Australia, with a more narrowly-based economy, may perform poorly in a phase of heightened risk. This recent Bank of England paper (pdf) makes the intriguing suggestion that this argument is not borne out by the historical record. In fact, the paper finds that industrial production in Australia, China and a mere handful of other economies has tended to increase following global risk shocks. A question remaining, however, is whether the recovery from this 'risk shock' may have different characteristics and impacts than similar past events. One key question may be the exact form of government fiscal and monetary responses adopted. Another is whether inflation or deflation is the likely pathway - an unknown which itself may rely on whether long-term trends in the velocity of money supply continue, or are broken. Facing all uncertainties, attention should be on tail risks - and minimising the odds of extreme negative scenarios. The case for this is laid out in this moving reflection by Morgan Housel. For this reason, I am satisfied that my Ratesetter Peer-to-Peer loans have been gradually maturing, reducing some 'tail risk' credit exposures in what could be a testing phase for borrowers through new non-bank lending channels in Australia. With accrued interest of over $13 000, at rates of around 9 per cent on average, over the five years of the investment, the loans have performed relatively well. A temporary sheltering port - spending continues to decline This month spending has continued to fall even as lockdown and other restrictions have slowly begun to ease. These extraordinary events have pushed even the smoothed average of three year expenditure down. [Chart] On a monthly basis credit card spending and total expenses have hit the lowest levels in more than six years. Apparently, average savings rates are up across many economies, though obviously individual experiences and starting points can differ dramatically. Total estimated monthly expenditure has also fallen below current estimates of distributions for the first time since a period of exceptionally high distributions across financial year 2017-18. The result of this is that I am briefly and surprisingly, for this month, notionally financially independent based on assumed distributions from the FIRE portfolio alone - at least until more normal patterns of expenditure are resumed. Following the lines of drift - a longer view on progress made Yet taking a longer view - and accounting for the final portfolio goal set - gives a different perspective. This is of a journey reaching toward, but not at, an end. The chart below traces in purely nominal dollar terms the progress of the total portfolio value as a percentage of the current portfolio goal of $2.18 million over the last 13 years. It also shows three labels, with the percentage progress at the inception of detailed portfolio data in 2007, at the start of this written record in January 2017, and as at January 1 of this year. [Chart] Two trend lines are shown - one a polynomial and the other exponential function - and they are extended to include a projection of future progress out to around 18 months. The line of fit is close for the early part of the journey, but larger divergences from both trend lines are evident in the past two years as the impact of variable investment returns on a larger portfolio takes hold. There are some modest inaccuracies introduced by the nominal methodology adopted - such as somewhat discounting early progress. A 2007 dollar had greater 'real' value and significance than is assigned to it by this representation. The chart does demonstrate, however, the approximate shape and length of the early journey - with it taking around 5 years to reach 20 per cent of the target, and 10 years to reach around half way. Progress Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below. Measure Portfolio All Assets Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 80.6% 108.4% Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 98.3% 132.3% Total expenses – $89 000 pa 78.8% 106.0% Summary With aspects of daily life slowly and incrementally adjusting to a 'new normal', the longer-term question for the portfolio remains around how markets and government actions interact in a recovery phase. The progress of the portfolio over the past 13 years has seemed, when viewed from afar as in chart above, predictable, and almost inevitable. Through the years it has felt anything but so smoothly linear. Rather, tides and waves have pushed and pulled, in turn stalling progress, or pushing it further ahead than hopes have dared. It is possible that what lays ahead is a simple 'return leg', or more of the same. That through simple extrapolation around 80 per cent of the challenges already lay behind. Yet that is not the set of mind that I approach the remainder of the journey with. Rather, the shortness of the distance to travel has lent an extra focus on those larger, lower probability, events that could delay the journey or push it off-course. Those 'third' risks types of tail risks which Morgan Housel points out. In one sense the portfolio allocation aims to deal - in a probabilistic way - with the multiple futures that could occur. Viewed in this way, a gold allocation (and also Bitcoin) represents a long option on an extreme state of the economic world arising - as it did in the early 1980s. The 75 per cent target allocation to equities can be viewed as a high level of assurance around a 'base case' that human ingenuity and innovation will continue to create value over the long term. The bond portfolio, similarly, can be seen as assigning a 15 per cent probability that both of these hypotheses are incorrect, and that further market falls and possible deflation are ahead. That perhaps even an experience akin to the lengthy, socially dislocating, post-bubble phase in Japan presided over by its central bank lays in store. In other interesting media consumed this month, 'Fire and Chill', the brand new podcast collaboration between Pat the Shuffler and Strong Money Australia got off to an enjoyable start, tackling 'Why Bother with FIRE' and other topics. Additionally, investment company Incrementum has just published the latest In Gold We Trust report, which gives an arrestingly different perspective on potential market and policy directions from traditional financial sources. The detailed report questions the role and effectiveness of traditionally 'risk-free' assets like government bonds in the types of futures that could emerge. On first reading, the scenarios it contains appear atypical and beyond the reasonable contemplation of many investors - until it is recalled that up to a few years ago no mainstream economics textbook would have entertained the potential for persistent negative interest rates. As the paths to different futures diverge, drawing on the wisdom of others to help look as far as possible into the bends in the undergrowth ahead becomes the safest choice. The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
Over the past 100 days, Grayscale has bought every third bitcoin
Over the past 100 days, Grayscale has bought every third bitcoin The Grayscale Investments cryptocurrency investment fund acquired every third bitcoin mined in the last 100 days. And in April, the fund bought 50% of all ETH mined. At the same time, despite the financial crisis and the fall of the cryptocurrency market in March, shares of Grayscale crypto funds in the first quarter of 2020 attracted record investments, which indicates a growing interest of institutional investors in the crypto industry. Why does the company need so many coins, what is its current position regarding the crypto market and what role does it play on it?
Aggressive Grayscale crypto purchases have recently been spotted with respect to ether. So, by April 24, the company had bought about 756 539 ETNs (accurate data are not publicly available) for its Ethereum Trust fund. This is about 48.4% of all 1.5 million coins mined since the beginning of this year. As a result, the company already owns 1% of all coins in circulation and only increases the pace of purchases. The first user to notice this was Reddit under the nickname u/nootropicat. According to the latest quarterly report by Grayscale, the flow of investments in ETN reached a record level for the first three months of 2020 — $110 million. This is a very sharp increase, given that total investments in ETN for the previous two years amounted to $95.8 million. The total demand for the Ethereum fund grew over the quarter is almost 2.5 times compared with the fourth quarter of 2019. From the beginning of the year until the end of April, the company issued 5.23 million shares of the fund at 0.09427052 ETN apiece. At the same time, shares are traded with a premium of 420% relative to the current price of the coin — $92 against $17.70. That is, investors are willing to pay extra pretty much not to deal with cryptocurrency on their own. Most likely, the increase in the rate of purchase of the coin is associated with the upcoming upgrade of the network to the state of Ethereum 2.0. It can take place at the end of July, but, most likely, it will happen not earlier than the end of the year. After the upgrade, the network will become more scalable and there will be the possibility of staking — validators will be able to receive passive income for providing their funds to confirm the blocks. The crypto market, by the way, is also preparing for the transition of the ecosystem to a new stage. ETH has grown 55% since the crash in March, from $110 to $202 on the day of publication. At the end of April, CoinDesk drew attention to the increase in the number of long positions in ETH futures — this indicates expectations for further growth of the coin.
Last quarter — the most successful in the history of the company
In May, Grayscale released a report on the results of the first quarter of this year. “Despite the decline in risky assets this quarter, Grayscale’s assets continue to approach record highs, as does our share of the digital asset market,” the document says. And this despite the coronavirus pandemic, the global recession and the traditional cryptocurrency market volatility. A record $503.7 million investment was raised in the first quarter. This is almost twice the previous quarterly maximum of $254 million in the third quarter of last year and accounts for 83% of the total capital of $1.07 billion raised for the entire 2019. New investors accounted for $160 million of raised funds. The main products of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and Grayscale Ethereum Trust raised $388.9 million and $110 million, respectively. It is noteworthy that the company reduced the premium on stocks of funds relative to the price of assets. 88% of investments came from institutional investors, among which hedge funds prevail; 5% — from accredited individuals, 4% — from pension accounts (yes, pension funds are extremely conservative in nature, but also invest in bitcoin against the background of a decrease in the profitability of other assets); 3% came from family offices, and 38% of customers invested in several products at once. It is noteworthy that two years ago the share of institutional investors was about 50% — it is obvious that they no longer consider bitcoin as something criminal. “Many of our investors see digital assets as medium and long-term investment opportunities and the main component of their investment portfolios. Quarterly inflows doubled to $ 503.7 million, demonstrating that demand is reaching new peak levels even in conditions of “risk reduction”, the document says. Today, more than 46.5% of the inflow of funds was attracted from multi-strategic investors. Crypto investors accounted for only 11.2% of the inflow, according to the report. Grayscale currently operates ten cryptocurrency investment products targeted at institutional investors. They cover PTS, ETN, ETS, BCH, ZEC, XRP, LTC, ZEN, XLM. The value of the assets under his management is more than $3.8 billion. GBTC is the most demanded product, most investors invest in it and it takes about 1.7% of the total volume of circulating bitcoins. Aggregate quarterly flow of funds to different Grayscale products. Pay attention to the growing share of investors diversifying portfolios with products tied to altcoins. Since January of this year, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust has been registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to it, the company provides quarterly and annual reports in the form of 10-K. The status makes it possible to sell shares of a trust in the secondary market after 6 months, rather than 12, as before, and also increases the confidence of conservative investors. Other products comply with OTCQX reporting standards in the OTC market and are approved by the US Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for public offering. Amount of assets managed by Grayscale as of May 20, 2020. It is noteworthy that the news about the success of Grayscale comes amid news of how panicky investors in traditional assets are fleeing from market turmoil. So, the largest fund managers — BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Global Advisors — lost several trillion in capitalization of their assets, and BlackRock in the first quarter for the first time in five years saw a net outflow of funds from its long-term investment products.
Bitcoin is the best asset for hedging portfolios in crisis
At the end of April, Grayscale also released a separate report on the analysis of the impact of regulators during a pandemic and the crisis caused by it and how it affected the bitcoin and cryptocurrency market as a whole. The document said fiat currencies are at risk of devaluation as central banks print more and more money. Even the US dollar, which is the world’s reserve currency, risks being devalued if the US Federal Reserve continues to print the currency in trillions. A decrease in interest rates to zero and negative values deprives government bonds of the status of “safe haven” during the crisis. Therefore, investors are trying to diversify their portfolios with alternative instruments. Cryptocurrencies are the best choice for this, according to the authors of the report. The text emphasizes the historical significance of gold as a global standard, but it is noted that in the modern digital world it is becoming increasingly burdensome for investors — it has complex logistics. Bitcoin seems resistant to the problems that other assets face. Therefore, in times of economic uncertainty, the first cryptocurrency is one of the best assets that investors can use to hedge their portfolios. The coin performs better than any other asset, including fiat currencies, government bonds, and traditional commodities like gold. The authors of the report emphasize that Bitcoin has already begun to show signs of becoming a protective asset. At the same time, the company believes that bitcoin is an excellent asset not only in times of crisis. So, in December 2019, Managing Director of Grayscale Investments Michael Sonnenshine said that the company expects an influx of investments in bitcoin after the transfer of $68 trillion of savings between generations in the next 25 years. Today, this capital is invested in traditional assets, but a significant part of these wealth millennials will invest in cryptocurrencies. Already, according to him, investments in GBTC are among the five most popular among young people, ahead of, for example, investments in Microsoft and Netflix.
The unprecedented financial measures taken by the US Federal Reserve, as well as the worsening recession, are forcing even the most conservative investors to rethink their current strategies and portfolio composition. Many of them are increasingly beginning to appreciate the fixed emission and non-correlation of Bitcoin — it is becoming a tool for risk diversification. Growing institutional interest is driving the acceleration of coin prices. Subscribe to our Telegram channel
Author: Gamals Ahmed, CoinEx Business Ambassador Financial risk management is one of the most controversial topics in trading. Traders want to reduce the risk and potential loss, but on the other hand, these traders also want at the same time to get the best profits. It is known that in order to obtain greater returns, you also need to take greater risks. Some may consider trading an entertaining and difficult pastime, but everyone should be aware that the most important aspect of trading is risk management.
What are the different risk management techniques used in trading?
Long-term trading Stock market traders use historical data to make long-term strategic business decisions. The long-term cryptocurrency strategy depends on current activity, and you will be more inclined towards hopeful information rather than reliable information and more suitable for cryptocurrencies. Short term trading Short-term traders benefit from the volatile cryptocurrency market by using swing trading when the price differs in short bursts of movement. Technical Analysis Technical analysis of cryptocurrencies requires research into project that affect the market based on price and volume data available through analytical technology. Fundamental analysis Traders often look to blogs and information sites and study the whitepaper for cryptocurrencies or cryptocurrency community forums. https://preview.redd.it/bcdhftsba0351.jpg?width=864&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4763c03a2d5ecaa082cfa78ed3693c0d7e1186e0
Why should you stick to risk management?
You can get a series of successful deals based on good luck. You can also get a series of bad deals that depend on luck and feel. It even happens to successful, experienced professional traders that they lose 10 trades in a row. Without risk management, this could result in your capital loss and final exit. The most important goal in trading is to stay in the market and preserve your capital. As long as you are in the market, you can recoup your losses. If you lose 10% of your capital, this means that you must make a profit of 11.1%. If your budget is $ 1,000 and you lose $ 100 ( ~ to 10%), you’ll have $ 900. $ 100 is 11.1% of that. This means that losses hurt more than profits of the same size. This becomes worse with more losses. If you lose 50% of your capital, you must double your money to offset the loss. The new trader’s rule for managing at most risk is 1% of the capital for each trade. If you lose 10 deals in a row (which is unlikely) and lose 1% each time, how much do you have left? Still 90%. If you risk 2%, what remains for you after losing 10 recurring deals is only 81% of the capital. You have to make 11% or 23% profit to make up for it. Even if you lose 100 deals in a row with a 1% risk management plan in hand, you still have 37%. A seasoned trader may use 2% occasionally. A trader who risks 10% disappears quickly. You might be wondering, if I decide to follow risk management with just 1% in the deal, does this mean that I can only invest 1% of the capital for each transaction? No. This is the ratio for determining the maximum acceptance of a loss from a single trade. Initial decisions I assume you know your total capital, no matter if it is $ 100 or $ 1 billion. The main point is to have a specific budget available. Do not use borrowed money, which you have to repay in a deadline. Do not use money you need in the future. If you are emotionally attached to this money, these emotions will make you feel stressed. You want to be a successful trader and not an emotional gambler. The next step is to find a deal. It does not matter if you do this daily and trade specific currencies or not. You have tools like fundamental and technical analysis to research deals. Immediately before entering into a trade, there is a basic calculation that must be performed: Determine the entry price, stop loss and the amount of risk. Well, the risk is easy. We already know that we will choose 1%. The entry price is also easy. It could be the current market price or the limit you set for your order. Now, stop loss: it is necessary to know and set the stop loss before entering a trade. Another rule is that you are not allowed to adjust your stop loss afterward to accept more losses. How to determine the stop loss? Technical analysis is the only method available regardless of the random selection of something. Perhaps you will use something like “beyond the next support level (or resistance)” or “the other side of the trend line we just broke”. Now we have the four components of risk management: budget size, entry price, stop-loss and risk-taking. The time to use the calculator. The size of the deal Now to find out how much money you are allowed to invest in this deal. Transaction Size = (Risk Size * Budget) / (Entry Price — Stop Loss) For example: If you have a budget $ 1,000 and want to buy bitcoin for $ 2,300 with a stop loss $ 2,200 and a risk 1%, then this means: The deal size is (1% * $ 1,000) / ($ 2,300 — $ 2,200) ) = $ 10 / $ 100 = 0.1. So in this example you are allowed to buy 0.1 Bitcoin units for this trade. You must make this account before every trade! Even if you do, you will encounter errors sometimes, but risk management will help you to preserve your capital. Courage will shout at you to take greater risks, because you are very sure of your prediction. But always remember, to succeed you must stick to your stop loss and strategy. Setting goals Before entering into a position, you must also have a target price in mind for sale. The risk must be doubled. If you risk 1% of your capital, the potential profit must be 2–3% of your capital. If the goal for profit is equal to stopping the loss, you must stay away from trading and ignore this deal. This does not mean that you will always reach or lose your goal. You are allowed to manually track stop loss or exit early. However, the goal should be possible given the volatility of the market you are in. Level of risk Well, I got away from the plan and ignored your strategy. The deal entered without due diligence. whatever. How much risk did you just take? You know your budget, entry price and deal size. You must quickly define the next stop loss. How much risk? Risk = (Trade Size * (Entry Point — Stop Loss)) / Budget For example, I bought 0.3 bitcoin at a price of $ 2,500 with a budget of $ 1,000. Stop loss is $ 2345. This means that the risk is (0.3 * 155 dollars) / 1000 dollars = 4.64%. Risk reduction Now for some good things that can’t be used practically, however, the concepts are sound. Why the reader may ask 1% risk? Is it just a rule? Is there an ideal ratio? In theory, yes there is. We can use the Kelly standard. The formula is simple: Risk = p-((1-p)/r Getting those variables P and R is difficult. You have to know your profit rate, which is the number of times your goals are reached. You also need a profit-to-loss ratio, which is the average profit per trade. For example, if you earn 47% of the time and 117% of your average capital, then the ideal risk is 1.7%. In practice you don’t really know this specifically or variables p and r, so I recommend sticking to 1% as the basis for risk management.
Risk Management Tips for Cryptocurrency Investment
1. You should never risk more than you can afford to lose. However, this error is very common, especially among Crypto traders who are just starting out. The Crypto market is very difficult to predict, so traders who want to invest more than they can actually put themselves at risk of market and losing their money. 2. Don’t trade by all of your capital at same time. Anything can affect the Crypto market. The smallest news can affect the price of a particular currency in a negative or positive way. Instead of trade with everything you own”, it is better to follow a more moderate path and trade reasonable amounts of your capital. 3. Improve your risk management performance Fortunately, there are several ways to help avoiding these mistakes and avoid loss. You must have a well-tested trading plan that includes all the details of managing financial risk in Crypto. The trading plan should be practical — and you should be able to follow its steps easily. Experts recommend that it is better to focus on high-probability deals. Crypto trading involves a high degree of risk, so it is essential that you be disciplined in all of your financial transactions. You should also be able to pay extra attention to your past mistakes, and practice trading activities in a demo account first. The time and effort you spend in creating a trading plan is often considered a major investment that helps you achieve a profit-able future. 4. Control your emotions and risk management As a Crypto trader, you need to be able to control your feelings and emotions towards your open, future, and closed positions as well! If you cannot control your feelings, you will not be able to reach a position where you can make the profits you want to trade. Market sentiment can often trap traders in volatile positions in the market. This is one of the most common market risk for Crypto trading. Those with stubborn nature tend not to do well in the Crypto market. These types of traders tend to wait too long to exit the trade. When a trader realizes his mistake, he must leave the market as soon as possible, to take the least possible loss. Waiting too long can cause you to lose a large portion of your capital. Once you exit the deal, you need to be patient and re-enter the market when it presents a real new opportunity. 5. Basic concepts in risk management To reduce the financial market risk for trading Cryptocurrency, you will need to remember some of the basic points mentioned below: The evaluation of money changes, and often affects companies and individuals participating in global stock exchanges. Liabilities, assets and fund flows are affected by changes in exchange rates. By trading small amounts of your capital and monitoring market movements, you will be able to see these concepts take hold throughout your daily trading sessions. 6. Important tips for developing a risk management plan model Below is a series of simple tips that you can consider and include in the financial risk management plan model when trading Crypto, which may help you reduce trading losses associated with market risks: 1. Stop losses Trading without a stop loss is like driving a car without braking at full speed — it won’t end well. Likewise, once your stop loss is set, you should never lower it. There is no point in having a safety net in place if you are not going to use it properly. The goal of stopping a loss is to limit the size of the potential loss in order to be able to in-crease your total profits, and what needs to be done on the other side is to set profit-taking orders as well! 2. Do not link all your investments in one place This applies to all types of investment, and Crypto is no exception. Crypto should be part of your portfolio, but not complete it. Another way that you can expand it is to invest or trade more than one crypto coin. 3. The general trend is your companion You may have made the decision to be a long-term trader, with plans to keep these deals for an extended period of time. However, regardless of the deal you ultimately decided to take, you should not resist current market trends or movements. There will always be strong players in the market, and the best way to keep up with them is to absorb such changes and follow the general trend, and change your strategies to reflect this. 4. Keep teaching yourself The best way to learn the financial risk management system in Crypto and become an efficient and successful Crypto trader is to know how the market works. However, as we mentioned earlier, the market is constantly changing, so if you want to stay ahead of your game, you have to be always ready to learn new things and update yourself about market changes. 5. Use the plug-in To advance in Crypto, you may want to use some trading software that can help you settle your choices. However, these systems are not ideal, so it is best to use them as a consulting tool, and something to refer to rather than use as a basis for making business decisions. 6. Limiting the use of leverage It can be very tempting to use leverage to make big profits. However, this can make it easy for you to lose a huge portion of your capital, too. So do not support the use of giant leverage. All it takes is one quick change in market direction, and you can easily delete your entire trading account. Crypto risk management is not difficult to understand and implement. But in order to invest in any financial instruments, whether it be bonds, exchange-traded funds, stocks, contracts for the difference in prices or cryptocurrencies, you need to acquire advanced knowledge in the field of risk management. The hard part is having enough self-discipline to adhere to the rules of this risk management plan as the market moves against your positions. The content is for opinion sharing only and should not be relied upon to make any investment decisions.
Why Global Deflation May Not Be Bad News for Bitcoin
Contrary to expectations, bitcoin could see a positive performance during a possible bout of global deflation if it acts not just as an investment asset, but as a medium of exchange and a perceived safe haven like gold. The top cryptocurrency by market value is widely considered to be a hedge against inflation because its supply is capped at 21 million and its monetary policy is pre-programmed to cut the pace of supply expansion by 50 percent every four years. As such, one may consider any deflationary collapse as a price-bearish development for bitcoin. Talk of deflation began earlier this month after the U.S. reported massive job losses due to the coronavirus outbreak. The prospects of a deflationary collapse have strengthened with this week’s oil price crash. “The oil price rout will send a deflationary wave through the global economy,” tweeted popular macro analyst Holger Zschaepitz on Tuesday. Read more: First Mover: What the Oil Price Collapse Means for Bitcoin’s Halving Valuation Cash typically becomes king during deflation because the drop in the general price levels boosts the monetary unit’s purchasing power, or the ability to purchase goods and services. “Unlike inflation, when people try to get out of the dollar because it’s losing value, during deflation people are more comfortable with the dollar because its value is going up,” said Erick Pinos, ecosystem lead for the Americas at the public blockchain and distributed collaboration platform Ontology. The rush for cash, however, may not have a substantially negative impact on bitcoin’s price because deflation would also boost the purchasing power of the cryptocurrency. “While the price per coin may stagnate during a period of aggressive economic deflation, the inherent buying power of the currency will actually rise, possibly quite significantly,” said Brandon Mintz, CEO of the bitcoin ATM provider Bitcoin Depot. As time goes on and people become more comfortable with digital assets, the average person begins to see Bitcoin as a legitimate viable alternative to gold.** The uptick in the purchasing power will likely draw greater demand for bitcoin, as the cryptocurrency is already used as means of payment. “Hundreds of thousands of businesses, brands and merchants do accept the ‘digital gold’ as payment, and thousands more every day are realizing the benefits of diversifying their revenue stream and accepting bitcoin as payment for their goods and services,” said Derek Muhney, director of sales and marketing at Coinsource, the world’s leader in Bitcoin ATMs. Moreover, the cryptocurrency’s appeal as a medium of exchange is likely to continue strengthening with the growing prevalence of technology in consumers’ everyday lives caused by the coronavirus pandemic. ##Digital gold ## Ever since its inception, bitcoin has been dubbed “digital gold.” Like the yellow metal, the cryptocurrency is durable, fungible, divisible, recognizable and scarce. Both assets share features that fulfill Aristotle’s call for a currency to be practical and functional. Bitcoin has actual utility as the means of payment, which gold lacks, according to Coinsource’s Muhney. “As time goes on and people become more comfortable with digital assets, the average person begins to see Bitcoin as a legitimate viable alternative to gold. Thus, it’s reasonable to assume that during a period of deflation bitcoin would perform well like gold has in the past,” said Erick Pinos, America’s ecosystem lead at the public blockchain and distributed collaboration platform Ontology. Read more: Looking for a Safe Haven Digital Asset? Try Gold Hence, gold’s performance during the previous bouts of deflation could serve as a guide for bitcoin investors. Historical data shows gold performs well during deflation, which includes a sharp rise in financial stress and increased risk of corporate defaults; highly levered companies tend to go bust during deflation because their revenues fall while their debt service payments remain the same. Of course, gold’s shine is particularly bright during periods of inflation as well. As in periods of sizable deflation, inflation brings a set of price distortions that shake-up income statements and economies. A commonly-used measure of stress is the “Ted spread” or the difference between the three-month U.S. interbank rate and the three-month T-Bill rate. Ted SpreadSource: St. Louis Fed Research“Massive spikes in the Ted spread in the 1970s were accompanied by a sharp rise in gold. The Ted spread also rose sharply in the early 1980s; in 1987 in the wake of the stock market crash and during the global financial crisis of 2007-2009 – both also periods of stronger gold prices,” according to Oxford Economics’ research note. Gold’s performance in stress periodsSource: Oxford ResearchThe real or inflation-adjusted price of gold rose an average 33 percent per annum in the 1970s, 18 percent in 1980s and 15.8 percent in 2000. Underscoring all of the scenarios is that a sudden rise in economic stress usually fuels a global dash for cash, forcing investors to sell everything from stocks to gold. However, once economic uncertainty starts settling, people again start looking for safe havens. “During the Great Recession, while gold initially declined alongside other equities, it found its footing and rallied faster than stocks recovered,” Ontology’s Pinos told CoinDesk. The Ted spread spiked as high as 4.6 following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in August 2008. Gold fell from $920 to $680 per troy ounce in the August to October period, as investors treated the yellow metal as a source of liquidity, but still ended that year with 5.5 percent gains. More importantly, it rallied by 24 percent in 2009 and went on to hit a record high above $1,900 in 2011. Read more: First Mover: Bitcoin Jumps as Fed Assets Top $6.5T and Traders Focus on Halving The yellow metal’s recent price gyrations suggest history may be repeating itself. As the Ted spread rose from 0.11 to 1.42 in the four weeks to March 27, gold fell from $1,700 to $1,450 yet is now trading near $1,725 per ounce, having hit a 7-year high of $1,747 ten days ago. Bitcoin, too, was treated as a source of liquidity last month, as evidenced from the near 40 percent drop to levels under $4,000 seen on March 12. Since then, however, the cryptocurrency has risen by nearly 85 percent to $7,500. If gold’s historical data and the recent market activity is a guide, then the path of least resistance for bitcoin appears to be on the higher side. ##Unprecedented stimulus to undermine fiat currencies ## Both the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have unleashed massive amounts of liquidity into the system over the past few weeks to contain the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Notably, the Fed is running an open-ended asset purchase program and its balance sheet has already risen to record highs above $6.5 trillion. Meanwhile, central banks from New Zealand to Canada have slashed rates to zero and have recently announced bond purchase programs. What’s more, the amount of fiscal stimulus announced by 22 countries in March is equivalent to 75 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP), according to JPMorgan. However, most governments and central banks appear to have run out of ammo. Hence, if the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread or leads to corporate defaults, investors may lose trust in traditional finance and look for alternatives like bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. Moody’s Analytics recently warned of the heightened risk of corporate defaults in the oil and gas sector across the globe, and weakness in entertainment and leisure giving way to pressure on consumer durables. “The willingness to fight deflation should bode well for bitcoin,” said Richard Rosenblum, head of trading at GSR. Meanwhile, Ashish Singhal, CEO and founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinswitch.co, said, “In a deflationary scenario, the chances of negative interest rates are high, and users would want to move their existing assets into more stable assets like bitcoin to prevent loss in their asset value.” Interest rates are already set below zero across Europe and in Japan and are hovering at or near zero in other advanced countries. Further, with central banks willing to do whatever it takes to defeat deflation, the real yield or inflation-adjusted returns on bonds are likely to remain negative or meagerly positive at best. As a result, zero-yielding assets like gold and bitcoin may attract more buyers. Bank of America’s analysts noted earlier this week that the stimulus frenzy amid the coronavirus pandemic would put pressure on the currencies and send gold to $3,000 by October 2021. While bitcoin could perform well during deflation, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have seldom tracked macro developments on a consistent basis in the past. “Blockchain-based currencies are really their own beasts,” said Bitcoin Depot CEO Brandon Mitz. DisclosureRead MoreThe leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. Source: https://thedailyblockchain.news/2020/05/24/why-global-deflation-may-not-be-bad-news-for-bitcoin/
Why Global Deflation May Not Be Bad News for Bitcoin
Contrary to expectations, bitcoin could see a positive performance during a possible bout of global deflation if it acts not just as an investment asset, but as a medium of exchange and a perceived safe haven like gold. The top cryptocurrency by market value is widely considered to be a hedge against inflation because its supply is capped at 21 million and its monetary policy is pre-programmed to cut the pace of supply expansion by 50 percent every four years. As such, one may consider any deflationary collapse as a price-bearish development for bitcoin. Talk of deflation began earlier this month after the U.S. reported massive job losses due to the coronavirus outbreak. The prospects of a deflationary collapse have strengthened with this week’s oil price crash. “The oil price rout will send a deflationary wave through the global economy,” tweeted popular macro analyst Holger Zschaepitz on Tuesday. Read more:First Mover: What the Oil Price Collapse Means for Bitcoin’s Halving Valuation Cash typically becomes king during deflation because the drop in the general price levels boosts the monetary unit’s purchasing power, or the ability to purchase goods and services. “Unlike inflation, when people try to get out of the dollar because it's losing value, during deflation people are more comfortable with the dollar because its value is going up,” said Erick Pinos, ecosystem lead for the Americas at the public blockchain and distributed collaboration platform Ontology. The rush for cash, however, may not have a substantially negative impact on bitcoin’s price because deflation would also boost the purchasing power of the cryptocurrency. “While the price per coin may stagnate during a period of aggressive economic deflation, the inherent buying power of the currency will actually rise, possibly quite significantly,” said Brandon Mintz, CEO of the bitcoin ATM provider Bitcoin Depot. AS TIME GOES ON AND PEOPLE BECOME MORE COMFORTABLE WITH DIGITAL ASSETS, THE AVERAGE PERSON BEGINS TO SEE BITCOIN AS A LEGITIMATE VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO GOLD. The uptick in the purchasing power will likely draw greater demand for bitcoin, as the cryptocurrency is already used as means of payment. “Hundreds of thousands of businesses, brands and merchants do accept the ‘digital gold’ as payment, and thousands more every day are realizing the benefits of diversifying their revenue stream and accepting bitcoin as payment for their goods and services,” said Derek Muhney, director of sales and marketing at Coinsource, the world’s leader in Bitcoin ATMs. Moreover, the cryptocurrency’s appeal as a medium of exchange is likely to continue strengthening with the growing prevalence of technology in consumers' everyday lives caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Ever since its inception, bitcoin has been dubbed “digital gold.” Like the yellow metal, the cryptocurrency is durable, fungible, divisible, recognizable and scarce. Both assets share features that fulfill Aristotle’s call for a currency to be practical and functional. Bitcoin has actual utility as the means of payment, which gold lacks, according to Coinsource’s Muhney. “As time goes on and people become more comfortable with digital assets, the average person begins to see Bitcoin as a legitimate viable alternative to gold. Thus, it's reasonable to assume that during a period of deflation bitcoin would perform well like gold has in the past,” said Eric Pinos, America's ecosystem lead at the public blockchain and distributed collaboration platform Ontology. Read more:Looking for a Safe Haven Digital Asset? Try Gold Hence, gold’s performance during the previous bouts of deflation could serve as a guide for bitcoin investors. Historical data shows gold performs well during deflation, which includes a sharp rise in financial stress and increased risk of corporate defaults; highly levered companies tend to go bust during deflation because their revenues fall while their debt service payments remain the same. Of course, gold’s shine is particularly bright during periods of inflation as well. As in periods of sizable deflation, inflation brings a set of price distortions that shake-up income statements and economies. A commonly-used measure of stress is the “Ted spread” or the difference between the three-month U.S. interbank rate and the three-month T-Bill rate. The real or inflation-adjusted price of gold rose an average 33 percent per annum in the 1970s, 18 percent in 1980s and 15.8 percent in 2000. Underscoring all of the scenarios is that a sudden rise in economic stress usually fuels a global dash for cash, forcing investors to sell everything from stocks to gold. However, once economic uncertainty starts settling, people again start looking for safe havens. “During the Great Recession, while gold initially declined alongside other equities, it found its footing and rallied faster than stocks recovered,” Ontology’s Pinos told CoinDesk. The Ted spread spiked as high as 4.6 following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in August 2008. Gold fell from $920 to $680 per troy ounce in the August to October period, as investors treated the yellow metal as a source of liquidity, but still ended that year with 5.5 percent gains. More importantly, it rallied by 24 percent in 2009 and went on to hit a record high above $1,900 in 2011. Read more:First Mover: Bitcoin Jumps as Fed Assets Top $6.5T and Traders Focus on Halving The yellow metal’s recent price gyrations suggest history may be repeating itself. As the Ted spread rose from 0.11 to 1.42 in the four weeks to March 27, gold fell from $1,700 to $1,450 yet is now trading near $1,725 per ounce, having hit a 7-year high of $1,747 ten days ago. Bitcoin, too, was treated as a source of liquidity last month, as evidenced from the near 40 percent drop to levels under $4,000 seen on March 12. Since then, however, the cryptocurrency has risen by nearly 85 percent to $7,500. If gold’s historical data and the recent market activity is a guide, then the path of least resistance for bitcoin appears to be on the higher side.
Unprecedented stimulus to undermine fiat currencies
Both the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have unleashed massive amounts of liquidity into the system over the past few weeks to contain the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Notably, the Fed is running an open-ended asset purchase program and its balance sheet has already risen to record highs above $6.5 trillion. Meanwhile, central banks from New Zealand to Canada have slashed rates to zero and have recently announced bond purchase programs. What’s more, the amount of fiscal stimulus announced by 22 countries in March is equivalent to 75 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP), according to JPMorgan. However, most governments and central banks appear to have run out of ammo. Hence, if the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread or leads to corporate defaults, investors may lose trust in traditional finance and look for alternatives like bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. Moody's Analytics recently warned of the heightened risk of corporate defaults in the oil and gas sector across the globe, and weakness in entertainment and leisure giving way to pressure on consumer durables. “The willingness to fight deflation should bode well for bitcoin,” said Richard Rosenblum, head of trading at GSR. Meanwhile, Ashish Singhal, CEO and founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinswitch.co, said, “In a deflationary scenario, the chances of negative interest rates are high, and users would want to move their existing assets into more stable assets like bitcoin to prevent loss in their asset value.” Interest rates are already set below zero across Europe and in Japan and are hovering at or near zero in other advanced countries. Further, with central banks willing to do whatever it takes to defeat deflation, the real yield or inflation-adjusted returns on bonds are likely to remain negative or meagerly positive at best. As a result, zero-yielding assets like gold and bitcoin may attract more buyers. Bank of America’s analysts noted earlier this week that the stimulus frenzy amid the coronavirus pandemic would put pressure on the currencies and send gold to $3,000 by October 2021. While bitcoin could perform well during deflation, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have seldom tracked macro developments on a consistent basis in the past. “Blockchain-based currencies are really their own beasts,” said Bitcoin Depot CEO Brandon Mitz.
Coinviva Market Weekly Report - Week of 05/04/2020
BTC/USD Hourly Chart The Bitcoin price was able to break out of the upper Keltner channel at $6,540 and reached as high as $7,285 at one point. It went back to $6,818 which is near the resistance level from last December. The higher highs and higher lows show that the price is back on an upward trend. The BTC price is expected to test the $7,140 resistance next week. If the momentum keeps up, the price can potentially go back to $7,650 in the medium term. For the time-being, wait for the price to break above the Keltner channel again near $7,000 and then enter a long position, with support at around $6,650. Review of the week: Despite the economic downturn induced by the coronavirus pandemic, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell predicts that Bitcoin (BTC) and the crypto industry as a whole will perform well in the months ahead. In an interview with Forbes, Powell reveals that while many companies are laying off workers, the San Francisco-based exchange is increasing its staff by nearly 10% due to an uptick in interest in the cryptocurrency market at large ever since the coronavirus surfaced in China. He says that both the cryptocurrency and traditional markets have their share of retail investors who make trades on a whim, and that Bitcoin has remained relatively stable, with the price rebounding by 30% plus last week. A closely-watched Bitcoin (BTC) whale Joe007, who earned $20 million in realized profits on Bitfinex between February and March, says he expects more pain ahead for the global economy and predicts waves of volatility as governments push to prop up traditional markets and combat a devastating loss of jobs: “It is going to be the biggest economic shock of our generation. It will unfold in waves and over time, giving false hopes and then crushing them. The focus of the crisis will be shifting through different areas. Attempts to alleviate and solve one crisis will lead to more mess.” He expects investors to continue shifting assets to US dollars – a dynamic that pummeled equities and the crypto markets in March. In a letter to investors, CEO and co-founder of Quantum Economics, Mati Greenspan, says Bitcoin’s recent crash, along with traditional markets, is not surprising. He argues that concerns are overblown regarding whether the leading cryptocurrency still has a future after the volatile pullback: “There seems to be an existential question going around the crypto market at the moment where people are saying that if bitcoin can’t rise in this environment then it probably doesn’t have much of a reason to exist at all. After all, the narrative of using bitcoin as a safe haven in times of financial stress has been a rather strong one throughout the years and so now should really be BTC’s time to shine. Bitcoin was invented to give us an alternative to money that is controlled by governments and banks. The volatility is largely due to the fact that it’s quite new and adoption rates are unstable, which leads to large levels of speculation. So, a measure of success would be to see bitcoin remain on a slow but steady incline, rather than zooming towards the moon due to global uncertainty.” Disclaimer: The above market commentary is based on technical analysis using historical pricing data, and is for reference only. It does not serve as investment or trading advice. About Coinviva: Coinviva aims to create the best crypto financial services ecosystem for both institutional and individual investors. We provide reliable fiat funding options, excellent trading liquidity, bank security level custody and one-stop high liquidity provision on-site & off-site. Our founding management team all come from top tiered investment banking (e.g. JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch), with fully comprehensive financial institution operation experience. Homepage: https://coinviva.com/ Telegram: https://t.me/coinviva
Want to start fresh after the crypto crash? Here is a comprehensive guide on how to invest and prosper over the long term.
Well its happened, the crypto market just experienced the worst crash since 2014, the bubble has burst. The idiocy of newbies FOMO-ing into anything with low nominal value lead to endless twitter timelines like this, and now nobody has any idea where the market settles. What do you do now? In the following weeks it will be a good time to rethink your investment approach and how you arrive at your decisions. Just buying whatever is shilled on Twitter or Reddit and jumping from one crypto to another isn't going to work like it did these last two months. The good news is that we're finally back closer and closer to our long term moving average which is much more healthy for entrants, the bad news is that the fear might continue compounding if outstanding issues are not dealt with. Tether is the big concern for me personally for reasons I've stated many times, but some relief in the short term may come if the SEC and CFTC meeting on February 6th goes well. Nobody really knows where the bottom is but I think we're now past the "irrational exhuberance" stage and we're entering a period of more serious inspection where cryptos will actually have to prove themselves as useful. I suspect hype artists like CryptoNick and John McAfee will fall out of favor. But perhaps most importantly use this as a learning experience, don't try to point fingers now. The type of dumb behavior that people were engaging in that was rewarded in a bull market (chasing pumps, going all in on a shillcoin, following hype..etc) could only ever lead to what we are experiencing now. Just like so many people jumped on the crypto bandwagon during the bull run, they will just as quickly jump on whatever bandwagon is to be used to blame for the deflation of the bubble. Nobody who pumped money into garbage without any use case will accept that they themselves with their own investing behavior were the real reason for the gross overvaluation of most cryptocurrencies, and the inevitable crash. So if you're looking for a fresh start after the massacre (or just want to get in now), here is a guide:
Part A: Making a Investment Strategy
This is your money, put some effort into investing it with an actual strategy. Some simple yet essential advice that should apply to everyone, regardless of individual strategy:
Slow down and research each crypto that you're buying for at least a week.
Don't buy something just because it has risen.
Don't exit a position just because it has declined.
Invest only as much as you can afford to lose.
Prepare enter and exit strategies in advance.
First take some time to think about your ROI target, set your hold periods for each position and how much you are actually ready to risk losing. ROI targets A lot of young investors who are in crypto have unrealistic expectations about returns and risk. A lot of them have never invested in any other type of financial asset, and hence many seem to consider a 5-10% ROI in a month to be unexciting. But its important to temper your hype and realize why we had this exponential growth in the last year and how unlikely it is that we see 10x returns in the next year. What we saw recently was Greater Fool Theory in action. Those unexciting returns of 5-10% a month are much more of the norm, and much more healthy for an alternative investment class. You can think about setting a target in terms of the market ROI over a relevant holding period and then add or decrease based on your own risk profile. Example: Calculating a 2 year ROI target Lets say you want to hold for 2 years now, how could you set a realistic target to strive for? You could look at a historical 2 year return as a base, preferably during a period similar to what we're facing now. Now that we had a major correction, I think we can look at the two year period starting in 2015 after we had the 2014 crash. To calculate a 2 year CAGR starting in 2015:
Total Crypto Market Cap
Jan 1, 2015:
Jan 1, 2017:
Compounded annual growth return (CAGR): [(18/5.5)1/2]-1 = 81% This annual return rate of 81% comes out to about 4.9% compounded monthly. This may not sound exciting to the lambo moon crowd, but it will keep you grounded in reality. You can aim for a higher return (say 2x of that 81% rate) if you choose to take on more risky propositions. I can't tell you what return target you should set for yourself, but just make sure its not depended on you needing to achieve continual near vertical parabolic price action in small cap shillcoins because that isn't sustainable. Once you have a target you can construct your risk profile (low risk vs. high risk category coins) in your portfolio based on your target. Risk Management Everything you buy in crypto is risky, but it still helps to think of these 3 risk categories:
Core holdings - This is the exchange pairing cryptos and those that are well established. These are almost sure to be around in 5 years, and will recover after any bear market. The Coinbase pairs (Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum) are in this class of risk, and I would also argue Monero.
Medium Risk Speculative - These would be cryptos which generally have a working product and niche, but higher risk than Core. Things like ZCash and Ripple, relatively established history but still uncertainty over long term viability.
High Risk Speculative - This is anything created within the last few months, ICOs, low caps, shillcoins...etc. Most cryptos are in this category.
How much risk should you take on? That depends on your own life situation for one, but also it should be proportional to how much expertise you have in both financial analysis and technology. The general starting point I would recommend is:
50-70% for newbies in Low Risk Core, then you can go down to 30% as you gains confidence and experience
Always try to keep at least a 1/3rd in safe core positions
Don't go all in on speculative picks.
Some more core principles on risk management to consider:
Diversify across sectors and rebalance your allocations periodically.
Consider using dollar cost averaging to enter a position. This generally means investing a X amount over several periods, instead of at once. You can also use downward biased dollar cost averaging to mitigate against downward risk. For example instead of investing $1000 at once in a position at market price, you can buy $500 at the market price today then set several limit orders at slightly lower intervals (for example $250 at 5% lower than market price, $250 at 10% lower than market price). This way your average cost of acquisition will be lower if the crypto happens to decline over the short term.
Don't have more than 5-10% of your net worth in crypto.
Have the majority of your holdings in things you feel good holding for at least 2 years. Don't use the majority of your investment for day trading or short term investing.
Remember you didn't actually make any money until you take some profits, so take do some profits when everyone else is at peak FOMO-ing mode.
Have some fiat in reserve at a FDIC-insured exchange (ex. Gemini), and be ready to add to your winning positions on a pullback. This should be part of your entry strategy.
Consider what level of loss you can't accept in a position with a high risk factor, and use stop-limit orders to hedge against sudden crashes. Set you stop price at about 5-10% above your lowest limit. Stop-limit orders aren't perfect but they're better than having no hedging strategy for a risky microcap in case of some meltdown. Only you can determine what bags you are unwilling to hold.
You can think of each crypto having a risk factor that is the summation of the general crypto market risk (Rm), but also its own inherent risk specific to its own goals (Ri). Rt = Rm +Ri The market risk is something you cannot avoid, it is essentially the risk that is carried by the entire market over things like regulations. What you can minimize though the Ri, the specific risks with your crypto. That will depend on the team composition, geographic risks (for example Chinese coins like NEO carry regulatory risks specific to China), competition within the space and likelihood of adoption and other factors, which I'll describe in Part 2: Crypto Picking Methodology. Portfolio Allocation Along with thinking about your portfolio in terms of risk categories described above, I really find it helpful to think about the segments you are in. OnChainFX has some segment categorization but I generally like to bring it down to:
Think about your "Circle of Competence", your body of knowledge that allows you to evaluate an investment. Your ability to properly judge risk and potential is going to largely correlated to your understanding of the subject matter. If you don't know anything about how supply chains functions, how can you competently judge whether VeChain or WaltonChain will achieve adoption? If you don't understand anything about the tech when you read the Cardano paper, are you really able to determine how likely it is to be adopted? Consider the historic correlations between your holdings. Generally when Bitcoin pumps, altcoins dump but at what rate depends on the coin. When Bitcoin goes sideways we tend to see pumping in altcoins, while when Bitcoin goes down, everything goes down. You should diversify but really shouldn't be in much more than around 12 cryptos, because you simply don't have enough competency to accurately access the risk across every segment and for every type of crypto you come across. If you have over 20 different cryptos in your portfolio you should probably think about consolidating to a few sectors you understand well.
Part B: Crypto Picking Methodology (Due Dilligence)
Do you struggle on how to fundamentally analyze cryptocurrencies? Here is a 3-step methodology to follow to perform your due dilligence:
Step 1: Filtering and Research
There is so much out there that you can get overwhelmed. The best way to start is to think back to your own portfolio allocation strategy and what you would like to get more off. For example in my view enterprise-focused blockchain solutions will be important in the next few years, and so I look to create a list of various cryptos that are in that segment. Upfolio has brief descriptions of the top 100 cryptos and is filterable by categories, for example you can click the "Enterprise" category and you have a neat list of VEN, FCT, WTC...etc. Once you have a list of potential candidates, its time to read about them:
Critically evaluate the website. If it's a cocktail of nonsensical buzzwords, if its unprofessional and poorly made, stay away. Always look for a roadmap, compare to what was actually delivered so far. Always check the team, try to find them on LinkedIn and what they did in the past.
Read the whitepaper or business development plan. You should fully understand how this crypto functions and how its trying to create value. If there is no use case or if the use case does not require or benefit from a blockchain, move on.
Check the blockchain explorer. How is the token distribution across accounts? Are the big accounts selling? Try to figure out who the whales are (not always easy!) and what the foundation/founder account is based on the initial allocation.
Look at the Github repos, does it look empty or is there plenty of activity?
Search out the subreddit and look at a few Medium or Steem blogs about the coin. How "shilly" is the community, and how much engagement is there between developer and the community?
I would also go through the BitcoinTalk thread and Twitter mentions, judge both the length and quality of the discussion.
You can actually filter out a lot of scams and bad investments by simply keeping your eye out on the following red flags:
allocations that give way too much to the founder
guaranteed promises of returns (Bitcooonnneeeect!)
vague whitepapers filled with buzzwords
vague timelines and no clear use case
Github with no useful code and sparse activity
a team that is difficult to find information on
Step 2: Passing a potential pick through a checklist
Once you feel fairly confident that a pick is worth analyzing further, run them through a standardized checklist of questions. This is one I use, you can add other questions yourself:
Crypto Analysis Checklist
What is the problem or transactional inefficiency the coin is trying to solve?
What is the Dev Team like? What is their track record? How are they funded, organized?
How big is the market they're targeting?
Who is their competition and what does it do better?
What is the roadmap they created and how well have they kept to it?
What current product exists?
How does the token/coin actually derive value for the holder? Is there a staking mechanism or is it transactional?
Is there any new tech, and is it informational or governance based?
Can it be easily copied?
What are the weaknesses or problems with this crypto?
The last question is the most important. This is where the riskiness of your crypto is evaluated, the Ri I talked about above. Here you should be able to accurate place the crypto into one of the three risk categories. I also like to run through this checklist of blockchain benefits and consider which specific properties of the blockchain are being used by the specific crypto to provide some increased utility over the current transactional method:
Benefits of Cryptocurrency
Decentralization - no need for a third party to agree or validate transactions.
Transparency and trust - As blockchain are shared, everyone can see what transactions occur. Useful for something like an online casino.
Immutability - It is extremely difficult to change a transaction once its been put onto a blockchain
Distributed availability - The system is spread on thousands of nodes on a P2P network, so its difficult to take the system down.
Security - cryptographically secured transactions provide integrity
Simplification and consolidation - a blockchain can serve as a shared ledger in industries where multiple entities previously kept their own data sources
Quicker Settlement - In the financial industry when we're dealing with post-trade settlement, a blockchain can drastically increase the speed of verification
Cost - in some cases avoiding a third party verification would drastically reduce costs.
Step 3: Create a valuation model
You don't need to get into full modeling or have a financial background. Even a simple model that just tries to derive a valuation through relative terms will put you above most crypto investors. Some simple valuation methods that anyone can do: Probablistic Scenario Valuation This is all about thinking of scenarios and probability, a helpful exercise in itself. For example: Bill Miller, a prominent value investor, wrote a probabilistic valuation case for Bitcoin in 2015. He looked at two possible scenarios for probabalistic valuation:
becoming a store-of-value equal to gold (a $6.4 trillion value), with a .25% probability of occurring
replacing payment processors like VISA, MasterCard, etc. (a $350 million dollar value) with a 2.5% probability
Combining those scenarios would give you the total expected market cap: (0.25% x 6.4 trillion) + (2.5% x 350 million). Divide this by the outstanding supply and you have your valuation. Metcalfe's Law Metcalfe's Law which states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). So you can compare various currencies based on their market cap and square of active users or traffic. We can alter this to crypto by thinking about it in terms of both users and transactions: For example, compare the Coinbase pairs:
Daily Transactions (last 24hrs)
Active Addresses (Peak 1Yr)
Metcalfe Ratio (Transactions Based)
Metcalfe Ratio (Address Based)
Generally the higher the ratio, the higher the valuation given for each address/transaction. Market Cap to Industry comparisons Another easy one is simply looking at the total market for the industry that the coin is supposedly targeting and comparing it to the market cap of the coin. Think of the market cap not only with circulating supply like its shown on CMC but including total supply. For example the total supply for Dentacoin is 1,841,395,638,392, and when multiplied by its price in early January we get a market cap that is actually higher than the entire industry it aims to disrupt: Dentistry. More complex valuation models If you would like to get into more fleshed out models with Excel, I highly recommend Chris Burniske's blog about using Quantity Theory of Money to build an equivalent of a DCF analysis for crypto. Here is an Excel file example of OMG done by Nodar Janashia using Chris' model . You should create multiple scenarios with multiple assumptions, both positive and negative. Have a base scenario and then moderately optimistic/pessimistic and highly optimistic/pessimistic scenario. Personally I like to see at least a 50% upward potential before investing from my moderately pessimistic scenario, but you can set your own safety margin. The real beneficial thing about modelling isn't even the price or valuation comparisons it spits out, but that it forces you to think about why the coin has value and what your own assumption about the future are. For example the discount rate you apply to the net present utility formula drastically affects the valuation, and it reflects your own assumptions of how risky the crypto is. What exactly would be a reasonable discount rate? What about the digital economy you are assuming for the coin, what levers affects its size and adoption and how likely are your assumptions to come true? You'll be a drastically more intelligent investor if you think about the fundamental variables that give your coin the market cap you think it should hold.
Summing it up
The time for lambo psychosis is over. But that's no reason to feel down, this is a new day and what many were waiting for. I've put together in one place here how to construct a portfolio allocation (taking into consideration risk and return targets), and how to go through a systematic crypto picking method. I'm won't tell you what to buy, you should always decide that for yourself and DYOR. But as long as you follow a rational and thorough methodology (feel free to modify anything I said above to suit your own needs) you will feel pretty good about your investments, even in times like these. Edit: Also get a crypto prediction ferret. You won't regret it.
Investors' trust in the US dollar is down as the trust in gold keeps growing
In the last couple of years, central banks in many countries have been actively buying gold. This increased demand served as a key factor in driving up the price for the precious metal. Recently, the price even exceeded $1,500 for a troy ounce. Even though it's still far from the historical high of $1770 (reached in 2011), the current price dynamics points towards a new cycle of growth. The 2008-2011 price rally started at the $750 mark and was a result of the global financial crisis. Fortunately, developed economies managed to halt the downturn quite quickly, and the price of gold underwent a correction. However, after a fall to $1,070 for a troy oz. at the end of 2015, a new uptrend began. It was hardly noticeable at first, but by spring-2019, with the escalating US-China trade war and increasing tensions in the Middle East, gold prices started to grow rapidly. https://preview.redd.it/nd521570t9b41.png?width=640&format=png&auto=webp&s=d64acfdd43963aaec55cb39da74abf345783cf40 It's worth noting that for the past few decades, the United States has held more gold in reserve than any other country in the world. In the last 15 years, the US gold reserves have stayed virtually unchanged, at 8,100 tons. By comparison, Germany — which holds the second place - has circa 3,400 tons of gold, or more than twice when compared to the US. Numerous international experts claim that the money and credit policy of the United States has a decisive impact on the price of gold. This theory does a great job at explaining the current situation: as the Federal Reserve takes steps to devalue the dollar, the gold prices keep growing. In particular, in June, Bank of America experts Michelle Meyer and Ben Randall, issued a warning saying that the US government is considering an intervention to weaken the dollar. In this context, more and more countries, central banks, and corporations realize that the value of the US dollar is based on the trust conferred to it by the global community. If this trust evaporates, a crash will become inevitable. The USD exchange rate may not fall so much relative to the euro or Japanese yen. However, the change relative to the price of gold will be dramatic. The exchange rates of all other fiat currencies to gold will decrease proportionately. Gold is a safe investment asset, since US authorities cannot subject it to any sanctions. Besides, it has value in its own right, which is a statement that does not apply to US dollars or the euro. Thus, it's not surprising that the demand for physical gold continues to grow. According to the latest report issued by the World Gold Council, the demand for the yellow metal reached a 3-year high in the first half of 2019. In Q2 2019 alone, global demand grew to 1,123 tons, which is 8% higher than in the second quarter of 2018. The demand was spurred mostly by the ongoing purchases of central banks and by the steady growth of the gold-backed ETF market. The overall demand for gold in the first 6 months of 2019 grew to 2,181.7 tons. During the same period, central banks across the globe bought a total of 374.1 tons – the largest six-month net increase in global gold reserves for the whole 19-year history of quarterly records. The report states that the most active buyers were central banks in developing countries. The growth of state gold reserves around the world hints at intensifying disagreements among countries. This can be a sign that countries want to abandon the traditional reserve currencies of the old global economic leaders. As a result, the growing demand for gold is threatening the positions of the US, UK, and the European Union. However, there is a key difference between the 2008 crisis (which led to a sharp increase in the gold prices) and the current situation. The market now has a new alternative to fiat money: cryptocurrencies. In the next ten years, global market players will have three basic instruments at their disposal: fiat money (mostly the US dollar as the main reserve currency), gold, and crypto (first and foremost Bitcoin). Out of the three, fiat money is considered ever less reliable. There is already a tremendous amount of paper money that is not backed by anything – and more is being printed every day. The alternatives are the tried-and-true gold, on the one hand, or the new cryptocurrency ecosystem, on the other. While gold is the money of the past, fiat currencies (USD) are the money of the present, and crypto is the future of money. A good example of a breakthrough solution for the problem of money is the new GOLD stablecoin. It combines the features of traditional currencies, while also leveraging the power of cryptocurrency, thus bypassing the unreliable fiat systems entirely. In order to understand why it's such a disruptive solution, we should compare it to the most popular fiat-backed stablecoin on the market – USDT. Tether receives fiat dollars, stores them in a bank as a reserve fund, and issues tokens whose number should theoretically equal the amount of US dollars present in the reserve. As shown by the recent incident with Bitfinex, this is not exactly true – but that issue goes beyond the scope of this article. Here, we must only mention that the market cap of Tether exceeds $4 billion – even though Tether investors don't receive any reward for holding their tokens. The situation is almost absurd: with the current sanctions and repeated personal data leaks, many individuals and companies find that it's safer to store their funds in a stable cryptocoin than in US dollars – the most secure fiat currency. Unlike Tether and other fiat-pegged stablecoins, GOLD is pegged to the price of gold at the rate of 1 GOLD = 1 gram of 99.99% gold. Just like Tether stores US dollars in its reserve accounts, Digital Gold (the issuer of GOLD) keeps its physical gold reserves in a specialized vault. The vault belongs to BullionStar – a global leader in the precious metals market. The gold is audited round the clock by BullionStar itself, providing a much stronger guarantee of security than any bank account statement. As investors keep buying more GOLD stablecoins, the company will keep purchasing new batches of physical gold, depositing it in the vault, and issuing new tokens. The total amount of gold held by individuals, central banks, stores, and private vaults across the globe is valued at $8 trillion. Some experts believe that Bitcoin is the only crypto that can reach the same market capitalization and become a digital alternative to gold. However, Bitcoin, like all other cryptocurrencies, is highly volatile. Besides, transaction fees in the Bitcoin network are high, so it can't be used for micropayments. And as the BTC price keeps growing, increasing fees can become a problem for larger transfers, too. In this context, GOLD tokens feature three serious advantages. First of all, they are not volatile. Of course, the token's price does change as the underlying price of gold changes. But for those investors who are used to buying physical gold or ETFs, these fluctuations won't constitute a problem. Secondly, the fact that GOLD is an ERC-20 token means that it can be successfully used for any payments, including microtransactions. In the absence of excess volatility, the average fee will range from $0.01 to $0.02. Lastly, since physical gold will always grow relative to all fiat currencies, GOLD will keep growing relative to all fiat stablecoins. Of course, this is only valid over long periods of time, since in the short term, gold prices can both rise and fall. The key point is that gold has been growing in value over the course of millennia. Thus, long-term investors will find GOLD far more attractive than any fiat-based stablecoins. What's more, they might soon lose their interest in fiat-pegged crypto altogether. Website : https://gold.storage/ Whitepaper: https://gold.storage/wp.pdf Follow us on social media: T