We had the pleasure of sitting down via Zoom with Jim Rogers. We talked about a bunch of stuff, including:
- Money Printing
- The Pandemic
- When/where/how a crash might happen
- Janet Yellen
- Bitcoin (of course)!
Give it a watch or listen!
We had the pleasure of sitting down via Zoom with Jim Rogers. We talked about a bunch of stuff, including:
Give it a watch or listen!
“In these Uncertain Times” is the phrase that sets my 18-year-old daughter off in fits of eye-rolling. They aren’t fits of rage — as, let’s be honest, when you’re 18 and a college Freshman, your rage is aimed at other things — but genuine reenactments of the Michael Jordan “Stop it” meme.
Everyone has gotten into the “In these Uncertain Times” act. Jan from Toyota — appearing in ads festooned as Jan from Toyota, but, of course, from what might be her home office — tells us that Toyota is there for us. Because auto makers and car dealers are the first thing we think of when we enter a global pandemic.
Jan from Toyota is joined In These Uncertain Times by a newly branded “The More You Know” series from the networks of NBCUniversal. Hey, we don’t know what we’re getting into either, but you should know that we’re here for you. In these Uncertain Times.
In any event, the eye-rolling is warranted. It’s not a specific “stop the spread” or “flatten the curve” catchphrase; those ask for a little bit of explanation about why they are important platitudes. How, exactly, do we “stop the spread?” What, exactly, is this “curve” that we must, together, “flatten?”
We want our mantras to be non-specific and our buzz phrases to be amorphous. “In these Uncertain Times” works. Because nobody knows what the hell will happen next. Thus the eye-rolling.
If you’re new to this site, we mostly cover cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and how and if they’re weaving their way into modern life. But, as we’ve discussed in the past…well…In these Uncertain Times, Bitcoin doesn’t have a decades-old history to point to. There are no parallels to the Great Ethereum Bounce of 1976, or the Binance Bottom of 2003.
Which brings us to the overall topic of this article — whether or not anyone knows what in Sam Hill will happen to the economy when and if there’s a magic switch that gets flipped and everyone goes back to work.
Those six data points above need no explanation. To say they suck is putting it mildly; the wind came out of the economic sails on March 11, and we are not going back any time soon.
The “V-shaped recovery” crowd doesn’t necessarily think there will be an immediate switch-flipping exercise, but they do think that the “Trough of Suck” will be rather short-lived. (More on the Trough of Suck below.)
An overly simplified version of what the V-shaped folks think will happen is here:
The assumptions within a V-shaped recovery are too numerous — like dropping a quarter from space and trying to hit a shot glass in a field in Texas — but here’s a quick synopsis of how that could work:
If you take a look at the blue line up there, it’s sorta kinda meandering downward, and then comes up a little bit — THE NEW NORMAL — and then we all figure out how to manage. Which is much more likely.
Gartner has a concept called “Trough of Disillusionment.” I’ll let you Google that — type in “Hype Cycle” and learn more about how analysts think about the launch of tech products — but I’ve decided to apply that thinking to something I’m calling the “Trough of Suck.”
In short, the V-shaped crowd may say “it’s going to suck for a little while” and then they think that the switch magically flips and we’re back to where we were before.
There’s also a “U-shaped Recovery” crowd, and they think there will be a bit of an extended period of pain and then gradually things come back.
But neither of these buts “The New Normal” up against the stark realities of that unemployment chart above and gets a real, actual, “Trough of Suck.”
What we’ve done over the past six weeks is unprecedented — and, dare we dip our toes into the “do you want to save your Grandma or do you want to go back to work?” argument, we’re about to enter into a Trough of Suck phase that will last for YEARS.
Take a look at this jobless claims article from Yahoo: we’ve sent 22 million people into the unemployment lines. How many of those will be able to go straight back to work?
Allow me, your fearless prognosticator, to hazard a few guesses about what’s next as it pertains to you and your own microeconomy.
Though this danse macabre will continue, the list of essential services will expand. Because it has to — yesterday’s Michigand Yeet Fest was evidence that the Governor has overstepped her bounds by at least an order of magnitude and the seeds of discontent were long-since sown.
I was deemed non-essential ages ago and Lord knows I’m going to be doing a metric crapton of soul-searching about what I get to do next. (I can write about Bitcoin until the cows come home; eventually, I may have to learn how to milk said cows. Writers are non-essential — this runs counter to what the talking heads will tell you about how important the arts are In These Uncertain Times — but if I write content and that content doesn’t actually move the needle they’ve been talking about for years (in no small part because you can’t move any needles if those needles are tied to dollars an no one has either needles OR dollars), I’m going to have to find actual gainful employ.)
We’re not just trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube; we’ve asked everyone to brush and spit out and don’t swallow the toothpaste AND we’re trying to put that back in the tube.
Price of Bitcoin? Price of gold? Price of eggs, value of dollars in RMB, cost of goods sold…your guess is as good as mine as to what will happen to ANY of those things.
I’ve dumped a lot at you in this article; thanks for reading so far. If I’ve got an ask, it’s that we stop looking at this as a binary question.
The President was actually right when he talked about the human cost of shutting down the economy. Lives will be lost to the virus — but will more lives be lost to those “deaths of dispair” that people really don’t want to talk about?
The President likes to give the impression that he has a magic on/off switch for the economy; Congress likes to think that its Herculean efforts to get the CARES Act signed into law supplied the direct current for that on/off switch.
The reality — with the “will the recovery be ‘V-shaped'” and the “when can I go back to work?” and the “is it safe enough to be out in public?” crowds — is that these arguments are much more nuanced. The give-and-take that’s playing out in public is not as simple as “go back to work and Grandma dies.”
Stop playing that game. Please.
And pray for a shorter duration of the Trough of Suck.
We struggled with this one for a little while, and you can’t really blame us: 2019 was a meh year for crypto, and our typical portfolio wouldn’t exactly be the way to go for 2020. Plus, a bunch of new entrants — both projects and categories — caught our eye last year.
Our first question: Does the BRED Portfolio makes sense anymore? Given the fact that Bitcoin had a good year and the others didn’t, does the mix of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, and Dash still give you the kind of portfolio that will propel your crypto investments into the stratosphere?
ALSO, it may not be about the “into the stratosphere” anymore for you. And that’s okay. In any event, we have to figure out if there’s another way to do this.
Glad you asked: weird year for sure. Let’s look at the numbers:
So, in the interest of consistency, here’s what the 2020 BRED Portfolio would look like.
However, we don’t think this is the kind of portfolio to focus on for the year(s) ahead. We’ll give a couple reasons why we *think* there’s a rebalancing ahead.
Without further ado, here you go: the 2020 Crypto Balance Portfolio.
So, what have we done here?
If a stock went up 90% in a year, would you still want it in your portfolio? Or would you take profits?
Good question, and we address that at least a little by (a) keeping BTC in the portfolio and (b) ratcheting it up to 30% of the overall $10,000.
While I wouldn’t go so far as this commentator who thinks Bitcoin will go to $400,000 after its “halving” (when the mining rewards for Bitcoin are cut in half) in May, Bitcoin has cemented itself as the blue chip of cryptos during the past couple years.
You’ll also see that, in this Crypto Balance portfolio, we’ve ignored the forks. If there are notable forks this year, we can take those into account; but “forkening” isn’t that much of a deal the past couple years.
We’ve done some writing on these pages about projects like Megacryptopolis; you can’t play with any of those NFTs, and you can’t trade any assets on OpenSea without ETH that’s in a Metamask wallet (or some other ETH wallet).
Ethereum is really a two-sided coin (ha!) — with quite a few bearish cases on the internet, and a few bullish ones, too. We think the bullish case outweighs the bearish case, though. We’re keeping it in, but dropping it down to 20%.
If our goal is a “balanced” portfolio…uh…what the heck does that mean?
In our case, we achieve some level of balance with the other 5 assets in this portfolio, each at ten percent:
XRP — The coin from Ripple still aims to underpin bank transfers, a la SWIFT. Also, if you still believe in the long-term prospects of the project, under a quarter per coin is not a bad deal at all.
MCO — We lurrve this coin. (That’s a technical term, like HODL.) Not just because you can get some for free just by jumping through a couple of hoops [DISCLOSURE ALERT: AFFILIATE LINKS IN THAT ARTICLE] but because they are doing the regulatory thing correctly. We’re American, and bank laws are pretty important to follow.
EOS — I’ll admit to still being really skeptical, but also see the benefits of owning some EOS as an anti-ETH.
VeChain (VET) — This has potential, thanks to the Toolchain, to be the standard corporate “Blockchain-as-a-Service” solution. Partnerships right and left throughout the world. Tremendously undervalued.
PAX Gold (PAXG) — One really clever idea is to tie the price of a coin to an ounce of gold — so it’s like Tether, but with gold behind it. Also helps the “gold bugs” get into crypto while helping the crypto bugs get into gold.
Whether this will catch fire like the 2017 edition of BRED or stall like the 2018 edition of BRED or do nothing like the 2019 edition of BRED…all that remains to be seen. But the plan is that we’ll track both all year and see what happens from there.
Stay tuned. 2020 should be interesting.
Happy Tax Day, ‘Merica!
If you’re visiting this site from elsewhere in the world, welcome! Great to have you here. We Americans have a deadline of today to pay our Federal income taxes and boy is that fun this year. You may have heard about a tax cut last year and the ensuing OMG factor that came next: “the rich paid nothing and I don’t get a refund anymore!”
That’s not entirely true. Because of withholdings and how much some people had – or didn’t have – taken out of their paychecks, it *sounds* like lots of people had smaller refunds this tax season.
Some of you, though, may be getting a little money back. Or, in this roaring economy, you may find yourselves with cash to spend, or invest.
We’re here for ya!
For now, though, we’ve decided to give you three options: Small, Medium, and Large. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH, this is not investment advice, and remember that you may lose a little, a lot, or ALL of your capital with anything.
TBH, we’d stay away from speculating on high-fliers. We’ve been there, it can get ugly if something goes completely belly up.
In fact, if you want to spend all of your small portfolio on crypto, here’s what we’d recommend:
Let’s use $500 as the number here. Take half and just put it in a Coinbase account and leave it there. You can get one of 11 currencies at Coinbase (THAT’S AN AFFILIATE LINK OVER THERE AND YOU CAN GET A BONUS AND WE GET A BONUS, TOO, WITH QUALIFYING PURCHASE) and we’d stick with Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum (or just pick one) and leave it there. You’re in the game with $250 and you won’t feel the need to play around. Which brings us to the other half…
We’ve made no secret here that we’re now taking quite a deep dive into a crypto gaming community called MegaCryptoPolis. (ANOTHER AFFILIATE LINK THERE.) For this, you need Ethereum and a Metamask account to keep the two safe and in sync.
We’ve had fun so far with this game – we’re playing with house money, so to speak, as we cashed in “Airdrops” from the past couple years. If you look at your tax refund as house money, you might have some fun, too. Plus, there’s a bit of a gambling element, in that you’re taking a chance on which cool “Citizen” you’ll end up with. Here’s our favorite so far, she means business and we’ve named her “Sloan.”
With this portfolio, we’d suggest you figure out how much – if any – speculation you want to do, and how much you just want to park in something (somewhat) safe.
If you’re not the play money type, then you can consider revisiting BRED: “Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, and Dash.”
We just went back to the concept of dividing money equally between the four “core” coins of the BRED portfolio. We also considered “forks” by investing proportionally between the two forked coins; i.e. since Bitcoin’s price is roughly 19 times higher than Bitcoin Cash (BCH), we invested 19 times as much in Bitcoin.
Here’s what it looks like as of this morning:
This is also a “set it and forget it” portfolio — with the idea that you’re not going to spend way too much time looking at the price growth in any of these.
You also may not get rich off of this portfolio, either: assume that the ship has sailed on the OMG I’M RICH!!! portfolios of a few years ago, as you’re not getting in on the ground floor on XRP (the coin from Ripple, which is why it’s known as “BRED” in this portfolio) with the hopes it will go to $20,000 per.
But this would be a good, safe, crypto bet if you can afford it.
Okay, look at the below chart of seven currencies’ “sparkline” graphs from the past seven days. Fourth from the top (nearing its high) and seventh from the top (all upside last week) look most compelling. Curious?
These two might be somewhat worthwhile to take a stab at. BCH is Roger Ver‘s Bitcoin fork – “it’s the real Bitcoin” is what he’ll tell you. BNB is Binance Coin and that’s an equally compelling Asian crypto exchange that’s always doing interesting things – such as burning its own coins, which Twitter friend @BambouClub tells you might be right around the corner.
Both of these large coins — the above chart is from the Top 7 by market cap — and both are likely to be around for a while. We’d suggest considering them as part of your WHALE PORTFOLIO (said in all caps because why not) and here’s how that *could* look (DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!):
That third category is where you’ll have to, again, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH; you’ll also need to rely on gut and also sort through whether they’re good blockchain projects, good crypto exchanges, good business models, or just good ideas. Or all four.
Since you’re doing 20 percent in this category, you can pick three or four and, if any one of them goes belly up, you won’t be totally rekt.
Here are a few projects to check out:
BitTube (TUBE): Someone’s going to try to take on YouTube’s market dominance and do it through the blockchain. BitTube is one such player (though, honestly, PewDiePie is headed over to DLive, which is on Steemit, so maybe his name recognition gives that platform an advantage).
Storj (STORJ): Decentralized, blockchain-enabled storage is a concept that we’re sure will take off. Whether it’s Storj or someone else remains to be seen.
Quantstamp (QSP) bailed us out in the past by analyzing smart contracts. You buy some of their coin to do that and it’s a pretty seamless thing.
And Paragon (PRG) is doing the cannabis thing — fits and starts during their development but worth looking at, as they now do both a “WeWork-for-cannabis” and a “seed-to-sale” tracking platform.
We’re just here with a few ideas, that’s all. And Lord knows there are folks anxious about getting back in, and curious about whether we’ll see another bull run ever. So, again, look around, do your research, and, if you’re ready, dive in!
How ya holdin’ up there, kiddo? Enjoying the markets? Did you find the thrill ride known as Bitcoin to be exciting? Are you still in okay shape?
Still doing okay? (And if you’re still new to all this, hop on over here to this post and learn all about how to get started.)
Your mood might depend upon a few variables. First of all, whether you believe long-term in Bitcoin (which we’ll use in this post as the catch-all currency) and what it means for the economy. If you do believe, you may have bought in at lower numbers than what’s above. And, if you did, you probably didn’t look to sell at the first opportunity.
Another mood enhancer may be whether or not you tried to buy the dips. BTC at close to $2700 (above chart from Poloniex, so your experience and trading platform may vary) wouldn’t have given you a dip opportunity, but BTC dropping into the $1900s, then $1800s, then below? Any of those would have been buying opportunities for the long-term trader.
If you think Bitcoin is going to $5000 this year, then $2000 is a buying opportunity. $1538 is a golden buying opportunity.
Finally, again here’s our magic word: “Fundamentals.” The fundamentals of Bitcoin are strong, in our opinion here at Metacoin (that link is to our Facebook account and we would love your “likes”), so we’re bound to look at these moves as means of testing our hypotheses. Is Bitcoin strong enough to weather a drop into the $1500s? Does the volatility actually work in our favor – weeding out “panic sellers,” and bringing in long-term investors?
If there were a “State of the Union” for Bitcoin, we think that moving from a May 1 price of $1435 to today’s price of $2200 or so means that the state of Bitcoin is strong. Volatile, sure…but strong.
One more thing about volatility, and this last part is an Affiliate Link; since this whole site is a learning experience, we’re planning on…learning together.
We’ve just signed up at Bitconnect, and it’s a rather unique program. You lend Bitcoin through their platform, they trade it, using highly specialized bots and algorithms to use volatility to your advantage. The interest rates are compelling as heck – compounding daily at a half a percent can mean that money starts to add up quickly.
You can sign up for free – use the link above so this site gets credit, and we’ll get a bonus for your signup, should you eventually lend some of your hard-earned Bitcoin.
Our plan is to start lending in the next several days, then kick back and track the results. It could get pretty interesting – and we’ll share our results, warts and all.
Til then, stay strong.