No, I’m Not Investing in Bitcoin

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It’s hard not to hear about the recent rise of Bitcoin.  My social media feeds are full of people talking about it. And the hype is starting to also leak into mainstream media. But as popular as cryptocurrencies may currently be, I have no plans on investing in bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrencies and particularly, bitcoin have become so popular that they now have ETFs that “invest directly in physical/digital bitcoin”. As an ETF investor, you would think that these new bitcoin ETFs would be attractive as an investment product.  And they may be for some, but not for me.

Bitcoin ETFs in Canada

Canada now has 2 bitcoin ETFs trading on the TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange)

The Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC) launched first, with the Evolve Bitcoin ETF (EBIT) following slightly after.  As of this article’s writing, there is currently no Bitcoin ETF approved in the United States.  But I figure it’s only a matter of time.

There were $80 million in trades in the first hour after the launch of BTCC.  Bitcoin is obviously something that people want to invest in.  And the benefit of it being an ETF is now you can hold the cryptocurrency in your TFSA and RRSP.

The ETFs come with a 1% management fee, higher than the ETFs that I currently invest in.  But that’s not the reason I’m staying away from cryptocurrencies.

Why I’m Not Investing in Bitcoin

I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with investing in Bitcoin.  I’m not here to tell you how to invest your money. Whether you choose to invest in bitcoin or not is up to you. I’m just sharing where my head is at and what’s driving my current choices.

Whatever you do choose to invest in, I hope that you do your research first and don’t just invest because someone on social media told you to.

For now, here are 5 reasons why I’m personally not investing in Bitcoin.

Speculation

One way to be a sophisticated investor is to understand what you are investing in. I like to think that if I can’t explain my investments to someone in grade school in a way that they can understand, then I don’t know what I’m investing in.  And if I don’t entirely understand what I’m investing in, I’m just speculating. And speculating is synonymous with gambling.

I understand the big picture of what cryptocurrencies are. But not at a level that I feel comfortable with investing in them.

I also don’t believe that they are headed “to the moon” as some other speculators do.  For me, investing in cryptocurrencies right now would be pure speculation.

FOMO

I think that many people are investing in cryptocurrencies right now because they don’t want to miss out.  They see the price climbing and can’t imagine that it will ever plummet.  Heck, if Tesla is investing $1.5 billion into Bitcoin, it must be a good investment, right?

And although I’m sure that there are many people much smarter than me investing in Bitcoin.  Many have no idea what it truly is. They just know that the price has increased at an insane rate over the past year, and they don’t want to miss out.  

We don’t have to look very hard to find people who lost a lot of money investing out of FOMO (fear of missing out). Gamestop hype anyone?

Belief in Current Strategy

It is so easy to fall victim to shiny object syndrome.  For me, that’s what cryptocurrencies are right now.  Just another shining object trying to distract me from my current investment strategy.

Hubby and I have taken the time to create our personal investment policy statement to determine our investment strategy.  Nowhere in that strategy is there the mention of trying to invest in the next big thing.  We prefer to keep our investment strategy fairly boring.  The majority of our investments are long-term buy and hold.

I truly believe in our current investment strategy. And if I didn’t, why would we be doing it?

But there are always times when we make tweaks and adjustments.  I just want to make those adjustments based on our goals, knowledge, and current holdings. Not on what the latest hype is in the media.

Early on, when we first started investing, someone gave us the advice to try and hit singles every time.  Don’t worry about trying to hit home runs.  This advice has stuck with me.  When you try to swing for the fences you are bound to strike out a bunch too.  And that’s not money I’m willing to lose.

For some, investing in Bitcoin is them trying to hit a home run. Will they strike out or clear the fence? Only time will tell.

Over Diversification

Although our portfolio is very real estate heavy, we also have a fair amount of diversification in our non-real estate holdings.  We invest in Canadian, American, and global ETFs as well as some other private equity holdings.  

But I do believe that it’s possible to be over-diversified.  

If you have a little in everything, even if one thing goes up, it isn’t going to make that much of a difference overall.  You’re better off reigning in your diversification (I’m not saying go all-in on one thing) so that you have more invested in every holding.

Your money will have a greater impact if it works together than if you keep it apart.  You will also get much better at something the more you do it. So the more you are committed to your strategy (whether it be real estate, dividend investing, or ETFs), the more you will learn about it over time. And the better you will be.

Spreading yourself too thin by over-diversifying your portfolio can lead you to be a “jack (or jill) of all trades, master of none.”

Better Use of Fun Money

Something that I’m hearing a lot of right now is that people are investing their fun money in cryptocurrencies.  Just to see what happens.  Meaning that they realize it’s a gamble but would be okay with losing the amount that they are investing.

Personally, I can think of much better uses for my fun money.  

I would much rather spend my fun money on a family vacation or sushi dinner than gambling with it.  Sure, if I gambled, I could increase the amount of fun money I had. But I could also lose everything.

When I spend my fun money on a vacation or nice dinner out, that experience is guaranteed.

There are some who enjoy the act of gambling – I’m just not one of them.

5 Reasons why I'm not investing in bitcoin - Pinterest pin

Final Thoughts

Yes, there will be some who make money investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.  And maybe I’m missing out on something by not doing it. 

And by not investing in Bitcoin, I may be losing out on the upside (“to the moon”), but I’m also guaranteed to miss the downside.  

I’m confident in my current investing strategy. And if I am, that’s where my money will stay.

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4 thoughts on “No, I’m Not Investing in Bitcoin”

  1. To your last point, I feel like the pandemic might be fueling some of the speculative nature lately. As an anecdotal point, I’ve got a couple of friends who would normally spend a week in Vegas and a couple grand gambling and having fun nights out. Or they’d have poker tournaments every couple months with a handful of friends and throw around a few hundred bucks each. In some cases, they’d have fantasy football pools at the office.

    While none of those things have ever really been for me, I think the pandemic has taken the fuel out of some of these “fun money” activities. That money is still floating around for those unaffected by the job market black hole, and so a lot of it seems to go online. Digital sports betting. Gamestop hype. Cryptocurrency speculation.

    I’m curious what happens once things start to return to normalcy.

    And thanks for the shout out on our Specialist vs Generalist post 🙂

    1. Chris you bring up a good point. There are people who really enjoy gambling and with some of those outlets no longer available due to the pandemic they may in fact be using the market to gamble. Like any type of gambling I really hope that they are setting a limit and staying within it.

      It will be very interesting to see how the markets react in the next few years once life returns to some form of “normal”.

  2. Hey Maria, nice post! Although I am invested in Bitcoin, I always try to seek two sides of the story to see what other investors are doing. I think your reasons for not investing are logical. FOMO is not a good reason to invest in something. From my perspective, I started doing some research and it just made a lot of sense to me. And I just think it makes more sense than holding cash. That said, I am definitely managing risk and keeping my position in Bitcoin to a small percentage of my portfolio. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

    1. Graham – I don’t think that you’re alone. There are obviously a lot of people who invest in Bitcoin. That being said, it is just an investment for my portfolio. But that could always change in the future…

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