Thu Feb 21 2019
It's been a long time since we've seen that happen. According to at least one source, Bitcoin suddenly enjoyed a 9% increase over the course of the past couple of days.
Edit: It seems to have gone above $4,100 as of today! Wow...
While this is monumentally spiffy if you've been holding an awful lot of BTC for months on end, waiting for it to finally go up. It's even better if you bought it when it was at its low below $3000 last year.
For my part in this, the very first BTC I ever purchased was $40 worth when the price was in the mid $6000 area. My thinking at the time was, "Man, it's been going down for a few months now. We must have seen the bottom. So it's time to buy in." Pffft... I'm glad I only invested $40. Because it quickly became $20. All I can do at this point is try and parlay what I've got into more BTC so that even if the price never goes back up to where I started, I can make my money back.
If there is one simple lesson in something like this, it's that when any investment is valued in the $1000s, any percentage, up or down, is going to equal a lot of dollars. When a stock that's worth $10 goes up 5%, it is now worth $10.50. Yay. If the stock is worth $3000, and goes up 5%, it is now worth $3150! Yes, that might seem like simple math, because it is. But the point is, obviously, larger investments yield larger gains.
So what does this mean for the casual investor today?
Casual investor is certainly the best way to describe someone like myself. There is no way I am going to become a millionaire playing with stocks and crypto. The comparatively tiny amounts I am playing with are laughable. I don't see this as different than gambling. Except for one thing... The difference being that because you can get information before making a bet, it's not the same risk as normal gambling. That's where you just blindly lay your money down and hope for the best. Also, you don't really lose your money until you sell at a loss. You can hold on to your investment indefinitely, and hopefully it will come back. The only real risk being that the investment source itself collapses altogether, and you lose everything. You cannot even sell for pennies on the dollar when there is nothing to sell.
My plan lately has been to trade small amounts of BTC for some cheaper coins and wait for the difference (exchange rate) between the two to show in my favor. This usually means waiting for Bitcoin to go down. In other words, when Bitcoin is higher, I buy some other cheap coin that is not likely to change much. When Bitcoin goes down, I buy it back with that cheaper coin.
In short, this looks something like, buying 0.001 BTC worth of something cheap, and wait a couple of days until that 0.001 is worth some 0.0012. All in all that means, a gain of a bout $1 each time I do this. Like I said, I'm playing with laughably small amounts of money.
This is good practice for the real thing. If I were to multiply that exact same trick by 100, I'd be making a lot more money. I'm just not confident enough to gamble like that. (Do you see what I did there?)
Where I am going with this is that I may be losing the opportunity to do that for a while. If BTC is on its way up, and by some accounts, it appears to be, then the time of screwing around with the trades is going to have to wait. Now is the time to hold on to what I've got.
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