If you follow news and social media on Bitcoin topics, you are exposed to an insane mix of opinions and perspectives.
On an given day (or any given hour) there are statements and articles like:
- Bitcoin is “probably rat poison squared.” (Warren Buffet, Berkshire Hathaway)
- “Bitcoin price will hit $1.48M by 2030” (Cathie Wood, ARK Invest)
- “Bitcoin is fueling the climate crisis.” (Greenpeace - funded by XRP)
- “Bitcoin offers a financial incentive to capture methane from landfills.” (Blockworks)
- Some “altcoin” is better than Bitcoin and you should buy them. (Various)
- “I say spend dollars and save Bitcoin.” (Sen. Cynthia Lummis, Wyoming)
- “It could enable the poor to make payments and remittances without long delays and high fees. It could enable artists and musicians to earn a living. It could challenge the concentrated power of Big Tech and Wall Street.” (Rep. Ritchie Torres, New York)
With an operating system like our human brains, that thrive on some certainty (and love to replay messages), this mix of messages can freak us out.
What are we supposed to think and do? Where’s the clarity?
Calgon, take us away.
So, when this happens, instead of feeling like a failure, that you are doing it wrong or just stressing out, here are three easy ways to help you keep perspective.
- Remember What’s Different - For Bitcoiners, this is a long list of why Bitcoin is different and that topic alone could fill a day. Keeping it simple - unlike most investments like the stock market and bonds, Bitcoin is a scarce asset. There will only ever be 21 million Bitcoin - ever. A government or bank cannot print more. This scarcity ensures prosperity and certainty over time, as demands go up. Investments based on currencies like the USD will always have inflation (and other) exposures. Bitcoin does not. That’s very different. Also, know that many other cryptocurrencies don’t have this scarcity - many of them likely have a CEO or venture capital firm backing them and aren't a lot different than the dotcom boom/bust we saw in the late 90s. Again, Bitcoin is different.
- Filter The Noise And Remember Your Why - There will likely always be noise in this space. There are many interested parties and more misunderstandings than there is clarity. Remember, you don’t need to read every headline and perspective - nor do you need to process them. Stop for a moment and remember your why. Are you saving for retirement? Are you putting this away for decades to come for your family? Are you opting in to something that governments and banks cannot ever fully control? Take a moment and focus on your why. If you can, imagine the headlines flowing down a river and going along their way. Wave goodbye to them and wish them a pleasant journey. You have other priorities!
- Avoid Emotional Reactions - And Talk Live To Someone You Trust - First off, know that it is normal to make emotional decisions. As much as we like to think we use data and facts to make decisions, our brain isn’t wired that way. Our limbic system in our brain is where a large number of decisions are made. Guess what doesn’t even exist in that area? Language. Nope, no notion of language exists there. Guess what exists there? Emotional responses and regulation. Hmm- it’s almost like we are wired to make emotional decisions at times, right? So, to keep that in balance and have a long term perspective, first consider waiting. If it’s 15 minutes or 15 days, wait to make a decision. Nothing is that urgent and Bitcoin is a long term play. You won’t die if you wait here. While you wait, reach out to a friend or two and schedule a time to talk (not text or email) live. This can be over coffee, on a walk, or whatever works for you. If they aren’t physically close, the phone is fine too - just make it live and use your voice (not typing).
And honestly, it might be a good idea to consider the wise lyrics of Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off:
“Players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate (haters gonna hate)
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off”
Remember to trust your instincts, take a long term view, and connect with others. There will always be noise and misunderstanding in the investment world. However, even in this mess of mixed messages, those who make regular sound investments, and hold, over a period of time, come out ahead.