How to Invest in Bitcoin like Benjamin Graham

“On October 26, 2012 I bought 100 Bitcoins for $1017 USD.  As of November 28th, 2017, they are worth almost exactly $1,000,000 USD.”

Of late, I have been getting an increasing number of folks asking for my opinion on cryptocurrencies. The above line (cribbed and slightly modified  from Lucas’ opening below) would be the ideal way to begin my response. If only it were true.

Sadly it is not. Polar bears know more about astrophysics than I know about cryptocurrencies. They probably know more about cryptocurrencies, too.

As luck would have it, the most recent person to ask about this is my pal Lucas. He reached out a couple of weeks ago and, after I suggested he’d get a more useful response from a polar bear, he began to share a bit about what he had learned and what he was doing.

I know Lucas as the website manager who keeps up and running behind the scenes and as a genuinely brilliant guy who thinks things through carefully. So I asked him to write this guest post.

I could tell he knew his cryptocurrency stuff. What I didn’t know was, could he write? Turns out, he can. Clearly and very entertainingly. Enjoy!


How to Invest in Bitcoin like Benjamin Graham

by Lucas

On October 26, 2012 I bought 100 Bitcoins for $1017 USD on the recommendation of our lead developer at the web firm where I worked. As of November 28th, 2017, my Bitcoins are worth almost exactly $1,000,000 USD.

At least, that’s what I wish I could tell you about the first time I heard about Bitcoin. The truth is the same as thousands of other techno geeks. I heard about Bitcoin in 2011, thought it was a cool idea that appealed to my libertarian tendencies and then promptly did nothing about it for 6 years.

You may have been hearing about Bitcoin a lot lately. If you haven’t you will soon. November 27th Bitcoin was on the front page of the NYT website as the price touched $10,000 per Bitcoin for the first time. New Crypto-Millionaires are being minted every day. CNBC runs round-the-clock BTC and ETH tickers just like they do for all the other big asset classes. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is launching a Bitcoin futures trading platform in early December and NASDAQ is launching one in early 2018. Bitcoin is adding $10 Billion dollars a DAY to it’s market cap. The mania is just getting started.

Because I am now bought in to cryptocurrencies (really this time), jlcollins asked me to write an article detailing for his readers how you too could place a small bet on what many are calling the future of money.

Before we start, lets be crystal clear on this: This is the riskiest investment you will ever make. There are no rules. There are no regulations. There is no FDIC. There are no do-overs. There are no courts. There are no laws. Market manipulation is rampant. Malware on your computer steals your coins. Scams con thousands of people daily.

You have been warned.

Am I qualified to give this investing advice? Why should you trust me?

I’m not. You shouldn’t. Do your own research.

That said, I have spent several hundred hours studying this space and I’m happy to share what I have learned. I’ll also provide a bunch of links to better resources at the end, all written by people much more knowledgeable than I.

What we’ll cover:

  • If you should consider speculating on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
  • Our speculating strategy
  • How to do it, nut’s and bolts
  • Why this is generally a stupid idea

What we will NOT cover:

  • How Bitcoin works. How cryptocurrencies work.
  • Why cryptocurrencies are the future of money and the internet 3.0
  • What are cryptocurrency Wallets and how to use them
  • Bitcoin mining
  • Anything related to Day Trading

This is you Day Trading Cryptocurrencies

Who should consider speculating on Bitcoin?

My ideal hypothetical investor for cryptocurrencies has already maxed out their tax protected retirement accounts for the year, already saves over 50% of their income, already has a 6 month life-emergency fund, is already well on their way down the Simple Path to Wealth or is firmly FI with lots of cushion to play with. Furthermore, this ideal speculator is comfortable being an early adopter of technologies and is willing put up with quite a bit of inconvenience and headache to make it happen.

Finally, and most importantly, our ideal crypto-speculator has to have all of the above in order to also have a 100% emotionally detached, iron stomach, this-is-monopoly-money attitude towards the bet.

Who should not invest in cryptocurrencies?

If this money you are considering betting means ANYTHING to you walk away now. If you have any debt, forget about it. If you are not tech savvy or willing to spend time learning wait another year – more friendly tools are coming. If you don’t have the stomach to watch your investment plummet 50% or 75% in a few seconds don’t bet. Be honest with yourself.

Now for the big red WARNINGS:

  • Is this a bubble?
    • Yes.
  • Are cryptocurrencies a scam?
    • Many are, yes.
  • Will it crash?
    • Definitely.
  • Is it risky?
    • Only slightly more so than credit default swaps, leveraged high frequency bot trading, and russian roulette.
  • Will you lose money?
    • Probably.
  • Will this keep you up at night?
    • See the rules above.
  • Is the IRS ok with this?
    • Not really.
  • Is the SEC ok with this?
    • Not really.
  • Warren Buffett said Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme.
    • He might be right, you should listen to him.

What is our investment strategy?

Value investing. Buy and hold. Just because we are speculating on Cryptocurrency doesn’t mean we are not still  jlcollinnhistas at heart. My long term bet on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general is simple: There is a small but real chance that Bitcoin (and a handful of other cryptocurrencies) are the future gold, the future of all finance, the future of all money, and the future of the very internet. Obviously that is a LOT of value. Clearly cryptocurencies haven’t captured even a tiny fraction of that value yet. If true, this means cryptocurrencies on the whole are undervalued on a fundamental basis and thus a good buy-and-hold value investment (That’s a stretch, I know).

Think of it like this. If you could go back in time to the 90’s and buy stock in Amazon, Apple, and Google (yes, even before the IPO) for pennies or dollars a share would you? Of course. Those 3 companies have captured a huge percentage of the value created by the internet world and will continue to for years. A small investment then, if held until 2017, would have comfortably made you a multi-millionaire. When you invest in cryptocurrency in 2017, know you are buying into the internet right about here:

You have a chance right now to buy an extremely early, out-sized, chunk of the future economy. To me, that is worth a small bet.

Why this is a really stupid idea.

The risk of course is that you went back in time and bought stock in, WebVan, and GeoCities and watched them go to zero after the .com crash. We have absolutely no guarantee that is not exactly what we are doing here. There is no doubt in my mind, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are going to change the world as dramatically as the internet has but we have no idea which ones will win yet.

If you really want to invest in cryptocurrencies please make this article your STARTING point. Do your own research, read about the underlying technologies and truly understand them. Read counter arguments. Make no mistake, if you jump in head first just to get in on the mania you WILL be the guy at the poker table who doesn’t know he is the one getting taken.

Ok you are sold. How do you invest?

Go to* Think of Coinbase as the E-trade of Cryptocurrency. They will take your dollars and give you cryptocurrency. They are extremely user friendly but you do pay fees for that convenience. They are the most reputable exchange available to US citizens. They (are attempting to) comply with KYC/AML regulations. That’s bank speak for trying to be in the good graces of the IRS and SEC (and you better believe the IRS is coming for Bitcoin).

Signing up for an account* with them is very straight forward. You will need to take several identity verification steps before you can fund your account. You’ll have the option of purchasing cryptocurrency with a Credit Card (and a painful 4% fee) or connecting a bank account and purchasing via ACH transfer for a more reasonable but still high 1.5% fee. They also markup the spot price by a few points.

*Note from jlcollins: If you use these links to sign up for a Coinbase account you will receive a $10 sign-up bonus when you fund your account. Lucas will also receive a $10 bonus for referring you. Win-win, in my view.

What is my recommended portfolio?

  • 45% Bitcoin (BTC)
  • 45% Ethereum (ETH)
  • 10% Litecoin (LTC)


  • Do I have to buy a whole Bitcoin for $10,000?
    • No Bitcoins are infinitely divisible, you can buy any fractional amount you want.
  • I thought Bitcoin was totally decentralized, why do I have to trust Coinbase?
    • It is, once your are IN the ecosystem you need never touch another bank or exchange again if you don’t want to. But before that, you have to find someone or some company willing to take your USD and give you Bitcoins in return.
  • What are Ethereum and Litecoin, and why didn’t you even mention those?!?!
    • Good, you are paying attention. I meant it when I said do your own research.
  • Isn’t this plan counter to everything jlcollins has taught us about investing?
    • Yes.
  • I’m sold on the idea, but I want to Index invest in Cryptocurrencies
    • Stay tuned. Dozens of funds like this are coming in 2018
  • Do I have to pay taxes on my gains?
  • Is Coinbase secure?
    • Not really. Again, do more reading. Learn about storing your own coins. A centralized exchange like Coinbase is just another third party that Bitcoin is supposed to do away with.
  • Can I cash out for fiat currency (USD) whenever I want?
    • Theoretically, yes. If there is a good old fashioned bank run on the exchanges (like Coinbase) to sell out of Bitcoin, definitely not.

Additional Resources

(Keep in mind even these are just a tiny jumping off point in a massive complicated new ecosystem)

Note: This space is moving so fast this chart was outdated the day it was published. Given as example only.

The three key concepts you have to really internalize before you can comfortably read anything about bitcoin or blockchain technology are:

1. What is a Hashing Algorithm (video)

2. Public Key Cryptography (video) I had to watch this one several times before it “clicked”

3.  Digital Signatures (video) combine #1 and #2 to make the Blockchain possible.

After you’ve groked those, this is the best article I’ve found so far that explains how Bitcoin works from first principles.

If those make your head spin and your eyes glaze over, you might be a little early for your investing adventure in cryptocurrencies. Wait another year or two and friendly tools that allow you to “set it and forget it” for crypto-investing will be common place. In the meantime, here is some great non-technical stuff that looks at the broader landscape and implications of blockchain technology.


jlcollins’ take on all this?

It is the wild, wild west. Fortunes will be (and have been) made. And lost. As always, I’ll let VTSAX do the heavy lifting in keeping and building my wealth. But I might, just maybe, free up a few dollars and give this a shot. If I do, I’ll immediately treat that money as already lost.


Your comments and a Free Simple Path to Wealth audio book

Lucas has graciously agreed to field your cryptocurrency comments and questions. To make it more interesting, Audible has provided a free copy of my audio book – The Simple Path to Wealth –  to give away. It will go to whomever writes the most interesting, insightful and entertaining comment on this post. Lucas is the judge and, reading his post, my bet is humor will help.


jlcollinsnh T-Shirts?

Over the past couple of years several of my favorite bloggers have come out with T-Shirts. Some are pretty cool and I own a couple myself.

More and more I’ve been encouraged to create and offer a jlcollinsnh version. I’ve resisted mainly because I haven’t any compelling ideas for one and my blog doesn’t have an interesting name or logo that would lend itself to coming up with one.

That said, one suggestion is…

On the front:

I’m on…

On the back:

The Simple Path to Wealth

Go, or no go?

Take this simple survey and tell me what you think:

Do you have a cool idea for a T-Shirt? Describe it in the comments. If it comes to pass, you’ll get one free.


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Important Resources

  • Talent Stacker is a resource that I learned about through my work with Jonathan and Brad at ChooseFI, and first heard about Salesforce as a career option in an episode where they featured Bradley Rice on the Podcast. In that episode, Bradley shared how he reached FI quickly thanks to his huge paychecks and discipline in keeping his expenses low. Jonathan teamed up with Bradley to build Talent Stacker, and they have helped more than 1,000 students from all walks of life complete the program and land jobs like clockwork, earning double or even triple their old salaries using a Salesforce certification to break into a no-code tech career.
  • Credit Cards are like chain saws. Incredibly useful. Incredibly dangerous. Resolve to pay in full each month and never carry a balance. Do that and they can be great tools. Here are some of the very best for travel hacking, cash back and small business rewards.
  • Empower is a free tool to manage and evaluate your investments. With great visuals you can track your net worth, asset allocation, and portfolio performance, including costs. At a glance you'll see what's working and what you might want to change. Here's my full review.
  • Betterment is my recommendation for hands-off investors who prefer a DIFM (Do It For Me) approach. It is also a great tool for reaching short-term savings goals. Here is my Betterment Review
  • NewRetirement offers cool tools to help guide you in answering the question: Do I have enough money to retire? And getting started is free. Sign up and you will be offered two paths into their retirement planner. I was also on their podcast and you can check that out here:Video version, Podcast version.
  • Tuft & Needle (T&N) helps me sleep at night. They are a very cool company with a great product. Here’s my review of what we are currently sleeping on: Our Walnut Frame and Mint Mattress.


  1. DrFIRE says

    This year is starting to feel like a Twilight Zone episode….First, the grandmaster of renting buys a house….Next, I get an email from the grandmaster of simple investing with a subject line that seems like Bitcoin clickbait.

    All kidding aside, this is a great guest post and the only question I have is: will I be able to pay for the new jlcollinsnh t-shirts in Bitcoin?

    • Lucas says

      DrFIRE – That’s a BRILLIANT idea! We’ll see if jlcollins weighs in here with his thoughts, but I’d be happy to help him set that up.

      Bitcoin is exciting as a speculating opportunity, but to me it is even more exciting as a decentralized, world-wide currency that allows everyone to participate in a financial system not controlled by a single central government.

      • jlcollinsnh says

        Sure. A t-shirt for a Bitcoin? Done deal.

        Heck, you can have the shirt off my back for a Bitcoin. LOL

        Seriously, making the t-shirts – if there ever are any – available for purchase with Bitcoin sounds like fun to me. 🙂

  2. Jason@WinningPersonalFinance says

    Great overview. My favorite part of this post was “Isn’t this plan counter to everything jlcollins has taught us about investing? Yes.” When I saw this post pop up, I thought it was a joke. I’d need to do about 400 more hours of research myself before considering investing.

    • Lucas says

      Thanks for comment Jason. I hope my snake oil sales of Bitcoin haven’t tarnished the impeccable index investing reputation of Mr. Collins 🙂

      • Nate says

        Hi Lucas! It is refreshing to see that even folks who follow JL Collins work can also be open to a revolutionary idea like Bitcoin. I was hoping you’d do a follow-up to this post now that the bubble has popped. Do you still recommend the crypto allocation you suggested back in 2017 when you wrote this? Would you say you are more or less bullish on Bitcoin in 2019.

        Also.. any word on the t-shirt JL? I really liked Financially Free, Pharm.D.’s suggestion about using characters from the monk and the minister parable.

        • jlcollinsnh says

          Hi Nate…

          No more thought on a JL t-shirt. But we are creating a very cool logo for the Chautauquas and that will lend itself to t-shirts. 🙂


          Want to do a follow-up guest post?

  3. Michael Johnson says

    Think you should consider couple important points about Bitcoin. The most important is that a currency is generally tied to some form of value based on productivity. In the most organizations (businesses, people) they provide value / productivity through earnings, physical work, etc. In the case of bitcoin it produces nothing. In the words of Benjamin Graham there are two types participants in the stock market: speculators and investors. Bitcoin is a speculators game.

    In regards to IRS they have set precedent tax treatment for Bitcoin. They are treating bitcoin trades, sales, exchanges for products etc under capital gain rules. That is a capital gain short term or long term is applied to each sale based on your acquiring cost against the transaction of selling or exchanging the bitcoin for a product or service.

    • Lucas says

      I totally agree Michael – At this point it is absolutely speculating and I tried my best to make that clear in the article.

      Bitcoin might be better thought of as “Digital Gold” (although there is a large contingent of the crypto community who would argue that idea minimizes what Bitcoin could be).

      My point being: Gold doesn’t produce anything either, but it has been used as a useful store of value for thousands of years. Bitcoin has all of the attributes of gold plus several additional ones that make it significantly better. You can store it in your brain and send it across the world instantly.

      What is more exciting to me though, is that there are cryptocurrencies that actually DO produce value. They actually accomplish valuable work. I don’t have room in this comment to get into the nuts and bolts, but for anyone interested in that idea please read about Ethereum.

      I have heard about the IRS ruling, but I fully expect the SEC to weigh in soon, or the IRS to change their minds, or Congress to pass some law. Long story short: Too soon to call in my opinion. PLEASE talk to a tax professional people.

      • Michael Johnson says

        Lucas your comment to gold is very accurate. This concept of productivity is missed by many people trying to understand investing. There have been some interesting quotes on valuing things that produce nothing: Here is how gold is viewed by some of the greatest minds in investing: “You could take all the gold that’s ever been mined, and it would fill a cube 68 feet in each direction. For what that’s worth at current gold prices, you could buy all—not some—of the farmland in the U.S. Plus, you could buy 16 Exxon Mobils, plus have $1 trillion of walking-around money. Or you could have a big cube of metal. Which would you take? Which is going to produce more value?” Think we need to ask the same questions about Bitcoins.

        • Lucas says

          Absolutely. I think there is a good Warren Buffet quote on the difference between speculating and investing as it relates to gold.

          For me: Investing is something that is expected to produce new value. Speculating is just hoping that someone is willing to pay you more tomorrow than you paid for it today.

          In that way Bitcoin is no different than speculating on Gold, and I’d take the farmland and Exxon all day.

          Gold is just the shiny metal humanity latched on to as a store of value and a currency that has several useful properties that make it good for such a function.

          BUT, I think we all agree that humanity needs a currency. And any currency that has certain properties (rare, transportable, fungible, divisible, etc) can be useful as one.

          Clearly, gold has limitations as this currency (storage, transportation, protection from theft, etc) but it did work for thousands of years before paper money.

          We also know the USD lives on a precipitous knife edge after the removal of the gold standard, whatever the fed is doing, Wall Street insanity, etc.

          What makes Bitcoin so fascinating is that it could potentially function as both. It has the qualities of both Gold and paper/electronic USD that could make it the world reserve currency AND world reserve store of value.

          While that doesn’t give it any more inherent value or value production ability than gold or paper money, it would still make Bitcoin valuable.

    • Dave says

      As someone who has owned, mined, and traded a little (sure wish it was more!!) bitcoin for a few years, I second Michael’s part on the IRS tax precedent. It is possible that the IRS will change their minds in the future, of course. With that said, we follow the IRS guidelines from a couple years ago and treat all trades as one would stock (short term/long term capital gains tax; not as a currency trade which was the other option for them to choose at the time but didn’t).

      As Lucas’s article stated, the IRS has indeed expressed an interest in going after bitcoin profits. I suggest consulting your tax expert. And even if they tell you not to worry about it or just stare at you with a blank expression instead of answering like ours did, in my personal and non-professional opinion you should consider following the IRS guidelines and fully declare/pay capital gains taxes on any profits (and write off losses too, because Lucas is correct, there is a very real and strong possibility that you will lose 100% of what you put in). I believe there isn’t a statute of limitations on tax fraud, so it makes sense to be able to show that you were acting in good faith with the best of intentions of following current IRS guidelines at the time you paid your taxes.

      • Dave says

        Also, I meant to say great job on the article Lucas. Clearly explaining positives while stressing that it should only be done with monopoly money. My wife and I use the same expression for it, and understand that it is money that we are completely comfortable never ever ever seeing again in exchange for the slim chance of being in on the ground floor of something potentially huge.

        • Lucas says

          Thanks for the kind words Dave.

          Much as it pains me, I am afraid you are probably right when it comes to the IRS.

          In my mind, it’s clear these are currencies, not traditional assets and certainly not securities (at least, Bitcoin isn’t you could argue some of the alt-coins may be) so the IRS ruling is really frustrating and I am naively hoping it may change in the future.

          I have no intention of selling or spending any of my cryptocurrency for years, so I’m kicking the can down the road and hoping the regulatory landscape will evolve before I have to deal with it.

          But if not, of course I’ll pay my long term Cap gains tax and still be happy for the opportunity.

          • Dave says

            Agreed. It is clearly a currency and not a traditional asset. We’ve decided tax-wise that regardless of the tax landscape years from now when we sell (we switched to buy and hold only a year or so ago), we will gladly pay it eventually because it means bitcoin was successful and ended up highly profitable 🙂

    • Curious Observer says

      “If I do, I’ll immediately treat that money as already lost.”

      I was just wondering to myself if there’s any tax optimizing, loss/gains harvesting, etc. opportunities to be had here. I’m forever a student, kicking over rocks, on this financial independence journey we’re all on.

      • Scott Archibald says

        I’ve been using my crypto for exactly that. The fact that BTC and LTC tend to move in the market together, along with their volatility, actually makes a great opportunity to harvest some losses that then allow me to harvest more gains to keep my cost basis up in my taxable index accounts.

  4. wendy says

    Lucas, thanks for the guest post and the humor… it reinforced my belief that I’m not currently prepared to invest enough research in the tech to invest in Bitcoin.
    Also, not talking about Bitcoin at all would be weird at this point, since it’s all over the news – people are bound to want to hear our favorite blogger’s opinion.

    Jim, for the T-shirt… You could expand it a little:
    “I’m not just on FI/RE” ( in flames, but in a good way)
    “I’m on the The Simple Path to Wealth” (maybe your illustrator will license you the path graphic she did, it was nice)

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Wendy…

      …I like the path graphic idea for the T-Shirt. 🙂

      “…want to hear our favorite blogger’s opinion.” And when I don’t have one, I find someone smarter who does! 😉

  5. Financially Free, Pharm.D. says

    Ahhhh I too couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the title of this post pop up in my email haha. My bro in law has been keeping me up to date with the bitcoin news, and it is very exciting (and almost tempting!). But as Lucas and JLCollins have stressed, I will not mess with this until I am deep into FIRE, with extra money to gamble with. Best of luck and congrats to those that do make a shiny penny with bitcoins, but slow and steady with 100% VTSAX is the way for me! Regardless, thanks for the info Lucas!

    JLCollins, as for the t-shirt idea (I’m not sure if there will be any issues with copyright laws or anything), when I think of this blog, I think of the parable you wrote about early on about the monk and the minister. For those unfamiliar, you can find this parable here:

    Maybe you can have a cartoon image of a minister on the front saying “If you could learn to cater to the king you wouldn’t have to live on rice and beans.” And on the back have that same image of the monk from the post (which I think looks awesome) replying “If you could learn to live on rice and beans you wouldn’t have to cater to the king.” And of course promote your website or The Simple Path to Wealth somewhere underneath the image.

    I’d wear that 😉

    • Lucas says

      Glad I could help! I’m still 99% VTSAX myself and fully on the Simple Path to Wealth. jlcollins readers are smarter than average and know when to stick to their guns.

  6. Danny says

    Nice introductory post on bitcoin Lucas! Even though I have no interest in investing in cryptocurrencies, it has peaked my interest the last few years. Actually a few months ago I saw a pretty good documentary called Banking on Bitcoin. I found it a little funny/ironic that now bitcoin is all over the news, as the movie kind of leaves bitcoin on a bit of a sour, but hopeful note. Just like this post, I think the movie is a good “part 2” to this introductory post as it addresses some of the points listed in the “What we will NOT cover” section. Curious to hear if you’ve seen this movie, and what your thoughts are about it.

    • Lucas says

      Hey Danny,

      Thank you for the kind words. I have seen the movie and I agree the movie would be a great follow up! For anyone interesting the Banking on Bitcoin documentary is available on Netflix and probably rentable other places.

      To your point that the movie leaves Bitcoin hanging on a sour note: It does.

      However, people in the crypocurrency space often talk about the time warp phenomenon. You know how everything moves faster on the internet? Well in crypto right now, it’s like that times 10! A month in crypto is like 2 years in the real world.

      So much has happened since the events in the movie it feels like ancient history.

      That movie was released in 2016, a lot of it was filmed in 2015. Bitcoin was between $400-$700 per coin in 2016. Right this second it’s trading at $11,349.87.

      It is still very much worth watching because you learn the mysterious history, meet some of the major players, and get a gentrle introduction to some of the in-fighting that’s been plaguing Bitcoin lately (which is part of what makes it such a risky investment).

  7. Robert Finch says

    Bitcoin ? Very interesting reading, but beyond my expertise. There are some very
    smart people out there. Too bad they are not in the Gov’t to fix it before it FAILS.
    I really enjoy all the comments and answers to questions.

  8. ael says

    This is a very timely post on bitcoins. But I must side with Jack Bogle: Avoid bitcoins like the plague.

    Investing in the lottery is about as good, especially since I know the winning numbers. I just haven’t played them yet. I suppose buying a ticket would help.

    The tee shirt ideas are pretty clever, but would the “Millionaire Next Door” wear one?

    I hope this doesn’t sound negative at all because I highly value your insights and spread the word using your resources.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      “Avoid bitcoins like the plague.”
      Pretty much, for the most part, what Lucas says in his post.

      Great point about whether the typical reader here would wear a t-shirt announcing they are on The Path. My sense is we are mostly low profile types.

  9. The Friendly Russian says

    Every time when people are talking about Bitcoin around me I smell fear and greed. Fear and greed and nothing more.
    People fear that they are missing something really big and going bananas investing tens of thousands, hoping to make quick $$
    Other are so greedy, thinking about what they could’ve made if they invested in 2012 and going tens of thousands (I am not kidding) hoping to make quick $$

    • Lucas says

      Hey Friendly Russian,

      Sadly, that is pretty much all you hear about Bitcoin 2017 because it now involves such vast sums of money.

      Sad because that’s not how Bitcoin started at all. For YEARS during it’s infancy stage (say 2009-2013 or so) almost all discussion in Bitcoin world was focused on the libertarian (or even techno-anarchist) ideals of decentralized money removed from government. It was all about freedom, about connecting the world, about bringing fairness and sanity back to money and finance.

      A lot of people, myself included, still believe in that ideal – right now we just have to ride out the waves of get-rich-quick hangers-on. Like I said, the mania is just beginning.

  10. jon says

    I’ve been tempted to get into Bitcoin. But it just seems like such a bubble. People are just buying it because it is going up not because of the other value that btc has. I like the idea of over coming the poor decisions of politicians and the fed through an alternative currency. But there are still hurdles that haven’t been overcome yet, like being able to handle the volume of trade that it would need to be actually used as cash.

    I did purchase some because I found I could get about a 12% discount on Amazon by using I purchased more than I needed. Now, every time I buy something from Amazon it is “free”.

    It would have been cool to get in early. Maybe now is still early, maybe when the next recession hits it will also get hit pretty bad. Who knows. But I will probably buy then. I thought about putting in 2.5 or 5% of my savings but have held back.

    Really the Bitcoin that you have isn’t worth the $xxx amount until you actually take it out. But if the inflation ever happens that some people have said is coming for the dollar since forever then it might actually be nice to have some BTC if it can maintain its value despite the dollar inflation.

    Regardless, I’ll probably keep with my current asset classes. If I do buy BTC I’ll probably keep it small and just let it ride.

    • Lucas says


      I agree – I’m really fascinated to find out what happens to Bitcoin during the next stock market crash.

      It doesn’t even have to be massive run-away inflation. We are due or over-due for a good old fashioned market correction in the regular stock market (10 year non-stop bull run).

      If big money flows IN to Bitcoin when that happens (as it does to Gold) then we might really be on to something here.

      • TBDSeattle says

        (long time reader, first time writer)

        What is happening here?

        I’ve learned a ton from Benjamin Graham, JLCollins, these columns, and from the comments. (Thank you to everyone!) The advice has consistently been: “invest in index funds, avoid speculation, don’t day trade, use tax advantages, and don’t believe you, or anyone, can time the market.”

        Today I’m surprised to find a column in this space where the author:
        1) succumbs to the temptation to promote speculation;
        2) suggests that the market is “due or over-due” for correction,” and;
        3) suggests speculation in a sector where the SEC has not yet created final rules.

        This goes against everything I’ve learned here. It makes the lottery seem like a “sound investment.”

        If someone comes to me and asks: “Are you interested in a speculation in a sector that I don’t understand, you don’t understand, where it is unclear if anyone really understands the implications of broad adoption, where tax implications aren’t clear, where you are speculating in a currency without even a veneer of management, that is guaranteed by no assets, supported by no government, and can be used facilitate criminal activity, because I think a bunch of people will pile in after you?” Then normally I’d reply: Well, JLCollins would say… no!

          • TBDSeattle says

            🙂 I did see the raccoon, which is what I have learned from you, Graham, and others, to be the appropriate response. And it is so cute!

            But I also then saw, from someone I respect, the comment: “But I might, just maybe, free up a few dollars and give this a shot. If I do, I’ll immediately treat that money as already lost.”

            After that, the usual “get rich quick” stories began to show up in the comments, such as:

            “the mania is just beginning”

            “we might really be on to something here”

            “I want to start looking for those “ten baggers” again. Or do some angel investing. That is an emotional charge though, I fully feel the excitement as I write this.”

            “Bitcoin is a worldwide phenomenon – No government can stop it short of cutting of your internet access”

            “The way I would purchase today is make my bet, let it double or triple, sell my initial investment, let the profit ride as a free trade.”

            “Just the other day my 19 year old nephew who does not know the first thing about personal finance told me that he invested in bitcoin.”

            Not all these people are advocating an “investment/gamble” in bitcoin, but, to my ears, this is a very different tone than the rest of the JLCollins site, and, to me, it is jarring. That said, I’m moving on. Thanks again to JLCollins, and all who share their insights here; I’ve learned a great deal from you all!

          • Roberto says

            “That said, I’m moving on. Thanks again to JLCollins, and all who share their insights here; I’ve learned a great deal from you all!” Are you moving on just from this post or from the entire JLCollins site? I think he meant well with this guest post, I don’t know if he deserves such a harsh punishment 🙂 Jokes aside, the message for me was pretty clear and it was to discourage anyone from “investing” in bitcoin if not with money they did not need and after having achieved complete FI. Money you don’t need is the important distinction here. You could decide to go to a restaurant and treat your 3 best friends to a $500 meal, because you have a net worth that justifies that or you could spend $20 to dine out in a cheap restaurant and put it on your credit card where you only make the minimum payment every month, which is worse? Sometimes (very rarely I must say), I am in the casino and decide to to “invest” $100 on the blackjack table. I consider this money immediately lost even before my first hand, I have a lot of fun if I end up winning and, if I lose my 100 bucks, my life and my finances are 100% unaffected. I see bitcoin the same way and this is the message I got from the post. The excited people were excited before the post, I seriously doubt that the core followers of the site’s philosophy are going to rush into bitcoin with all they have. Incidentally you cannot say for sure that, with bitcoin, there isn’t a tiny chance that you will multiply your money by a factor of 100, try that at the blackjack table…
            The cultural phenomenon per se is incredibly fascinating and , in my eyes, worth following; especially if money and investments are your interests. Regardless of how it ends, bitcoin is making history and ignoring it seems unrealistic to me.

  11. firecrackerrev says

    Back in 2011, we went to Vegas. I made sure to stay off the strip, take advantage of the $2 steak dinners, 1/2 price oysters, $3 beers, and free buffet tickets from our $50/night 4 star hotel with pool. The reason why everything was so cheap? Our hotel and food was fully subsidized by the gamblers. Since we don’t gamble they didn’t make a single dime off us. It was AWESOME. One time we had some loose change left over from dinner and Wanderer ask me if I wanted to throw it in the penny slots “just for kicks”. My response: “But but but we could use that money for candy!”

    That’s exactly how I feel about Bitcoin. Even if I had loose change, I still wouldn’t throw it away on Bitcoin.

    Thanks for telling it like it is, Lucas! Love the racoon gif.

    • jlcollinsnh says


      Someone giving the raccoon gfi some love 🙂

      Personally, I can’t get enough. It is, well, just so damn perfect!

  12. Mrs.Wow says

    Being that my only taste of Bitcoin was watching the numerous drug deals happen while sitting at a bar at FinCon, it just seems shady to say the least. I mean do people actually walk around with $7,000 in tens and twenties in their pocket and then spend an hour feeding them into a Bitcoin atm at 1am? Yep, we totally witnessed it.

    As for the shirt… The GodFIther… or the letter F, the picture of a female sheep and a stack of bills

    • Lucas says

      Hey MrsWoW,

      I fully expect the US Government to use a similar argument when they begin to attempt to regulate Bitcoin. It is true that in the early days, Bitcoin was used a lot in things like darknet marketplaces (Silk Road, etc) to transact really ugly business (Talking about murder for hire, illegal weapons, etc – not about drugs, which is a different debate.)

      However, respectfully, I don’t really find that is a strong argument against Bitcoin. US Dollars, and every other currency, are used every day to transact that exact same business. Throwing the baby out with the bath water as it were, and arguing that Bitcoin is the cause of those awful things happening in the world is not really accurate.

      So, while I don’t accept that argument, we can definitely talk about whether people should or should not be allowed to have total privacy in their financial transactions in society in general (regardless of the currency). I happen to think that we should (mostly), but I can see perfectly valid points arguing against that.

      Also – I love your shirt idea 🙂

  13. Adam says

    One small inaccuracy: “Bitcoins are infinitely divisible, you can buy any fractional amount you want.”

    This is not true. Bitcoin is divisible to 8 decimal places.

    • Lucas says

      Touche Adam!

      I was trying to keep the article high-level and explaining what a Satoshi is didn’t really fit.

      You are absolutely right though – Bitcoin is “only” divisible into parts of hundred-millionths.

      • Adam says

        It sounds insignificant but it’s not really. 1 cent will currently get you about 0.000001 bitcoin (six decimal places). If the value increases by a factor of 100, which is not infeasible, the smallest amount of bitcoin that can be owned outright will be worth more than the smallest amount of US Dollar that can be owned outright.

  14. Nate says

    IMO bitcoins are another distractions that ultimately leads people away from the perfect simplicity of the index fund. Although I knew about bitcoins at $100 in 2013, I don’t have any regrets not investing in it. I know my approach of investing my money in the total stock market will work and I’m able to sleep easy at night following your advice Jim. I promised myself I would never deviate from the simple path to wealth. It’s been almost five years and I’m going strong. I’m so blessed I found this blog when I was 22. Even if I could have been a bitcoin billionaire, having enough money that the dividends of the total stock market covers my basic expenses is plenty for me.

    • Lucas says

      hear, hear – Well said Nate.

      Something I should have pointed out in the article more explicitly is EVEN IF Bitcoin takes over the world of finance jlcollins readers will STILL be on the right path with buy-and-hold Index Investing.

      If Bitcoin or some Cryptocurrency manages to take over the Index Funds will bring them into the fold or possibly even be denominated in Bitcoin. Index investors are still buying in to the world economy.

  15. Kenneth LaVoie says

    I started plunking $500 at a time down when it was between $400 and $700. Unfortunately I only “plunked” four times … or FORTUNATELY, at LEAST I plunked four times! I took out 5 times my original investment and now have 8 times my original investment still in. It’s an excruciatingly small chunk. I wanted to invest not only less than I could afford to lose, but so little that I could tell my wife I lost it all without her turning white!

    What it’s got me thinking is that I want to start looking for those “ten baggers” again. Or do some angel investing. That is an emotional charge though, I fully feel the excitement as I write this.

    • Kenneth LaVoie says

      I would add that “money management” is very important here. If it goes up, skim some off until (hopefully) you get your initial investment back so you’re playing with the “house’s” money.

  16. Andrew says

    So the key question is: will the United States permit Bitcoin to supplant the US dollar as a primary means of exchange?

    Let me throw a factoid into the mix: this year the US Treasury received a net income payment of $92 billion from the Federal Reserve. This represents part of the US Government’s income through seigniorage, or the ancient sovereign right to coin money.

    Now again: will the US allow Bitcoin to supplant the US dollar?

    I would suggest that the answer is a big fat no, and that Bitcoin is about to get regulated right up its cryptowallet.

    • Lucas says

      Hey Andrew,

      I agree – the US government is not going to let the USD be supplanted without a nasty fight.

      Heck, the entire world of high finance (i.e. all the large banks and financial institutions in other countries too) will fight tooth and nail to keep Dollar-backed system as is.

      But here is what makes me wonder if that will matter in the long run: Bitcoin is a worldwide phenomenon – No government can stop it short of cutting of your internet access (except maybe China, but that’s another story).

      The US Gov can try to make it illegal for US citizens in the short term, but there are cryptocurrencies in the works (ZCash, Monero, Ethereum with ZK-SNARKS) that are truly anonymous and untraceable.

      This is years away, but if people begin to truly transact business entirely in Crypto, I’m not sure there is anything the government can do. To see a real live case study of this happening now, read about Bitcoin in Venezuela.

      • kevin says

        Show me a country that decides to make Bitcoin their official currency and I’ll show you a country the US government will decide to bring some democracy to. If you know what I mean.

      • CS says

        Venezuela is unique – and a good case for when crypto as a store of value could be beneficial (runaway inflation, economy about to collapse). Forget governments, banks and businesses will not transact in any crypto until the speculation has worn down – they aren’t going to take on the risk of fluctuation – kills crypto by the principle of limited supply alone. Not to mention, 7 transactions a second (Bitcoin and other Proof of Work) means that we will have to wait days for our Starbucks payment to process…

  17. Andrew says

    And one other thought… there is also the environmental cost of Bitcoin to be considered.

    Bitcoin mining is using more energy than many countries and many US States, including the great state of New Hampshire… the latest estimate is 29 TWh/year.

    At a time when humanity is still burning fossil fuels to generate electricity and there are billions of people in the world without access to adequate energy to meet their daily needs, that amount of electricity to undertake the essentially meaningless task of solving computational problems for the purpose of generating more Bitcoin is unethical, in my view.

    • Lucas says

      This is an interesting point Andrew – thanks for bringing it up.

      On one hand, the electricity used by mining really is polluting because of what you mentioned – we are still using fossil fuels, coal, etc – and the crypto community should work to change how mining works to use less.

      On the other hand, I don’t think that argument holds for Bitcoin being any more or less unethical than anything else.

      The same fossil fuel argument could be used for anything . Every single industry. It was true before the Internet revolution. We were on fossil fuels then, and we still are now. Imagine how much electricity all computers in the world use? It must be staggering.

      But no one says: Computers are powered by electricity made by oil, therefore Computers are unethical.

      SO many things use more polluting, wasteful oil-powered electricity than Bitcoin.

      Food is grown using machines fueled by oil. Clothes are made with machines powered by oil. Water is piped to your house with electricity made by coal.

      Instead we say, and should continue to say until it changes: That oil, coal, etc are unethical energy resources and we should all move everything to renewable energy as soon as possible regardless of what the electricity they generate is used for.

      • Justin says

        Lucas – I appreciate the article, but find your response to the environmental impact angle to be a dismissive and poorly reasoned attempt to white wash a real concern. The world is making real progress towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions through accelerating deployment of renewables. Bitcoin mining and the associated electricity demand is wiping out those gains and growing exponentially. Yes, just about every human endeavor these days involves the use of energy/electricity, but you are being overly simplistic to weight all these pursuits equally. Energy “spent” growing food to feed humanity is way more beneficial and critical than mining a cryptocurrency for which nothing of intrinsic value is created and for which a perfectly acceptable and workable alternative exists. In other words, the cost to benefit ratio of the energy deployed in this endeavor is horrible. This problem will only worsen as the popularity of bitcoin increases. Climate change has very real consequences for human health, national security, wildlife, and our economic vitality. We need a healthy planet to live on more than we need speculative cryptocurrencies. You can point to other wasteful uses of fossil fuels, no doubt, but as any good parent can tell you, two wrongs don’t make a right. At a time when transportation is moving away from ICEs to EVs and hybrids, battery storage and renewables are being paired to make a more sustainable electric grid, dirty coal is being replaced with natural gas, and gains in efficiency are putting a real dent in greenhouse gas emissions, this is a huge and completely unnecessary step in the wrong direction. It would be short-sighted to brush this off as a minor issue. It requires a real debate and real solutions.

        • Roberto says

          I am not sure what the debate could be. Is mining using huge amounts of energy? Yes. Is this energy use adding greenhouse gas emissions? Yes. Are people going to stop mining because all of a sudden they develop a conscience, I will let you answer this one for yourself. I think Lucas generously attempted to calculate the possible plus and minuses of mining carbon footprint but I am afraid the variables are too many for us to even consider finding a solution. Noble vision, but probably your efforts to protect the planet will receive better support in other arenas than what they can get in the bitcoin community

        • Lucas says


          * Agreed – The world moving entirely to renewables cannot happen fast enough.

          * Agreed – Global warming is humanities biggest problem and needs action quickly.

          * I Disagree that Bitcoin mining is wiping out those gains. Bitcoin mining operations have just as much financial incentive to move to renewable energy to save money as every other industry.

          In fact, the crypto mining industry has an EASIER time doing that than any other, because their location does not matter. (They only need an internet connection) This is why we see the largest mining operations in places like Iceland – where Genesis mining company is running on geothermal. And places like rural china where the mining is powered by hydro-electric power companies because it is cheap. This is a key point all of the “Look Bitcoin uses more power than X and Y” headlines fail to mention.

          * I disagree that our existing financial and banking system is an “acceptable and workable alternative”. This is the system that has given rise to the concentration of wealth and the oil/gas/coal industry that is destroying the planet. What could possibly be better than a decentralized money system that will destroy that paradigm?

          I agree this is a debate we need to have.

          If anyone is interested in the more nuanced points about why Bitcoin is actually not the environmental nightmare it’s currently being made out to be, I’d encourage you to watch this brief video by Andreas Antonopoulos, an expert in the field:

  18. Accidental FIRE says

    Hilarious post and thanks for the in depth research. In the immortal words from the Grinch, not gonna touch it with a thirty-nine and a half foot pole!

    As for a t-shirt design, how about “Got FU Money?” in the font-style of the milk campaign. I could make it for ya 🙂

  19. Math Guy says

    My Brother and I have had a few conversations over bitcoin in the past few months. We both agreed, like FireCracker mentioned above, that is is pure and simple gambling at this point.The difference is he decide to gamble with a couple hundred bucks and I didn’t. Maybe it will be the future of maybe something else will (At one point MySpace what the most visited website on the internet and Facebook was only open to college students).

    As for the shirt I would love to have a collection from the great FI bloggers so I would probably buy one. However, I think the slogan needs some work. Maybe, “My money says FU” or something catchy that anyone in the FI community would laugh at without being too nerdy.

  20. Mr. 1500 says

    Bitcoin has my mind spinning. It could either implode in a massive dumpster fire or this could just be the infancy of something massive. I have no clue, but if I had to bet, I’d guess the latter. The momentum is building.

    However, it has to stabilize before merchants take it seriously. No way I see a company like Amazon or Best Buy taking it. Although, if this list is to be believed, some major companies are already taking it:

    All I know is that I want a jlcollinsnh t-shirt and possibly, a set of underwear:
    Me: Hey wife, look at my new undies!!
    Wife: Is that a guy on your underwear> Wait, is that Jim Collins?
    Me: Sure is!

  21. Mr. Tako says

    I hate to be a party pooper, but there’s absolutely no way I’d “invest” in bitcoin. Just like I don’t try to trade in other currencies. I have zero ability to value a bitcoin.

    You mentioned Ben Graham in the name of the post — but I saw zero discussion about how to value it. Ben Graham was able to value businesses and profit from valuation discrepancies he found. Bitcoin is mad gambling by comparison, not investing.

    I see none of that happening in bitcoin land. This is speculation, not investing. The only reason why I see people getting into bitcoin is to “make money”, not because it’s somehow a more efficient currency (or they can calculate a fundamental value).

    That’s a good way to lose money if you ask me.

    • TBDSeattle says

      Thank you.

      In my opinion this is a very good summary of Bitcoin viewed through the principles of Benjamin Graham.

  22. Gasem says

    I own BTC. The way I would purchase today is make my bet, let it double or triple, sell my initial investment, let the profit ride as a free trade. I wouldn’t diversify across coins. If one cracks all crack. If you want to get cocky buy some puts when they become available. I don’t see crypto as a “store of wealth” any more than the VIX is a store of wealth. It is a directional measure of greed and the game is to be slightly less greedy than the last sucker on the chain

  23. Biased About Money says

    Great article! There’s no doubt bitcoin and cryptocurencies could have a dramatic influence in the future. But the entire industry is too new to know for sure. Once the industry and technology matures I have a feeling everything will look very different than it does today.

  24. Bubbles Make Wine into Champagne says

    Well written article on a hot topic! Love to profit from a bursting bubble as I missed the Dutch Tulip frenzy. How can I short any of the popular cryptocurrency markets?
    Cheers!….as I raise a glass of bubbly in your honor!

    • Lucas says

      Well some of the….less reputable…exchanges offer leveraged trading and shorting – Bitfinex comes to mind.

      Or if you are an accredited investor I’m sure you could use one of the many Wall Street houses that are starting to offer Bitcoin futures, derivatives, etc.

  25. Roberto says

    excellent article. I am so happy that, for once, I did things exactly like you and your friend Lucas suggest here. Having zero debt, I bought a small amount of bitcoin and eth some time ago with money I did not need and I considered the money immediately lost. Watching my tiny bet joyride in the last few weeks has been enormous fun; even if both cryptos went to zero and I were to lose everything I “invested”, the entertainment value would be enough to compensate the small loss (ok, I would be a little bit sad, let’s be honest here). I toyed with the idea of getting out the money I spent and let just the pure profit ride but then it would contradict the “lost money” idea. Might still do it anyway, btw my wife says that I am ridiculous checking bitcoin price 20 times a day…one of my safest bets is to assume my wife is always right.

    • Lucas says

      Glad to hear it Roberto!

      This is exactly how I’m trying to approach crypto.

      Some of my friends play video games, I play with the crypto-market. I get just as much entertainment value out of it.

      Like you said: The key is treating the money as already gone. I really hope no one is confusing this with our ACTUAL investing plan with our REAL savings (i.e. The Simple Path to Wealth)

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Congratulations, Roberto!

      Out of all the outstanding commenters this post has drawn, Lucas has chosen you as the winner of the free audio book, The Simple Path to Wealth!

      Referring to your comments, Lucas said:

      “He really ‘got’ the spirit of the article.”

      To seal the deal (or to say: “no thanks, who needs it?”), respond here and prove you are still paying attention. 🙂

      • Roberto says

        This deserves a special reply. Of course I am paying attention, in fact I wanted to say I truly appreciate that you are taking the time to answer each comment personally and that you share so freely of your hard earned financial knowledge. I really get the feeling that you enjoy helping as many people as possible to reach FI. Back to your generous offer, I am afraid I have to decline. First of all I am hurt that you would think I haven’t read it yet 🙂 but secondly, I was one of the lucky 100 guys who got the advance copy (and diligently reviewed the book on amazon). While there is something to be said about owning an audio version, I also think this kind of knowledge needs to be spread as wide as possible, so I would encourage you to find another lucky recipient who hopefully will be able to benefit as much as I did from your book. Also thanks to Lucas for choosing me and merry Xmas to all

        • jlcollinsnh says

          Thanks for the very kind words, Roberto. Very much appreciated.

          If you like, Lucas can chose another winner. Or you can accept and gift it to someone else.

          Let me know.

  26. The Frugal Humanist says

    Ha! Back in 2010, I wish I had had Index investing figured out, let alone bitcoin!

    I can’t get over that Raccoon GIF!! That is so me!!!! Me after the bubble, me in 2008…..hopefully not me in the future…
    Bitcoin you say??
    Interesting thought. Maybeeeee, probably….perhaps still lots of potential left, buuuuut when already my computer illiterate neighbors are talking about it and wondering how they can get in on the action, that definitely could be a sign of a bubble…I may have to go talk to my Mum’s hairdresser to confirm though. If she has considered it already, it’s definitely doomed.

    Now seriously, thanks for a thoughtfully researched article. If I still had money coming in from hard work, I may have bet a little play money, as you suggested, just for kicks. However as VTSAX provides most of my income these days, I am much more careful with how I spend it.
    I’d be more likely to get a T-shirt than bitcoin though for what it’s worth.

    Regarding the T-Shirt, I like the “Got FU Money” idea, that AccidentialFire suggested further up. But then, I am simple and mostly wear black in the first place.

  27. Joseph says

    For the t-shirt, i would instead suggest a paraphrase of a line from your youtube video takeoff on f-you money…

    [front] Do you have your Fortress of F’ing Solitude??

    [back] No?? Then go to

  28. Dave says

    Just the other day my 19 year old nephew who does not know the first thing about personal finance told me that he invested in bitcoin. He explained to me that his friend invested $5 and it grew to $80. I think I now know how Joseph Kennedy felt when the shoeshine boy was giving him stock tips.

  29. No More Deadlines says

    Agree with all the things Lucas said about bitcoin, but I think it’s worth looking into and learning about as well, even if you do nothing else. If this article was the first and last time, you still learned something. If it prompts you to dig deeper, then that’s great as well.

    I was way late and thought of betting some money just a few months ago when bitcoin was about $5k, but just didn’t feel comfortable at that time with the week if reading I did into it for many of the reasons noted in the article and comments, but the block chain technology is definitely something to keep tabs on.

    Regarding the tshirt idea, I like the simplicity and inside joke aspect of the F (picture of a ewe) $ on the front of a tshirt idea, with the website in small letters just under it and/or on the back by the neck…simple and clean, nothing gaudy and would make people stare a little to try and figure out if they even could without knowing the FU money concept.

  30. Chris says

    Mr Collins, I always associate you with “F**k you money”… I reckon a t-shirt with the image on your “Why you need F**k you money of the guys standing in line with a caption like: “Do you have your far queue money?”.

    I’d buy that!

  31. Isaac says

    I have a cryptocurrency exchange of my own. It’s called “Wastebasket” – a bit old fashion, but you just take whatever money you want to invest into crypto, put it in Wastebasket, and you end up getting the same result. And I don’t even have to sign up on any website … my exchange just sits right under my desk.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      If I were to send you a self-addressed stamped envelope would you be willing to use it instead of “Wastebasket” and just drop it in the mail whenever it gets full? I’d send you another.

  32. Drharhar says

    Thanks for the info. It’s nice to see a slightly different point of view and I’ll be sure to check out the links. I think it’s pretty obvious that index investing is the way to go, and I’m also a big fan of Nassim Taleb’s barbell strategy where you ALSO place small bets on assets which have a chance of being extremely lucrative. That way you have little downside but huge potential upside.

    My question is: you recommend buy and hold and then you post a pic of Neo and Morpheus. Buy and hold until when? Is this buy and hold because one day your bitcoin will be the new currancy so you’ll just buy everything in bitcoin? Or are you seeing us cash out in the future? Or just spend a percentage now and let the rest grow?

    I think I know which one youre advocating for, but I’m not sure and I know what happens when you assume!

    Again, thanks!

    • Lucas says

      Hi Drharhar,

      I also love Nasim Taleb’s barbell analogy and I’d say Bitcoin definitely qualifies.

      I definitely recommend buy and hold.

      As to whether I am buying/holding because Bitcoin is the future currency or because I want to cash out at some point – I would say both but I honestly I have no idea which one I will do.

      I do have a number in mind, for my personal Bitcoin holdings, that if I ever hit that number in USD I will cash out and never look back, but otherwise I am sitting on my BTC for the long term just to see what comes.

      But could just as easily go the other way – especially if something catastrophic happens to the US Dollar.

      • jon says

        With all the hoopla with BTC going up. Thought I would check how much I have. I decided that I didn’t want more than 2.5% (which isn’t much, I’m still early in this journey even though I’ve been doing it for quite some time). Apparently I’m getting close to 5%. I guess it is time to cash out 1/2 of that and invest it elsewhere!

    • Lucas says

      Hi Tin,

      It’s a trade off unfortunately. But yes, I prefer ACH purchase for the lower fees.

      1. If you purchase with a credit or debit card, you receive your Bitcoin immediately, but you pay a 3.9% fee.

      2. If you purchase via ACH you lock in your purchase at whatever the price is right then, but your Coins will not be available for about 5 days (How long an ACH takes to clear). 1.5% fee. If you aren’t in a hurry to get the coins out, or want to lock in a certain price, this is the way to go.

      3. If you first use ACH to transfer USD to your account (Which takes 7 days) then that money will be in your “USD Wallet” of your Coinbase account. Then you may purchase the coins immediately whenever you want. 1.5% fee.

      • tin says

        Thanks Lucas for answering my question and that makes sense. I would definitely go with the lower fees.

        I know you recommended three crypto currencies, but how much should one invest? 1% ,2%,5%, do you recommend a number?

        • Lucas says

          I’m not at ALL comfortable recommending something like that.

          Put is this way: What I’ve “invested” in crypto is significantly less than I spend on a vacation or my hobbies in any given year.

          I could have emphasized that more in the article, but I hope people got the idea.

          That’s why I’m not at all worried about this little project being “anti-Index” foolish investing – It isn’t. It’s all about perspective.

  33. Roaming Options says

    IT CAN’T KEEP GOING UP! Jeesh, I almost pulled the trigger on GBTC (bitcoin investment trust) a week ago around $1,300. Tomorrow I’m sure it will open over $2,000. I’m sure a lot of us are thinking the exact thing – shoulda, coulda, woulda. It’s tulip buying season! Maybe I’ll purchase a small amount for a potential college fund for my 3 year old. Definitely money I’m ok with losing if it all comes crashing down. It will be interesting to see what happens when the bitcoin futures start trading. I’ll stick to my market neutral style of trading and sleep soundly at night.

    • Lucas says

      Hi Roaming Options,

      The futures trading is really terrifying stuff for Bitcoin in my opinion, simply because there are no laws. Blatant market manipulation in the regular markets is illegal and watched for. There are no laws or regulators for Bitcoin (which is a great thing in the long run, in my opinion. However, that means the Wall Street banksters can use their futures bets to manipulate the price and make tons of money. Will be an interesting few weeks for sure.

  34. Saving the Crumbs says

    Hey Lucas, appreciate you stirring this pot. Like many other commenters, I was also a bit jarred seeing a post like this pop up on JLCollinsNH! But I think I get what you’re saying.

    The “JL Collins-Simple Path to Wealth” philosophy does not promote speculation, and it seems to me that the frenzied interest in bitcoin right now is mostly pure speculation—FOMO at its worst. So yeah, if it looks like a bubble, moves like a bubble, and have people frothing at the mouth like a bubble—it’s probably a bubble. (Of course, we don’t know whether this is the peak or not…it may bubble on until $50k or $100k for all we know.)

    So what I’m taking from you is that the way you view this as an investment (as opposed to mere speculation, albeit still a very risky investment) is that you are placing your bet on the potential productivity of the blockchain technology that undergirds bitcoin (and other cryptos)—not merely waiting to cash out before the bubble bursts. So would it be correct to characterize your position as making a long-term investment in the blockchain technology vs. a get-rich-quick speculation into bitcoin?

    If that’s the case, then I have an honest question…and that is about your reasoning behind recommending a portfolio of just 3 cryptocurrencies? (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin) Is it because those are the only 3 available on Coinbase right now, or do you have other reasons for not placing your bets on other cryptos?

    Again, thanks for sharing this post to get us thinking.

    • Lucas says

      Hi Saving The Crumbs,

      Thank you for the kind words – that is absolutely the spirit of my post.

      Is Bitcoin a bubble right now? I think you hit the nail on the head – Yes it LOOKS a lot like a bubble, but it may also take a good long time for it to pop. For example, Bitcoin has had a “bubble” in it’s history twice before, where the price spiked massively in a short time and then crashed 70%+ in a matter of days. Both of those times it took 1+ years to recover to the original price levels.

      The very same thing could be happening here. What is interesting though, is that for Bitcoin to “bubble” at the same order of magnitude as the previous two times the price would need to reach around $100k before crashing. There are no rules saying it has to happen like that of course.

      On viewing this as a (very risky) investment: Yes, absolutely. I did not buy into cryptocurrencies intending to Get Rick Quick. I really do believe that the blockchain technology is the future infrastructure of our world – I’d like to own a piece of that and obviously the earlier the better. I fully expect Bitcoin to crash massively, probably several more times, but I also intended to hold through all of it.

      On the portfolio: Excellent and complicated question. This article was meant to be a jumping off point for people totally new to Bitcoin and Crypto – for that reason, using the 3 available on Coinbase is an easy starting point. Using other exchanges in complicated and sketchy. As you have correctly pointed out, once you go down the rabbit hole it’s not easy to decide on a good Crypto portfolio (there are over 1,400 cryptocurrencies last I checked).

      The BTC / LTC / ETH portfolio is easy to defend: Bitcoin has the brand name and first mover advantage. Ethereum has the most functionality, the ERC20 second layer token ecosystem, and by FAR the biggest development community and resources. Litecoin is an obvious hedge against a Bitcoin crash.

      Choosing other coins to make small bets on is not something I’m comfortable recommending to anyone except to do your own research – There are SO MANY scams and SO MUCH misinformation. The privacy crowd loves Monero. Wall Street loves ZCash. China is betting on NEO. One of the BTC fork coins could win. Some single-use coins like Filecoin or MakerDAI could get huge adoption. I have no idea and neither does anyone else.

      • Saving the Crumbs says

        Ah yes, I think we are on the same page. I definitely am no expert in cryptocurrencies (know just enough to be dangerous, but not enough to be useful), but I’m definitely of the mind that the true value is in the underlying blockchain infrastructure technology itself and not merely trading the bitcoin (or any other coin). But the trouble I see, as you’ve pointed out, is that it’s impossible to know which ones of the thousands will win out in the end. For all I know, BTC might be MySpace now and some small, currently unknown coin might be the Facebook someday. My uneducated guess at this point is that there will probably be consolidation around certain key cryptos within specific categories of uses, and as we get there, a lot of losers will get discarded along the way. Typical free market stuff. In that sense, I wish there was a VTSAX equivalent for cryptos where I can just buy the whole hay bale like Bogle suggests and then let the index handle the filtering for me.

          • vorlic says

            P.S. you need an iPhone or phone running Android to get an ICONOMI account… their identity verification process depends upon an app called IDNow.

  35. vorlic says

    The blog hijacker “Lucas” has earned $10 from my recent hysterical, un-jhcollinsnh-esque behaviour. Apparently that was worth 0.000592 BTC at that moment… and quite frankly I don’t care what it’s worth now 🙂

    I am counting my modest transaction as perfectly good money already lost.

    Back to The Simple Path to Wealth and VWRL, IGWD and GBDV for the “heavy lifting”. See, I’m still with you, Godfather 😉

  36. tom says

    Its funny to hear the bashing of ‘banksters’ and governments, crooked
    and inefficient currencies of today and the expensive transaction fees we suffer when conducting our daily business….

    Have you tried to acquire bitcoin? Setup an account? buy? sell?
    choose a digital wallet?
    READ and RESEARCH all that you need to?

    80-90% of people are too stupid to buy and manage bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
    sorry but its true.

    Seriously, write down your passwords and store them somewhere safe?
    This is supposed to be the future of currency?

    No thanks, i’ll just get a credit card and if i get hacked and lose $1000 or whatever i will just call up my bank and they will say, ‘no problem, we will send you a new card and cover your losses’

    Cyrptocurrencies will work only if they are tied to your bank account or apple pay and if thats the case what is the point?

    Anonymity is the only real benefit and for 99% of the population its not worth the hassle.
    Cryptos are supposed to be without transaction fees, but you can’t spend it on anything and the fees to buy and sell it are astronomical.

    Once the big banks create their own cyrptos we will all use that because it is cheap and easy….

    • Lucas says

      Hey tom,

      I completely agree that crypto as it stands is entirely too complicated for 90% of people to use effectively.

      Of course, the same thing was true about the internet, until it wasn’t….

      I agree Big Banks will try to create their own cryptos, but they will inevitably get hacked and not work correctly – the very things that make a cryptocurrency a cryptocurrency require that it be decentralized.

  37. Millionaire Immigrant says

    Wow! This is the moment I had been waiting for. Having heard about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for the first time through some friends in September, I started researching about it. I could not believe what I found is being bought and sold. I had never seen anything like this before and could not believe that so many people are sold into this. I went back to the same friend that had introduced me to this new world.

    He told me, “someone created shit and sold it. Everyone is just buying and selling shit.” Ok, thanks. “It is a bubble that will burst but noone knows when.” Just like I had thought. I went back to my Index funds mindset and everything was good.

    Come October, I see this thing everywhere. I start reading up on internet, everyone is either sold into the eutopia of bitcoin or are predicting a crash. This has so much similarities with stock market bubbles yet there is something that is different. But I did not find any FI/ER communities talking about it. Are they as confused as I am?

    Come November, I slowly started thinking about gambling a little bit on it. Opened accounts on two platforms but the annual fees and expense ratio kept me off. Come December, I start regretting a little about not being able to 4x my gamble if I had put money in it. I am caught in between minds of should I gamble on this thing “that noone knows about” or should I stay on course of a disciplined investor.

    Then comes James Collinshnh saying he might throw in some gambling money in there as well. My take out of this long story, even after this topic of Bitcoin, jlcollinsnh and I are not that different. The skeptic in me says that maybe Ben Graham and Warren Buffet also gambled a few times. Did they win or are we going to win with Bitcoin? Do not take investing advice from gamblers.

    I wanted to leave Lucas out of this. Thanks for the write-up.

  38. Jim says

    About 4 years ago I bought a graphics card for $300 and started mining bitcoins on my home PC.

    I ended up with 2 bitcoins, eventually spent 1 over time when they were worth $500-$1000. Whoops.

    I still have 1 left that I plan to hold until it makes up a large % of my net worth (maybe 50%?). Of course it’s just as likely to go to 0 but I won’t shed any tears. It’s a fun ride.

    • Lucas says

      So you after having invested $300 and already received $500-$1000 worth of value you from your initial investment you are still sitting on 1 full BTC?

      That is the very definition of playing with house money sir – Good for you and great attitude!

  39. Primal Prosperity says

    Sooo… I’m not a computer expert, but my understanding is that the energy required to “mine” a bitcoin is ridiculous… apparently, as more and more bitcoins are ‘mined’, it takes more complicated algorithms, which means longer computing time and more energy. As Bitcoins stand right now, it seems that one single Bitcoin transaction can use as much energy as a typical small household uses in a week. It also seems like everything these days, we are ‘mining’ them in China, because there are less regulations on energy use.

    Seriously, how can we justify this, when Bitcoins don’t even seem to serve any basic human need or service Is the PF/FIRE community going to come around to making investment decisions on a modicum of morals, and not just increasing net worth? And I personally don’t consider philanthropy as a way to ‘make it up on the back end’. Don’t you think we need to make a change?

    P.S. I purposely used the word ‘seem’ a lot, because I don’t know for sure. I encourage any response to prove me wrong so that I can feel better. 🙂

    • Lucas says

      Hi Primal,

      Thank you for your polite comment. You are absolutely right, Bitcoin is using an enormous amount of electricity at the moment and that is likely to continue.

      However, what we are getting when we (humanity collectively) are paying for that electricity is actually more than you would think at first glance.

      If you are really interested in this topic I’d encourage you to watch this video – Yes it’s long, but it really cannot be explained much shorter. (The talk is really only ~30 minutes of the video.)

  40. Roger says

    Lucas – thanks for the great article.

    This reminds me of the good old dot com stock market mania. I remember when a friend recommended that I buy stock in a company called ecom ecom dot com. After all this had to be a winner with all the “com”s in the name.

    I made a small bet on crypto, figuring these things would run up after Thanksgiving. Families sitting around the dinner table have to talk about something. When uncle Bob hears about Junior making $$$$ off of crytocurrencies, next thing he does is open an acccount. The same thing happened at the start of dot com mania. $1 stocks became $15 stocks on black Friday.

    I did make a butt load of $ in the .com boom. Started off with a small stake and margined/day traded my way into some serious dough. By the time it was all over? My serious dough was all gone… It was a fun ride though.

    Personally, I think if you want to take some fun money to the crypto casino and make a bet – have at it ! If you get lucky and make. a few $$$, take the cash and run for the hills.

    • vorlic says

      Hi Roger, It’s an interesting (yet common!) story about your experience with the dot coms. It reinforces a Certain Jim’s message…!

      May I interview you?

      What happened to your equities – did you keep some, sell some, or lose them through Chapter 7/11s?

      Did/do you have any stock which later went on to survive and thrive, e.g. Amazon, Cisco, Ebay, Qualcomm etc?

      What do you wish you’d known twenty years ago?

      Thanks, and all the best for 2018!

  41. Teri says

    This reminds me of the race between the tortoise and the hare. I decided long ago I would rather be the tortoise. Good luck to all who try this new gamble.

  42. Sammy says

    As a long term reader of your blog for 7+ years I loved this post and it’s something I can personally relate too.

    In 2012 I had most of my assets in VTI slowly accumulating wealth and also was lucky to do well with an online business that I managed. I heard about bitcoin in early 2011 but didn’t really put much thought into it until 2013 when I attended a bitcoin meet up. At that meet up, I was able to receive bitcoin from an attendee and at the moment the switch went off in my head. At that moment the paradigm occurred to me that this was gonna change the world. How some stranger could transfer value without going through an intermediary almost instantly blew my mind. With a technology background, I immersed myself for the next 3 months and became obsessed with the technology. Since then I’ve spent 15,000+ hours trading, educating and helping people invest in the digital assets field.

    I made a small bet around 10% of my networth back in 2013 and it is now worth multi millions today. Being in my early 30s, I’m hoping to retire possibly in 2018. Warren Buffet is right when he says don’t invest in anything you don’t understand. I personally think this is going to be the greatest transfer of wealth of our generation and am excited for the future. Nothing is guaranteed and I tell everyone who wants to invest in the space start off with 1% of your net worth. Invest 1% in and count it off as a loss. If you really want to put more money in ramp it up to 5% or at the extreme most 10% but you have to realize it is a very risky investment. But with great risk comes great reward 🙂

    • Lucas says


      (I’m kidding of course.) Congrats to you Sammy on your early foresight.

      I think you have a great attitude about the whole thing – I couldn’t agree more with you about where this is going.

      I’m glad you pointed out how much time you have spent studying this space. I have found that:

      -Of the people who have had enough technical knowledge and determination to study enough to really grasp how Cryptocurrencies work and the ramifications that follow from that, every single one – to a person – has agreed that this is a world changing shift.

      -Likewise, you cannot argue someone who has NOT done those things into believing it is anything more than a passing fad / mania.

  43. Jed says

    From the Manifesto:

    “Fads, manias and bubbles: What they all have in common is that by the time you start reading about them everywhere, the end is near.”

    JL….. c’mon now….

    • Lucas says

      Thanks for passing this along.

      I alluded to this some in the article, but didn’t have room to expand on the topic.

      The short version is this: What makes Bitcoin so world changing is not the price, or the speculation – it’s the problems that were solved at the publishing of the original Bitcoin whitepaper.

      “Blockchain” has become a marketing buzzword is a powerful tool, but Distributed Consensus in untrusted environments (what I gather from that article you linked, this is what these index fund management companies will be doing) really IS a world changing invention.

      Satoshi Nakamoto (whoever he/she/they were) was able to combine these things in a novel way.

      If you are interested in digging a little deeper read about the Byzantine Generals Problem:

  44. Mike says

    I’m retired, FI and I bought some Bitcoin last year.

    Why you might ask. Simply put…. I couldn’t find the Tulip Bulb exchange I was looking for to buy Tulip Bulbs. You see what comes around goes around and I’m trying to get in early on the Tulip Bulbs.

    I’m not investing I’m GAMBLING! Just for a bit of fun.

    My Bitcoin tripled. So I was looking for something to quench my gambling thirst. You know….since Bitcoin is so mainstream today.

    Coinbase is so cautious and mainstream they can’t handle the truly hot cryptocurrencies so I had to open an account with Binance to access Ripple, ADA, Tron and Verge. I took my “house money” (No that doesn’t mean I sold my house and put it into Bitcoin….it means my winnings) out of Coinbase Bitcoin and moved it to Binance to buy those.

    My plan is simply to have some fun and… become a Bazillionaire!

    The best part of this whole experience is hanging out with friends someplace and pulling out my phone and showing them I own cryptocurrencies. Priceless!

    Jim I’d happily donate some cryptocurrencies to your web site but I’m affaid that by the time the transfer cleared it would be worthless!

    Got to go now. My Mani-Pedi is over and I’ve got to shut off my phone for my massage!

    P.S. If you hear anything about a Tulip Bulb exchange opening up please let me know…. before it’s to late.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      You could just convert them into a bazillion USD or so and donate that. Some Tulip Bulbs would be nice, too. Spring is coming. 😉

    • Lucas says


      You sir, “get it”. This is the spirit of the article I was trying to get across.

      Have fun gambling.

      p.s. How is that Tron working out for you this week? 🙂

      • Mike says

        Ive read it’s been effected by bad PR and Food or was that FUD?
        Either way when there’s blood on the streets double down. So I did. It’s still House money!

    • Przemator says

      Dear Lucas, I was meaning to ask. the 45%-45%-10% portfolio split seems to contrast with what you said about not knowing which crypto will pull it off in the end. Would it not be more fun to act like a true venture capitalist and, using Binance, put a bit in each of the top valued cryptos? My plan is to invest $100 in each of the top 40 cryptos by market cap. Are you so confident, that it’s gonna be either bitcoin or ethereum or nothing?

      • Lucas says

        Hey Przemator,

        I think maybe you mean “Act like a true Index Investor” and buy some of everything and let the market it sort it out. You are on the right blog for that and I’m sure jlcollins will be proud!

        A “venture capitalist” on the other hand, would spend a huge amount of researching each opportunity (each coin in this case) and place carefully considered bets on a few. This is what I would recommend for several reasons.

        1. Many of the coins in the Top 40 (even the top 10!) Did not even exist a year ago and I’m 100% certain many of them won’t exist a year from now.

        2. Several high profile coins in the top 10 don’t even exist as a product! Even in the short 8 weeks since I wrote this post the crypto landscape has gone full-on insane.

        I know of at least 2 coins in the top 15 that are quite literally just hot air, hopes, and dreams. Many more in the Top 40-100.

        Cardano only exists as a simple website and a “Whitepaper” (read; Fance pdf saying what they PLAN to do.)

        Tron is the same (does not exist), with the bonus that their “founder” was found to have plagiarized huge parts of the “Whitepaper”.

        Cardano is pure hopes and dreams, Tron is a straight out money grab.

        3. Generally Index Investing is always the best strategy – but in a case where your “Index” may be largely made up of non-existent assets, you don’t really get any of the benefit of spreading your risk. Unlike at the US Stock Indexs, where at the very least each company has made it through the process of going public and has been rigorously vetted.

        4. Market cap is a horrendously bad metric for measuring Crypto projects. In the real world, Market Cap may be manipulated a lot by Wall Street, but it still means something. It is based on earning, assets, debt, etc etc. Real things.

        In Crypto World “Market Cap” just means= “Take the most recent price someone paid for a single coin X multiply it by the total number of coins.”

        A few weeks ago Ripple (XRP) swelled to $3.00+ per coin. Because there are 103 Billion (with a B) XRP that made their “market cap” 300+ Billion dollars and made the founder (on paper) one of the top 10 richest people in the world. Clearly that project (while big) did not become as valuable as Apple or Amazon in 1 day for no reason. It’s smoke and mirrors and dumb math.

        5. Ethereum is so far ahead it’s hard to comprehend. At last count 42 (42!!!) of the Top 100 Coins by market cap were ERC20 Tokens. ERC20 Tokens are built on top of Ethereum. No Ethereum, no Tokens. 42 out of 100!

        6. There is a guy already trying this and documenting it. Spoiler: He is mostly under-performing compared to just holding Bitcoin:

        7. To my knowledge there are only a handful of Coins in the Top 100 that:

        A. Actually Exist as a Working Product (not just an idea/plan).
        B. Are actually being used by real people for real things right now today besides speculating.

        Those are:

        Mind you: That is NOT my recommended portfolio. I’m just trying to help you narrow the list a bit.

        Good luck!

      • Mr P says

        Thanks for a lengthy reply, Lucas. Great stuff!

        Sorry about the unfortunate venture capitalist reference. I guess I meant “throw a bit of money at everything and see what happens”. I thought about it and you’re absolutely right, it would be an index fund, just not a market cap weighted one. At first I considered the latter, but it would basically mean putting 80% in top 6 currencies.

        Then I did a bit of googling and also found an analysis. A guy calculated the return if you invested in April 2017 and your portfolio was market capped (1567% return) and evenly weighted (5405%).

        What do you mean Cardano is only whitepaper? It’s market cap is $14 billion and it’s the 5th biggest crypto, according to How is it traded if it does not exist? One version of my plan was to invest in the 24 currencies supported by Ledger Nano S. I mean, they have to be real if you can store them in a hardware wallet, right?

        I see your point about market cap, I was already thinking about how you can easily fake a market cap. But that’s why I was also looking at transaction volume.

        So you would advise against my plan? I plan to make my purchase this week so I need to decide what do to :).

  45. JoeHx says

    I get you on the whole wish-I-bought bitcoin thing. Unlike other buys that seem obvious now, like buying Apple or Amazon stock, I actually thought about buying bitcoin back in 2012 or earlier. I never considered buying those particular stocks.

    And I only thought of buying ten bucks worth of bitcoin. If I did that when bitcoin first could have a price associated with it – when it first went on exchanges – I would be a millionaire by now. It was something like 3¢ a bitcoin. At $10,000 a bitcoin, that means I would have $10,000 * $10 / $0.03. Do the math, it’s amazing.

    Of course, I probably would’ve lost it all at Mt Gox or something…

    • jlcollinsnh says

      “I probably would’ve lost it all at Mt Gox or something…”

      This is a profound and insightful observation.

      When we “roll the dice” and win we tend to attribute that to our great skill and fail to appreciate the role of pure luck. This increases our own belief in our own abilities and makes us more likely to continue to play the game assuming we have it figured.

      This a big reason most people lose money in the market and casinos build billion dollar hotels. 😉

  46. Bee says

    I’m actually a bit confused as to why there’s no mention of XRP (Ripple’s coin) here. While I’m a n00b to cryptocurrency (and investing in general), from what I’ve read and watched online, it should at least be in the conversation.

    If anyone has thoughts on XRP (other than “it’s a scam”), I’d very much appreciate getting their thoughts and opinion. It’s currently selling for about $0.45 and available on several exchanges and the one I’m thinking of signing up for is BitStamp since obviously Coinbase still doesn’t offer it.

  47. Adam Taylor says

    Possibly time for a follow up post to see how that “investment” is doing now. Maybe highlighting the merits of investing Vs pure speculation.

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