How to invest in Bitcoin

How to invest in Bitcoin

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Bitcoin is on fire. The cryptocurrency soared to one record after another in late 2020, and early 2021, dominating headlines and hogging attention on financial news shows. As bitcoin surged past $60,000, many investors were kicking themselves for missing out – and wondering how to get in on this new asset class. And then, it came crashing down by 50%.

This is standard, and you need to know what you are getting in to. Even as bitcoin gains mainstream acceptance, the digital currency remains both unusually volatile and, for the uninitiated, difficult to play.


Should you buy bitcoin?

Bitcoin has been around for a decade. The digital cash emerged after the financial crash, and it first grabbed the attention of technologists, libertarians and those skeptical of central banks.

Over the years, bitcoin and rival currencies have been through several cycles of boom and bust. The latest surge, which began during the coronavirus pandemic, has been especially dramatic.

Here are three math-based guidelines to consider before adding bitcoin to your portfolio:

  1. You do not have any bad debt (debt at an interest rate over 5%).
    • Why: debt over 5% should always be avoided. Pay this down first.
  2. You have at least two months reserve in your checking / savings account.
    • Why: you need a stable cash reserve for emergencies.
  3. You have built up at least $500,000 in the Vanguard All World equity index
    • Why: You need to first build a solid base. Then you can consider adding in other investments.


How Much Should You Invest in Bitcoin?

No less than 2%

If all of these apply and you take the plunge, be sure to devote at least 2% of your net worth to bitcoin. Any less than that, and you won’t reap the diversification benefits offered by the cryptocurrency.

No more than 20%

On the other hand, don’t devote more than 20% of your net worth to bitcoin. Yes, the cryptocurrency could outperform global equities, but it could also significantly underperform.

Tip: Consider building your position slowly
Be extremely cautious about jumping in after a recent surge. You goal as an investor is to buy low and sell high, not the opposite.

  • Consider a target in the 5% to 10% range.
  • Consider only buying 50% of your target position initially and the rest later.


How do you buy bitcoin?

Buying bitcoin remains a bit complicated – and that’s a big part of the reason the digital coin is still an instrument of speculation rather than a form of currency used in everyday transactions. There are no physical coins to buy.

Tip: Consider visiting with a pro
If you are investing more than $50,000 or more than 5% of your net worth you should visit with a fee-for-service professional to better understand the risks and benefits of the various investing options.

Funds. There are a variety of funds that have exposure to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. I recommend that you speak with a professional to learn more about these options.

In an integrated account. Some investment accounts will let you trade stocks, ETF's and crypto in the same integrated app.



Additional free educational resources:

  • Video (found at the bottom of this post)

Get a solution:

  • Trade stocks, ETF's and crypto in the same account with SoFi. Learn more


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