Resisting the Devil’s Lure

The lure is tremendous. 

It’s flashy. 

It’s in the limelight. 

It’s happening. 

It wants to take you for a ride. 

It’s called Crypto.

There’s talk about “it’s the internet of the future”. There’s talk about how there’ll be no governments and how people will rule over their own currency. Enough to sweep one away. 

However, cryptos go against the grain of everything a steady long-term investor stands for. 

Origin is unknown. 

Banks won’t store. 

Governments rejecting.

Legit?

Do you know the answer?

Main exchange went bust in 2014. Got hacked. 

Terrorist and launderers have found in them a smooth haven. 

How is one to understand Blockchain?

X number of people agreeing that the sky is purple – does that make the sky purple?

What about all the cousins?

There are many cryptos. 

There’s one springing up every few weeks.

Which ones are going to be around in 10 or maybe 20 years?

Yes, long-term investors think …

… long-term. 

Cryptos are making people taste fast bucks. 

Fast bucks made in a few days can spell disaster…

…because this is a trajectory that makes one want to bet the farm at the peak. 

Crypto players are being set up for something big. 

The amount of ammunition prevailing is enough to bludgeon lots. 

Pigs will get slaughtered. Always happens. Very few people in the world know how to trade. Let alone knowing how to trade, very few can even define what a trade is. 

Cryptos are a trade. Period.

That too, if one wants to trade cryptos.

Why wouldn’t one want to trade cryptos?

For starters, very high beta. Not many traders are comfortable with high betas. 

Stepping into the crypto world means stepping out of one’s area of expertise initially. 

Why would one want to step out of one’s zone? Circle of competence means a lot to successful traders. 

Diversification?

Have crypto on your plate, and the sheer hullabaloo will disturb your other trading. The one you’ve taken so long to build up. Do you want that?

No. I don’t. I’m happy in my circle of competence.

I don’t want the disturbance. 

I don’t want the extremely high betas. 

I don’t want to get slaughtered. 

I want origin. 

I want legit. 

I don’t want bust exchanges. 

I don’t want to make my computer a target. 

I don’t want to be doing what terrorists and launderers are doing.

I don’t buy the mining story. 

If the sky is blue, I want to have the freedom to call it blue, even if a billion people are calling it purple.

My common sense says no. 

Therefore, my exposure to cryptos is nil. 

I resist the devil’s lure.

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What’s that other fellow doing?

The human being is nosy.

Maybe curious is a better word.

Problem is, this one characteristic is enough to make one fail in the market.

Curiousity is a good thing. At the right time and in the right area, yes.

Curiousity is a bad thing at the wrong time and in the wrong area.

However, that’s how we are wired. We like to know what that other fellow is doing, the one who is successful. We want to do the same thing. We want to ape the success. Whether we know anything about that other fellow’s field or not becomes secondary.

That’s when the walls begin to crumble.

Know your field.

Develop it.

Be curious in your field.

Succeed in your field.

If you don’t, after trying repeatedly, change your field.

Find a field that you’re successful in.

If one successful field doesn’t fulfill you, develop a second field.

However, just because your best friend hit the jackpot in his field, don’t move over to his field and expect to hit the jackpot too.

Unfortunately, we show that kind of behaviour again, and again and again.

That’s human nature.

A prime example comes from the stock market.

At the end of a boom, the last ones holding the hot potatoes (stocks that have gone up too much) are the “pigs” (retail traders and investors who buy at exorbitant prices after getting lured in by the successes of the earlier parts of the boom), who then get slaughtered. This is common stock-market jargon, by the way. It has gotten so streamlined, because it has happened again, and again and again.

If you’re doing stocks, do stocks properly. Make stocks your life’s mission. Or, don’t do stocks. Period. There’s no in-between to being successful. Success in stocks, like success in any other field, demands your full attention. Don’t do stocks just because the other fellow made a killing in stocks.

Memory is weak.

Give the bust a few years, and a whole new set of pigs launch themselves at the fag end of the next boom.

Right.

Slaughter.

You’re not a pig.

Know your field. Stick to it. Succeed in it. Period.