Always pay attention to Bitcoin. Most altcoins (every cryptocurrency except Bitcoin) are pegged more closely to Bitcoin than Asian currencies were to the USD during the Asian Financial Crisis. If Bitcoin price pump drastically, altcoins price can go down as people try to exit altcoins to ride the BTC profits; inversely, if Bitcoin prices dump drastically, altcoin prices can go down, too, as people exit altcoins to exchange back into fiat. The best times for altcoin growth appear when Bitcoin shows organic growth or decline, or remains stagnant in price.
So how do you know if you should invest in an ICO? It’s not about science, it is important to pay attention to the level of seriousness of the project and its team. Look for the project’s website (does it look like a child has built it during computer school?), Who is the team behind the project – Are they hiding behind nicknames or proudly present themselves on their website? Pay attention to the Bitcointalk thread (does it exist at all?) and how the team members respond to technical questions. Is there a large community behind the project? Expect to see a Slack gathering its community. Watch out the amount raised: A project which had raised too little will probably will not be able to develop over time, a project which had raised huge amount – there won’t be enough investors left out there to buy coins on exchanges. And most importantly is risk management. Never put all eggs in one basket and invest too much of your portfolio in one ICO.
For myself, and most crypto traders, the goal is to increase the amount of Bitcoin we own. I don’t care about the US dollar, at least not directly. When I look at the price of a cryptocurrency, I look at it in terms of BTC. For example, right now the price of 1 ETH (Ethereum) is 0.049 BTC. My trades are based on that price, not the fact that 1 ETH is $304.
Don’t be greedy. No one ever lost money taking a profit. As a coin begins to grow, the greed inside us grows along with it. If a coin increases by 30%, why not consider taking profit? Even if goals are set to 40% or 50%, you should at least pull out some of the profit on the way up in case a coin doesn’t reach the goal. If you wait too long or try to get out at a higher point, you risk losing profit you already earned or even turning that profit into a loss. Get into the habit of taking profits and scouting for re-entry if you want to continue reaping potential profits.