Investing and especially trading, is a highly skilled task. You need the best equipment, execution and tools. When the market is only going up any fool can make money but that blessed state never lasts long and what is left is an environment requiring focus, skill and discipline. To succeed unlike the devastated cohorts of dotcom and the real estate bubble, you have to work hard at it.
TIP: A good first foray into cryptocurrency investing is the obvious, buying a major cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. After that, you’ll probably want to trade USD for crypto on an exchange like GDAX. Once you have done that, you could try trading BTC and ETH for other cryptocurrencies. Trading “crypto pairs” can be rewarding, but it is more complex and often more risky than just buying a single cryptocurrency as an investment.
You might be familiar with traditional investment funds. These are pools of investor capital managed by a team of professional investors. These specialists use a range of strategies, including the ones we’ve talked about, to earn returns on all of the capital within the fund. Investors in the pool benefit from having access to the skills of the professional traders, while the traders benefit from having much more capital to trade with. It’s a win-win.
Bitcoin (BTC) has been engaged in a predictable up and down pattern where it absolutely crashes at the beginning of any year and then sky-rockets as the year nears its end. Bitcoin held steady at around $19,000 in December 2017, and then sure enough – crashed big time to around $6,000 at the beginning of 2018. At the time of writing, March 8th 2018, the price of Bitcoin is relatively stable between $10,000 and $12,000. In my opinion, the price will run again soon.
The benefit of a USD wallet on Coinbase is that you can put money in that and then buy coins instantly from the wallet. If you try to buy directly with your bank account, the transaction can take about a week. A credit card doesn’t have this problem, but limits are usually lower on a credit card. TIP: I almost always deposit USD in my wallet as opposed to buying coins directly from Coinbase via my bank account when using Coinbase to buy (I do this on-the-go sometimes). You can also wire money if you need the funds to be in the wallet faster. On that note, I almost always then use GDAX to buy/sell coins when I’m on a desktop (then use Coinbase as my wallet and mobile app).
The trading strategy used is bollinger bands. (You can create bollinger bands on graphs in poloniex). The strategy is to buy when price touches lower bollinger band and sell when the price is above your bought price and also hits high bollinger band. If the price goes down and again touches lower bollinger band then invest another 25% of total investment assigned for a currency.
Use small buy-ins, and don’t margin trade or short unless you know your stuff. The smaller your bet is compared to your total investable funds, the less risk you are taking on every bet (one of many insanely important things we are covering here). Putting it all on black is tempting, but then if it comes up red, you have nothing left to invest. Live to fight another day by learning to manage your buy-in size. As a rule of thumb invest 1% or less per buy-in (yes, that small, really; losing 100% of 1% leaves you with 99%, losing 1% of 100% leaves you with 99%. Small bids offer the same bet, but with way less risk). Put reward aside and practice risk management and capital preservation until you are very experienced (and thus, by logical extension: don’t margin trade or short unless you know what you are doing, as those leveraged bets magnify your risk by their very nature). See Kelly criterion.
In this complex chart, you can see the current Bitcoin prices in the upper third. The green lines indicate a rising price, red lines indicate a falling price. The thin blue threads above and below the candle-shaped price indicators are the Bollinger Band. If the candle touches the top, then the value is “overbought” and will likely fall. If it touches the bottom, then the value is “oversold” and will likely fall.
Notice the small bull run. Now imagine we had decided to buy Ethereum somewhere around that dotted line and just before 8pm. We saw it tick up after a string of bearish candles, and for whatever reason, thought it might continue it’s way upward. To minimize our losses (remember our goal is minimize losses and maximize gains), we set a stop order right away. We’ll set it near the bottom of those last couple bearish candles (about $474). Now as we watched the price work it’s way up, we would continue to raise our stop price. To do this, we would go to our open orders (every exchange will show this), and click cancel on the stop limit that we had just set. Shortly after 8pm, we might’ve had a stop at $480 that would’ve been triggered. If you’re stop limit is triggered and the signs point to the trend continuing you’re able to buy back in with a profit already in your pocket.
Arbitrage is the process of buying then immediately selling something for a profit. This is possible when there are price differences between different marketplaces. For example, buying certain DVDs at your local store for $10 only to sell them online for $20 each, doubling your money in the process. In our case, it’s buying cryptocurrency on one exchange and then immediately selling it at another. Arbitrage is based on exploiting market inefficiencies and is popular in all kinds of markets, including the stock and FOREX markets.
Only a few cryptocurrencies – such as Bitcoin and Ethereum – have achieved mainstream levels of popularity. However, even well-established currencies can fall victim to extreme price volatility. It can be difficult to predict how prices will fluctuate with newly minted coins because there is little historical information to analyze. Backing a new currency could prove extremely lucrative, but equally, there’s a chance you’ll make an expensive mistake if you don’t know what you’re doing.
In the beginning when I was shooting for 20% gains on a trade and not knowing what to look for, I worked a lot more. Not only that but I also let my emotions control my trades. For example, I once purchased Stratis after the price dropped massively. My assumption was that on such a sharp decrease in price, it had to rebound eventually. I was wrong. The price kept diving. I had to hold the currency for 2 weeks just to secure a 35% loss instead of an 85% loss. I was constantly tuned into that chart waiting for an opportunity to sell back to Bitcoin.
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.