Altcoins and Bitcoins tend to react to each other. Sometimes they do the opposite of each other and sometimes they do exactly the same thing. It is not rare to see Bitcoin go down while alts go up (and vice versa). This is because almost everyone who has alts has Bitcoin, so they tend to move out of Bitcoin when it goes down and move into alts (and vice versa). Almost just as often as this is the case it isn’t the case. Many times, all coins will go up or down together (generally following Bitcoin’s lead). This dance often results in Bitcoin outperforming altcoins, however every x months we will see an alt boom where alts outpace Bitcoin quickly. If you can time that, great. Try to spot it coming and there is big money to be made. Meanwhile, alts can be tricky to just HODL, as they tend to lose value against fiat and BTC in the off season. Learn more about the relationship between Bitcoin and Alts. In a word, alts are generally more volatile than Bitcoin.
For instance, you might have a day trading strategy that exploits differentials in tightly correlated cryptocurrencies: BTC and ETH, for example. If you think that BTC and ETH are tightly correlated and you see that ETH is disproportionately low, you might buy ETH with the expectation that ETH will rise up again to restore its typical relationship with BTC. However, this might be a case of contagion: the whole market is going down. In this case, your technical analysis could be your downfall: you’ve just bought into a position that’s still going down.
Figure out if you want to go long or short. Are you going short with every penny you have to invest, or are you going to go long with some and short with some? Long-term investors will pay a lower tax rate if they can hold for over 12 months, but as a trade-off, they WILL have to sit through corrections (likely seeing their balance go down 50% plus on paper as often as they see it go up). Short-term investors can avoid corrections if they are nimble, but they’ll owe taxes on the profits from each trade they do along the way (see: how taxes work with cryptocurrency to understand how the long term and short term capital gains tax work with cryptocurrency).
Fiat Currency is still a thing; BTC isn’t legal tender; we don’t live in a Libertarian utopia; Governments and Banks aren’t as into Bitcoin as you. If you get caught up in the Bitcoin craze, it can easy to forget that the world’s governments aren’t super stoked on Bitcoin. Libertarians, Tech Geeks, Gangsters, these people are bullish on Bitcoin; world governments and banks, not so much. Last I checked, world governments had a little more power. Betting against them is a risky bet. As we move into the future states have started embracing Bitcoin and crypto, but there is no plan for a state-less state built upon digital currency. Digital currency is at best a supplemental asset class. Be realistic about the potential future here, it is bright, but it is likely not to look like your specific flavor of utopia.
No, the successful trader is not me. I’ve gotten lucky a few times and I’m still refining and trying out strategies; on the other hand, I’m part of communities of people who trade on a daily basis to grow their portfolios, and while some of the results can be attributed to luck, a majority of it is based on fundamentals, good habits, and experience.
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