Dad Advice: Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. No really, there will be many great investments in your lifetime, there has been in Bitcoins lifetime. Bitcoin doesn’t cost $225 anymore. The chances that you’ll never have to work again if you invest your life savings in Bitcoin aren’t non-existent, but they aren’t as good as they used to be. If Bitcoin ends up down, you’ll be hodling the bag while others are on to better and brighter pastures.
You should have a general understanding of what a cryptocurrency is because knowing the functional use of a coin can give you an edge when deciding your investments. There are hundreds of coins ranging from major players like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), to smaller coins that we refer to as “altcoins.” Each coin is unique and offers their own flunctional use cases. If you’re feeling unclear about what a cryptocurrency is, check out some of the resources below. They give great explanations of Bitcoin and Ethereum, and blockchain, the underlying technology of which cryptocurrencies are built upon.

Keep a critical perspective on the data that exchanges are providing you: technical analysis is only as good as the data it’s analyzing. When looking at volume numbers, for example, ask yourself: What’s the source of this information? Has it been validated? Could other factors be skewing the number? Beyond just looking at the numbers, it’s important to understand the meaning of those numbers: what they imply, and what biases could be influencing them.
So let’s take our hypothetical 1 BTC from before and take a short position on Ethereum. We are able to borrow 2.5 BTC worth of ETH and sell it. 30 minutes later, the price of ETH has plummeted 10%. Now we can close our short position, buying back 2.5 BTC worth of ETH; except now, since the price has dropped, we are buying more ETH than what we sold. Our borrowed coin can be payed back and we take the rest as profit!
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Sometimes, it can be easier to enter a position than it is to exit that position. Certain exchanges are fairly illiquid: they don’t have enough buy orders to support easily selling off your cryptocurrency at a good price at any given moment. At other times, exchanges that usually have healthy liquidity might have really low trading volume — for instance, if you’re trading on a holiday or weekend.
Don’t FOMO. This is a spot that people most frequently lose money on. A dash of manipulation, two tablespoons of media hype, a cup of CME and CBOE announcements, and a generous handful of FOMO drove Bitcoin prices from $10,000 to $20,000 in December. Since that time, Bitcoin fell to a low of $9,000 and is currently sitting at around $11,000. It’s easy to look back and say, “if only I waited one month, then I could’ve bought at $9,000 instead of waiting for Bitcoin to hit $20,000 again for me to break even.” But the reality is, the combination of 1) being greedy, 2) investing blindly, and 3) FOMO were likely large contributors to the purchase at an all-time-high. Even in the crazy world of cryptocurrency, if a coin pumps that quickly, it will correct — it’s a matter of time. Speculative pumps are almost always followed by dips. While trying to jump onto a train going full speed sounds like something straight out of a James Bond movie, I’m sure most of us can agree we would probably save some limbs if we just waited for it at the next stop.