Thursday, July 20, 2017

Why do I not invest with robo-advisors

By the way, I was inspired by this post from Finance Smiths.

Wow, shocking title, isn't it?

From the same shill that peddled why robos are so awesome? What has changed? Why the sell out?

Let me assure you, it has nothing to do with robos themselves per se. I have been watching both Smartly and StashAway come to market (StashAway is doing a way better job at marketing and acquisition imo).

I think both of them look great and it is definitely a step-up from the shitty offers that traditional financial institutes offer.

And I still stand by my entire article that robos are excellent.

But.

But what?

But I think the timing is off. The product is great, but the timing is off.

I know that DCA is supposed to remove time from the equation, but for me diversifying and deploying capital into the markets even through a smart way like robos is still not good enough for me.

Perhaps it is because I am in the camp that every single freaking thing is bloody expensive, or because I walk around with a tinfoil hat warning about financial armegeddon, but I really don't think that anything in particular is a good buy.

And this isn't me just being contrarian for fun. This is me looking at the context of where asset prices are and what are the risks and rewards in all these trades.

Unfortunately, I don't really see much upside to almost anything.

Pfft, even with my pretty decent track record (my SGX portfolio's money weighted return has outperfomed the STI by almost 7.85% in absolute returns, and yes I included the dividends), I am very suspect about the future returns of a lot of stocks in Singapore.

So pray tell, what does GMGH invest in then?

Honestly?

Plenty of cash. This is my war chest to help relieve desperate sellers of firesale assets, hopefully sometime in the near future. Over-exposed to risk assets? We might trade in the future!

Gold, silver and cryptos. These are my low-beta investments, invested on the basis that they are going to be worth a lot, a lot more in the future. Sure, they have no cash flow. But hey, I heard people can flip Taylor Swift tickets for some good profits. Next greater fool theory still, isn't it? My time horizon just happens to be longer and the asset that I'm hoarding is different.

Sometimes I wonder why I've wandered so far out to the fringes. But once you've seen the Matrix, you know just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

$7,600,000 Crypto Scammed

I was out tonight when I read that the CoinDash ICO got hijacked and scammers managed to switch the real address with their fake address.

The result? $7.6m scammed over 3 hours.

Well done. Very well done, I must say.

Instead of launching scam coins and sham ICOs, I think a lot of scammers and hackers have realized that it is just more profitable to outright scam people.

Why come up with a huge elaborate ICO scam idea when simple scams work out so well?

Creating fake twitter accounts and slack accounts with admin-sounding names are all free too.

I think the loophole of slackbots and slack DMs were also quite effective.

After watching the evolution of scamming go, I really have to say that this takes the cake.

What these hackers did was freaking ingenius.

1) They managed to access the website
2) They posted their own address instead of the real address during the actual start of the ICO

Boom.

$7.6m worth of Ethereum in the bank.

Honestly, it was a very smart scam because they took full advantage of the FOMO and rush of a popular ICO and just did a simple switch.

Unlike other silly ICOs that got compromised whose hackers tried to "launch early" and basically gave away that they were compromised, this tactic managed to trick a lot a lot of people.

They did not make the mistake of showing their hand too quickly.

I believe that this really sets the precedence for best practices for future ICOs. Part of the actual ICO address should be released beforehand. The address should be resolved to an ENS name which is also publicly known to have been legitimately acquired beforehand. Also, the address should be published slightly before the start of the ICO, so people can quickly look through the code and also verify the address. Finally, the smart contract should just be able to bounce all incoming early transactions.

To those points, I must say that TenX that launched last month did a perfect play that effectively would have rendered a similar hacking situation like this to not even be able to go through.

For hopeful ICO participants, I have some tips to share. Why trust me? I've successfully taken part in more than 1 ICO. Have you?

Tip #1: Only send from wallets which you own the private key. Don't have one? Generate one at myetherwallet. It's free and it takes like 2 minutes.

Tip #2: Double and triple check the ICO details and address from a few of their official channels: website, twitter, facebook, reddit, youtube, slack.

Tip #3: Etherscan an address before you send to it

Tip #4: Don't set gas limit too low, transaction will fail

Tip #5: Don't set gas price too low, transaction might take a very, very low time to go through

With these 5 tips, I hope that you guys can stay safe and will be able to participate in future ICOs safely and successfully.

Remember, Ethereum itself launched as an ICO for $0.30 an ETH. Even after ridiculous declines in recent weeks, it is still worth $175 (at time of writing). 500+ times returns investment? You tell me a stock that can give you that over the past few years and I will clap for you. In case my point flew over your head, "all ICOs are scams" is not a true statement.

Stay safe, remember, cryptos is the wild wild west. Anything goes. Like making away with $7.6m.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Weekend Crypto Bloodbath Aftermath


Bitcoin went down 20% just this weekend.
Ethereum went down 35% during the same time too.

I hope you managed to bunker down and dodge the massive shit storm in the crypto markets that happened over the weekend.


Well, you really can't say that I didn't warn you, right?

I mean, I even had a full length blog post with Hyuna bouncing around singing "Bubble Pop". If that wasn't enough, frankly, nothing would be.

 aiguuu, y u no listen to oppa GMGH~?

Bitcoin went down a whooping 40% from its high.
Ethereum, the new kid on the block, went down a massive 70%.

The entire crypto market is now at a more sane 60b instead of the 110b that it was at. This pretty much means that almost everything has had it's value cut by about half. (Didn't I say "60b" just a few days ago? Damn son, that's some good levels I've got targetted.)

I hope anyone heavily gambling on cryptos on margin was wearing pampers when they saw it crashing over the weekend. Cos they would've definitely shit their pants. Leverage with cryptos is a very, very bad idea. (pro tip #4)

That said, my crypto portfolio has finally turned negative. *booooooooooooo*

However, you know what they say about blood on the streets right?

Buy when there's blood on the streets, even when some of that blood is yours.


Personally, I don't invest in cryptocurrencies to flip them for a quick buck. I know many people do, and that has been a very, very profitable strategy.... until the last month.

I'm invested because I believe that cryptos are going to be a large part of the future, whether or not you care about the economics of it. Just the technological possibilities it opens and businesses that it disrupts is good reason enough. Add the fact that they can and are be used as an alternative currency, untainted by profit-hungry banks (can't blame them, but can't say that I like them either), shitty governments and stupid central banks and you've got 2 birds with 1 stone.

I honestly wouldn't be able to tell you if cryptos will be bottoming in the next month or so and if we take off from there (which we very well could, once we shake out all those weak hands), but alas what I hope for has nothing to do with the outcome in reality.

If cryptos drop another 50% from here, you can be rest assured that I will be buying even MORE.

For those who have reached maximum allocation, all I can say is to make sure that you aren't holding some shitcoin. As long as you've got something somewhat decent, once the killings are done and the recovery starts to happen, your coins would be the ones taking part in the recovery, not staying at zero valuation.

If you guys are here, you should know that huge market sell offs are a time to be buying, not selling. As a gentle reminder, the ONLY way to make money is to buy low and sell high.

Stay safe guys, it's crazy out there.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Things you REALLY need to know before buying Cryptocurrencies

This post is inspired by the IG-sponsored post on D&S.

1. You own the underlying asset when you trade

When you buy cryptocurrencies, once the coins are in a wallet which you have the private key to, you are the owner of the coins.

2. There is no counterparty

Unless you are leaving your coins within a centralized exchange to make trades, all the coins that you can access with your private key are yours and you don't have any counterparty. You directly interact with the blockchain to send your coins, or receive more coins directly to your ownership

3. There will be volatility

In a market with plenty of speculators, the volatility is high. Even for the "large cap" coins, it isn't strange to see swings of 20% within a day.

4. Don't use leverage

Related to #3, with the huge amount of volatility in the cryptomarkets, you don't need to use leverage. With a leverage ratio of 5:1, a 20% move is all it would take to wipe out your account.

5. Know your fees

There are a bevy of fees everywhere in crypto. There is the exchange rate "fee" for pricing the coins in a specific currency, there are exchange fees for using the exchange. There are payment processing fees for different types of payments. There are withdrawal / transfer fees for moving the coins out of exchanges. There are also transfer fees when moving coins to different wallets. There are deposit fees when sending coins to be traded on exchanges. There are exchange fees on those coin exchanges as well.

The good news is that there are plenty of people offering a wide range of fees. It is possible to buy coins and have them in your private wallet for less than 1%, after taking into consideration all the fees involved. It varies widely, so be careful.

6. Ownership has possible benefits (and downsides)

Some coins generate interest for owners. Most coins just sit around and do nothing. A rare minority of coins have a holding cost. Understand the benefits of having ownership of coins and what you would have to do to make them work for you.

7. After the fiat conversion portion, there are almost no regulations

From the point that you have coins transferred out of an exchange, you are on your own. There are no regulations. The decentralized nature of most blockchains make them extremely hard to be regulated.

8. You are trading a currency that is immune to central bank's policy

No country or central bank control's cryptocurrencies (unless they make one themselves), so they cannot influence how it works. This gives transparency and consistency to cryptos.

9. Risk management is key

With such crazy volatility and new technology, there are bound to be failures. Don't risk more than you can afford.

My 2 cents:

If you are buying because of the hype, the fear of missing out and stupid ads and articles saying "If you had bought $5 of Bitcoin 5 years ago you would have $5 million", you should definitely NOT be buying any cryptocurrencies.

However, if you:
1) Understand the technology and how it works
2) Understand why a particular crypto can be successful
3) Have money that you are prepared to lose

then, by all means, welcome to the wild wild west.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Crypto Bubble Pop


Presenting to you... Bubble Pop! (pro tip: pause at 0.27)


Wow, I'm impressed. It took the market this long to realize that it was in a bubble. But hey, it might obvious to you and to me, but look at all the people still in the S&P500, amirite? Hur hur.

As history as my evidence, on 13th June 2017, I did call out the ridiculous bubbly nature of the crypto market.

Anyway, I'm fairly certain that this is indeed mania. Will ETH be $380 still next week? I seriously don't know about that.... Drop back to $10 and let me get in, will ya?
Just a heads up, with such a massive pump, it is probably prudent to be on your toes and watch out for the possible massive dump that comes after. - GMGH, 17 Jun 2017

Hey, $114b compared to the $116b when it peaked is pretty darn good imo, less than 2% off!

Will crypto prices go down in the future? Actually, I really hope that it does. To me, it is a bubble for the current participants and the froth is still in the midst of settling. I wouldn't be surprised if cryptos continue to lose value over the next few months.  - GMGH, 6 Jul 2017

Another way that I could tell that this was absolutely coming was the fact that some shitcoin called Digibyte made it into the crypto Top 12 in June. Bytecoin was more fantastic and managed to get into top 6 in May. There were PLENTY more than have surged from dead projects and they are all going back to fair value now - zero. When people are just buying whatever for no good reasons, I think it's a pretty good sign of bad things to come.

Now that the market is down to under $80b (30% drawdown), I think it's safe to say that I am validated in my call that it was ridiculous just a few weeks ago, that and also for everyone to stop kidding themselves to HODL and that coin and that coin is going TO THE MOON. A lot of coins are NOT going to participate in the next bull market.


I hate the word HODL. What does it mean? It means to hold. Why do people type hodl? Because a lot of people that "invest" in crypto are unable to spell, that's why.

Now quite a lot of these people (not all, but a lot) who spell hold as hodl have not only been pumping shitcoins like Bytecoin, but they have been pumping up the entire market. Almost 99% of these people do not understand just exactly what they are investing in, other than that if you hodl, it goes to the moon and then you get to drive a lambo to work to resign in a week. Expected returns are 100% within a year. Well then lads, these prices ain't gonna cut it.

Blockchain technology is amazing, but I cannot stress it enough that the failure rate is astronomical.

Where we go from here, nobody knows.

We could go back to down 60b or even 45b. We could bounce around 40-60b for the next 2 years. We could go back up to 110b. Anything could happen. Personally, I'm positioned for a long, drawn out bear market to shake out all the weak hands who have just realized that the majority of their holdings are in some shitcoin peddled to them by a 16 year old kid with a crypto youtube channel who probably got paid peanuts to pump and hype coins.

All I can say is that if you invest in cryptocurrencies, be prepared for some crazy times. This is the wild wild west after all.

Cryptocurrencies are the wild wild west. You think buying shares in small caps are risky and volatile? Pfft, you've obviously haven't heard of cryptocurrency investors and speculators. - GMGH, 6 Jun 2017

Stay safe, stay level-headed and don't take risks that you don't understand.