First mistake: I buy Ripple as its price is relatively cheap compared to Ethereum’s
A common beginners’ mistake is to look at the coin’s price rather than the market cap. Just as you asses a company by its market cap performance, which is calculated by multiplying the number of shares times a single share’s price, the same is done for Altcoins. The number of existing coins in circulation times the coin’s price. For a low price coin, such as Ripple, there is solely a psychological influence on the buyers. There is no difference whether one Ripple equals one dollar, and there are a billion Ripples out, or if one Ripple equals a thousand dollars and there are million units of Ripple. Therefore, from now on, when examining coins for investment on CoinMarketCap, look mainly at the more substantial figure, which is the market cap, and focus less on the price for one coin.
Second mistake: Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket
Crypto is really unpredictable. While reaping profits of hundreds of percent, the section withstands now and will continue getting dozens of billions of dollars erased flat out in the future. When Bitcoin loses its value against the US dollar Altcoins usually go through the same process. Simple math shows that even holding a part of the portfolio in Altcoins, such as Ethereum and Litecoin, is usually not enough to avoid getting a big chunk of the portfolio’s USD worth wiped out following a Bitcoin dump.
In 2015 and the beginning of 2016, when Bitcoin held solid – as solid as Bitcoin can be – shuffling around $300 per one BTC, the game was trading Altcoins in order to gain more Bitcoin. It was expected that Bitcoin would grow higher in the future (the Pygmalion effect). Having a rather volatile base asset, such as Bitcoin, raises our need to compare our portfolio performance both in terms of its Bitcoin’s value and its dollar’s value. Many traders decreased the number of Bitcoin they are holding during the past year (hey, and it wasn’t hard when Ethereum got cut 70% from its Bitcoin all-time high…) although it had a nice dollar yield. Bitcoin’s growth made a lot of money for the crypto market, causing its total market cap to increase 30 times during the last year! As traders, it is important to keep Bitcoin as your base asset, but also not to forget the dollar value, and to take profit sometimes. You should always see the bigger picture – crypto is only one tier of your investment options. There are also the stock markets, real estate, bonds and many more investment opportunities. It is important to spread the risks among the crypto portfolio, as well as in the whole household investment portfolio.
Third mistake: Bitcoin has increased a lot, so I’ll buy Litecoin
As was mentioned above, there are two ways to examine investment in Altcoins – vs Bitcoin and vs the US dollar. This is a common mistake amongst those who missed the Bitcoin train, and are looking to cash in on the other altcoins. Those investors have to examine the investment dollar-wise, since they exchange US dollars or out FIAT in order to buy crypto (instead of buying with the Bitcoins they already have).
What’s the catch here? Take a look at the following Litecoin chart, showing its performance from March to December 2017:
The yellow line represents Litecoin’s price in Bitcoin’s value, green represent US dollar price of Litecoin, blue line represents total market cap of LTC in USD.
Bitcoin-wise, the first assumption that Altcoins’ value decrease when Bitcoin value increases is correct. A side note: it’s not true all of the time; When China outlawed the crypto exchanges, money flew out from all of the cryptos – Bitcoin declined and Altcoins declined even more.
Dollar-wise, as you can see – Litecoin’s price has increased along with Bitcoin (but less). A reminder about the majority of those quoting “Bitcoin has increased greatly, I’ll buy Litecoin”, buy Litecoin with FIAT (or by converting to Bitcoin, then to Litecoin right after – which is the same). Therefore, learning from the graph yet maintaining the same behavior, when Bitcoin’s value drops, Altcoins’ USD value will drop as well (although as a percentage it will probably be less, but it will still go down).
Good traders acknowledge their mistakes, and more importantly – analyze and learn from them, thus improving their skills for understanding the market. So which kind of trader are you? Did you find yourself somewhere in the article? We would love to hear on the comments section below, and you are welcome to share this article with whoever you see as relevant.