Having come to represent something far greater than just digital currency, here’s why Bitcoin is becoming the new top choice for portfolio diversification.
Warren Buffet has called it “rat poison”.
Jordan Belfort called it a “bubble”.
Jamie Dimon called it a “fraud”.
And despite all of these claims, Bitcoin has been the best performing asset in the world, since its inception post GFC, during one of the greatest bull runs just about every other broadly accessible asset class has ever seen. Ever.
Investing in just about any equity, index or mutual fund has resulted in incredible gains over the last nine years.
- The Nasdaq is up 780%
- Apple is up 1,600%
- Amazon is up 5,700%
- Netflix is up 13,000% !!!
If you put $1,000 into Netflix at the bottom of the market in 2009, you’d have about $130,000 right now. We’ve not seen anything like this. Not in our lifetimes, and not before us.
And again, despite this, Bitcoin has still outperformed.
Because Bitcoin is much more than it seems, especially at first sight. It’s more than just Internet funny money; in fact, it’s more than just “money”.
Bitcoin represents a new way for our slightly-advanced-ape-of-a-species to come to agreement on something, on a global level, in a digital form. The agreement to which it just so happens to have come is a shared “state” of transactions.
This makes it a prime candidate for an unstoppable, global, censorship-resistant digital store of value.
The Internet made the most fundamental of human attributes, i.e.; complex communication, global and anti-fragile.
Bitcoin is a way to do that with the next most fundamental aspect of our societal fabric: value transfer and exchange.
It may well be replaced with something better, but for the foreseeable future, it is the closest thing we have to a “digital gold” (more here).
So what does this have to do with investing?
A few things:
- capital flow;
- portfolio efficiency and risk/reward.
Before we explore those, remember those numbers I gave you before about how much you’d have if you invested in Netflix?
Here’s the Bitcoin alternative:
- $1,000 in 2009? $900 million today.
No, that’s not a typo.
And yes, that does account for the so called “bubble popping” this year and Bitcoin falling 60%.
So now that I really have your attention, let’s explore why it’s going up and why it makes for an incredible alternative investment opportunity.
1. Capital flow
Bitcoin, as mentioned above, is much like digital gold. There is a finite amount, and because of its decentralised, censorship-resistant nature, it cannot be manipulated, changed or controlled.
As a result, it makes for a great digital store of value, which becomes more trusted each year that it hangs around. The more it’s trusted, the more secure the network becomes, the more capital that flows into it, and the more it’s trusted again.
As this recursive cycle continues, more and more capital will flow into it, more infrastructure will be built around it, and because of its finite amount, it will continue to appreciate in value.
Adding Bitcoin to a diversified portfolio (1% – 5% of the value) has been proven to lower the risk profile of the entire portfolio because it’s an inherently uncorrelated asset.
These days, the Dow Jones sneezes, and Europe, Asia and Australia all get a cold. The correlation across the broadly accessible asset classes is high.
Bitcoin doesn’t care what any of these assets do. It’s running its own race.
3. Portfolio efficiency
There is a concept in modern portfolio theory called the “efficient frontier”.
In simple terms, it’s a ratio derived from analysing the correlation of different asset classes, their volatility and their historic returns in order to make a judgement on how best to structure a portfolio.
Similar to the above, adding a small allocation of the overall portfolio to Bitcoin makes a censorship-resistant positive impact on the risk/reward profile, and the efficient frontier.
So there you have it.
Jamie Dimon is great at banking.
Jordan Belfort is great at selling.
Warren Buffet is the king of value investing (I’m a huge, huge fan).
And Bitcoin? Well…it’s none of the above.
When you combine the fact that it’s a nascent, uncorrelated asset class, with a finite supply, that more global capital is flowing into every year — it actually makes for an intelligent, investment opportunity for a modern portfolio, and for the modern HNW investor.