Beware of Bitcoin, Part 2

This article from CNBC is entitled, “‘Wolf of Wall Street’ warns investors of the next big trap: Bitcoin.” From the article:

“In the internet age, that manipulation tactic has become easier. Cryptocurrency fundraising known as initial coin offerings [ICOs] in many cases turned out to be frauds and have become the target of Securities and Exchange Commission investigations. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have outlawed advertising of ICOs on their platforms.

‘This thing is going to evaporate like a mirage,’ [Jordan] Belfort said. ‘There’s a lot of really honest people who are going to get slaughtered.’ He predicted that it could go bust within the year, and when it does, it will be ‘the bust heard around the world.’ Belfort also challenged bitcoin’s security, the idea that it could dissolve a need for central banks, and the argument that governments would allow an anonymous currency without regulation.”

If it sounds too good to be true, then it is. If you don’t understand something, don’t invest in it.

 

 

Beware of Bitcoin

Six months ago Bitcoin was trading at $12,000. Today, it is barely half that at about $6,400. The only people remotely capable of making money in cryptocurrency are investing professionals who study these markets. This CNBC article tells the stories of ordinary investors who have lost a fortune in cryptocurrency.

Fiat currency “works” because governments have the power to tax and to borrow. Cryptocurrencies have neither. Even if these “currencies” experience another boom cycle, ultimately governments will crack down on them even more because they don’t want to lose the power to regulate currency.

Stay away from investments you don’t understand. Investing is difficult enough as it is. Everyone wants to get rich quick, but that’s not really the way to build lasting wealth. Like everything else in life, success in investing is a combination of skill, work ethic and luck, perhaps in equal measures.

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See the source image

At the recently concluded Mecum auction in Harrisburg, PA a car like this, a 1983 BMW 633csi, was offered for sale. (Picture from automotorpad.com) Once again, Mecum does not allow its website photos to be captured so I couldn’t show the actual car. The auction car had a silver exterior, a black interior and seemed to be in good shape for being 35 years old. All in, meaning including commission, how much did the winning bidder pay for this car? Wait for it…$1,100!

OK, maybe something was very wrong with the car that would have been obvious upon in-person inspection. However, according to the 2019 Collector Car Price Guide by Krause Publications, even a grade “4” 1983 BMW 633csi (a “1” is a concours quality car, a “6” is a parts car) is worth $2,300. A grade “3” car is worth about $5,200. The 633csi at the Mecum auction didn’t remotely resemble a parts car.

One has to be careful buying a car at an auction for many reasons. However, it is possible to buy an auction car “below the money.” Granted, that usually requires some luck, but luck is a major factor in life outcomes as I have written many times, such as earlier in this post.

Have any of you purchased a car at auction? I would very much like to read about your experience(s).