Getting started with Cryptocurrency: A Simple Guide

4 simple steps to making money with cryptocurrency 

Cryptocurrencies have been around for nearly two decades. That doesn’t mean that it’s too late to get started. The sooner you start investing in cryptocurrency the better returns you will witness. 

Cryptocurrencies are so unlike any other form of investment that many people are too intimidated to get involved. Our aim today is to talk you through the four simple steps that will get you started in making money from cryptocurrencies. 

Research types of cryptocurrency 

The first step is the most time-consuming step (and probably the most boring step) but it is not something you should rush. 

You would never jump into a traditional investment without a vast amount of research. And cryptocurrency should be no different. 

Take the time to look into both new and existing types of cryptocurrency. Make sure you know what currencies are growing, what are shrinking, and which ones are on the verge of collapse. 

Think about whether you want to put your money behind a new form of cryptocurrency, or whether you want to back a well-established giant (like Bitcoin). Both of these have their benefits, but if you only have a small amount to invest with you will get more bang for your buck with newer currencies. 

If you are interested in the price development of cryptocurrencies be sure to check cryptoheat map.

Listen to the currencies that the experts are talking about. Read articles from this year (the market changes so quickly, you need to make sure your information is up to date). 

Find the right place to buy it 

Once you have decided which Cryptocurrency you want to invest into then you will need to find the right place to buy it. Many people see purchasing cryptocurrencies as a Wild West situation, or as an exclusive club. 

It is quite the opposite. Cryptocurrency is one of the most accessible forms of investing. Anyone can do it.  The process of buying it is also very civilized. Yes, you may come across the occasional cowboy who is trying to scam you. But there are many well-trusted and regulated trading platforms out there. 

The right place to buy cryptocurrency really is an established trading platform. Not only do they offer an unrivaled level of security, but they also offer many bonuses for using their platform. For example, the Bitcoin trading platform Binance offers binance bonus for signing up for their service. 

Taking advantage of these offers can lead to a bigger wad of cash in your pocket. 

Find the right place to store it 

Many people are under the misconception that you don’t need to store cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is not a physical object, so why do you need to worry about storing it? Well, cryptocurrencies are still vulnerable to theft, despite not being a physical item. 

Many people have lost thousands of dollars because they haven’t stored their chain links correctly. So, how do we recommend storing cryptocurrencies? Well, in a crypto wallet, of course. 

No, these aren’t physical wallets. They are a type of software that allows you to rent out a secure location online to store your cryptocurrency. These wallets provide top of the line security and some will even allow you to take out insurance on your cryptocurrency –  against theft and hacking. 

Some crypto wallets we really love are: 

  • Ledger Nano X 
  • Zengo 
  • Electrum

Learn when to sell it 

This is definitely the hardest step on this list. But it is undoubtedly the most important step. Learn when you should be selling your cryptocurrencies. 

When it comes to this final step, cryptocurrencies are very similar to stocks and shares. There is no set ‘right time’ to sell and the markets can be unpredictable. These types of investments are always a risk on some level. But taking risks is what leads to the best rewards. 

The key to getting this step right is to do your research. We’re sorry that it isn’t something more glamorous. However, if you get this step wrong then all the hard work you put into the other three steps will have gone to waste.  Be sure to check local resources like Cryptocurrency in Australia to ensure you have the best information.

So, how can you tell when a cryptocurrency’s value has peaked or is about to drop? There is no definite way to tell. However, there are many cryptocurrency experts watching the market closely and putting out regular reports on when to sell. 

Keep an eye on reports like this from experts. Study the market for yourself. Remember that there is always a risk that comes with this kind of investment. And accept that you won’t always get this choice right. 

If One Bitcoin is Worth 60 Cars, Should I Buy Bitcoin Now?

Recently BofA analyst Francisco Blanch issued a report called “Bitcoin’s Dirty Little Secrets”. The long-form-pdf file states “there’s no good reason to own bitcoin unless you see prices going up.” And A “single Bitcoin purchase at a price of ~$50,000 has a carbon footprint of 270 tons, the equivalent of 60 [internal combustion engine] cars. So that becomes the question of the day. Is one bitcoin worth 60 cars?

Is Power Consumption an issue with Bitcoin

Keeping in mind that this same investment advisor has also stated Bitcoin is “exceptionally volatile”, “impractical,” and an environmentally disastrous asset that is useless as a store of wealth or an inflation hedge. Of course, none of these statements address the fundamental question – Should I buy Bitcoin now?

Argument For Deferring Bitcoin Investment because of Power Management

The nature of Bitcoin is that the currency is based on a computational hash. Any commodity is priced according to its rarity. Gold is more expensive than Silver because it is less common. Diamonds are more expensive than Amethyst because it is less common. Bitcoins are “rare” because there is an intentional computation that makes new bitcoins harder to find. This process is called mining, and Bitcoin miners use power to create more bitcoins.

Worldwide Bitcoin mining uses a huge amount of computational power and needs electric power to run. The total power consumption is balanced against power price – as it would be impractical to mine if the cost of electricity exceeds the cost of Bitcoin. So as the price of Bitcoin goes up, more people mine it, and the more power is consumed by Bitcoin mining operations.

The Argument Against Deferring Bitcoin Investment because it Wastes Power

Unless you live in a tent, everything else in your life is balanced by this same power management discussion. For instance, your ability to travel on vacation is directly tied to airline tickets’ price, which is tied to the airline’s fuel cost. If fuel is cheap, you go far away, and if fuel is expensive, you stay close to home. I have never heard someone say they will defer a vacation because it would increase worldwide power consumption. The Bank of America analyst will not turn down the AC in his office because he is concerned about worldwide fuel consumption. To mix a personal choice with some over-arching goal is privileged thinking. Why not point out that the entire investment industry misuses computational resources to effect fast trading because slower trading would use less power? Newer computers use less power, so why does Bank of America still use old computers in their operations?

What is the True Argument?

The author points out that the bulk of the Bitcoin Power Consumption problem is because Chinese miners use Coal Based power which is cheap in their area. Suddenly privilege markers abound because he mixes ethnic bias and nationalism into his discussion. The implication that power usage by Chinese people is bad leaves unstated that power usage by privileged Americans, which one a per-capita basis is four times higher.

The author is simply pulling out garbage arguments to save his privilege and his job. Bitcoin is just as valid an investment as S&P 500 index funds. No one knows if it will go up today or down tomorrow. What people know is that over the past 20 years, it has consistently gone up. Past performance is not an indication of future results.

Is Bitcoin a Worthy Investment?

If you invested $1000 in Bitcoin in January 2017 (1 bitcoin), your investment would be worth approximately $60,000 today. If you invested $1000 in the popular S&P ETF called SPY – (4 shares), your investment would be worth $1558 today. So over four years, SPY has returned about a 50% rise in value. Bitcoin has returned a 6000% rise in value  Bank of America’s investment advisors charge approximately 2% per year to manage your account. So over four years, they would charge $80 for your SPY investment, lowering the net gain to only $300 for the four years. On the other hand, no advisor charges for Bitcoin, so you get the full rise in your pocket.

You can see that Bitcoin is a far better investment than Bank of America advisors can offer you. That is why they write garbage-filled misleading points that one Bitcoin will feed Chinese Menace Coal Miners and destroy the world.

You can easily offset the problem after Bitcoin makes you marvelously wealthy by donating a portion to the University of Sichuan to help disadvantaged Chinese youth. Do not forget to donate to the Unemployed-Investment-Advisor’s Children’s College Fund.

How to buy Bitcoin

Bitcoin is not easy to buy. It takes many forms. The more you learn, the more lost you can feel. There are also many investment rules to follow. You can buy Bitcoin or any alternative like Ethereum, or Dogecoin, or Stellar Lumens. US Tax rules mean you cannot easily hold Bitcoin in an IRA.

One easy way to invest in Bitcoin is to purchase an ETF that holds Bitcoin. As an ETF, you can do this with your IRA. Also, the tax consequences are clearly defined since you are simply holding an ETF. The common EFT for Cryptocurrencies are Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) or Grayscale Etherium Trust (ETH).

You can also purchase stock in companies that operate as miners like RIOT, or Bitcoin Exchange platforms like Coinbase. The stock movements in these companies follow the price of Bitcoin. Finally, there are hybrid bitcoin plays like Overstock (OSTK), which use to sell goods but became a big player in Bitcoin, PayPal (PYPL), and even NVDIA (NVDA), which makes chips that optimize bitcoin mining even though they are trying to get out of this business.

Bitcoin is an Easy Investment

You should never invest all of your capital in a single investment. Bitcoin is volatile. At worst, it has at times dropped more than 90% of its value. That means a $1000 investment today might become $100 tomorrow. But over the past ten years, Bitcoin has proven to be a durable asset with explosive value. If you can spare some play money today, perhaps in four years, you will again see something that matches past gains.

Note: The author has been long GBTC since Bitcoin was $400, and often smiles broadly.

A Quick Guide On Purchasing Real Estate For First Timers

Introduction

Acquiring property can be a stressful process. Chances are, you’re not clued up on how to verify the quality of your house, and then there’s all the paperwork and red tape that come with buying.

With this short guide, we’re aiming to let you know that first-timers purchasing real estate have some benefits that others don’t, and we’ve also gone through some of the main points you need to consider when going through the buying process.

It helps to have your financials in order when going through the process, but everybody needs a little help sometimes. Finding an IRA custodian to help manage your finances can be a great way to manage finances and take the stress off, so consider finding the best self-directed IRA custodian for real estate that you can work with.

First-Time Homebuyers

If you’re a first-timer, you may not know that you actually have a lot of advantages that a lot of people don’t. So, how do you know if you’re a first-time homebuyer? You need to satisfy any one of these points:

  • You have not owned a principal residence for three years.
  • Your spouse owns a home but now you’re buying somewhere together.
  • You’re a single parent whose only owned home was with a spouse. Similarly, if you’re displaced but your spouse owned a property, you should be eligible.
  • Your only owned residence wasn’t connected to a permanent foundation.
  • Your residence violates building codes and cannot be made compliant for less than it would cost to build a new place altogether.

If you fit any one of these, you may be eligible for classification as a first-time homebuyer when going through the purchasing process.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Buying

Now that you know where you stand as a real estate buyer, check out this step-by-step guide to buying real estate for the first time.

Question Time

Before doing anything, you need to ask yourself a set of questions to make sure you have everything in order. You’ve probably asked some of these already if you’re already researching the process but it’s handy to have a checklist to make sure that you’ve considered everything.

  • How are your finances? – Audit your finances to make sure you can front both the initial cost of buying and the recurring payments that will need to be made for upkeep, groceries, etc. Be honest with yourself and spare no prisoners. Take stock of your savings, trim your spending, get good credit.
  • How much mortgage can you get? – Back to finances, check with mortgages you qualify for with your lender. They get a say in what home you can afford too, so you need to clear it with them before getting any ideas. They’ll look at any debt, your income, and your job position and calculate that into your mortgage. Get preapproved before placing any offers on your new property.

Find A Home

Now you need to find the property you wish to acquire. Thanks to the Internet, this is easier than ever with so many listings online that you can access and sort through properties by price and how close they are to your current area or place of employment. If it’s close by, you can go and scout the neighborhood yourself. Also let people know you’re looking to buy so that family, friends, and colleagues can refer to you if they come across any buying opportunities.

Make An Offer

Assuming you’ve done your financial due diligence as outlined above, and you like the place, then it’s time to make an offer. Your real estate agent will help with this and relay your offer, where it’ll either get accepted or countered. You can play the negotiation game forever, theoretically, but if you’ve done the math already then you should have an idea of the highest offer you can afford.

Inspect, Then Close or Move On

Finally, you can start to think about closing the deal on your new property. Not so fast though, if you’re savvy then you want to have the place inspected by somebody that’s qualified to tell you how well-constructed the premises is from both the exterior and the interior. If the inspection reveals defects that you weren’t told about, ask for them to be solved and withdraw your offer until any problems are solved or re-negotiate a new offer with those defects taken into account. If you’re happy with the outcome, close the deal.

6 Useful Apps Every Trader Should Install On Their Mobile Device

Like in pretty much any industry, mobile platforms have started to play a huge part. The conveniences smartphone and mobile applications are offering to business people are undeniable. And when it comes to stock traders, the situation is no different.

Whether you’re new at this or a seasoned trader, the tools these mobile apps are providing you are extremely valuable. However, there are numerous options available on the internet and choosing the right one can be difficult.

Here are the top 6 apps that can be very useful to any trader.

Webull

If you’re looking for a mobile experience where many features will be free of charge then Webull is a good option. Even contract fees, which are charged for in many other platforms, are free here. However, this app is not completely free. You will have to cover the costs for margin borrowing and short selling.

Although relatively new on the scene, this app is quite strong and it provides regular updates. This means they are really trying to give their users what they need and want. You will have at your disposal multiple tools that will make the stock trading process run smoothly. Among other things, it also supports voice commands which can come in handy.

IQ Option

Founded in 2013, IQ Option is known for its intuitive trading platform. Among the reasons why this app would be labeled as a safe and reliable online broker are a wide range of investment options, responsive customer service, binary options, and CFD trading. Also, it has highly competitive fees which is always a nice addition to the mix.

IQ’s features and capabilities is what has gotten the platform numerous rewards. The variety of financial instruments will appeal to both new and experienced traders. These include forex, ETFs, stocks, cryptocurrencies, digital and binary options. What most traders like about this app is the low minimum deposit, free demo account, and accessibility.

SoFi

Those who are just starting as traders should consider installing SoFi onto their phone. Given the fact that it offers a user-friendly platform with no fees whatsoever, it’s definitely the right choice for beginners. The cryptocurrency is available for users but each trade has a built-in 1.25% fee.    

The reason why it’s a good choice for beginners is due to the simple and easy-to-use interface, collection of stocks and ETFs. You will be able to navigate the platform with ease and access some valuable features without charge.

Charles Schwab

One of the best picks when it comes to mobile trader apps is definitely the Schwab. No matter whether you’re a beginner or an expert when it comes to investing, this platform will be able to satisfy all your needs. Making an account with Schwab brokerage includes free stock and ETF trades and without minimum balance requirements or recurring fees.

You will be able to monitor and manage your account completely, track the status of your trade, check the market data in real-time, and even stream CNBC TV. Although it might seem like too many features for a beginner, the user-friendly platform will make everything run rather smoothly. And if you’re a more experienced investor, you will really enjoy all the options that come with Schwab mobile app.

E*Trade

This company has been in the trade business for a really long time. They were founded back in 1982 and with such rich history it’s no surprise that they have a lot to offer to traders of all sorts. The platform has evolved with time and now they are providing their customers a user-friendly and feature-filled mobile app.

If you opt for this app, you will get an account that doesn’t require minimum balance or recurring fees. Also, stock and ETF trades are complete free of charge. You will have access to Bloomberg TV, third-party research, and breaking news alerts. It is possible to upgrade to Pro level if your trader skills are advanced.

TD Ameritrade

By creating an account on TD Ameritrade you will not have to meet the minimum balance requirements, pay recurring fees or commission for stock or ETF trades. The company provides users with two apps. One offers simple experience for those who are casual investors while the thinkorswim app is created to meet the needs of those who are more serious about the trade.

No matter whether you’re just a beginner or an expert trader, these apps will be able to help you in making and tracking your investments anyplace and anytime you want. Most of them are offering basic account features free of charge which is another thing that makes them appealing to people who like to trade stock.        

5 Things To Consider Before Hiring A Credit Repair Company

Are you planning to secure a loan or to buy your first home? When you are planning to do these things, your credit score is an important factor. Even when you are investing or saving up, your credit score is directly affected.  

A good credit standing is your ticket to getting that big plan into a reality. Poor credit standing won’t allow you to qualify for a credit card application or a mortgage application. Your credit score directly affects your financial security. So, if you are having a hard time making your credit standing look good, you may opt to hire a credit repair company. Rebuilding your credit score takes time and a lot of theoretical knowledge, which can drain you out or gets you burnt out. You would not want to go through all the stress in trying to level up your financial standing. 

A credit repair company will take care of your financial standing so you can have more time in other areas that you would like to work on. Also, you can save time and money since rebuilding your credit score is a long process that involves dealing with difficult people. In addition to that, there are tons of credit repair companies out there. So, what are the things to consider before hiring a credit repair company?

Here are some things to consider before hiring a credit repair company:

1. Experience and Track Record

It is crucial that you choose the right credit repair company for your needs. There are many credit repair options to choose from, you just have to select the best. Look into their years of experience and how well they performed over the years. You would want to make sure that the company you chose is well-established. A well-established credit repair company knows the ins and outs of rebuilding your credit score. You might want to consider also reading their customer reviews and testimonials. You need to choose a top-notched credit repair company with seamless customer service.

2. Turn Around Time on Deliverables

It is also vital that you check in with a credit repair company that would serve you in the quickest possible time. Some companies would deliver for about a month or weeks; some also can guarantee you to deliver fast results. You can inquire about the delivery time, so you can check if it fits with your need and how urgent your need is.

3. How Much is the Fee?

Some credit repair companies offer a “pay per delete” one-time payment which involves the removal of negative items on your existing individual credit report. Your credit score shows how reliable you are as a borrower. Removing late payments and other negative items will help your credit standing. On the other hand, some companies charge monthly for their services. These two (2) options have their own pros and cons, so it is important to choose which is best suited to your needs and think of how it will affect you in the long run. A good company wouldn’t force you to pay for something upfront unless they have delivered their services to you.

4. How About the Legalities?

You wouldn’t want to be scammed right? It is best also to check if the credit repair company that you plan to hire is fully operating under the Federal and state laws. Also, a reputable credit repair company adheres to licensing and bonding requirements, which vary from one state to another. This is to protect you from any misconduct during the engagement. A legitimate credit repair company will provide you a written contract stating your legal rights and the services they provide. Legit companies do not hide anything from customers. 

5. Don’t Forget the References

You can request references from your preferred credit repair company to check how competent and reliable they are. These references consist of customers that they have worked with, in the past. It will enable you to clearly see how well they performed and serve their customers. If a credit repair company refuses to do so, you may refer to a legal counsel who can vouch for the company’s legitimacy. 

As a customer, you should be extra-cautious when choosing and working with a credit repair company. Since there are many credit repair companies, you should be able to differentiate a legitimate one from fraud or scam. You should see to it that the credit repair company you chose supports and will address your current financial situation. Since there is no one size fits all, your friend’s credit repair specialist may not work for you, so choose what is best suited for you. In addition to that, you need to consider its reliability as to how true they are in terms of delivering results. A good credit repair company does not lie in the results they can offer. 

What Can You Do With a Self Directed IRA?

The prevailing belief towards getting wealthy and accumulating strong self-worth is through hard work. While this may be true to an extent, the real way to build wealth is by creating multiple streams of income and earnings. Investing is one of the quickest ways to start setting your future self up for bigger gains and a better life.

How exactly do you start investing? Well, one of the safest options around is a Roth IRA, which works as a retirement account of sorts, but obviously, it is a little more complicated than that. There are also self-directed IRAs that have their own unique advantages, and here are some of the things you can do with a self-directed IRA.

More Portfolio Diversification 

Investing in many different retirement plans or other investing portfolios limits you to a select few assets. Common ones include mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and bonds. While these are usually safe and proven ways to help build your money, there are so many more options out there to focus only on these few. Being able to diversify your portfolio with rare Earth metals (gold, silver, palladium, platinum), REITs, land trusts, start-ups, equity, and emerging assets like cryptocurrencies helps create a much broader and potentially more lucrative long term investing. Self-directed allows you more freedom to choose what to invest in.

More Control Over Investing

Just like you have more control over how to diversify your portfolio, you can expect to be able to grow your knowledge of investing and financial literacy regarding assets as you continue to grow your self-directed IRA. Learning the basics is always important for opening a Roth IRA, but you also need to understand that you have to do it yourself eventually. Financial advisors are great at what they do, but the information is out there, and learning while you invest is always an option that is available.

As a word of caution, investing is not a game, and people can lose a lot of their money when they take risks that are emotionally driven instead of backed by knowledge. It can be incredibly hard to build wealth when you are investing without knowledge, so self-directed lets you have more control over what you do and how you learn, but it does not mean your investments will always go up.

Long Term Wealth Planning

Back to the beginning, making your money solely through income will be able to sustain you, but it will never get you rich unless you are earning a doctor’s salary, so for that, you need to invest. The same applies to building wealth that you can pass down. Generational wealth, as it is called, is lost after just two generations because there is no educating the youth of a family on the power of things like compound interest. Being able to set up your grandchildren one day with a strong portfolio of investments should be something to consider now while you have the time, or at least pass it down to your own children eventually.

Building generational wealth can be done with other types of investing accounts, but a self-directed IRA has an interesting benefit. There is a provision that allows the tax-free gains from the IRA to be passed down, which helps set up your beneficiary with the growth you made. Over a long period of time, the right assets can lead to the planning that helps a family become sustainable and self-dependent with their money.

Better Protection of Assets

It is somewhat of an oxymoron to say that a self-directed IRA provides better protection for your assets, but there is a reason to make that claim. While you are in charge of your investments and there is no hand-holding from a financial advisor or brokerage firm to help you, you are able to move around your assets to protect from downturns much easier than some other types of accounts.

During an economic downturn, your stocks may be stuck losing value, and selling them would be a bad way to reposition yourself. With a self-directed IRA, having a diverse portfolio that allows you to shift your assets around provides some extra protection against volatility. Of course, it requires savvy investments in the first place, but having multiple exit strategies is better than being funneled into net losses for your assets.

Using a self-directed IRA is not for everyone, but it does allow you to do some interesting things with your investments to grow your wealth and your future generation’s wealth. Now that you know some of the things you can do with a self-directed IRA, you can make a better choice on what type of investing account to choose.