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How To Invest in Cryptocurrencies: The Ultimate Beginners Guide

All statements are based on the author’s experiences. I take pride in informing the public and helping as many as I can through sharing my experiences with my readers. That said, no one except you can take responsibility for your Cryptocurrency Investing decisions, so do think it through before investing.
If you would like to learn more about the techlogogy behind cryptocurrencies, please check out our blockchain courses on crypto.
When I first started taking an interest in cryptocurrency I thought I was so lost in this huge sea of unknowns. Where do I start? What are the useful keywords to look up and keep in mind? What are the available helpful resources? This cryptocurrency investing guide is written so that in just 20 minutes, you would have a sense of what to expect of your upcoming crypto journey, and how to best go about starting it. Enjoy it, it might just be the most exhilarating ride of your life.

Rise of the Cryptocurrencies
As the tech literacy of the population increases, acceptance of crypto as a legitimate store of value follows, and it boomed. Titles along the lines of ‘Bitcoin price hits new all-time high’ and ‘Ethereum price surges’ are starting to perforate the general public’s news feed. What we know for sure is that people who were once skeptical of Bitcoin and the technology behind it are slowly understanding and getting increasingly involved with crypto. As at the time of writing, the market cap of the entire crypto space is at 30.9 billion USD. It was 20 billion just four months ago. What would it be four months from now?
Current Makeup of the Cryptocurrency Space
You would have heard of Bitcoin and the ‘altcoins.’ How this naming convention started was because back in the days of 2011, forks of Bitcoin appeared in the markets. The forks, or clones, each aspire to serve a niche area, aiming to be ‘better’ than Bitcoin. Since then countless new crypto has emerged, eroding away Bitcoin’s crypto market cap dominance. These altcoins are gaining market share at an alarming speed. Ten times or more growth has been observed in a time span as short as six weeks (see PIVX, an altcoin).
Cryptocurrency, Stocks, and Fiat
The currencies we know are referred to as ‘fiat’ by the cryptocurrency community. Although having ‘currency’ in its name, cryptocurrencies share more similarities with stocks than currencies. When you purchase some cryptocurrency, you are in fact buying some tech stock, a part of the blockchain and a piece of the network.
Cryptocurrency Exchanges
The most common place where people buy and trade cryptocurrency is on the exchanges. Exchanges are places where you may buy and sell your crypto, using fiat. There are multiple measures to judge the reliability and quality of an exchange, such as liquidity, spread, fees, purchase and withdrawal limits, trading volume, security, insurance, user-friendliness. Out of all these, I find Coinbase as the best exchange hands down. It has a beginner-friendly user interface, and an unbeatable 100% crypto insurance.
After setting up an intermediary bank account and verifying your details with Coinbase, you are only five simple steps away from a Bitcoin purchase:
  1. Access the ‘Buy/Sell Bitcoin’ tab
  2. Select the payment method using the drop-down menu
  3. Enter the desired amount
  4. Click ‘Buy Bitcoin Instantly.’
  5. View your credited Bitcoins on your dashboard
When you get acquainted with buying crypto and start to itch for some crypto trading (e.g. BTC/ETH), simply perform an instant transfer from Coinbase to GDAX free of charge and start trading. Think of Coinbase as the place to conveniently buy and store your crypto and GDAX as your margin trading platform. Transfers between the two are instant and free.
As you slowly get familiar with other currencies, you might want to have the option of investing in them. Bittrex and Polo are two exchanges that offer a wide selection range.
When signing up on these exchanges for the first time, do make it a point to verify your account with the required documents early, as you do not want to be caught in the middle of some tedious and slow admin work when the trading opportunity comes. Verification on these exchanges may take days, and purchase/withdraw limits may only increase gradually as you trade.
An additional point to note: if you are using a currency other than USD, do check out the exchange’s ease of funding and withdrawal. You do not want your exchange to come into fiat withdrawal problems like Bitfinex did recently.
Cryptocurrency Wallets
Exchanges have inbuilt online wallets to keep the cryptocurrency you purchased. However, for those who heard of the Mt. Gox hack, you might feel uneasy to put on an exchange. If you do not wish to keep your crypto holdings on the exchange, you have the option to either use a paper wallet service like myetherwallet.com or spend 99 USD on a hardware wallet like KeepKey. Both serve the purpose of removing platform risk, at the cost of taking up the responsibility of keeping your cryptocurrency safe.
To transfer your crypto from exchanges to your hardware wallet for long term storage, simply follow these steps, using Coinbase and KeepKey as an example:
  1. Plug in your KeepKey USB cable
  2. Open your KeepKey Client (on Google Chrome under Apps)
  3. Find your wallet address on the KeepKey Client UI
  4. Access Coinbase ‘Send/Request’ tab and input your KeepKey wallet address
  5. Confirm amount and click ‘Send Funds’
Take note to first send a tiny amount (e.g. 0.0001 BTC) for testing before sending the bulk, lest an error occurred and the transfer amount is lost. A small network transfer fee might be charged.
Personally, I own a hardware wallet, as I love the feeling of a having around a tangible reminder of my crypto holdings. Also, the hardware wallet’s user interface makes it easy to keep multiple coins, which is especially handy when you participate in ICOs (Initial Coin Offering) in the future.

Cryptocurrency as a Percentage of Your Investment Portfolio

This part will be wildly subjective. Crypto has the potential to realize many ‘rags to riches’ stories, but its volatility makes it unpredictable. As a precaution, the money you put in crypto should be money that you are fine with losing. I cannot emphasize the importance of this as we often underestimate how the volatility affects our emotional capacities. The upside is huge, but it comes with lots of risks and, if I may put it, emotional torment.
A conservative portfolio I would suggest is as follows:
< 30 years old (max) 30% Crypto, 50% Traditional Investments
30 – 40 years old (max) 20% Crypto, 60% Traditional Investments
> 40 years old (max) 10% Crypto, 70% Traditional Investments
This is not meant to be age discriminatory but considers the fact that one takes up more financial responsibilities (mortgage, family) as he grows older.
Within the designated crypto share of your portfolio, you may diversify your coins based on your risk appetite.

Show Me the Money! Cryptocurrency Investing

Now, this is where it gets exciting.
How do we pick the winner? How do we avoid picking the loser?
Note that crypto is now in a huge bull market and anything could rise over time. Also, do not dismiss the possibility that we may be in a bubble like the-dot-com boom back in 2000. Still, ask yourself these questions before you decide to invest in a coin:
Short Term Trading with Margin
Once you get familiarized with crypto, you may want to trade on your ‘stash’ in hopes of increasing it. For the experienced forex traders, this is nothing new. But for the new crypto investor, you may want to brief up on how to make a leveraged trade.
Short-term trading takes advantages of incoming news to make a quick buck. If you foresee good news from an upcoming release of a coin, you may want to open a long and see how it goes. Remember, buy the rumor, sell the news; act fast and be daring if you wish to make a profit with short term trading.
Mining
For those who are more comfortable with a predictable form of reward, mining is the way. Mining involves setting up of a rig, consisting of GPUs or CPUs and an investment in the electricity. Mining is only possible on cryptocurrencies that follow the Proof of Work protocol. It takes some effort to setup and gets things running, but it is attractive as a long-term passive income as long as you frontload the work.
Staking
Staking is the Proof of Stake version of ‘mining.’ Think of this as making dividends on your stock. The reward rate and staking method differ greatly among Proof of Stake coins, but in general, it takes less effort as compared to mining.
Arbitraging
As you get a hand in multiple exchanges, you may wish to buy from one exchange and sell on another to make ‘arbitrage’ gains when you spot an arbitraging opportunity. Take note of two things if you wish to do so: remember to factor in fees, and remember that the price could change when you are transferring your coin between exchanges, especially during volatile times. USD tends to be liquid so this happens less for it, but for other currencies such as CAD (Canadian dollar) and SGD (Singapore dollar), there may exist more arbitraging opportunities to exploit.
That’s about all I have, for now, invest smart and most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!
submitted by alifkhalil469 to BtcNewz [link] [comments]

Here is All IN 1 Quick Guide for people with less time!

The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Cryptocurrency Investing

References are made wherever possible. All statements are based on the author’s experiences. I take pride in informing the public and helping as many as I can through sharing my experiences with my readers. That said, no one except you can take responsibility for your Cryptocurrency Investing decisions, so do think it through before investing. If you would like to learn more about the techlogogy behind cryptocurrencies, please check out our blockchain courses on crypto.
When I first started taking an interest in cryptocurrency I thought I was so lost in this huge sea of unknowns. Where do I start? What are the useful keywords to look up and keep in mind? What are the available helpful resources? This cryptocurrency investing guide is written so that in just 20 minutes, you would have a sense of what to expect of your upcoming crypto journey, and how to best go about starting it. Enjoy it, it might just be the most exhilarating ride of your life.
Rise of the Cryptocurrencies
As the tech literacy of the population increases, acceptance of crypto as a legitimate store of value follows, and it boomed. Titles along the lines of ‘Bitcoin price hits new all-time high’ and ‘Ethereum price surges’ are starting to perforate the general public’s news feed. What we know for sure is that people who were once skeptical of Bitcoin and the technology behind it are slowly understanding and getting increasingly involved with crypto. As at the time of writing, the market cap of the entire crypto space is at 30.9 billion USD. It was 20 billion just four months ago. What would it be four months from now?
Current Makeup of the Cryptocurrency Space
You would have heard of Bitcoin and the ‘altcoins.’ How this naming convention started was because back in the days of 2011, forks of Bitcoin appeared in the markets. The forks, or clones, each aspire to serve a niche area, aiming to be ‘better’ than Bitcoin. Since then countless new crypto has emerged, eroding away Bitcoin’s crypto market cap dominance. These altcoins are gaining market share at an alarming speed. Ten times or more growth has been observed in a time span as short as six weeks (see PIVX, an altcoin).
Cryptocurrency, Stocks, and Fiat
The currencies we know are referred to as ‘fiat’ by the cryptocurrency community. Although having ‘currency’ in its name, cryptocurrencies share more similarities with stocks than currencies. When you purchase some cryptocurrency, you are in fact buying some tech stock, a part of the blockchain and a piece of the network.
Cryptocurrency Exchanges
The most common place where people buy and trade cryptocurrency is on the exchanges.Exchanges are places where you may buy and sell your crypto, using fiat. There are multiple measures to judge the reliability and quality of an exchange, such as liquidity, spread, fees, purchase and withdrawal limits, trading volume, security, insurance, user-friendliness. Out of all these, I find Coinbase as the best exchange hands down. It has a beginner-friendly user interface, and an unbeatable 100% crypto insurance.
After setting up an intermediary bank account and verifying your details with Coinbase, you are only five simple steps away from a Bitcoin purchase:
  1. Access the ‘Buy/Sell Bitcoin’ tab
  2. Select the payment method using the drop-down menu
  3. Enter the desired amount
  4. Click ‘Buy Bitcoin Instantly.’
  5. View your credited Bitcoins on your dashboard
When you get acquainted with buying crypto and start to itch for some crypto trading (e.g. BTC/ETH), simply perform an instant transfer from Coinbase to GDAX free of charge and start trading. Think of Coinbase as the place to conveniently buy and store your crypto and GDAX as your margin trading platform. Transfers between the two are instant and free.
As you slowly get familiar with other currencies, you might want to have the option of investing in them. Bittrex and Polo are two exchanges that offer a wide selection range.
When signing up on these exchanges for the first time, do make it a point to verify your account with the required documents early, as you do not want to be caught in the middle of some tedious and slow admin work when the trading opportunity comes. Verification on these exchanges may take days, and purchase/withdraw limits may only increase gradually as you trade.
An additional point to note: if you are using a currency other than USD, do check out the exchange’s ease of funding and withdrawal. You do not want your exchange to come into fiat withdrawal problems like Bitfinex did recently.
Cryptocurrency Wallets
Exchanges have inbuilt online wallets to keep the cryptocurrency you purchased. However, for those who heard of the Mt. Gox hack, you might feel uneasy to put on an exchange. If you do not wish to keep your crypto holdings on the exchange, you have the option to either use a paper wallet service like myetherwallet.com or spend 99 USD on a hardware wallet like KeepKey. Both serve the purpose of removing platform risk, at the cost of taking up the responsibility of keeping your cryptocurrency safe.
To transfer your crypto from exchanges to your hardware wallet for long term storage, simply follow these steps, using Coinbase and KeepKey as an example:
  1. Plug in your KeepKey USB cable
  2. Open your KeepKey Client (on Google Chrome under Apps)
  3. Find your wallet address on the KeepKey Client UI
  4. Access Coinbase ‘Send/Request’ tab and input your KeepKey wallet address
  5. Confirm amount and click ‘Send Funds’
Take note to first send a tiny amount (e.g. 0.0001 BTC) for testing before sending the bulk, lest an error occurred and the transfer amount is lost. A small network transfer fee might be charged.
Personally, I own a hardware wallet, as I love the feeling of a having around a tangible reminder of my crypto holdings. Also, the hardware wallet’s user interface makes it easy to keep multiple coins, which is especially handy when you participate in ICOs (Initial Coin Offering) in the future.

Cryptocurrency as a Percentage of Your Investment Portfolio

This part will be wildly subjective. Crypto has the potential to realize many ‘rags to riches’ stories, but its volatility makes it unpredictable. As a precaution, the money you put in crypto should be money that you are fine with losing. I cannot emphasize the importance of this as we often underestimate how the volatility affects our emotional capacities. The upside is huge, but it comes with lots of risks and, if I may put it, emotional torment.
A conservative portfolio I would suggest is as follows:
< 30 years old (max) 30% Crypto, 50% Traditional Investments
30 – 40 years old (max) 20% Crypto, 60% Traditional Investments
> 40 years old (max) 10% Crypto, 70% Traditional Investments
This is not meant to be age discriminatory but considers the fact that one takes up more financial responsibilities (mortgage, family) as he grows older.
Within the designated crypto share of your portfolio, you may diversify your coins based on your risk appetite.

Show Me the Money! Cryptocurrency Investing

Now, this is where it gets exciting.
How do we pick the winner? How do we avoid picking the loser?
Note that crypto is now in a huge bull market and anything could rise over time. Also, do not dismiss the possibility that we may be in a bubble like the-dot-com boom back in 2000. Still, ask yourself these questions before you decide to invest in a coin:
Short Term Trading with Margin
Once you get familiarized with crypto, you may want to trade on your ‘stash’ in hopes of increasing it. For the experienced forex traders, this is nothing new. But for the new crypto investor, you may want to brief up on how to make a leveraged trade.
Short-term trading takes advantages of incoming news to make a quick buck. If you foresee good news from an upcoming release of a coin, you may want to open a long and see how it goes. Remember, buy the rumor, sell the news; act fast and be daring if you wish to make a profit with short term trading.
Mining
For those who are more comfortable with a predictable form of reward, mining is the way. Mining involves setting up of a rig, consisting of GPUs or CPUs and an investment in the electricity. Mining is only possible on cryptocurrencies that follow the Proof of Work protocol. It takes some effort to setup and gets things running, but it is attractive as a long-term passive income as long as you frontload the work.
Staking
Staking is the Proof of Stake version of ‘mining.’ Think of this as making dividends on your stock. The reward rate and staking method differ greatly among Proof of Stake coins, but in general, it takes less effort as compared to mining.
Arbitraging
As you get a hand in multiple exchanges, you may wish to buy from one exchange and sell on another to make ‘arbitrage’ gains when you spot an arbitraging opportunity. Take note of two things if you wish to do so: remember to factor in fees, and remember that the price could change when you are transferring your coin between exchanges, especially during volatile times. USD tends to be liquid so this happens less for it, but for other currencies such as CAD (Canadian dollar) and SGD (Singapore dollar), there may exist more arbitraging opportunities to exploit.

Link the original blog post: https://blockgeeks.com/cryptocurrency-investing/
submitted by Tokenberry to NewbieZone [link] [comments]

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submitted by ronykhanfx to TopAsiaFX [link] [comments]

BlockChain Enable a Quadrillion-Dollar Derivatives Market?

BlockChain Enable a Quadrillion-Dollar Derivatives Market?
https://preview.redd.it/iwewapkg8mz11.png?width=1024&format=png&auto=webp&s=9b52f51960172844af71917aec191dcfd6031bf9
CAN BLOCKCHAIN ENABLE A QUADRILLION-DOLLAR DERIVATIVES MARKET? IT’S A REAL POSSIBILITY. By 2028, the world economy has exploded with exponential economic growth. BlockChain is now the heart of commerce and trade. Investopedia’s valuation on the Derivatives Market now stands true at $1.2 quadrillion. And you are now very rich with your array of futures, derivatives and cryptocurrencies on hand. Isn’t this a nice possibility?
Now, imagine travelling back to 2018.
You are scrolling your news feed. The headlines show in 2017 alone, BlockChain startups have raised $1.2 billion worth initial coin offering (ICOs). ICOs enable startups, to raise money from the general public by allowing them to buy a stake in their business; which comes in a form of a token or digital currency. It looks like the public are beginning to understand the potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
A Facebook notification pops up on your mobile phone. Your friend has posted an article on your Facebook wall. The article is about Ethereum, the hot new BlockChain technology that is creating even bigger ripples in the finance world than its predecessor BitCoin. It seems that Ethereum is now the birthplace of many decentralized platforms, which raise funds via ICOs. As more funds are raised, these platforms get better and this drives up the value of Ethereum. The top platforms are Golem, Augur, Basic Attention Tokens and Gnosis, which collectively ring in $1.27 billion in market value. The amount of money that has been invested into Ethereum based BlockChain technology shows that people see Blockchain as the future of commerce and finance.
This all sounds good and you’re ready to participate in a hot ICO. But as a possible new investor in an ICO based on the Ethereum blockchain, how do you get started? Which platform and ICO should you consider investing in?
  1. YOU WILL NEED TO GET A WALLET. Wallets are like digital bank accounts, they hold your tokens and other cryptocurrencies you plan to buy and hold. Most ICOs are built on Ethereum smart contracts and your Wallet has to support receiving tokens. In an ICO, you send currency (typically ETH or BTC) to the company issuing a new token and receive the amount of tokens based on the given exchange rate by the company. MyEtherWallet is one of the most popular Ethereum Wallets because it is linked to the BlockChain, has excellent security features, and best of all it gives you full control of your Wallet (unlike other online wallets that are controlled by third party companies). You can get MyEtherWallet here.
  2. RESEARCH EXTENSIVELY ON AVAILABLE ICOS As with any form of investment, you need to do your research and due diligence. Unlike the research on conventional investments that look at statistics, company performance, average daily volume and annual yield, ICOs require a different kind of analysis. Often times, millions of dollars are raised in ICOs with no product or company track record. Most traditional investors would not invest as the risk outweigh the gains from the investment. It feels like a gamble.
How then would you know if an ICO is worth investing into?
First of all, you would need to study its platform concept, market potential and sustainability for long-term growth.
Is it easy for users to adopt and understand?
Do the Founders and Developers of the platform have sound knowledge of economics, inflation, block size, fees, administration, security and human behavior?
Does the crypto-economic system have what it takes to be sustainable?
Who is the team behind the platform? Are they knowledgeable and experienced?
Is this a revolutionary or game-changing product that has massive market potential?
Take Level01 as an example. It is the World’s First Brokerless Derivatives Exchange in Partnership with Thomson Reuters. The concept is innovative, more importantly; it has an enticing proposition because it addresses gaps, issues and problems faced by traditional trading markets. This facilitates a stable, robust and potentially profitable investment eco-system. How so?
Remember Investopedia’s valuation of the derivatives market at a thrilling $1.2 quadrillion? This estimate is debatable because it needed to consider, “notional value”, versus actual market value. The lack of certainty on pricing and not having accurate market data can be frustrating. Brokers also charge a fee for both ends; buying and selling, which makes it expensive to participate in trade. In addition, not everyone relishes in the prospect of understanding financial data, terms and conditions. These factors are barriers to entry that reduces the pool of investors in the derivatives market.
The Founders of Level01 saw all these and sought to develop solutions that can make investing easy, transparent, secure and fair, by using the Blockchain and partnership with financial market leader, Thomson Reuters.
AN APP THAT MAKES ANYONE A BETTER INVESTOR Whether you are a first time investor or an experienced investor, the Level01 App will help you make better investment decisions, save time and get better at investing in the Derivatives Market. Its sleek interface, smart data feed and intuitive features are designed to fit all investor types to make the trading experience as easy as 1, 2, 3.
CHANGING THE GAME WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE When you log on, the Level01 platform, you will have FairSenseTM Artificial Intelligence on hand to analyze trade intent patterns of all users on the platform to find the best matches for you. Once a match is found, it employs its proprietary dynamic fair price-balancing algorithm to show fair pricing for both sides of the trade contract. This saves investors time, speeds up trade, and keeps inflation in check with fair pricing.
CREDIBLE AND RELIABLE DATA FEED FROM THOMSON REUTERS Level01 raised the bar further by collaborating with Thomson Reuters. They integrated and enabled live streaming real-time market prices for Forex, Index, Cryptocurrency, Commodities and Stocks directly from Thomson Reuters, a global leader for information and data sources for professional markets. Having a 150-year-old brand name like Thomson Reuters lends tremendous credibility to the data and keeps investors informed of actual value prior to the commencement of the trade.
AUTOMATED SMART CONTRACTS As if that was not enough, the Level01 is designed as an exchange and trading platform with a system of smart contracts that resolves trust, emotion and irresponsibility in an efficient, transparent, automated manner. These automated digital contracts saves time and money for investors so that they can concentrate on analyzing data and deciding on investments.
SUSTAINABLE GROWTH DRIVEN BY USERS You may be thinking by now, that is all well and good, but what are they doing to make this unique Derivatives Exchange sustainable and primed for growth? The designers of Level01 looked towards attracting quality investors by incorporating a fair rating system based on statistics and empowering them with the ability to add value to the network, and derive value for themselves. Level01 rewards users when they participate in the ecosystem. To make it even more enticing, the Level01 platform enables Trade Room Hosting, which allows users to earn commission. These lucrative set points are attractive to users who will jump on board and increase the liquidity base, which of course, benefits everyone.
BETTER FINANCIAL LIQUIDITY Sometimes being able to sell is as important as being able to buy. This means your assets and investments can be easily converted to cash. Level01 gives you full control over your own funds by allowing your deposits and withdrawals to be done instantly. You can also change the native platform LVX tokens between BitCoin and Ethereum for better financial liquidity.
WIDER FINANCIAL PORTFOLIO Level01 allows you to trade both traditional and cryptocurrency market assets to give you greater ease and freedom to plan a diverse portfolio to suit your needs whether you like to play it safe or take profitable risks.
DIVERSE AND EXPERIENCED TEAM An international team with accolades, achievements and awards helms Level01 Derivatives Exchange. There is a mathematician and data analyst, a software engineer and system architect, a highly ranked digital marketing specialist, an expert in corporate operations, a consultant in banking and finance, a key quantitative analyst consultant who over saw $25B AUM, a corporate strategist and brand planning expert and an inventor-CEO with a string of successes under his belt, including founding a successful public listed company in Australia.
GROWING INTEREST Level01 just begun but it is already making waves in the cryptocurrency and investment world. Forums and chat groups are buzzing with conversations as seasoned cryptocurrency investors hop on the bandwagon, eager to sweep up ICOs before the rest of the world notices. Coin Telegraph, which is the top news portal on cryptocurrency, described Level01 partnership with Thomson Reuters as a great game-changer that will allow general public to trade derivatives like a pro using big data previously only available to institutional traders.
Could this be your ticket to making your 2028 the best year ever? As if you invested in Google back in 2004. You can check out more about this upcoming platform here.
submitted by Level01Exchange to u/Level01Exchange [link] [comments]

Looking for suggestions to secure my family’s financial future. (~$100K to allocate, earning ~$50K/yr after taxes)

Edit: TL;DR - wall of text explaining my current finances, also asking if it’s the right time to enter the housing market (and how I might protect myself if I do so). I’m very cash-heavy and looking for ideas to diversify and grow into retirement, while ensuring my wife and kid are taken care of as well.
I realize there are many different options for how to save and plan for retirement. I think I’ll be just fine, but I also recognize that I have a lot of room for improvement. More than my own personal security, I want to provide as much as possible for my wife and child, both of whom I expect to outlive me by many years.
Now, I would never share this kind of detail with someone who knows who I am irl, hence the throwaway. As far as non-immediate family and acquaintances know, I’m living paycheck to paycheck, and I’d like to keep it that way.
Some background information about me:
I’m 35 years old, serving on active duty in the US military, and I’ve been in for a little over 12 years. I’ll be eligible to retire in about 8 years, and a rough conservative estimate is that I’ll receive about $2,000/month retirement pay starting in my early-mid 40s. The plan is to continue working after I separate until, well... until I’m ready to stop. Who knows when I’ll feel too old to work? 55? 65? 85???
The idea is to have the financial freedom to “officially” retire when I’m ready to so, no sooner and no later.
I’m married and I have one kiddo.
The wife makes a pretty decent paycheck atm, but she’ll soon be looking for work when we relocate to our next assignment. She has about $15K saved up right now.
I transferred my Post-911 GI bill to the kid to help offset the cost of college, and because Uncle Sam already so generously paid for my own education while I’ve been on active duty. It would be a waste to use the Bill for myself. Still, I’d like to set aside at least enough to match it or fill the gap up to a Doctorate (just in case the kid wants to pursue that level of education- no pressure lol). The GI Bill should cover a substantial part of the first 3 years, beginning sometime around the year 2030, but I could potentially be paying as much as half of the cost of a 4-year degree, and likely most of any education beyond that. Student loans aren’t all bad, but if I can put my kid through college without having to take out a loan, that would be fantastic.
So here’s where my finances sit right now:
I’ve calculated my compensations for the next year, and a conservative post-taxes estimate is that I’ll bring home about $50K. I don’t expect that figure to change whole lot over the next 4 years at least. I’m sure my wife will find gainful employment again after we move, but I don’t have enough information to forecast what her earnings will be, so I’ll simply leave it out for now.
I’ve done a lot of research into the cost of living at our next assignment, and I keep pretty solid records of spending. Based on our current expenses, and a conservative adjustment accounting fo the location change. I expect to reliably save an average of $1,800 per month out of my paycheck. That’s about a 40% decrease in annual savings compared to the last 2 years, during which time I received some special pay and a bonus.
My family budget plan for 2018 allows for about $29K in expenses total, which sounds tight for 2 adults and a child (and it is tight), but I also know it’s easily doable. I’ll adjust that target as we settle into the new place over the next several months, and go from there.
Whatever the wife is able to earn after we move, can go straight to the bottom line. I hesitate to forecast my capital gains from investments based on past performance, because it really has been an exceptional few years. Besides, I have yet to ever withdraw from my brokerage account. All dividends and gains from closing positions has gone right back into the pot.
Investments:
I have $46K in my brokerage account. Roughly 50/50 cash and stocks (individual stocks and ETFs/ETNs etc). Here’s my current portfolio if anyone cares: MO, AAPL, WFC, AMD, BND, IAU, WMT, ARNC, SPY, XIV- roughly equal parts for all of those. They’re a mixture of speculative short-term and div-yielding long-term holds. The half I have sitting in cash is so I can quickly sell calls/average-down/BTFD whenever the next market correction/crash/recession comes. I’m adding about $1K/month to this account via automatic deposit, which I typically split between cost-price-averaging into my longs, and into my cash reserve. I balance my holdings mostly by adding to underperforming positions when I expect a rebound, and not by selling stock unless I’ve held the shares for more than a year. I also try to keep my cash balance roughly equal to the market value of my stocks for the reasons mentioned above (and so I can act if I see an opportunity for a nice swing trade).
I have a little over $20K in an interest-earning checking/debit account. This is where the majority of my paycheck lands, and it’s where the majority of my bills come out.
I have $15K in USD hard cash. That’s more than I need, to be sure. It’s mostly leftovers from when I sold one car and bought another. I’ll eventually deposit it into a bank I suppose lol.
I also have $11K in another checking account which I feed through a credit card, paying the balance off monthly. I’ve been using the credit card to buy gas and pay for other travel expenses. I don’t need a cc to do that, but it’s an easy way to build up my credit score and it helps whenever I need to rent a car or something.
Then there’s the $6K sitting in a credit union Roth IRA I opened and sort of forgot about. It barely earns interest at all and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to use it.
I own exactly 1 BTC I bought on a whim this summer. It’s hard for me to watch, because it moves around so much in value. Worth about $4.5K today. Other assets I can think of off the top of my head:
~ $4K in physical gold/silver. I guess it’s my hedge against society collapse or whatever lol. I have one of those 50g combi-bars that can be broken into smaller ingots and then a bunch of 1oz silver coins.
~ $2K in various foreign currencies, mostly Sterling. This was left over from when I spent some time in the UK pre-brexit vote. I’m sort of bag-holding it until I can exchange it back to USD for less of a loss.
On top of that, I have exactly zero debt. If I were forced to liquidate all of my assets not mentioned above, I’m confident I could come up with another ~ $40K (That’s if you figure a >50% emergency sale depreciation... I have 4 cars, 3 of which would be considered collector’s items and about another $15K in Snap-on tools + all the other random shit I own)
I realize my money allocations don’t make a lot of sense right now, but I’m an aggressive saver and the cash tends to pile up quickly. That’s a nice problem to have I guess.
One concern I have, is seeing my un-invested money take a big hit from inflation. I’m also a little worried about my bullish stock portfolio, but my plan is to build/hold it for another 15 years or so, and then slowly increase my exposure to bonds as I get into my 40s and 50s. Assuming I can stick to my long-term investing strategy, I’m hoping to be able to ride out any major correction or recession.
A major goal of mine is to buy a house. Thanks to the military lifestyle living overseas and frequent relocations though, I haven’t really been in a position to do so. Soon I’ll be moving to a stateside base, but looking at the housing market there, I’m frankly scared to buy right now. Houses in the local area have nearly doubled in just a few years, and I’d rather not spend the next 2 decades upside down in a mortgage if things suddenly take a turn for the worse. The valuations just don’t make sense to me compared with the rental market, and I suspect many of the land owners are deeply indebted in a market that feels pretty hot imo.
So there you have it. My personal finances in a nutshell. Not that I’m in financial trouble or anything, but I would love to hear any suggestions or pointers you smarties might have to offer.
I suppose some specific questions might include:
To recap my holdings:
Any/all ideas and criticisms are welcome.
Thanks for reading!
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