Don’t Drink and Trade

October 2, 2018 / by Bill Noble

Recently, Bloomberg went out its way to highlight the psychology of gambling as a way to explain parabolic booms and bust cycles for crypto and cannabis stocks.

The article implies that crypto and cannabis investors who have chased strength have wound up looking like people waiting for an outbound Sunday night flight from Las Vegas. Hopes dashed, pounding hangovers, and oaths to the higher power of their understanding never to do this again.

It is always easy to pick on crypto, so easy, it’s practically a sport.

The gambling instinct in today’s capital market goes well beyond crypto and cannabis. Take U.S. technology stocks. How many 80-year-old millionaires are standing at the craps table with a giant stack of chips? They no doubt look and feel smart after years of shunning T-bills and basic diversification theory by holding outsized positions in tech stocks.

The gambling problem in equities is so potentially epic that a major brokerage firm with a geriatric client base recently downgraded the tech sector to neutral from outperform. If you read between the lines, here’s what the report may imply.

Dear Old People,

Put your free drink down, and take profits in QQQ.

Sincerely,
The Professional Research Community

In Vegas, the house has a funny way of turning greedy winners into losers. If it can happen in crypto, it can happen elsewhere. Tech stocks, emerging markets, Italian government debt, people shorting gold and silver. Gamblers are everywhere.

Crypto differentiates itself as a comparatively nimble market that can re-price itself at warp speed. The crypto gamblers will sell and go back to their day jobs. When all is said and done, professionals thinking about crypto as an emerging digital asset class will likely get a chance to pick up crypto at bargain basement prices.

The only thing up in the air is where the bottom in crypto is and how long it takes the market to reach it.

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