The Secret Broker: What a trip to Venezuela in the ’80s taught me about investing in Bitcoin now
After 35 years of stockbroking for some of the biggest houses and investors in both Australia and the UK, the Secret Broker is giving Stockhead the wisdom of all his experience and war stories from the trading floor to the dealer’s desk. This week he turns his attention to Bitcoin.
Sometime back in the late 80s the big wigs at my broking firm were bullish on oil, so I was sent with a bunch of eager dealers on a road trip to Venezuela to look at some oil assets.
“The coffee’s great!” they told us.
“Oh, and make sure you only take US dollars, the local currency isn’t worth the paper it’s written on!” was the other sage advice given.
After a long 18-hour plane ride we were greeted at the arrivals lounge by a big sign above an FX booth: “Change your US dollars here and we will guarantee you the exact same rate when you leave!”
Ignoring previous warnings, our Senior Dealer and resident currency expert thought this was such an excellent offer he advised us all to follow his lead.
Which we promptly did.
After a whirlwind 48-hour trip sampling the delights of Venezuela (of which I must confess, my memory of is a little hazy), we arrived back at the airport where we found the FX booth was shut.
Upon enquiring with a burly security guard what time the FX booth next opens, we were cheerily told “about an hour after your plane leaves and just before the next one arrives!”
Needless to say, we landed at Heathrow with worthless Venezuelan notes bursting out of our suitcases.
Which brings me onto Bitcoin.
Having been flatlining for some time, the price of Bitcoin has recently behaved like it’s had the Packer Wacker treatment, trying to breakout of $US3,800 to go to $US4,000.
The electric shock worked better than the doctor ordered and not only did it crack the $US4,000 level, it shot up through $US5,000 in a straight line, like one of Elon’s rockets hurtling to the moon.
This excitement seems to have breathed some life back into the ASX Bitcoin and blockchain have-beens.
The analogy old traders would use in this type of situation is that if you wear flared jeans long enough, they will come back into fashion.
In fact, if you wear them for a really long time, people will actually think you’re ahead of the latest fashion trends.
Leading the way if you like. A leader in flares.
Unfortunately, the same goes for Bitcoin and the blockchain companies that are rightly or wrongly lumped in with Bitcoin’s sentiment.
In the heady days of December 2017, Bitcoin hit an all time monthly average high of $US13,860.
Using a Fibonacci ratio of 61.8 per cent, it will take Bitcoin to recover to a support level of $US8,245 before this old trader jumps back into anything remotely associated with Bitcoin or blockchain.
Alas ladies and gents, you will have to wait until your kids think your old flared jeans are cool again before that time comes around.
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