Q. My husband wants to start buying cryptocurrency. I think he’s crazy. We have a decent amount in retirement but not a lot of cash. I’m thinking if he has a side account with play money, fine, but we don’t really have a lot of play money. Am I being too conservative? I know crypto prices have come down so much so it really is a good time to buy.
— Worried wife
A. You’re correct that crypto prices have taken a big hit lately.
And when we see an asset class move lower, it’s often a good time to buy.
Many people are drawn to cryptocurrencies in the hopes of making easy money based on past performance, said Deva Panambur, a fee-only planner with Sarsi, LLC in West New York and an adjunct professor of personal finance at Montclair State University.
They’re not without risk.
“There are over 10,000 cryptocurrencies in existence and thousands more that are dead or have no activity whatsoever,” Panambur said. “Even the most ardent proponents of cryptocurrencies will agree that a significant number of cryptocurrencies are worthless.”
Prices are extremely volatile and even some well-established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have seen price drops of over 80% in the past, he said. Some cryptocurrencies that were thought to be stable have seen their prices gone down to zero.
“Just because an investment has come down in value, does not mean it cannot come down more,” he said. “Expecting an investment to perform just like it did in the past could lead to disappointment.”
When investing in an asset class that has the potential for very large gains or very large losses, you should ask yourself how it would affect your retirement plan if you were to lose a significant portion of your investment, he said.
“Invest in a manner that your retirement plan is not upset under any scenario,” he said.
In terms of coming to an agreement with your husband, a side account could be the answer if you have the extra cash. Just don’t bet the farm on any one kind of investment. – nj.com/Tribune News Service