On January 29, 2021 – in the midst of the historic Reddit Gamestop small investors vs. hedge fund “short squeeze” frenzy, more than 600,000 people downloaded the Robinhood trading app.
Despite being cast as the bad guy, new investors signed up for Robinhood in droves. The company’s zero balance requirement and low fee structure make it appealing to everyone.
Bloomberg’s headline read “Robinhood Traders Bash the App But Just Can’t Leave It.” The classic hate it, but won’t quit it, scenario. Sounds like a lot of people and their jobs. We push past our reservations, reasoning that a better option just isn’t out there. There is certainly no shortage of options for commission free trading. Options in 2021 include InteractiveBrokers, Sofi, Ally Invest, Webull, TD ameritrade, Merrill Edge, You Invest by J.P. Morgan, Vanguard, Fidelity, and Charles Schwab. And the list goes on.
The word crypto is enough for some people to keep scrolling. And specifically Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency “started as a joke.” How do you even say Doge? Is it doggie, doe-gie, or dohj? What is that silly Shiba Inu dog? Why are there memes everywhere?Words like altcoin, blockchain, mining, digital tokens, hash rates – are all unfamiliar. We write crypto off quickly. It sounds so foreign, it must be a gimmick. It can’t possibly be serious investing. Why would we waste time with that?
Why We Missed the Crypto Boom of the Last Decade: Limiting Beliefs
It’s easy to say we’re being practical. All these rationalizations for dismissing something new are at their core, limiting beliefs. Looking at history, limiting beliefs can be a source of huge regret.
NY Times writer Kevin Roose wrote about his limiting beliefs about cryptocurrency in December 2017, in an article titled “I Was Wrong About Bitcoin. Here’s Why.” He shares the story of buying a single bitcoin in 2013, which at the time required him to go to CVS and send $140 via Moneygram. That alone is enough for some people to shake their heads and say “not for me.”
Investing is like exercise. It’s never too late to join the game, and a little better bit is better than nothing. When we have volatile days like January 28, 2021, there is natural curiosity about the market. Elon’s cryptic tweets of a whippet on a Dogue magazine cover only add to the curiosity.