Bitcoin and other cryptos are just one digital investment vehicle. Even for those who are averse to crypto speculation and investments, there are plenty of digitally-based investing options. Fintech platforms now offer relatively low-cost entry into developing an investment portfolio, and those may strike young or amateur investors as less intimidating than going all in on physical but costly assets such as property, art, and jewellery.
Still, you can't help but wonder whether having a few more traditional assets might not be a good idea. What if the likes of Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet and JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon are right that cryptocurrencies will "come to a bad ending" and that " (This link will open in a new window)there will be no currency that gets around government controls"? It might be thrilling to go along with Bitcoin's wild ride, but the adrenaline rush may not be worth it if the cryptocurrency goes bust after all.
For some people, buying (This link will open in a new window)tangible assets to insulate themselves against market-based risk is a more appealing option. Gold bullion, for instance, is a perennial favourite in this category, though some opt to diversify and buy silver as well. (This link will open in a new window)Gold enjoyed a particular boost in the wake of the Brexit vote, with some viewing it as a preferable investment to standard stocks and bonds.
But while gold may seem in some ways to be the antithesis of cryptocurrencies, it's not as sure a thing as it might seem. Critics note that gold is not only volatile, but that it earns no returns, doesn't necessarily appreciate, and will be of little value in the event of an economic collapse.
While many people invest in stocks and even in gold with their future lifestyle in mind, others prefer to purchase tangible assets they can enjoy in the here and now, such as antiques, luxury cars, yachts or speedboats. Of course, they may find that the value of those investments drop in the event of an economic downturn, during which the market for boats and high-end goods tightens.
None of this is to say that investing in cryptocurrencies, buying and selling gold, or purchasing luxury items are good or bad choices. But given all the variables, it's important to remember that rushing to one extreme or another when it comes to investing may not serve your long-term interests.
Technology has not only created new investment options, it's also made it easier than ever to break into traditional investing, and that's undoubtedly a good thing. But when you're talking about your financial health, it's worth seriously evaluating even the most urgent trends before getting swept up in them.