Bitcoin, blockchain, distributed ledger, and cryptocurrency will change our future. They are terms to describe components of a technological and social revolution on the horizon. Yet, any talk of bitcoin, alternative coins (alt coins) such as ethereum, eos, ripple, or initial coin offerings (ICO’s) often come with significant speculation and hype that makes it difficult to take seriously the extraordinary underlying technology of distributed ledgers and their impact to our future.
Consensus Network provides news, education, and serious discourse around the technological and social phenomenon of distributed ledgers such as blockchain technology and cryptocurrency without mention of FOMO, LAMBOS, OR MOONING.
Consensus Network is hosted by physician, entrepreneur, and professional investor, Buck Joffrey.
EP36: Buy, Borrow and Die: Bitcoin Style
I am in a financial position that may seem somewhat unusual to you. You see, the IRS rewards me for my real estate investments by taxing me less. If, on the other hand, I keep my income in the bank, or invest it in traditional equities or bonds, the IRS shows me no mercy!
Admittedly this is by design. I am a real estate professional. One of the great benefits to that designation is that all of my passive losses flow through my personal tax returns. In other words, all that depreciation and mortgage interest I get by investing in real estate not only builds my net worth, but SAVES me money in the form of tax mitigation. Not a bad deal right?
To illustrate the power of these completely legal tax advantages, remember that with bonus depreciation even limited partners often end up with K1 losses of 50-100 percent of invested capital. Those losses add up in a hurry!
With that perspective in mind, why would I EVER consider investing in anything that is not tax advantaged? Think about the returns I would need to get in order to simply break even with the tax breaks I’m getting from investing in real estate. The returns would need to be HUGE. I’m not going to get that through Vanguard ETFs!
In fact, I truly believe that the only way I can get higher tax equivalent returns on capital is by investing in asymmetric risk type investments. For me, that means a little bit of bitcoin.
You may think I am crazy, but I actually don’t even consider investing in bitcoin all that risky. Sure it’s volatile, but I’m pretty darn sure that 5 years down the line anyone who buys bitcoin today will be pretty happy. I’m less sure about all of the alternative coins/tokens. They may have more explosive returns or they may simply go to zero. But bitcoin going to zero?—ain’t going to happen if you ask me.
Now I don’t overdo it with my bitcoin portfolio. For one, it’s important to have discipline and value add real estate is my bread and butter. In fact, I bought bitcoin with only about 5 percent of my investable assets this year. Aside from its riskier nature, buying bitcoin does not save me any money! It’s not tax advantaged.
So what’s a bitcoin HODLR to do? How about “Buy, borrow, and die”? That’s the mantra of the ultra-wealthy. The idea is that you can borrow against most assets that you own and invest in something else. You don’t get taxed on your loan and you’ve got a way to create liquidity out of an asset that is sitting around waiting to appreciate. If you invest those borrowed funds into real estate, not only do you get the benefit of investing your capital in two places at once, but you also get the tax advantages!
You can do this with all kinds of assets. Traditionally, the wealthy have done this with brokerage accounts and other real estate but also with gold and fine art.
The good news is that these days you can even do it with bitcoin and that’s what this week’s show is all about. Zac Prince is the founder of a cutting edge company called BlockFi. BlockFi is essentially creating financial products from the cryptocurrency ecosystem including the origination of loans and even savings accounts that pay cryptocurrency in interest.
In this week’s Wealth Formula Podcast, Zac tells us all about it and gives us his take on the massive infrastructure that is creeping slowly but surely into the bitcoin ecosystem. Whether or not you buy bitcoin, you are going to want to understand what’s going on in the digital ecosystem because soon it will be part of your every day reality. Don’t miss this show!
EP35: Cryptocurrency and Asymmetric Risk with Teeka Tiwari
Up to 10 percent of my liquid assets are in very risky stuff—specifically digital assets and startups.
A lot of people people think I am being irresponsible—particularly because I have a captive audience with whom I have influence.
Now if I was shooting at the hip and telling you to put all your money in this stuff, I would understand. But even highly volatile investments (ie. gambling) may have their role in your portfolio.
To be clear, every year, I allocate no less than 80 percent of the money I invest into real estate through Investor Club. There are many “wealth advisors” out there who would tell me that’s nuts too—that I would be better with a substantial portfolio of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Ain’t gonna happen.
One of the great benefits of becoming financially literate is that you get to make your own decisions and feel confident about them. You don’t need someone with a three month long accreditation course to tell you what makes sense.
In my opinion, residential real estate isn’t risky if you know what you are doing or invest with someone who does. People have to live somewhere regardless of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Real estate in the hands of an ambitious immigrant with no money (my dad), ultimately paid for my upper middle-class upbringing and my education through medical school! Why would I consider it risky? The only time my dad got in trouble was when he invested in the stock market.
Now, let’s go back to this buying digital currency thing again. You and I know this is seriously risky. But you know what?— a lot of people have gotten very wealthy off this stuff already and it’s still in its early days.
So let me ask you this. Say you invested $20K into a variety of cryptocurrency projects today and lost it all. Would that kill you? Alternatively, say your $20K became $2 million—is it worth it for you to at least have a chance of this happening in your lifetime?
That’s the kind of analysis you need to do for yourself when considering investments of the asymmetric risk profile variety. Chances are if you are a follower of Wealth Formula Podcast, you are already doing fine. You make a great income and have all the basic things you need to live a happy life. But what if you had exposure to something that could put you in another league of wealth entirely? Would it be worth putting a little capital at risk to make this happen?
It is for me and that is why I invest in cryptocurrency. This is not foolish—this is calculated risk. It is the kind of risk that the wealthy take all the time. It’s how millionaires become billionaires and how ordinary people can make money that they never imagined possible.
In fact, even the largest, most respected university endowments like Yale and Stanford are getting in the game with small allocations in the digital currency space just to make sure they don’t miss out.
And why now? Well—because no one is talking about it. The bull market of 2017 had everyone and their mother investing in cryptocurrencies. Two years later, technology is better and institutional money is starting to get in, but investors don’t seem that interested.
That’s exactly why, if you have not gotten exposure to digital assets, now may be the best time to take the leap. The more you read about this stuff, the more excited you will get!
To help you understand what is going on with cryptocurrency and whether you should consider getting in Consensus Network. He’s a former Wall Street guy with serious credibility with institutional investors and family offices.
He is also a great teacher so make sure you tune into this week’s show.
P.S. To find out EXACTLY why investing in cryptocurrency makes sense NOW, make sure to sign up for Teeka’s upcoming webinar HERE.
EP34: Bull Markets in the Least Ugly Economy in the World!
I am a lousy trader. I’ve said it before and I fully recognize this fact. That’s why, I try very hard to stay focussed on investing rather than trading. Nevertheless, I still get trapped in behaviors that I invariably regret.
For example, you may know that I am a believer in bitcoin. I truly believe this will be one of the best investments of my lifetime over the course of the next few years. That’s why when it dropped to $3100, I should’ve bought some more. But, I didn’t because I got greedy. I figured it might drop even more so I waited.
The end result was that by the time I bought more, it had actually doubled in price. Now, over the long run I still think that’s not a bad price at all. Especially considering I believe that we will see $100,000 bitcoin within the next couple of years. However, I was kicking myself because I was timing something instead of just recognizing that it was a good time to buy.
In the heat of the moment, it’s hard to remember Warren Buffett’s wisdom. Here’s a good quote for you. “It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.” The point is recognize when you have a good opportunity and can buy a quality asset at a fair price and just do it!
Now some of you may disagree with me that bitcoin is a “quality“ asset. We can agree to disagree. However, let’s focus on that principal with another example.
One of my friends is a famous home designer and is particularly well known amongst Hollywood celebrities. He told me about a house he once put on sale in Los Angeles. At the time, it was the most expensive house per square foot in all of Los Angeles.
He had a very motivated buyer who happened to be the daughter of a well-known tech billionaire. My friend said that dad had three questions before he bought the house for his daughter. 1) Was the house in a desirable area? 2) Did the house have a great views? 3) Was the house built well?
The broker assured him that all three answers were a resounding yes. The billionaire went on and bought that house for his daughter at full price. And, that house which was the most expensive house per square foot in LA at the time (in 2007), sold for a significant profit only 10 years later even after the housing correction.
The moral of the story?—most of the time when we think we are saving money, we really aren’t. It may be more expensive to buy a higher quality asset or an asset that is in a higher quality area. However, over the long run, you will come out ahead.
Think of it this way. Ikea furniture is not going to appreciate. So, if you can afford it, buy something that might appreciate so that, someday, you have something of greater value.
This is the kind of perspective you get over time. That’s why it’s a good idea to listen to people of been around for a while. Tyler Jenks is one of those guys. He’s been in the financial industry since 1971. That’s before I was even born!
Tyler can speak on a broad base of financial topics with perspective that is both unusual and multidimensional. From the S&P 500 to gold and even to bitcoin, Tyler is a wealth of knowledge as you will see on this week's Consensus Network.
EP33: Crypto thaw and Crypto Law
This past week or two got a lot of people excited. Bitcoin broke through $5K and seemed to be headed to $6K. The usual bulls were out stomping on the grave of the crypto bears. But then the New York Attorney General filed a complaint against Bitfinex, one of the largest crypto trading platforms. It had to do with a stable coin called Tether and how Bitfinex dipped into its funds to cover other shortfalls. This is an old story that the AG has finally moved on so it should not have been a surprise. That said, any news in the digital currency world seems to create a PTSD like response and because of that, bitcoin fell to near 5K as of this writing on April 26th.
Is this the end of the bear market? I certainly don't know but my hunch is that we have a bit of sideways activity to come before any clear resolution. Some technical traders believe the bottom is in and even the most notable bears are conceding their call for bitcoin hitting sub 2K before a bull run might not come to pass.
In the meantime, the only thing to do is to watch, wait, and learn so that's what we are going to do. This week on Consensus Network, we discuss how regulations and laws are affecting the crypto landscape for better and for worse.
EP32: The Separation of Money from State
It’s funny how long lasting paradigms perpetuate without question for centuries without being questioned.
It used to be in most places, specific religions were mandated by the government to its people and heretics were persecuted. Of course that still exists in many parts of the world but the point is that a large part of the world does not see that as simply status quo anymore.
If you live in the United States, for example, you would likely feel very uncomfortable with the idea that the government chose your place of worship, what you ate or drank, and what you wore. Why is that?
The answer to that, again, is that we tend to let outdated paradigms perpetuate without questioning them. They become part of conventional collective reality that few even think about questioning. Then, one day there is an awakening. The separation of church and state was one of those awakenings that has occurred gradually over time.
Similarly, while this may sound like a bit of a leap, I believe that bitcoin represents the first modern step in separating money from state. I have been watching and studying this space closely and I have come to the conclusion that bitcoin is real and it’s not going anywhere.
And when you look around and see the infrastructure that is being built around bitcoin at the institutional level, that belief is no longer outlandish. A lot of smart money believes it’s here for the long term as well. I’m talking about university endowments and even some pension plans. Bitcoin is not a fad. It’s a movement that is unstoppable.
It doesn’t matter what the price of bitcoin is today. Its value is in what it’s going to do to the world tomorrow and, in that sense, is grossly undervalued. In my opinion, you will regret it if you don’t take time to understand bitcoin and its implications now.
For that reason, I have invited a former Wall Street guy turned bitcoin purist for an interview on Wealth Formula Podcast today. His name is Tone Vays and you are going to want to listen to this week’s show so you can start the process of learning what will, in our lifetimes, become a new reality in our economy.
EP31: Blockchain, Crowd Wisdom, and AI with Cindicator
As the story goes, in 1906, the great statistician Francis Galton observed a competition to guess the weight of an ox at a country fair. Over 800 people entered that contest. Galton, being a numbers guy was curious about how the crowd faired with its guesses. What he discovered was that the average guess, 1,197lb, was extremely close to the actual weight of the ox at 1,198lb. No one person had made a guess as good as that of the combined wisdom of the crowd.
Since then, there have been lots of examples of this kind of crowd intelligence and it has become a science unto itself. Meanwhile, another kind of intelligence has become sort of a buzz word in the technology space over the last few years: Artificial Intelligence.
So what happens when you take crowd intelligence and combine with artificial intelligence and blockchain? The answer is a project called Cindicator.
Cindicator has applications in just about everything you can think of predicting. Sound interesting? If so, you will not want to miss this week’s episode of Consensus Network.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Can't wait for more
Finally a crypto show that can be taken seriously
Great first episode!
Great episode as an intro to crypto and blockchain! Looking forward to future episodes
Awesome first episode! This podcast has already separated itself from all the hype and fluff out there that is all too present in this space.