Curious About Cryptocurrency? 4 Ways to Start Investing Without Losing Your Shirt

 Buying bitcoin is not the be-all and end-all.

If I had a dollar for every email with the words "bitcoin" or "NFT" sent to me over the last few years, I'd be richer than some of the cryptocurrency millionaires making headlines.

nline tout crypto as the "investment of a lifetime," new data shows that a majority of young millionaires hold the bulk of their wealth in it. What's next? Kim Kardashian promoting an obscure cryptocurrency? Oh, wait...

Then there's the cryptocurrency market's recent steep sell-off, which points to its ongoing volatility and uncertainty about the future.

Through my efforts to learn more, I've found that investing experts and financial and tech journalists tend to agree that crypto has become part of our lives and is not going away. At the same time, there's a ton of investor misguidance. Too many people are making financial moves off of pure adrenaline and speculation. 

"Investing should be boring," says Georgia Lee Hussey, founder of Modernist Financial in Portland, Oregon. "If you're super duper excited about your portfolio, you're doing it wrong. Full stop." 

Spencer Jakab, a longtime Wall Street reporter and author of the new book The Revolution That Wasn't, isn't convinced we have to participate at all. "There's no rhyme or reason to it ... I'm not a fan," he says.

But we can't help but be curious. Many of you have told me you want to understand how to start trying out this market in a clearheaded, substantive way. Are there ways to test the crypto waters that are measured, emotionally intelligent and rooted in a strategy? I have some ideas below.

1. Explore career opportunities in the crypto market

One way to "invest" in the cryptocurrency market is by working for a crypto company. And now, there are more choices than ever. Crypto-related job opportunities surged 395% in the US between 2020 and 2021, according to LinkedIn. That's about four times more than job listings in the broader tech industry.

After spending most of her career working for conventional financial institutions like TIAA and BlackRock, corporate communications executive Lauren Post was tapped to join Bakkt, an Atlanta-based digital asset platform.

 Bakkt, which went public last fall, works with noncrypto companies that want to offer their clients cryptocurrency experiences. This includes working with credit card companies that offer cardholders crypto rewards, as well as teaming up with banks to help them integrate crypto trading with their platforms. 

"I was both intrigued and slightly apprehensive because I didn't know much about crypto," said Post in an email. "But, after having spent my career at traditional financial services companies, I realized that learning about crypto couldn't be much different from learning about target date funds, fixed income, credit default swaps or any other corner of finance.

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