Why it’s wise to add bitcoin to an investment portfolio


“NSIVERSIFICATION is both Observed and wise. Rules of action which do not imply the dominance of diversification must be rejected, both as a hypothesis and as a saying, ”says Harry Markowitz, a very talented young economist. to augment. Finance Review This treatise, which won him the Nobel Prize in 1990, laid the foundations for “modern portfolio theory”, a mathematical framework for choosing the optimal allocation of assets.

The theory assumes that rational investors should maximize their returns relative to the risks they take (return volatility). Not surprisingly, profitable and reliable assets should feature in a wise portfolio. However, the genius of Markovitz has shown that variance can reduce volatility without sacrificing returns. Diversification is a financial version of the idiom that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.

Investors looking for high returns without volatility may not be attracted to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, as they often dip and rise in value. (In fact, as Buttonwood was writing this column, that’s exactly what Bitcoin did, losing 15% and then rebounding.) But the idea Markowitz revealed is that investors. What was important to us was that it was not necessarily the risk of the asset itself. As a contribution to the volatility of the overall portfolio, this is primarily a question of correlation between all the assets in the portfolio. Investors with two weakly or uncorrelated assets can rest assured that if the value of one plunges, the other asset may hold the justification.

Consider the mix of assets that a savvy investor can hold. Geographically diversified stock market indices. Obligations ; listed real estate funds; and maybe precious metals like gold. The assets that generate the juiciest returns (stocks and real estate) also tend to move in the same direction at the same time. Stocks and bonds have a low correlation (around 0.2-0.3 over the past decade) and can be diversified, but bonds also tend to lag behind in terms of yield. Investors can reduce volatility by adding bonds, but yields also tend to be lower.

This is where Bitcoin has the upper hand. Cryptocurrencies can be very volatile, but over their short lifespan, they have also had a high average return. The important thing is that they tend to move independently from other assets. As of 2018, the correlation between Bitcoin and stocks in all regions is 0.2-0.3. Over a longer period, it becomes even weaker. The correlation with real estate and bonds is also low. This makes it a great potential source of diversification.

This may explain its appeal to some large investors. Hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones says he aims to hold around 5% of his portfolio in Bitcoin. This allocation seems judicious in the context of a very diversified portfolio. Over the last four periods of the past decade, randomly selected by Buttonwood for testing, the optimal portfolio included a 1-5% allocation of Bitcoin. It’s not just because cryptocurrencies have exploded. Even if you choose a few particularly volatile years with Bitcoin, for example January 2018 through December 2019 (when it plunged), a portfolio allocated to Bitcoin at 1% is still a better risk. Showed a reward function than the one without it.

Of course, not all calculations on which asset to choose are easy. Many investors not only want to make good investments, but also good things. Bitcoin is not green. In addition, to select a portfolio, investors must collect relevant information about the behavior of their securities. Expected return and future volatility are usually measured by looking at how an asset has performed in the past. However, there are obvious flaws in this method. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns. And the history of cryptocurrencies is short.

Markovitz explained how investors can optimize their asset choices, but writes that “we are not looking at the first step, forming relevant beliefs.” Income from equity investments is part of a company’s profits. Risk-free rate and credit risk on bonds. Other than speculation, it’s unclear exactly what is driving Bitcoin’s returns. It is reasonable to think that you may not be profitable in the future. And many investors hold a fierce philosophical belief about Bitcoin – either salvation or punishment. Neither party is likely to hold 1% of the assets.

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This article was published in the print version of the Treasury and Economics section under the heading “Just Add Crypto”.

Why it is wise to add bitcoin to an investment wallet Source link Why it is wise to add bitcoin to an investment wallet

About Myra R.

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