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Symph is a Fundamental Analyst and crypto investor
What attracted you to investing in crypto?
Crypto markets haven't been figured out and are still a small asset class compared to others. I want to make some sense of it, when it comes to investing in crypto, it's a total meritocracy. Doesn't matter where you studied or what you studied. I feel investing tests your nerves and bring out the best in you.
When I was in high school I fell in love with investing and trading the market. At the time, I used to earn about $200/$300 on average from my freelance work and put the money in bitcoin because back in 2012 Silk Road was booming. I used to lurk around forums that's how I got to know about this somehow people are making money out of it buying and selling on forums, and that's how I started investing.
I thought “this game is easy” and with time I learned that to be an effective investor one has to bet against the consensus and be right. It's definitely not easy and it took me several painful mistakes and learn from them.
I feel investing tests your nerves and bring out the best in you.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I have a fairly standard routine now, waking up in the morning to do some meditation, and then checking emails. As well as exploring new projects to invest in, I have my own edtech startup so most of my time goes into building this project which aims to make virtual schooling accessible for underprivileged kids completely for free.
What's the biggest mistake you think people make when getting into crypto?
From my personal experience, I believe that expectations, specifically around how much you can earn and how quickly are the first big problem a beginner will face. There’s so much bogus information out there and, unfortunately, a lot of people are still convinced that they can earn millions investing in penny projects like dogecoin. What they don't check is the fully diluted valuation and the whether the project actually has any intrinsic value or is just hype.
I believe the main goal should be to research a project and have some thesis behind investing to stay profitable in the long run. If the thesis gets invalidated close the investment position and move on to the next instead of bag holding. That said, a beginner should avoid risking going all in a project. Many beginners focus too much on creating a balanced portfolio they forget about balancing risk.
Would you share with us your most memorable investment?
In 2015, I invested $5k in Casino coin. After two years of holding, my position hit an all-time high of half a million dollars. One of the most surreal moments of my life, obviously lost most of my gains in the crash.
What’s the best investing advice you’ve been given?
Not to follow others' advice, recommendations, or signals blindly. One thing I’ve always been clear on is: crypto is the ideal asymmetric bet. Placing relatively small, equal amounts of money on well-researched picks can lead to life-altering gains.
Learn position-sizing, risk management, and diversification. One of the biggest lessons I learned was not to build your portfolio solely with high-risk assets. Don't lose your perspective. I’ve seen people take riskier bets when markets go against them and end up losing more money. To truly build long-lasting wealth, you need to generate multiple, reliable streams of income – in addition to your riskier strategies. Put no more than 10%-15% of your liquid net worth into asymmetric investments.
crypto is the ideal asymmetric bet
What's the most important quality in an investor and why?
Patience. Keep calm and carry on! Over time, a good investor creates wealth due to his patience. It is probably the finest quality to have, the ability to tune out the noise and stay the course.
a good investor creates wealth due to his patience.
Why do you think you have success investing?
I still have a lot to learn. I have made some calls on Twitter that have pulled like 50x/300x on average probably because of my thorough research and my conviction to stay with them long-term.
What drives you to keep investing?
I'm just here to enjoy risk, could say I'm addicted.
What's something you've learned in the last 6 months that has made you a better trader?
Anatomy of a pump and market structure highly suggest checkout thread by Jackis basically it's a cheat sheet to trading the market.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when investing?
If you made an impulse purchase or one of your long-time big earners has suddenly taken a turn for the worse, the best thing you can do is accept your thesis is no longer valid instead of waiting for recovery. The challenge for most is to avoid tinkering. The market may test your conviction to hold positions for the long term, and it is important to revisit the rationale behind your conviction and continue to test it. If you believe the short-term issues don't affect your long-term conviction, then you should hold your position and avoid the temptation to sell.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting investing tomorrow what would it be and why?
Instead of thinking day to day, or even week to week, or even month to month, I need you to think in years − not 10 or 20 years, but I need you to think in 3-to-6-year timeframes
Use small, uniform position sizes to create a basket of these coins in your crypto portfolio. Using this asymmetric betting style, you can set yourself up for outsized gains without taking outsized risks.
As someone with a flair for fundamental analysis what advice can you share regarding asset selection?
Fundamental analysis aims to determine the intrinsic value of an asset and give you the conviction to hold it long-term. FA also help you to stomach the volatility of crypto in the long-term in most cases people don't know what they are buying and end up selling winners too early take recent examples like $LUNA, $SOL and $AVAX.
Basic checks for selecting assets are price performance, organic community, GitHub activity, team background and roadmap.
Once you are convinced that the basic information and sector look promising, it is time to deep dive and read the whitepaper of the project. Analyze the key use case of the project and whether the use case is clear and understandable.
Try to assess if the problem they are solving is an actual real-world problem and the utility of their use case in the real world. If you don't see a clear use case or it's overtly complicated that is usually a red flag best to avoid such projects.
Here’s how I’d go about researching DeFi projects.
1. Research and learn about different categories in DeFi.
2. Find out the problems/inefficiencies with current protocols.
3. Follow the right people on Twitter (big VCS, devs and researchers) and see what they're talking about and why
4. Build a group of like-minded people and research projects together.
5. Read Delphi, Messari and I have my own research channel on telegram as well symphony confidential "t.me/symphony_confidential"
What are your red flags when researching a project?
Fancy promises of high investment return with negligible risk are a clear red flag. YouTube and Telegram accounts aggressively promoting a new coin are best avoided. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Research the team and the project thoroughly before investing. Avoid investment decisions based on market rumours.
Some people say fully diluted valuation is a meme until isn't. If a project has a high FDV and most of the tokens are allocated to the team, advisor and private sales are red flags to avoid.
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
What’s your take on the rise of meme coins and “purely speculative” assets - do they live outside a fundamentals framework?
While it is possible to make money investing in meme coins, this type of investment is incredibly risky and more similar to gambling than true investing. If you happen to buy and sell at precisely the right time, you could make a profit. It's more likely, though, that you'll lose all or most of the money you invest.
Meme coins were created with no intention for any practicality whatsoever. They simply exist as a cryptocurrency that’s attached to a meme and can plummet in value overnight.
We see reports of networks like SOL going down for prolonged periods of time without much impact on price - to what extent are some assets fundamental-proof?
We are in the early stages of crypto. We are still building. There is no perfect chain created yet, solutions to technical challenges are created along the way.
In the case of Sol, Solana is a bet on Sam and if he will be relevant in 10 years. It’s hard to imagine SOL will fade. The Solana network was down for days, but the price remained the same regardless.
With increased economic and political uncertainty, there seems to be an ever-growing number of external factors that impact risk assets like cryptos - how do you take these factors into account when selecting or managing your assets?
I manage this by diversifying risk instead of the portfolio. These days, my portfolio is mostly bitcoin and precious metals.
Bitcoin has occasionally traded as a risk-off asset during periods of high geopolitical tension. For example, during the Iran missile attack in January 2020, Bitcoin traded up in line with gold and Treasuries.
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Most investors would be better off ignoring what's happening in the market
What separates the pros from the rest is taking significant profits on the way up
A good investor should never fall in love with a project