Top cryptocurrencies are continuing their rough start to the year, falling alongside stocks.
Bitcoin slumped more than 6% Monday, falling below $33,000, according to Coin Metrics. The digital coin is now more than 50% from its all-time high near $69,000 in November and has shed more than 30% year to date.
At the same time, ether fell more than 7% to about $2,300. It’s now down more than 35% from the start of the year.
While the losses can be distressing to investors, they also offer a chance for people interested in buying cryptocurrencies to review their financial plan and get into the volatile asset class if it makes sense for them, said Tyrone Ross, CEO of Onramp Invest, a crypto-asset platform for financial advisors and firms.
“When something goes on sale and you like it, you should buy it,” he said. In addition, cryptocurrencies have become an increasingly accepted form of payment.
“I think we’re not at mass adoption yet, but we are at mass acceptance,” said Ross, adding that for those who’ve done their research and decided that crypto is right for them, it’s a good time to jump into the investment.
How to determine if crypto is right for you
To be sure, you shouldn’t rush into any investment just because it is relatively cheap, experts say.
If buying crypto doesn’t fit your long-term financial goals, you shouldn’t purchase it just because it’s trading at a relative discount, according to Ivory Johnson, a certified financial planner and founder of Delancey Wealth Management in Washington, D.C.
“If your time horizon is 10 years, I think now is a fine time to buy it,” he said. Otherwise, he recommends that investors take a more holistic approach to the asset instead of trying to time a volatile market.
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Investors should have a clear goal for buying crypto instead of being pulled in only because the price dropped, he said. Reasons include seeing the asset as a store of value, viewing it as uncorrelated to stocks or wanting to own it because of the increasing rate of adoption.
Before buying, people should be conscious of how much of their total portfolio is invested in cryptocurrencies and make sure the allocation matches their risk profile, Johnson said. New investors should have a firm grasp on how much they’re willing to risk before they buy.
“If you put 20% in crypto and you can’t stomach volatility, you’ve got what’s known as a problem,” he said. “But if you’ve got 1% or 2% or 3%, it’s not as big of a hit to your portfolio.”
What to expect when investing
Investors should expect that cryptocurrencies will continue to be volatile. What’s more, the historically risky asset hasn’t been tested in an environment like the one we’re seeing today, where interest rates are set to rise, according to both Ross and Johnson.
“You should fully expect that [crypto] will go down further, so only put in what you can afford to lose,” said Ross. “If we wake up tomorrow and it goes to zero, you should be able to still pay your rent.”
Before putting money into crypto, both experts stressed the importance of having a secure personal financial situation and clear investment plan. ”If you dollar-cost average on the way down and also on the way up, it will smooth out that volatility and also enhance returns,” said Ross.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.