Why I'm Buying Bit Coin, By Joe Buehmer

I've been investing for decades, and now I'm an early adopter to Bit Coin with the IBIT ETF.

Do people know how easy it is to buy Bit Coin?

I like to think I'm a pretty smart guy, especially when it comes to money. While others had doubts, when I heard that Bit Coin was available in an ETF, I immediately decided to add it to my portfolio. And so far, I have to say, being an early adopter has worked out pretty well for me—and for my friends who took my advice!

The Story Begins

Back in the 1960s, when I was growing up, we weren't really either rich or poor, but my parents taught me the importance of saving for the future. I used to put a percentage of the cash from my paper round to one side every week, investing it in my dad's bank account for those sweet risk-free 6% returns.

When I was a little older, I got my own bank account. When I heard some of the older guys at work started discussing the returns on their stock portfolios around the water cooler, I decided that if they could do it, so could I. Every month, on payday, I'd phone my broker and gradually, my own portfolio grew. I tried to forget about the total value, just weathering the ups and downs of the markets, and focusing on dripping in funds.

Real Estate, Real Wealth

I had to ease off when I bought my first house in my mid-twenties: Kind of a big deal in those days, as I was borrowing 3x my annual salary. But I did the math, and it checked out. In fact, a few years after starting our family, Margery Buehmer and I decided to invest in additional property. It seemed like a smart move to have more before the younger generation started needing to buy houses of their own.

That's what I told all my colleagues, and many of them were smart enough to take my advice, because it turned out I was right. Prices started going up, and I was able to sell one of the three houses at a six-figure profit in just a few years. A chunk of that went into the share portfolio, just as the markets were set to storm ahead: Go America!

The other two we kept to rent out, which seemed like a fair thing to do; by that stage, houses were getting expensive, and not everyone could afford them, so it seemed like we were doing a public service by giving the kids somewhere to live, and earning a return ourselves in the process. Win/win, right?

Enter Bit Coin

Fast forward to my retirement, and I had done pretty well for myself, what with the value of property and stocks soaring in recent decades. I'd got in early and made decent profits. I was still interested in managing my investments; there's only so much golf you can play!

I took an early interest in Bit Coin, too. I actually first heard about this mysterious form of "magical internet money" way back in 2018, but I'll admit to being stumped. Electronic cash, backed by... nothing at all? It seemed like snake oil. Growing up post-War, I'd seen the importance of having a strong currency backed by Uncle Sam, and this seemed more like alchemy than any asset I'd seen (and by this point, remember, I'd seen a few).

But when the ETFs came out, I knew it was legit. If some of the biggest asset managers in the world were confident about it, then so was I.

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BlackRock's video gave me the confidence I always seek in my investments.

I'm an early adopter: January 11, 2024 marks my first Bit Coin buy, Day 1, and right now I feel pretty good about that. I went with IBIT, since BlackRock is the most trusted name in the space. Their low fee means there is essentially no difference between holding the ETF and the Bit Coins that it holds; it just means I don't have to manage them myself (which is not advisable, unless you're an IT expert).

I told my friends, and if some of them were skeptical, well, the numbers speak for themselves! I know a lot of them spoke to their advisors. The ones who are smart enough to manage their own money were able to move faster (one guy, we'll call him Doug, actually bought some IBIT right then and there using his phone).

In a way, I feel sorry for all the Millennials who are missing out on this opportunity, but they really only have themselves to blame. I happened to mention IBIT in front of a group of my son's friends, and didn't get much of a response beyond a snort of derision.

But hey, what can you do? I led the horse to water but it wouldn't drink. If they don't believe me or don't understand it, I don't have time to convince them. That golf isn't going to play itself.


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