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For crypto storage, my recommended hardware wallet is the Ledger Nano X.
On solid financial footing and ready to purchase crypto? My recommended exchange is Binance.
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Considering getting into cryptocurrencies?
Be prepared for a wild ride.
In fact, I recommend getting your financial house in order first.
Month Twenty Three – UP 143%
A fantastic month for the 2019 Top Ten Portfolio. XRP took off and XLM had a stellar November (see what I did there?). The 2019 cryptos continue to be the strongest returning of the three Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiments.
Question of the month:
As Bitcoin neared $17,000, what popular exchange went down this month?
Scroll down for the answer.
Ranking and November Winners and Losers
BSV, Tether, and BCH all fell one spot in the wrong direction, while XRP finally leaped over USDT to recapture third place, a spot it hadn’t held since July 2020. Thanks to a cold November gain of +156%, Stellar picked up a massive six positions and just like that, it is back knocking on the door of the Top Ten.
A special mention for Litecoin, which advanced three spots in the rankings, climbing from #8 to #5. As a reminder, just two months ago LTC had fallen out of the Top Ten, with some pronouncing it dead: an old crypto about to be surpassed by next generation coins. While the fact that it has reached #5 doesn’t prove or disprove this long term, it does suggest that it may be too early to declare Litecoin irrelevant.
40% of the crypotos that were in the Top Ten on January 1st, 2019 have dropped out: Tron, Stellar, BSV, and EOS have been replaced by BNB, DOT, ADA, and LINK.
November Winners – Each 2019 Top Ten crypto had a strong month. XRP absolutely dominated though, finishing up +175%. XLM’s +156% landed it in second place followed distantly by third place Litecoin, up +59%
November Losers – Tether stayed stable, as it was created to do, underperforming the field. BSV gained +10% making it the poorest performing non stablecoin of the month.
For overly competitive nerds, here is a tally of which coins have the most monthly wins and losses during the first 23 months of the 2019 Top Ten Experiment:
Tether is still far ahead in terms of monthly wins (7). That’s more than double the number of victories of the tied for second place cryptos BSV, BTC, and ETH.
BSV, although it is up a healthy 91% since January 2019, tends to lose a lot: it has now finished last in nine out of twenty-three months.
And special recognition for XRP: after 23 months of the 2019 Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiment, it notched its first win in November. Congrats on no longer being the only crypto not to achieve a monthly win.
Overall update – BTC and ETH well in front, 100% of cryptos in green, and 2019 Top Ten is the best performing of the Experiments.
BTC (+416%) and ETH (+345%) continue to lead the way, followed distantly by Litecoin, which is up +184% since January 2019. The initial $100 investment in BTC is currently worth $526.
Twenty-three months into the 2019 Top Ten Index Fund Experiment, 100% of the 2019 Top Ten cryptos are either flat or in the green. Besides Tether, the award for the poorest performing non-stablecoin goes to EOS, which has still gained a respectable +25%.
As a reminder of how quickly the cryptosphere can change, just last month XRP was at the bottom of the pack, down -33%. Now? It is +85% since January 2019.
At +143%, the 2019 Top Ten Portfolio is ahead of the 2020 Top Ten Portfolio’s +129% gain and both are far, far ahead of the 2018 group , which is down -56% (much more on that below).
Total Market Cap for the entire cryptocurrency sector:
Since January 2019, the total market cap for crypto is up +358%. The cryptocurrency market gained $182B in November, vaulting over the psychologically important $500B mark easily. For the second straight month, this is the highest month-end level since the 2019 Top Ten Experiment began 23 months ago.
BitDom is a signal that there is more or less of an appetite for altcoins. Not much of a change in November with Bitcoin Dominance dropping just about one percentage point.
The table above shows a wider view: the BitDom range since the beginning of the experiment in January 2019 has hovered between 50%-70%.
Overall return on investment since January 1st, 2019:
The 2019 Top Ten Crypto Portfolio gained $771 in November. After nearly two years, the value of the initial $1000 investment is now $2,432.
For some context, here’s a look at the ROI over the life of the first 23 months of the 2019 Top Ten Index Fund experiment, month by month:
Unlike the completely red table you’ll see in the 2018 Top Ten Experiment, the 2019 crypto table is almost all green. The first month was the lowest point (-9%) and the high point was this past month, +143%. The previous high point (+114%) was May 2019.
At +143%, the 2019 Top Ten Portfolio is now the best performing out of the three Experiments. The gap has widened to 14 percentage points as the second place 2020 Top Ten Portfolio is up +129%. This is the widest difference of the year.
Speaking of the other Experiments, let’s take a look at how the 2019 Top Ten Index Fund Portfolio compare to the parallel projects:
- 2018 Top Ten Experiment: down -56% (total value $435)
- 2020 Top Ten Experiment: up +129% (total value $2,287)
Taking the three portfolios together, here’s the bottom bottom bottom line:
After a $3000 investment in the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Top Ten Cryptocurrencies, my combined portfolios are worth $5,154 ($435+ $2,432 +$2,287).
That’s up about +72% for the three combined portfolios, compared to +18% just last month.
Here’s a table to help visualize the progress of the combined portfolios:
To sum up: +72% gain by dropping $1k once a year on whichever cryptos happened to be in the Top Ten on January 1st, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
But, hey, what if I’d gone all in on only one Top Ten crypto for the past three years? While many have come and gone over the life of the experiment, only five cryptos have remained in the Top Ten for all three years: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, and LTC. Let’s take a look at those five:
Up to this point in the experiment, Ethereum would have been your best bet, returning a combined +237%. Bitcoin would have been second best, finishing +216%.
On the other hand, if I had followed this world’s slowest dollar cost averaging approach with Bitcoin Cash, I’d be up only about 19%.
Alright, that’s crypto. How does crypto compare to the stock market?
Comparison to S&P 500:
I’m also tracking the S&P 500 as part of the experiments to have a comparison point with traditional markets. The S&P bounced significantly in November, hitting a new all time high. It is now up +44% since January 2019.
The initial $1k investment I put into crypto 23 months ago would be worth $1,440 had it been redirected to the S&P 500 in January 2019. +44% is a very solid return, but nowhere near the +143% return of the 2019 Top Ten Portfolio over the same time period.
But what if I took the same world’s-slowest-dollar-cost-averaging $1,000-per-year-on-January-1st crypto approach with the S&P 500? It would yield the following:
- $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2018 = $1350 today
- $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2019 = $1440 today
- $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2020 = $1120 today
Taken together, here’s the bottom bottom bottom line for a similar approach with the S&P:
After three $1,000 investments into an S&P 500 index fund in January 2018, 2019, and 2020, my portfolio would be worth $3,910.
That is up +30% since January 2018. Compared to a +72% gain of the combined Top Ten Crypto Experiment Portfolios. You can also compare against five individual coins (BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, and LTC) by using the table above if you want.
That’s a 42% difference in favor of crypto. That’s now seven monthly victories for the S&P vs. four monthly victories for crypto, all clustered in the second half of the year.
November was a great month for both the stock market and the 2019 Top Ten Portfolio. It appears crypto is pulling away from traditional markets at this point in the experiment, but the year’s not over yet. Will crypto be able to hold or increase its gains for the final month of an unpredictable year? In a few short weeks, we’ll know the answer.
Final thought: take care of each other out there, stay safe.
Thanks for reading and for supporting the experiment. I hope you’ve found it helpful. I continue to be committed to seeing this process through and reporting along the way. Feel free to reach out with any questions and stay tuned for progress reports. Keep an eye out for the original 2018 Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiment and the 2020 Top Ten Experiment.
And the Answer is…
In mid-November, just as Bitcoin was approaching $17,000, popular crypto exchange Coinbase crashed, much to the frustration of its users.
Help keep the lights on at the Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiments.