Cryptocurrency ETFs ‘are not a winning strategy,’ expert says: There are better ways to diversify

Posted by Ryan Ermey,

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If you’re interested in a particular investment area, such as, say, a sector of the stock market, you likely don’t have time to research every single company to determine which you think is best. Plus, even if you know your stuff, there’s still the chance that any investment in a single entity could go down dramatically. That’s why market pros recommend spreading your bets by buying a large swath of investments, thereby lowering the chances that your portfolio could tank due to a large drawdown in any particular position.

When it comes to traditional investments, such as stocks and bonds, a cheap and easy way to access that kind of diversification is often an exchange-traded fund, which holds a basket of investments, trades on an exchange like a stock, and usually comes with a small management fee.

If you’re interested in the world of cryptocurrency, however, an ETF is a less straightforward bet. Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission rejected an ETF from fund firm VanEck that would have directly tracked the price of bitcoin. When it comes to cryptocurrency prices, “The SEC has fundamental concerns about the potential for fraud and manipulation,” says Ben Johnson, director of global ETF research for Morningstar. He added that you’re unlikely to see an ETF that directly tracks the price of crypto “until there are specific solutions in place to address those concerns.”

In the meantime, you can still buy one of several ETFs with “bitcoin” or “crypto” in the name, but they may not deliver the kind of investment you’re looking for — especially if you’re looking to diversify your crypto portfolio. In fact, as currently constructed, prominent crypto ETFs often see investors “effectively selling low and buying high,” Johnson says. “That’s not a winning investment strategy.”…read more.