It’s sort of like going to the casino…

I know enough about the stock market to realize I need miles and miles of education before I’d consider managing my own account beyond throwing a few dollars here and there at penny stocks and hoping one of them turns out to be a runaway winner. What I’ve learned from occasionally gambling for small dollars is that letting me pick for myself is no better or worse than taking those same dollars to the casino. If I walk away eventually breaking even, it’s a good day. Usually, those penny stocks leave me with far fewer pennies than I started with, though. Overall, I’m happy letting a professional load any money I might actually want to have in the future into market-following funds and taking a very small commission for his trouble… comfortable knowing that in any 30-year period you’d like to name, the market has always been higher at the end of that period than it was at the beginning. 

Three or four years ago, when Bitcoin was making a big name for itself, I threw $100 in the pot. Like penny stocks, it was pure casino gambling. I still don’t know a damned thing about Bitcoin or how the crypto-currency market really works. As far as I can tell, you input things into the computer, witchcraft happens, and bitcoins fall out. That original $100 bet is now banging around between $350-$400. If I had any sense, I’d take my winnings off the table and walk away happy. That’s exactly what I tell myself I should do after I’ve had a good run on a slot machine, too. 

What I’m probably going to do is take those winnings and spread them around the crypto world in $25 or $50 increments in hopes one of those becomes the next big thing – another chance to double my money. If buying Bitcoin was a slot machine, this feels more like covering as many bets as possible at the roulette table and hoping the ball drops on just the right place.

It’s no better or worse than whatever “strategy” guides me during a day at the local horse track… and the only money that’s really at risk is my original $100 bet that I considered lost years ago when I plugged it in to a crypto exchange. If it goes bust, no great loss… but if it happens to go to the moon, I’d hate for it to be the lottery ticket that I didn’t buy.

I guess all of this is a long way of saying I’m starting to miss my periodic trips to the local casino and I’ll be replicating the experience, less the bells, flashing lights, and geriatrics as far as the eye can see, as much as possible from right here in my own living room. I can’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t be a better use of my bitcoin winnings to buy my own slot machine and cut out the middle man (and the accompanying downside risk).

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