Beyond coins: Crypto assets

Warren Armstrong Image
Friday, July 27, 2018
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You’ve heard of cryptocurrency or coins, but now there are also crypto-commodities: all digital, encrypted assets you can buy and invest.

Jack Tatar has more than two decades of experience in financial services, yet he just co-wrote the book on something very cutting edge: Crypto assets.

"Obviously stocks and bonds have been around for a period of time as their own asset classes. This is a new asset class that acts differently than those other asset classes," Tatar says.

You've heard of cryptocurrency or coins; there are over 800 now on the market. But now there are also tokens (similar to a share) and crypto-commodities...all digital, encrypted assets you can buy and invest, probably with some help.

Tatar says they are especially attractive to some, explaining, "I typically refer to this as the gateway drug for investing for millennials."

After watching their parents' investments dive in the economic collapse, Tatar says many found the investments that only exist online appealing. He predicts they are going to grow for all ages.

But Tatar stresses it's still 'the Wild West' in a way, so there's reason to proceed with caution.

The SEC declined an interview, but did share a statement saying, "There is substantially less investor protection than in our traditional securities markets with... greater opportunities for fraud and manipulation." It also emphasizes no coins have been registered with the SEC.

Tatar would like to see more regulatory control, explaining, "Right now the regulators certainly in the United States need to step up and provide more clarity."

Tatar says most people don't understand the technology, or volatility, so, speak to a financial advisor to see if they are right for you.

"I believe that crypto assets should be viewed as an alternative asset."

Tatar says do your homework. The SEC secretary says you should ask good questions, demand clear answers, and apply good common sense when doing so.

As with any investment, if it sounds too good to be true, or you're pressured to act quickly, exercise extreme caution.