Want to retire with crypto? Read this
Welcome to Schooled by Breach! Our latest weekly newsletter where Breach writer, Adetomiwa talks to people with experience about pressing crypto questions, learns a lesson, and shares the findings with you. Crypto can be easy, so let’s figure it out together. Out every Friday!
Manasseh Egedegbe, the Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer at Kudy Financials, explains that the strategy with which you should incorporate crypto into your investment plans will depend on your risk profile (age, income bracket, etc.). He advices that whatever you decide, you should be careful and look out for scams by following the projects’ social media, researching the people behind it, and speaking to a/your money management professional.
Last month, I turned an age that is closer to 30 than 20 (👀). The day before my birthday, I had a moment of existential dread where I was thinking about everything, from if I am where I ought to be at this age (answer: there’s no ‘time’ for anything, we’re all on our own journeys) to if I’m planning enough for life post-work.
It took about an hour for me to shake off the sombre moment, but weeks after, one of the questions is still bugging me: is it time for me to start prepping for retirement? If so, what sort of plan should I be looking into?
After some research, I found that yes, at almost 30, I should have at least a retirement plan. It should consist of a diversified investment portfolio of no less than 20 stocks. I also learned that to mitigate risk, I should consider investing in index funds, which already have a collection of stocks in them and are diversified by default.
Upon further research of how people around my age are setting up their retirement funds, I discovered that more millennials and Gen-Zs are increasingly including cryptocurrencies in their investment portfolios. (Which, I guess should not have surprised me as much as it did because a few weeks ago, someone I spoke to mentioned that he has a crypto retirement fund, and another Breach interviewee, around my age, said he is building a crypto-based trust fund for his children).
I wanted to know: Considering that crypto is relatively new, is it a good idea to hold on to it as long as I would need to for a retirement fund? Should I follow in the steps of my fellow almost-30s?
To get some answers to my questions, I hopped on a call with Manasseh Egedegbe, the Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer at Kudy Financials, and crypto enthusiast who has been actively investing in crypto since 2016.
Egedegbe explained that his advice on when and how to add crypto to your retirement portfolio has dependencies like age and risk tolerance. For instance, he wouldn’t advise a person in their 60s the same way he would someone in their 20s.
He said there is a spectrum for investment risk level, “on the low-risk end we have [things like] government bonds, treasury bills; and at the extreme end we have crypto, so your exposure has to be carefully matched to your risk profile”. Your risk profile depends on your age, job, your spending needs and money goals.
“For people who are middle-aged [that’s averagely 40–60 year-olds], they are close to their maximum earning capacity and should, at least in theory, already have a [comfortable] retirement portfolio”. At that age, Egedegbe advises investing a little of your portfolio “maybe 5–10% in crypto”, depending on your risk appetite. This is where your money manager can help.
For people who are just at the start of their careers or fresh out of university, he believes they can be more flexible with crypto because they can “afford to take a lot of risks. They can lose everything, gain it back in due time and still have time to learn along the way”. This, he says, is because though crypto is currently in its early stages, it is going to “run a lot of things” in the future, and he believes the financial incentives will expand, so those who invested early will most likely reap the long-term benefits.
However, Egedegbe warns that crypto is still largely unregulated, so people who choose to invest in it should be careful. “There are a lot of bad faith actors that are out to make money off you, so if you don’t do your due diligence, you could easily [get swindled]”. To decide how to invest, he says he researches projects and companies that spark his interest.
Firstly, he is wary of any crypto assets or coins that are built by a person or group who choose to stay anonymous. Where there are faces to the projects, he researches the people and looks out for the kind of vision they have for the project — a tip Nnamdi, an investor I spoke to a few weeks ago, also shared.
Egedegbe also follows the projects’ Twitter, and Discord channels, and looks at the way they interact with people they’re asking to bring money. “Do they care about them, or do they just want their money?”. Only after getting satisfactory results does he commit to any crypto project.
Speaking to Egedegbe confirmed that I definitely need to start taking my retirement fund seriously. And knowing more about my risk profile, I can confidently say that while people my age (hi almost-30s!) still have time to play around with crypto, it is not a bad idea to also have some less risky investments in our retirement reserves.