Instead of hypothetically tracking cryptos, I made an actual $1000 investment, $100 in each of the Top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap as of the 1st of January 2019. Think of it as a lazy man's Index Fund (no weighting or rebalancing), less technical, more fun (for me at least), and hopefully still a proxy for the market as a whole - or at the very least an interesting snapshot of the 2019 crypto space. Trying to keep it simple and accessible for beginners and those looking to get into crypto but maybe not quite ready to jump in yet.
Buy $100 of each the Top 10 cryptocurrencies on January 1st, 2019. Run the experiment two years. Hold only. No selling. No trading. Report monthly. Compare loosely to the 2018 Top Ten Experiment.
Month Two - Up 4%
Here's a first: the end of February is the first/only time since I started these experiments back in January 2018 that either Top Ten crypto portfolio has ended the month gaining overall. Up 4% might not sound impressive, but the 2019 Top Ten were down -9% at the end of January. A +13% swing is not bad at all. For context, my high point with the 2018 Top Ten portfolio came at the end of January 2018 when I was down -20%. It only got worse from there and currently stands at -86%.
On the downside, Tron's -10% dive prevented a full green month for our Top Ten cryptos, but I suppose it had only one direction to go after finishing January up +35%.
Like January, February saw a ton of movement with 8 out of the 10 cryptos changing positions. Nothing too dramatic though, with all cryptos ticking up or down only one slot, with the exception of Litecoin which advanced two spots from #7 to #5. Bitcoin SV fell from #10 to #11, making it the first crypto to fall from the Top Ten.
February Winners - EOS easily outperformed its Top Ten counterparts, up +51% in February. Second for the second straight month is Litecoin up about +42% on the month. Huge months for both cryptos
February Losers - After winning January Tron came back down to earth, losing around -10% of its value in February.
For those keeping score, here is tally of which coins have the most monthly wins and loses during the first 2 months of this experiment. EOS and Tron both have one victory each. Tron and Bitcoin SV each have one loss each.
Overall update – Litecoin takes a convincing lead, BTCSV has a rough start.
Litecoin is easily having the best start to the year, up +50%. EOS is in second place as of the end of February, up +35%. On the other hand, Bitcoin SV and Stellar are both off to a slow start, down -29% and -26% respectively since January 1st, 2019.
Total Market Cap for the entire cryptocurrency sector:
We saw a rebound in the total market in February. The total market cap rebounded about +14% month to month and is +2% on the year.
Right back where it was at the beginning of the year.
Overall return on investment from January 1st, 2019:
If I cashed out today, my $1000 initial investment would return...wait for it...MORE than $1000! $1043 actually, about a 4% gain.
February represents a milestone for these experiments: it was the first month since I started that a Top Ten Index Fund style investment in crypto gained in value.
Another difference from last year's Top Ten: for the second month in a row, the 2019 Top Ten Experiment's focus of solely holding the Top Ten was a winning strategy. In fact, the 2019 Top Ten returned more than double what the entire market gained in February. This is a stark departure from last year: at no point in the Top Ten 2018 Experiment did this investment strategy work. The initial 2018 Top Ten under-performed every single month compared to the market overall last year.
I'm also tracking the S&P 500 as part of my experiment to have a comparison point with other popular investments options. After a pretty significant December dip, the stock market rebounded nicely in 2019. Had I redirected my $1000 investment to the S&P 500, I would have been up about +$110, compared to the +$43 in crypto.
For the first time in 14 months of reporting, I'm in month-end positive territory with the 2019 Top Ten. Of course it's helpful that crypto values were low at the beginning of 2019. Are we at a turning point or will they go lower still? In the meantime, I'll be satisfied with a positive monthly report and hope for more in the coming year.
If you're just finding this experiment now, here's the backstory: On the 1st of January, 2018, I bought $100 each of the Top Ten cryptos at the time for a total investment of $1000 to see how they would perform over the year. I tracked the experiment and reported each month. The result? I ended the year down 85%, my $1000 worth only $150.
After last year's experiment ended, I decided to do two things:
- Extend the Top Ten 2018 Crypto project one more year. The experiment is now in its 14th month. You can check it out the latest update here.
- I have also started this parallel project: on January 1st, 2019, I repeated the experiment, purchasing another $1000 ($100 each) into the new Top Ten cryptos as of January 1st, 2019.
Thanks for reading and the support for 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.