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Crypto Personalities

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2 min
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Ashley works with clients to bring strategy, structure, clarity and confidence to their global financial lives and keep it that way. ​In 2013, Ashley founded Arete Wealth Strategists, a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm for Australian/American expatriates.
May 17, 2022

If you haven’t been reading the headlines, then you’re seeing it here first: cryptocurrency investments have been a disaster this year.  Last April, the price of a single Bitcoin surpassed $63,000.  Now the price is around $29,000—a loss of roughly 65% in 13 months.  This kind of volatility on the upside (Bitcoins have risen thousands of percent since their introduction in 2009) and the downside (see recent performance) has been part of the crypto journey from the start.  So you have to ask yourself, what kind of person signs on for such a bumpy investment experience?

A trio of researchers, whose results are published in Social Psychology, decided to find out.  They gave 566 people personality survey tests and also asked them about their attitudes to crypto and whether or not they invested in it or planned to.  26% of their sample currently own crypto and 64% showed interest in crypto investing.

The results?  The researchers found that narcissists—who tend to be self-centered and experience feelings of privilege and predominance over others—tend to like crypto because they are confident that their decisions are better than the decisions of others.  Psychopaths—who lack emotional empathy—were also attracted to crypto investment opportunities because they fear missing out on investment rewards that others are experiencing, and they have a tendency toward recklessness.  People with Machiavellian tendencies—who are good at deception and interpersonal manipulation—strongly believe in government conspiracies, and like crypto because they think that politicians and government agencies—who control the dollar and other fiat currencies—are inherently corrupt.

The bottom line of the research might be summarized as ‘nice people don’t invest in Bitcoin or other crypto coins.’  That may be an overstatement, but it also might help explain why some people seem to enjoy walking an investment tightrope while others prefer a little less excitement in their portfolios.

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