School Bus Jenga. Plus Bitcoin.

I had never heard of School Bus Jenga.

My daughter explained it to me this winter. When her teammates and she travel on a school bus to Nordic ski meets, they start a game of Jenga on the floor, in the aisle, stacking the little blocks, hoping not to be the person that triggers a fall. The bus bouncing and turning adds a significant unknown to the game. Potentially random, if you believe in randomness.

Whether or not a school bus is involved, Jenga provokes anxiety because you know what's coming. You know what, but not when.

Stock market participants don't know what, and they don't know when. Many participants perceive that they know one or both, but the reality is the school bus could hit a pothole at any moment. It's the perception of control that changes. The uncertainty remains.

With the Covid stock market plunge fading from memory, anxiety has receded as people perceive the future to be more predictable. It's not, but mapping the recent past onto the recent future is a common, and large, investment mistake.


I feel compelled to talk about crypto.

Charlie Munger's description of crypto as "rat poison squared" remains memorable, but it has had little effect on coin prices. Regardless, let's go over a few things we've learned:

- Economically, Bitcoin and inflation seem to want to be related.

- Socially, if anyone questions you as to the value of Bitcoin, you bring up the blockchain and pretend you know something about software and distributed systems. When the price of Bitcoin plunges, the value is in the 'chain!

- Educationally, you might feel curious about the blockchain. When you read the foundational paper on Bitcoin, you realize this is complex stuff and wonder how anyone whose body mass is less than 70% Red Bull can understand it.

- Politically, the Swiss may be miffed that they have stable currency competition. Especially when the "stable value" argument of Bitcoin's resume seems shaky, unless you consider 30% daily swings stable.

- Linguistically, a language that celebrates misspellings is sprouting. HOLDR? BUIDL?

- Environmentally, it appears we will bake the planet mining the last remaining million blocks of the Bitcoin ledger.

- Finally, you can now create a new coin type in under 10 minutes.1

This is fascinating on so many levels! As you can see above, it's a financial movement wrapped in a cultural one. Let's look at the basic scenarios:

Outside of the criminal underground, the usage argument of crypto is pretty weak. At least in America, it's hard to argue with the liquidity, availably, and acceptability of U.S dollars.

The inflation argument is next. There is logic in owning real assets if the currency depreciates, though an entry in a distributed ledger being considered "real" might be a stretch, particularly one that has a habit of disappearing.2

This leaves the gambling argument. That's hard to contest with Vegas shut down.

Dan Cunningham

1. Tools now exist to create a new coin in minutes, where the naming and promotion are the differentiators. More...
2. Roughly 20% of Bitcoin is lost forever due to passwords being lost or chains broken. There is irony here: if Bitcoin were valued like a business, it would produce something for its owners, and a password would not be needed. But value by Bitcoin owners is measured in U.S. dollars (Bitcoin is almost always quoted in dollars), and they perceive loss when they cannot convert back to U.S. dollars. Dollars, and businesses, do not need to be converted to anything to be valuable. More...

Return to Articles
How We Are Different
Low-fee index funds. Transparent & fiduciary financial advisors.
Local Financial Advisor
We are in your community. We are local.
Investment Management
We tailor to each client. Index funds at the core.
Index Funds
Broad market exposure, low expense.
Dan's Corner
Meaningful musings from our founder.
Fiduciary
Your best interests are our priority.
Low Fees
Our fees are among the lowest in the nation.
Financial Planner
Financial advisor optimizes your financial picture.
U.S. Treasury Bonds
Use Treasury Bonds to reduce risk.
Book Recommendations
Here are some of our favorites.
Inflation
What is inflation, and what cuases inflation.
When Should I Invest?
Life transitions = important financial decisions.
Retirement: 401k and More
Retiring? Plan the future you want.
IRA Rollovers
401k Rollovers. IRA Rollovers
Active vs. Passive Investing
We believe there is a winner in this debate.
The Investment Process
How we work: low-cost index funds, personalized attention.
Simplicity
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Investing: What to Focus On
Low-fee index funds. fee-only advisor.
Switching Financial Advisors
Can be uncomfortable, but an important step.
Advisor Recruiting
We attract top-tier talent. Not your usual firm.
Basic Investing
Let's start with Investing 101.
Understanding Your Financial Statement
Let's break it down to basics.
Taxes on Investments
What causes taxes within your investments?
Behavioral Economics
The less emotion, the better.
Timing the Market in 2020
2020 - a case study in the futility of market timing.
How Financial Firms Bill
Fee-based vs. fee-only, and lots more.
Who Supports Indexing?
Bogle, Swensen, Buffett, and others.
Transparency
One click to see our fees.
Mutual Funds vs ETFs
Clarifying the difference.
Does Stock Picking Work?
The research says no.
Countering Arguments Against Index Funds
What happens in a down market?
Annuities
Lots of fees, little clarity.
How Do Mutual Funds Work?
Invest in the basket.
How to Relieve Financial Stress
New client? anxiety is normal.
Financial Terms Glossary
Common investment terms you should know.
Firm Comparison
One Day In July vs the competition.
Retired Investing
Retiring? Let us help.
Accounts We Manage
We manage a wide range of investment account types.
High Net Worth Investors
Preserve and grow your wealth.
Investing an Inheritance
Prioritizing and planning for the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Good questions, real answers.
Female Investors
Your voice needs to be heard. We are listening.
For the Business Owner
Choosing what's best for your business.
Environmental Investing
Carbon intensity, fossil fuels.

Locations

Vermont

Connecticut

United States

Services

Individuals

401k Plans

Institutions

Environmental

Account Types

Differentiators

Cash Flows

Low Fees

Fiduciary

Dedicated Advisor

Materials

Advisors: Join Us

Careers

Articles on Investing

About the Secure Act

Quarterly Booklets

Resources

Vermont Investment Management

Vermont Retirement Planning

Vermont Wealth Management

Vermont Financial Advisors

Investment Tools

In the Media

Shelburne, VT Financial Advisor

Frank Koster | Josh Kruk | Keith McCarthy

5247 Shelburne Rd, Suite #101

Shelburne, VT 05482

(802) 777-9768

Stowe, VT Finanical Advisor

Available for meetings in Stowe.

Peter Egolf

(802) 999-2321

Burlington, VT Financial Advisor

Hans Smith | Katie Muttitt

Nancy Westbrook | Peter Egolf

77 College Street #3A

Burlington, VT 05401

(802) 503-8280

Darien, CT Financial Advisor

Available for meetings in Darien.

Keith McCarthy

(203) 554-9466


v 2.1.4 | © One Day In July LLC. All Rights Reserved.