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Investors of all ages should be looking to add cryptocurrency to their portfolios, according to some financial advisors.
“Four years ago, maybe 1 in 10 clients and prospects were coming in the door wanting to learn more about digital assets and cryptocurrency,” said certified financial planner Douglas Boneparth, president of Bone Fide Wealth in New York, a firm that works mostly with millennials. “Today, in just four years’ time, I think it’s closer to 50%.”
There’s still a ton of education that needs to be done for the other 50%, said Boneparth, a member of CNBC’s Advisor Council, during the CNBC Financial Advisor Summit on Wednesday.
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Ivory Johnson’s clients tend to be a little bit older but are also picking up on cryptocurrency, said the CFP and founder of Delancey Wealth Management.
“Anytime you have a 65-year-old man from Long Island calling you up and talking to you about ripple, what that tells you is they are having those conversations with their friends,” said Johnson, who is also a member of the CNBC Advisor Council.
If you’ve made a killing
If you’re curious about getting into cryptocurrency, an advisor can help you find the right balance in your portfolio. Some may also be able to help you buy coins or invest in other products with exposure, such as a bitcoin trust or exchange-traded fund.
It’s also useful to work with an advisor if you already own cryptocurrency, especially if you’ve made a lot of money in the asset.
“The things we do as financial planners and financial advisors for our clients don’t change because a new asset class has emerged and now has demand around it,” said Boneparth. “You still have to stick to the very things that help your clients get to the goals that they have for themselves.”
With a client or potential client who’s made a lot of money on crypto, Boneparth likes to encourage them to use the earnings to execute on big goals they have. That might be buying a house or paying off debt, he said.
For other clients, it’s important to see cryptocurrencies as a long-term investment, said Johnson.
“Obviously the more volatile an asset class, the longer the time frame you want,” he said, adding that many stocks in the S&P 500 are just as volatile as bitcoin.
To be sure, cryptocurrencies are very volatile, which can be a barrier for both advisors and investors.
“I’m not surprised that advisors see it as risky,” said Johnson. “It is eight times as volatile as the S&P 500.”
Still, advisors should be educated in the asset so that they can have conversations with clients who are interested, he said.
“This is just a function of staying relevant, whether you’re putting it into a portfolio or not, I think it’s doing a disservice to your clients if you’re not educated,” said Johnson.
Boneparth agrees. “If you’re interested in growing your practice in the next 10 years to 20 years and you’re not educating yourself even if you don’t agree, you’re probably going to find yourself struggling to grow,” he said.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.