Boris Schlossberg of BK Asset Management has joined the cadre of investment advisors who see bitcoin as a way for investors to hedge their bets against market uncertainty. Schlossberg, according to CNBC, sees bitcoin as an addition to an investment portfolio in the wake of political uncertainty.
CNBC’s “Trading Nation” explored ways for investors to hedge against growing political uncertainty following Wednesday’s big equities selloff. Stocks traded slightly higher on Thursday following the market's biggest sell day of the year.
Investors are also being advised to look to international markets.
Bitcoin The New Gold
Schlossberg sees parallels between bitcoin and gold, and he noted that bitcoin is being called the “new gold,” due to its ability to retain value over time.
He noted that bitcoin is holding steady following its 92% rally this year. Speaking Wednesday on “Trading Nation,” Schlossberg said the cryptocurrency is holding at steady highs, and that when there is a big move for any type of instrument, there is usually some continuation.
Bitcoin is clearly signaling more demand, Schlossberg observed. He favors it as a hedge play moving forward.
Advisors Bullish On Bitcoin
Schlossberg is one of several investment advisors and investors who is bullish on bitcoin.
Thom Lachenmann and Parke Shall, advisors at Orange Peel Investments, have invested in bitcoin and suggest investors take a small position in the asset for the long term.
Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz has said that he is holding ten percent of his net worth in digital currencies such as bitcoin and Ether.
Charlie Morris, the investment director of the Fleet Street Letter, noted following last year's bitcoin halving that he is buying the cryptocurrency because he sees it as a cheap stock with an opportunity to grow in value.
Needham & Co. LLC, a New York City-based investment firm, has been covering the Bitcoin Investment Trust, and last year gave it a “buy” rating. The investment company believes the price of the cryptocurrency stands to benefit substantially from rising demand for its two main use cases: as an alternative payments channel and as a “digital gold.” The growing demand is driven by market trends such as expanding ecommerce, globalization, and by the pervasiveness of enabling technology like mobile phones.
Many attribute bitcoin's recent gains as a sign of its improved acceptance as a currency, despite the recent rejection by the Securities and Exchange Commission of a proposed bitcoin exchange traded fund.
Another Option: Global Stocks
Mark Tepper, president of Strategic Wealth Partners, points to investments outside the U.S. as a way to find refuge from domestic conditions, according to CNBC. The political risk is shifting toward the U.S., he said.
Global growth, Tepper noted, is much stronger than domestic growth. Globally-oriented companies on the S&P 500 are getting at least 50% of their revenues from overseas. These stocks are “completely crushing" domestically-focused companies in the current earning season.
Tepper said most investors are overly weighted in U.S. stocks since these stocks have outperformed international markets for years. However, he sees a change coming, making him confident that investing abroad makes sense, even as first quarter earnings have been strong for U.S. firms.
Geopolitical risk has faded following South Korean and French elections, he said, which bodes well for foreign markets.
iShares MSCI EAFE ETF, an exchange traded fund that tracks large- and mid-cap equities in developed oversea markets, has gained 13% for the year, Tepper said. The S&P 500, by contrast, has advanced under 6%.
The MSCI Asia Pacific index rose 20% year to date, while Taiwan’s benchmark index rose 22% and European markets have outperformed the S&P 500.
Emerging markets have also rallied. EEM, an ETF that tracks these markets, has gained 15% this year. The fund did drop 2% Thursday when Brazilian equities fell on account of political concerns in the country.
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