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Money

The Unconventional Way To Make Money Through Twitter

Twitter Affiliate Marketing

Photo by Drew Dau on Unsplash

Affiliate marketing is often seen as the underworld of marketing.

This unusual form of marketing involves selling products or services you don’t fulfill in return for a commission ranging between 20%–50% of the sale price. I was a non-believer of affiliate marketing for a long time. Why?

  • Affiliate marketing feels dirty.
  • Instagramers use affiliate links and so all their photos become silent ads.
  • Affiliate links are often not disclosed. Dishonest.
  • Websites that show up high in google are often good at SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and pretend to be the provider of the goods/service. Many of these sites are simply built to sell affiliate products. The lack of transparency cuts deep.

It’s great to be open-minded and challenge your dislikes. Recently, affiliate marketing and I have come back from a prolonged divorce and fallen in love again. The unconventional approach I’m about to share is the reason why.

The Kickass Guide to Honest Affiliate Marketing

1. Take a course or read a book

Selling other people’s products you’ve actually used reinvents the old broken model of affiliate marketing. The easiest to sell are educational products like books or courses. Read the book or take the course before deciding to become an affiliate seller.

2. If the product is good then affiliate it

The biggest mistake people make is they sell stuff they’ve never used. The second biggest mistake is they sell products that gave them mediocre results. If you buy a product and it sucks, then don’t become an affiliate for it. Nope.

Find another product that is amazing and affiliate that instead. Approach the owner of the product via email and ask if you can be an affiliate.

3. The bizarre strategy most people have no idea about

Twitter is where I found a new approach to affiliate marketing.

Most people who try affiliate marketing simply plonk links all over the internet and pray. Social media platforms don’t reward you for taking their users and sending them to your deliciously lucrative affiliate links. You’ve got to be smarter than that.

Here’s how it works:

  • Write down the lessons from the book or online course you purchased.
  • Turn the lessons into a Twitter Thread. Each tweet is a succinct lesson from the product that sounds like a blog post, not a sales cringefest.
  • Make the last tweet an affiliate link to the product and explain that’s where you learned all these insights from.

Here’s an example of a Twitter Thread by writer Nicolas Cole with a digital product for sale in the last tweet.

Screenshots via Nicolas Cole’s Twitter

4. Honest affiliate products to sell are found here

Nearly all affiliate products sold on Twitter are found on Gumroad.

Gumroad is a simple platform for creators to sell their digital products without the need for a website and payment system. Gumroad created this new trend in affiliate marketing. They created an entirely different category by focusing on products users of Twitter could sell through tweets.

Why This Works

Old forms of affiliate marketing relied solely on testimonials. Dishonest schmucks would email their friends and get them to write fake testimonials. Or they’d pay money to well-known people in return for a fake testimonial.

This approach is different. Using Twitter Threads to explain lessons and teach people what you learned from an educational product demonstrates real learning and live social proof. You can’t fake a good Twitter Thread with hundreds of likes and retweets.

Sell your own products using this technique

Every now and then I publish a tweet thread about writing. Instead of using an affiliate link, I simply place a link in the last tweet to my website where my eBook can be purchased for $20.

There’s zero set up required if you sell products already. The trick is to do it sparingly and only on your tweets that perform better than the average one you publish.

Overuse of placing links in tweets destroys many writer’s dreams by pissing their audience off who then unfollow.

Twitter Threads combined with Gumroad have revived the seedy underworld of affiliate marketing and turned it into something beautiful.

Buy a book/course. Choose one you loved. Contact the owner. Become an affiliate. Post what you learned as a Twitter Thread. Make the last tweet an affiliate link to the product. Then make another income stream that helps you earn money, so you can live with less stress and buy back your time.

Buy a book/course. Choose one you loved. Contact the owner. Become an affiliate. Post what you learned as a Twitter Thread. Make the last tweet an affiliate link to the product. Then make another income stream that helps you earn money, so you can live with less stress and buy back your time.

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Money

Eight Smart Ways to Prepare for the next Bitcoin and Ethereum Supercycle

Bitcoin and Ethereum

Image Credit: Pixabay


Bitcoin and Ethereum took the beating of a lifetime in 2021.

There has been a big pump in price earlier in the year, followed by the Elon dump that some say he did as a form of billionaire fun. The markets for cryptocurrencies led by Bitcoin and Ethereum are slowly rebuilding. A strong foundation in price and new users joining both networks is forming.

If the network effects of both cryptocurrencies continue as public data suggests, then a new supercycle is imminent. NFT gaming is helping to change paradigms in an industry that was thought to be years away from the effects of blockchain that is already reshaping finance, social media/news, and collectibles.

Axie Infinity is the most talked-about blockchain gaming project right now. It’s like the Pokemon game but better, except this time it has its own economy and creates real-world jobs for humans.

I’m bloody excited. This is 1996 all over again — right before the internet changed everything and forced my dad’s fax machine into the dumpster.

With inflation in many countries going well beyond the 2% governments promised, alternative investments are a must to retain purchasing power and protect the time you give up to earn money. Bitcoin and Ethereum are forming part of investment portfolios for average people, hedge funds, retirement funds, and even large businesses.

Here’s how to prepare for the next supercycle in cryptocurrencies led by Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Understand history to understand the bright future

Understand the history behind Bitcoin and Ethereum so you understand where things are heading. A must-read book is the Bitcoin standard. It explains many of the key concepts you’ll need for the next megacycle.

I see so many crypto critics who clearly have no idea what they’re talking about because they don’t understand why Bitcoin exists. Let me simplify.

Bitcoin was created after the 2008 recession as a solution to governments that create enormous amounts of money out of nowhere and give it to rich folks, who then invest it back into the stock market and push prices sky-high (see current stock market prices as evidence).

Ethereum was created to turn blockchain into a decentralized layer that enforces trust. Originally that was through smart contracts. Now Ethereum has hundreds of use cases and replaces most of the internet, including “the cloud.”

Why?

Big tech companies that dominated the last two decades of internet growth got greedy. They used our data and exploited it for their gains. The users (us) no longer own the internet. Companies and people can be literally switched off by a dude in a bro t-shirt working for a tech giant (or Zucks).

Ethereum provides a democratic layer of trust where consensus must be reached before a big change can be implemented. Each blockchain has its own rules. You can move from one to the other based on your needs and what you believe.

You can’t vote for your rights with big tech because they don’t let you keep your data. And they decide your fate, which is governed by their vigilante laws, not real laws we vote for.

Ethereum brings democracy back to the internet.

Take a long, hard look at smaller projects

Bitcoin and Ethereum will lead this next supercycle. Why? They have the most amount of usage, attract the most number of users, have the highest prices, and are adopted by well-established giants such as PayPal and Visa.

They’re not the only two cryptocurrencies that will see enormous success. A rising tide lifts all boats. Smaller blockchain projects will do well too. In fact, based on the last supercycle, smaller projects may outperform Bitcoin and Ethereum. The problem is risk. There’s no such thing as easy money.

What I’m preparing to do is put tiny investments into smaller projects. My criteria is as follows:

  • What problem does the project solve?
  • Who’s on the team?
  • What investors are on board?
  • How many customers do they have so far?
  • Does the technology work?
  • What do their customers say?
  • Can they be easily copied by a better, faster, sexier project?
  • Do well-known exchanges — Coinbase, Crypto dot com, Gemini — sell their cryptocurrency, or is it only shady platforms that are known to be dodgy?

Once I have my final shortlist of between 10–20 projects, I am going to invest $1000 or less into each one.

In the last supercycle, many of the smaller projects did between a 10X and 100X growth in price. Diversification, risk management, and small investments are key to taking advantage of this approach. But if you’re not already invested in Bitcoin and Ethereum, then you may want to look at them first before considering riskier projects that have less chance of success.

Save some cash

Cash is trash, yes. But cash helps you invest at discount prices.

Compared to where prices of major cryptocurrencies were a few months ago, there are still plenty of bargains. Saving money in preparation for the next supercycle helps you participate in the action if you choose. Otherwise, you end up doing what many investors do: borrowing money to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Investing in crypto already carries risk. Borrowing money to invest in crypto is like throwing $100 bills at the roulette table and then walking away. Taking on debt causes you to spend money you don’t have. If a sudden dip in prices happens again — because Elon (or another huge influencer) crashes the price — you could be left to foot the bill.

Stay away from debt aka leverage. Use savings to invest.

Decide what risks you’re willing to take

Some of us are comfortable taking more risks than others.

For example, when Bitcoin and Ethereum dropped by more than 50% in price multiple times, I didn’t blink an eye. That’s because my risk tolerance has adjusted to crypto markets. You can’t have 200% year-over-year gains in an investment like Bitcoin or Ethereum without enormous volatility.

Volatility equals growth.

My risk tolerance is still lower than most. I know people who have all their money invested in cryptocurrencies. I’d never go that far because it’s not part of my investment principles.

To prepare for this next cryptocurrency supercycle, you have to decide what risks you are or aren’t willing to take. Here are some questions to guide you:

  • How much money can I invest without being stupid or risking everything?
  • How much money can I afford to lose if a black swan event occurs and prices plummet?
  • How much can I afford to lose if I misplace my digital wallet that stores all of my cryptocurrencies?

Have solid rules around risk. Whatever you do, don’t break them — otherwise, you risk going from being an educated investor to a straight-out gambler.

Research future trends

Former Goldman Sachs investment banker and the CEO of popular finance education provider Real Vision, Raoul Pal, thinks community tokens will be the next trend in blockchain. This is where companies create their own currencies like what Facebook is doing with their cryptocurrency project Diem.

Then there are trends like aggregators. Spotify aggregated music. Youtube aggregated user-recorded videos. TikTok aggregated people dancing to music. Apple aggregated the place we buy apps. Amazon aggregated books.

The first decent blockchain aggregator is in the gaming space. Yield Games Guild (YGG) is looking to aggregate NFT games.

Then there’s the trend of decentralized social media. Right now we still predominately use traditional platforms like Facebook and Instagram to connect with our friends and stay in contact.

What will replace Zucks?

That’s a question worth researching. Research helps you learn what to invest in during the next supercycle, and what platforms to join so you can replace your crappy centralized Web 2.0 apps.

Let’s replace Zucks with zero f*cks given.

Here are some killer resources to help you research:

Choose your news outlets wisely

Many news channels that report on Bitcoin and Ethereum are biased.

Why? They seek to pump and dump the price to support their investments. We’ve even had certain news channels promote cryptocurrencies in return for payment. This behavior has existed on Wall Street for years and is now in cryptocurrency too.

I get my crypto news from Ivan On Tech, Twitter personalities like Michael Saylor and the Winklevoss Twins, and BitBoy Crypto on Youtube.

Explore the options and choose your news sources. Beware of clickbait. Look at the owners of the news channels to see if they have any hidden biases. Look for kind acts, such as what Ben Armstrong of BitBoy Crypto did by forgiving a loan he made to a friend who accidentally went from being an investor to a gambler.

Dare to take a crypto course

This one is on my list for the next supercycle. Blockchain and cryptocurrency have many complicated concepts to get your head around — yield farming, staking, Eth 2.0, Proof of Work, etc. I’m still learning how to use particular features of an iPhone, so I’m hardly a tech genius.

Investing in a Web 3.0 education is how you take advantage of the opportunities that will come from this next wave of the internet.

The bizarre thing you can do before the next supercycle

Many people don’t know you can actually get a Web 3.0 job. Moralis, for example, are hiring loads of people to build the future of tech. The Pomp Crypto Job Board is another place you can find Web 3.0 jobs.

Being in Web 3.0 every day will give you an economic advantage over those who wait until later in the supercycle to finally join the adoption. And those who continue to say crypto is a scam will fall on their own sword, the same way critics of electricity and grandpas who refused to give up their fax machines for emails did.

Get paid to learn Web 3.0 for free as part of your day job to prepare for the next supercycle.

Final Thought

I can’t wait for the next supercycle of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Owning our data, having a democratic say in the tech we use, freedom of speech, and earning money that can’t be created out of thin air are all problems that need to be solved for society to continue to prosper.

The Web 3.0 revolution led by Bitcoin and Ethereum will change the internet as we know it. Start preparing by opening up your mind to a world of possibilities and making a few small investments in blockchain, based on your research and risk tolerance.

If you have no idea about blockchain then start with the safer options: Bitcoin and Ethereum. History shows you’ll be on the right side of the revolution if you do.


This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax, or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.

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Money

We Learned Why Elon Musk Said Bad Things About Bitcoin and Crashed the Price

Elon Musk Ethereum

Image Crdit: Credit: James Duncan Davidson Creative Commons


Bitcoin’s price fell off a cliff, and it left many people confused.

The price massacre took place at the same time Elon announced that Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin as payment for their electric cars, because they viewed the electricity needed to keep the network running as bad for the environment.

The Bitcoin community went hostile.

They got together at the Bitcoin conference in Miami and screamed “F*** Elon.” (Perhaps the most cringeworthy thing I’ve ever seen.) Investors got mad at Bitcoin. When you lose money it’s easy to blame someone else. Elon and his billions of dollars are an easy target.

Elon’s actions clearly had an effect on Bitcoin. We only just found out the whole other side of the story.


The Badass Woman of the Investment World

There are too many men in finance.

Cathie Woods came along with her firm Ark Invest and made traditional gatekeepers in finance look like uneducated Romans from another century. She understood that working out the value of a company has changed.

A lot of tech companies like Uber appear to lose money and have poor fundamentals. This is true in the traditional sense. But Cathie came along and invested her firm’s money differently. Cathie believes you value a company based on network effects — in other words, how many new users are coming to a business and staying. Everyone told her she was nuts. Then the money she earned her investors took everybody’s breath away.

Cathie loves Bitcoin.

She is one of the few people who has met the core developers that build and decide the project’s future. Elon’s comments about Bitcoin’s energy usage being bad for the environment deeply upset Cathie. Thankfully, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey also became disappointed by the misinformation presented by Elon. Jack and Cathie got together to put on a recent conference to share their thoughts with Elon.

*Turns on Youtube to see Elon wearing a Bitcoin t-shirt*

What Elon Loves About Bitcoin

  • “Bitcoin is mostly solving for the scarcity problem.”

Translation: creating US dollars out of thin air will not work forever. We need a scarce asset that stores value.

  • “Solving for no-throat-to-choke … decentralization.”

Translation: Big Tech isn’t the future. Having Zuckerberg control our newsfeeds to sell ads is bad. Users need to own the tech they use and their privacy/data.

  • “Has an open ledger which is quite good.”

Translation: Conventional finance uses cash. Cash is hard to trace and funds the majority of the illegal activity, according to a report done by Kathryn Haun who prosecuted the Silk Road crypto scandal.

The downsides of Bitcoin according to Elon

  • The transaction volume is low.
  • Transaction costs are high.
  • Usability for the average person isn’t high.

Translation: Bitcoin doesn’t do everything and the lightning network that sits on top of Bitcoin will help resolve these bugs. Tech has bugs. We get it.

Look What He Does, Not What He Says

In general, I am a supporter of Bitcoin and the idea of cryptocurrency.

I am not an investor.

Wait for it …

The three things I own outside of SpaceX and Tesla of any significance are Bitcoin by far, and then some Ethereum and some Doge.

*Does evil laugh in front of every Bitcoiner*

If the price of Bitcoin goes down, I lose money.

I might pump but I don’t dump…haha. I definitely do not believe in selling [Bitcoin]. I would like to see Bitcoin succeed.

I’ve spent three months reading articles and watching bullsh*t videos about how Bitcoin is dead because Elon says so. The whole time it was a hoax. Why?

Let me tell you. Elon and his buddies got to buy Bitcoin at 50% off. He’s not even pretending anymore. He happily jokes about his Twitter account being able to pump and dump the price of financial assets.

What Daddy Doge Says About Bitcoin Versus Doge

*Elon giggles like a school girl every time the word doge is said*

Elon explains what Doge is. He says it has great memes and the community loves dogs and doesn’t take itself too seriously. That’s about all he has to say about Doge until he contemplates why it might be the eventual winner in cryptocurrency.

The simplest answer is the most likely one. A friend of mine came up with a variant that the most ironic outcome is the most likely one. Then I have a variant on that which is the most entertaining outcome is the most likely one.

If that is true then the most ironic and entertaining outcome would be that the cryptocurrency [Doge] that was started as a joke to make fun of cryptocurrencies ends up being the leading cryptocurrency.

*Elon does another evil laugh and looks at Jack Dorsey who switches topic to Bitcoin*

Translation: Doge is a joke. Bitcoin is serious.

Elon explains why he didn’t crash the Bitcoin price

Pay close attention to what Elon says.

From when Tesla announced it started to acquire Bitcoin and was doing Bitcoin transactions, there was a massive run up in the Bitcoin price. And also a massive increase in the amount of energy used to mine Bitcoin. There was just no way you could double or triple the amount of energy with renewables.

So I was like this is too sketchy. Tesla’s mission is accelerating the advent of sustainable energy. We can’t be the company that does that and also not do appropriate diligence on the energy usage of Bitcoin.

All I did is I said we’re going to suspend Bitcoin transactions for now. We’re not selling any Bitcoin. Nor am I selling anything personally. Nor is SpaceX/Tesla selling any Bitcoin.

Clearly these actions affect me financially. If I was clearly financially motivated then I wouldn’t express this reticence about Bitcoin energy usage.

Did Elon really not check Bitcoin’s energy usage before buying billions of dollars?

Come on. Of course Elon knew where the energy used to mine Bitcoin comes from. It’s not exactly a secret. Thanks to the China bans on Bitcoin mining, it has actually fast-tracked more energy to come from renewable sources.

Elon then goes on to drop another bomb that sounded rehearsed.

There appears to be a positive trend in the energy use of Bitcoin.

I want to do a bit more diligence to confirm the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50% … then if so, Tesla will resume accepting Bitcoin. I think we just want to do more diligence.

Elon spends a lot of the interview explaining how much he knows about Bitcoin and renewable energy, yet somehow his research failed him and caused him to make a terrible decision.

Tesla will soon begin accepting Bitcoin again for payment. I expect the price to slowly trend back towards where it was as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs continue to make major announcements supporting Bitcoin and exposing it to their clients.

The real story will come when we get to see how much Bitcoin Elon or his companies may or may not have bought during the drop in price.

*Price of Bitcoin goes up right after the interview*

Bottom Line

So Elon loves Bitcoin. He understands Bitcoin in intimate detail. He owns a large amount of Bitcoin both personally and through his companies.

He’s aware his tweets move the price of stocks and Bitcoin. He knows a lot about energy usage — but he forgot to check Bitcoin’s power consumption before investing billions of dollars in it.

Did Elon pump and dump the price of Bitcoin? I’ll leave you to decide.

Be careful what you read on the news and all the Bitcoin-is-dead garbage. Bitcoin and blockchain are here to stay because we need to get trust back into our financial system and stop letting the price of everything be blurred by money that can be created out of thin air.


This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.

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Money

Seven Signs You’ve Accidentally Gone from Investing to Gambling

Tim Denning Investing

Photo by Nihal Thakur on Unsplash


Four years in love. A beautiful anniversary dinner, and I couldn’t eat a bite.

One of my favorite Youtubers ripped my heart out and left it on the floor still pumping blood. There were accusations of wrong-doing. Nobody believed them. There’s just no way an honest guy with a wife and kid could turn into a scammer, surely?

I didn’t want to believe it.

Another popular Youtuber, Ben Armstrong, who owns Bit Boy Crypto, released the evidence. The allegations were true. The founder of the Nugget’s News financial media outlet, Alex, had been exposed.

Alex had been caught asking for payments in crypto in order to have guests appear on his Youtube channel. He got busted saying “can I take the other side of the trade?” Then text messages of him saying a large part of his audience were dumb got released. Then the investment research his company sold was found to be biased towards crypto projects that paid him money to promote them.

The whole saga hurt me because I had referred friends and family to his membership site to get educated on certain aspects of investing.

Alex stood for honesty, compassion, a more democratic financial system, patience with investing, support for the unbanked, wealth equality, elimination of money creation by governments, avoiding hype, taking profits from investing when times are good, and diversifying across multiple assets. These are all powerful messages investors need to hear.

But Alex went rogue.


The most damning claim is that Alex asked other big Youtubers to lend him Bitcoin. When he got desperate he even began asking his own customers to lend him money. This seemed out of character for Alex and began in approximately January 2021. He wasn’t a huge believer in borrowing money (aka leverage) to invest.

Somehow his morals changed.

It turns out he got himself into huge trouble by taking large bets on cryptocurrencies. As the prices of crypto started to go down, he had to find cash quickly to prop up his account. Then he began getting further into debt by borrowing money from supposed loan sharks.

When you don’t pay a loan shark back they can begin circling your home with their jaws open.

Eventually, Alex borrowed five Bitcoin from Ben Armstrong that were worth approximately $250,000 at the time. The agreement was Alex had to pay interest back on the Bitcoin. He never repaid the loan and stopped replying to texts. Alex went from a well-known investor to a gambler.

There’s a cool ending to this story that is still to come. Here are the signs you might be going from an investor to a gambler.

A devil’s thirst for more money

Making money from investing is nice. Earning money while you sleep has become a cliche line. The problem is money can be a drug. When you get it, you want more. The thought of never having to work again can become overwhelmingly tempting.

“Just a year or so more and I’m done with all of this,” you say. Making money is never easy.

The psychology of an investor determines how much money they will make. The book “Richer, Wiser, Happier” proves this point nicely. The author William Green spends a large part of his life interviewing the most successful investors of all time, including the likes of Sir John Templeton and Warren Buffman. By the end of the book the lesson is tattooed on your forehead.

The most successful investors in the world aren’t the smartest. They’re the ones who have the best financial psychology. They can cut out the noise. They can invest when it’s not popular to. They can go multiple years and not invest a dollar. They can be patient. They can handle critics who think their decisions are bad. They can think deeply and sit in a quiet room for days on end. And they can manage their impulses.

No amount of money will make you complete. Investing isn’t a game that has an ending. Investing is a habit you practice for the rest of your life. There is no fast lane, only a slow lane.

A gorgeous newborn baby

Writer Anthony Moore shared this insight in his newsletter. When he became a parent he kept telling himself he needed to be a good provider for his child. This led him to work harder on his business than he needed to and take a few more risks.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a little money to give your child a good life. Just don’t let children force you to become impatient and take unnecessary risks to make stupid amounts of money.

A baby doesn’t want your money. They just want you.

Your level of risk begins to creep

Alex started investing in stocks. Then he first learned about Bitcoin and made good returns from it. Time sped up and within a few short years he took on even more risk by investing in new coins. Remember this:

  • The age of a company/cryptocurrency/project/coin determines a portion of the risk. Bitcoin is thirteen years old and is still going strong. XYZ token is less than twelve months old. Bitcoin is like Google. XYZ coin is like a brand new startup that isn’t listed on the stock exchange, and normal investors couldn’t buy until crypto changed all of that.
  • What a cryptocurrency is used for is key. There’s a lot of cryptocurrencies that don’t do anything. They’re an okay idea backed by hype on social media. That equals enormous risk. Ethereum, for example, is used every day. It has billions of dollars of transactions going through it.
  • A company and a cryptocurrency can have network effects. All this means is, how fast are new users signing up to the idea? If no users are signing up, then it’s an incredibly risky investment.

As investments grow many people forget to adjust their risk. For example, if you invested in Bitcoin and it went up 200% then more of your money is now exposed to it. I’m doing this right now. Crypto has grown too much, so I’m dialing back my investment and starting to look at certain stocks.

Once a year, look at how much of every investment you own. Agree on a percentage for each.

It might look like this: 30% of my money in cash, 5% in gold, 25% in stocks, 25% in real estate, 10% in Bitcoin, 5% in Ethereum. Then sell some of your investments and readjust back to the percentages you’re comfortable with.

You’ve lost everything before

Alex told the story many times on Youtube about the 2008 recession. His family lost a lot of money in the crash.

Losing a lot of money can make you prone to do it all again in the future if you ignore the signs of what caused it.

This has happened to me too. My family lost our home when we were kids. Losing your home has a permanent impact on your psychology, whether you care to admit it or not. The good news is, I hold more money in cash as a result so I can sleep at night.

Financial losses can be a subtle sign of a gambling mindset you’re unaware of.

A focus on one investment

There’s a blinking red neon sign that will tell you if you’re gambling: hurling all your money into one investment.

I met a guy who said “Yeah man, I’ve got all my savings in Dogecoin.” My mouth dropped to the floor. It’s fine to invest in a meme if that floats your boat, but if all your cash is in one investment then you’re flipping mad.

No investment is a guarantee. Read that again.

  • Bitcoin could be banned.
  • The Ethereum version two upgrade could fall apart.
  • Tesla could make a batch of defective cars that ruin its brand.
  • Governments could default on their debt which investors own bonds in.

There isn’t a successful investor in history that only invested in one asset. You diversify where you put your money in case an invisible illness forces us into our homes and changes society forever. You diversify in case a war starts and The General of the country’s army doesn’t phone you beforehand to let you know. You diversify in case the dog coin ends up being a giant joke and is worth a total of $0.

Remember this: Multiple assets. Multiple streams of income. Multiple countries. Multiple companies. Multiple investment apps.

Unexpected burnout

When you experience burnout you crave more money to ease the exhaustion. This happened to Alex. Now that I reflect, there’s a clear sign Alex had become a different person.

He stopped posting Youtube videos. When he did publish videos they were infrequent, full of ramblings, and always in a different format. There was a sort of desperation in his voice. A cry for help.

He complained he had burned out. He looked exhausted.

The most telling sign is he always had the flu. Non-stop he was coughing, sneezing, and would lose his voice. The first time it seemed normal. But when it lasted for six months, looking back, trouble had clearly taken over his life. The exhaustion led him to start dissing other Youtubers, which Alex always said he didn’t believe in.

Money buys you energy. But the cost of buying energy back to fix burnout isn’t worth losing everything you’ve worked for and your reputation, for a pump and dump investment that will break your family when they find out.

Your head can’t fit through a normal-sized door

I asked someone who knew Alex how this happened. One line summed it up. “His ego got the best of him.” Ryan Holiday wrote the book called “Ego Is The Enemy.” This is one of the best lessons I’ve ever learned.

Give the average person a little fame, social media attention, or money and they can turn into a monster.

Why?

They don’t keep their ego in check. They forgot who they were before all of it. They unconsciously think they are superior to everybody else. Your voice can get too loud. You can think you’re unstoppable. You can think it’s your job to police other people’s behavior while letting your own drift into darkness.

I’ve forced myself for years to check in on my ego. My worst nightmare is to let my ego take over, because I know it will turn me into an asshole. An a**hole with money is still an a**hole. And that sort of person will push every good human out of their life over time.

Rapper Ice Cube says, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”


What to do if someone you love turns into a gambler

I promised you an unusual ending. Well, instead of everybody canceling Alex and tossing his life into the dumpster, Ben Armstrong did something incredible.

He forgave Alex, told him the loan didn’t need to be paid back, and genuinely asked him to get help for what has become a gambling addiction. I read through the comments. Not all, but a lot of people, did the same.

Any one of us can become a gambler when we invest money. There is help for this addiction. Empathy heals wounds created by money.


This is the part I’m *not* supposed to tell you. Here goes.

I wrote this story because I noticed some of these signs in myself. Success in investing can go to your head. None of us are geniuses for picking a winning tech company that triples our money. Humility and self-awareness are the antidotes to the gambler’s virus.

Don’t get sucked in. Patience. You have enough.


This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.

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Money

We’ve Been Forced to Become Investors Whether We like It or Not

Money Printing Tim Denning

Photo by Live Richer on Unsplash


A savings account is a Picasso work of art.

You sit back, relax, put your money in each month, and get paid interest. Those were the glory days. I remember getting 5% interest on my savings account and feeling like Spiderman.

The idea of a savings account turned into a nightmare last year. The G20 list of countries created trillions of dollars and metaphorically dropped $100 bills from helicopters.

Creating more money from nothing doesn’t make us richer. It simply distorts the price of everything. The result is you think you’re getting richer when you’re actually getting poorer. We have a transparency problem that even a Harvard graduate with a degree in finance/economics will struggle to decrypt.

You might be sitting smug right now and thinking, “I don’t need no stinking financial assets.” Here’s why you do.

First understand this

Inflation (prices going up) is becoming more and more out of control. Larry Summers, the former Treasury Secretary who served Clinton and Obama, says inflation is 8% right now. Official inflation numbers appear to be more around the 5% mark.

Or if you measure prices in real stuff like real estate then you may even calculate inflation to be 24% like billionaire tech CEO Michael Saylor does. Either way, even the lower end of inflation at 5% changes the game.

Inflation in the US is 24% if you want to live in a house — Michael Saylor

Every finance book written in the last ten years has preached the “buy the Vanguard Index Fund that tracks the S&P 500 and you’ll be rich” dream. I used to believe in that dream too. But at an annual growth rate of 7% before tax and fees is not enough anymore (depends on how many years of S&P 500 data used — the last 2 years have distorted returns a lot).

Buying an index fund causes you to break even. Read that again.

Markets are risky

Now what? Savings accounts won’t help you stay ahead of rising prices. The easy S&P 500 index fund game is up for now. Cash is trash. Buying debt (bonds) pays you peanuts. Buying real estate requires huge amounts of savings and an ability to fall in love with debt until ‘death do you part.’

Well, now you’ve been forced to become an investor. If you refuse, then the money you earn will lose value. Simple as that.

Now you might think this subtle change is no big deal. The problem is conventional options like index funds and savings accounts required zero financial education. You could buy and hold and never read a Warren Buffet book ever. Not anymore.

Becoming an investor secretly means you have to take on risk to get greater than a 5% return on your money.

Financial assets require a financial education

Stocks are how many everyday people are increasing the return on their money to keep up with rising prices. To know what stocks to buy you need these skills:

  • Be able to read a balance sheet
  • Understand the basics of economics
  • Be able to do basic due diligence on a company — who’s on the leadership team, what’s their business strategy, what do they sell, what are their competitors doing, etc
  • Know if a company is overvalued or undervalued

As you can see, this is far more complex. Many of us aren’t designed to become bankers when we get home from work, just to stay above water.

Even if you can learn, the bots run by hedge funds and the stock trading apps (who front run what their customers are buying) will still make getting returns difficult.

Social media scrolling is a holy act compared to investing

The temptation of using social media apps is widely known. We get sucked in. We get addicted. Our attention gets sold to businesses who mass-produce ads to take advantage of our wants and desires.

Being an investor requires dealing with a higher level of temptation. If you choose to learn about investing then you will be offered free stocks for signing up via reputable companies. Try resisting the urge to get $200 of free Tesla stock as you’re learning about finance.

Jump on Youtube. Learn about stocks there. It’s a minefield full of gurus who are secretly receiving all sorts of commissions from financial services companies to present information in a certain way. Then there are the stock promoters on Twitter. They tell you what stocks are red hot. They use salacious terms to ignite your FOMO baby!

The desire to protect your money is high. The desire to double your money by investing in the latest craze is almost criminal. Work at a job you hate for the rest of your life or buy XYZ stock? Humans are just not made to resist these sorts of temptations.

Some of these investments are known as pump and dumps. The sole purpose is to hype a stock or investment up. As the price skyrockets the people in the know cash in a huge profit and the average investor is left holding worthless numbers on a computer screen.

Crypto has plenty of them. There’s Safemoon that trends on Twitter almost daily. Then there’s the mother-son Ponzi that recently got busted by the SEC. Thankfully, there are good samaritans who are debunking scams on social media to prevent new investors from losing the shirts off their backs.

Now we’re all investors (welcome!), this is what we have to deal with.

Bitcoin made everything tokenized

I am a Bitcoin fanboy as you may know. Bitcoin did one bad thing though: it paved the way for everything to become tokenized. Now you can buy a token that represents a US dollar. Or a token that represents one Tesla share but isn’t actually a Tesla share. Or a token that represents an item in the physical world. This creates immense innovation. It also creates a lack of transparency.

As investors, we have to trust that the tokenized version of a stock is actually redeemable for the stock. All of the financial plumbing Bitcoin has helped create works in theory. What we don’t know as investors is what happens when everybody runs for the exits during a recession. In other words, if we all try and sell our tokenized Tesla stock at the same time, is there enough for everybody?

Past financial crises, like 2008, have shown that a lot of modern investing is a game of musical chairs. While the music is playing loudly to the sound of Linkin Park, we’re partying like it’s the dotcom bubble of the early 2000s.

But when the music stops, then what? Well, that depends on what you bought, how you bought it, whether you borrowed money to invest, and whether you did due diligence. Often, many of these steps are missed. That’s what creates risks for investors that we now must all understand.

The investor party hangover

This might all sound like fun. Being a full-time Wolf of Wall Street after you finish work might sound like a dream. Maybe you love researching stocks and playing around with trading apps.

You might look at the last twelve months of investing and say: “See, it’s all gravy. A pandemic struck and markets recovered quickly and we all went back to dancing to the beat of the Linkin Park drum. And we did partaaay.”

What’s missed is that our central banks happily stepped in to keep markets going up, by creating money out of thin air and giving it to the banks that support our newfound love with investing.

Question? What happens if all the trillions of dollars stopped flooding the markets? Well, we don’t actually know. Nobody has thought that far ahead. We’ve never been in this situation as experienced investors, or as new investors who joined the conga line to stay ahead of rising inflation.

Life right now is enjoyed with zero interest rates. Obviously interest rates can’t be zero forever. So what happens? Interest rates go up.

Now interest rates going up may seem like no big deal. That’s because you’re a smart investor with nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, a lot of investors bought financial assets using debt. When interest rates go up the repayment on the debt goes up too. Investments that were affordable at zero interest rates may not be so affordable when interest rates go up. You can see how the markets for investors will shift.

I actually got fooled into investing with debt. You can too. I went to buy some Bitcoin and ended up accidentally buying with debt. Luckily I got a refund and didn’t lose any money. But even experienced investors can accidentally buy a derivative of a financial asset rather than the asset itself.

Oh, and there’s the capital gains tax you have to pay when you do decide to sell an investment, which is easily forgotten.

Investing with interest rates at zero is exhilarating. When interest rates go up, the party becomes a hangover.


How to survive as an investor in this mad world

We’ve all become investors thanks to the distortion of prices created by pumping trillions of dollars of free money into the economy over the last 18–24 months. No point crying.

All we can do as forced investors is the following:

  • Don’t invest with debt. Debt increases risks. If prices fall due to a sudden shock then you’ll witness the horror of a margin call — where your investments are automatically sold for you (at bad prices) to cover losses.
  • You’re an investor now. Get a decent financial education. Don’t worry about going to Harvard for $100K to learn. Learn from reputable providers. I personally learn from Real Vision, Stansberry Research, Graham Stephan, and Andrei Jikh.
  • Read “Richer, Wiser, Happier” by William Greene. He interviews the best investors in the world over a long period of time. The simple tips they offer are perfect for the average investor. Things like be patient, diversify, and don’t worry about stock market news channels.
  • Understand blockchain. Blockchain is trying to fix this whole problem and release us from investor duties. It’s unclear whether it will work. But we have to try and rebuild the financial system. What we have now is a joke.
  • Become obsessed with the official inflation numbers. Inflation is a map that tells us what investment returns are needed to break even.
  • Check how much new money is being created out of thin air regularly. You can google in your country the M1 and M2 money supply to see the facts. Beware: the visual representation of all the free money from nowhere since 2008 can be a little alarming at first. You’ll get used to it 🙂

Bottom Line

What I’ve just explained may not have made your day. I used to love my savings account, too, until the war on savers began back in the 2008 recession, and went up a level in 2020. You’re an investor in financial markets now whether you like it or not.

Investing money is how you stay ahead of the rapid increase in prices. Financial education is key. Patience is a must. Real teachers not driven by fear-mongering are important. Diversifying across many investments helps you sleep at night.

Stay safe out there. Avoid the hype. Don’t go crazy with crypto (a reminder for me too).


This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.

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Money

The New Content Platform I’m Making Money from (And Dominating)

Bitclout Web 3.0 Social Media

Photo by Brandon Atchison on Unsplash


New social media apps normally die in a horrible car crash.

Look at Clubhouse.

Literally, copied and thrown in the bin after a few months. I’ve been hearing about Web 3.0 platforms for content creators since March. I decided to take the plunge and break my rule of staying away from new apps.

You’re about to learn:

  • How to make money from the platform
  • How to build an audience quickly (and for free)
  • The easiest strategy to succeed

Let’s get into it.

Why this new platform has a high chance of succeeding

The new platform I’m referring to is Bitclout. It’s built on blockchain and is fully decentralized. The code is open source. They’ve been running since March 2021, so you’re extremely early. Bitclout has it’s own cryptocurrency called “Clout” (more on that later).

The danger of putting content on a new platform is the failure rate is high. Jumping from platform to platform, looking for gold at the end of a rainbow is almost always a bad idea.

Bitclout is different.

I’m a banker at heart. That means I throw away the marketing brochures and get straight to what matters: who’s on board?

The investors are:

  • Andreessen Horowitz (investors behind Airbnb, Lyft, Pinterest, Slack, Instagram, Oculus VR, Stripe)
  • The Winklevoss Twins (co-founders of Facebook from the movie “The Social Network”)
  • Sequoia Capital
  • Coinbase (crypto company listed on the US stock exchange)
  • Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian
  • Billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya from Social Capital

With so many high-profile investors, the chance of the platform and your content simply disappearing in a month or two is unlikely. These investors know a thing or two about social media, and why it must be decentralized.

How content creators can make money

Bitclout takes some time to understand. If you haven’t been involved with crypto since the early days like me, then some of the features are hard to learn. There are many ways to make money on Bitclout:

  1. Your content creator name can become a stock. People can invest in you and your content the same way they can buy a company like PayPal on the US stock exchange. On Bitclout, you’re now a stock. When people invest in your stock, the price of your name goes up. When the price of your stock goes up, because you own some of that stock, you benefit and can cash out all or some of it.
  2. People can ‘diamond like’ your content. This gives you ‘clout’ — and clout can be traded in for US dollars.
  3. Random content creators gift you their stocks. They do it as a form of marketing to gain attention, or in the hope you might buy more. Either way, it’s free money. As your following grows, more content creators will give you their stocks.

Now all of the engagement your content gets actually earns you money, rather than the Facebook model of selling the follower/like dream and then using your content to sell their ads and give you zero cashola.

Money is a distraction from the best feature

I frankly don’t give a toss about the money features on Bitclout. What matters is this: right now your content can reach a brand new audience for free.

In one day you can start getting a lot of engagement on your posts. Why does this matter? Engagement on social media allows you to take users off the platform and into your own ecosystem (your website or email list).

Step by step strategy:

  • Take your popular highlights from your articles or your best tweets and share them on Bitclout.
  • Place a link in your Bitclout bio to your website or mailing list.
  • Occasionally publish a post telling people how they can sign up for your email list or visit your website.

Because Bitclout is brand new, the barrier to entry is zero. You can have no followers and instantly find an audience for your content. Obviously, the glory days won’t last. That’s why publishing your recycled content on Bitclout as soon as possible is the best way to succeed.

Put it this way: you can’t set up a Twitter account today and get 200 followers by the end of the day. You can on Bitclout. Read that again.

My results so far (that you can easily copy)

Okay, not here to brag, but I want to show you what’s possible because so many people tell us we’re stupid and will never succeed as creatives. Let’s prove them wrong.

Within 24-hours the following happened to me:

  • My stock became the third-highest daily gainer in price on the platform.
  • My stock went from nothing to over $700.
  • I gained 200 followers in a single day.
  • I discovered a group of 500 other content creators via Telegram. This created incredible networking opportunities.
  • I earned a mountain of ‘diamond likes.’
Screenshot of my account

Let’s play out the doomsday scenario

I know what you’re thinking: not another freaking platform. I thought that too. If you decide to leave or the app dies in popularity, here’s what happens.

  1. Likes go in the trash.
  2. Followers go in the trash.
  3. Your shiny profile and bio go in the trash.
  4. You cash in the diamond likes for dollars.
  5. You sell the stocks of other content creators for dollars.
  6. You sell your content creator stock for dollars.
  7. You keep the visits to your website.
  8. You keep the great network of friends from apps like Telegram.
  9. You keep the email subscribers and they become an audience you own. You might even decide to sell products and services to the email subscribers you got and quit your job with the money you make.

I do not see any downsides of Bitclout. Do you?

Now, if Bitclout succeeds, which I think they will, then you’ve got a decent audience on a brand new platform that is growing at a rapid rate and the masses are joining faster than TikTok.

Now you’re content creator royalty. You’ve just built something special. You’ve possibly even built a brand new career.


On the first day I joined Bitclout, I felt like Big Bird showing up for a coding interview at Google with both the founders, holding a Donald Duck lunch box. If a not-very smart guy from the Australian desert can join this new platform, recycle content, and make a few dollars, then why can’t you? You can.

Join Bitclout and start posting content. It’s the quickest way to find a new audience, sign them up to your mailing list, and sell books or courses or coaching or whatever you want.

Making money on Web 3.0 is stupidly simple. All you have to do is be early and have a library of existing content, or be prepared to create content.

Welcome to the future of social media for content creators. Get excited.

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