1 in 10 people currently invest in cryptocurrencies, many for ease of trading, CNBC survey finds
More people are jumping into cryptocurrency, many because of how easy it's become to trade the digital assets, a CNBC/Momentive Invest in You survey found.
More than 10% of those surveyed said they're invested in cryptocurrency, ranking the digital coins fourth after real estate, stocks, mutual funds and bonds.
Some 65% of those cryptocurrency investors jumped into the asset class in the last year, according to the survey. In the same timeframe, the prices of some of the top cryptocurrencies have displayed trademark volatility. Bitcoin, for example, surged to an all-time high of more than $63,000 in April, slumped afterwards and then recently rallied again to nearly $50,000.
Among those who do trade cryptocurrencies, the top reasons cited are that it's easy to make trades, it's exciting to invest in and there's potential for high growth in a short period of time, according to the survey.
"There are a lot of things that make crypto very attractive; the biggest one is the opportunity to make a lot of money," said Douglas Boneparth, a certified financial planner and president of Bone Fide Wealth in New York.
Education is key
Of course, there is still risk associated with investing in cryptocurrency, as there is with any other asset.
The space may be exciting and cool, said Boneparth, "but it doesn't change the fact that you're still putting risk on your money."
For people who are interested in jumping in, experts recommend that they first do their research on cryptocurrency to make sure they really understand what they're buying.
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That's because while crypto is gaining traction as an asset that can be part of a well-balanced portfolio, it is still unlike any other, according to Ben Weiss, co-founder and CEO of CoinFlip, one of the largest bitcoin ATM companies in the U.S.
"Unlike banks and stock exchanges, there are virtually no fail-safes to protect you if you make a mistake," he said. "Cryptocurrencies allow you to be your own bank, which includes the responsibility of keeping your investments secure."
That means that in addition to understanding the coin you'd like to purchase, you have to decide what kind of crypto wallet you're going to use and how you'll keep your passwords and other sensitive information safe.
Invest with caution, like any other asset
Once you've got the basics of cryptocurrency down, there's another step – making sure you know how to trade it in line with your long-term goals.
"At the end of the day, if you're going to invest, treat it no different than you would the rest of your money," said Boneparth. This includes having a clear idea of where it fits into your overall financial plan, which you should formulate if you don't already have one, Boneparth said.
Many new cryptocurrency investors have taken to trading their digital coins frequently, the CNBC survey found. About a third of investors said they trade crypto on a monthly or weekly basis, and nearly one-quarter said they trade the asset daily.
That might be too often, as financial experts generally recommend buying and holding assets long-term as a solid way to build wealth.
In addition, given the volatility of many cryptocurrencies, buying and selling often can increase the risk that you'll lose money on a bad trade, or be hit with an outsized tax bill at the end of the year.
"Don't get it twisted when it comes to how fun and cool something is versus the real risks," said Boneparth.
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Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.