Why Anchor Protocol is the new ‘high yield savings account’

Anchor Protocol

How much interest are you earning on your fiat dollars in a traditional bank ‘high yield savings account’? It can’t be more than 2%, max? Which means in real terms, your money is going backwards. That’s not financial freedom peeps. But what if i said you could get 10 times that interest rate with a cryptocurrency Stablecoin pegged to the US dollar? Well, you can with Anchor Protocol and a Stablecoin called US Terra.

In this post we explain: how Anchor Protocol will pay you 20% interest on your money, the 4 steps to getting this interest rate, and how to manage risks. We also reveal why Anchor Protocol is set to become the new high yield savings account for millions.

Are you ready to make some passive income?

Article insights

  1. What is Anchor Protocol?
  2. How do you make passive income using Anchor Protocol?
  3. 4 steps to earning 20% interest on your money
  4. The risks of using Anchor Protocol and how to manage them
  5. Why Anchor Protocol will be the new high yield savings account for millions

What is Anchor Protocol?

Anchor Protocol is a smart contract built on the Terra Blockchain.

What is a smart contract?

As we describe in this post The 2021 DeFi Lowdown:

DeFi loan transactions are executed through what’s called ‘lending protocols’… These protocols use ‘smart contracts’ – code on the blockchain – to execute a financial agreement between two parties when predetermined conditions are met. ‘.. put simply, they’re computer code (program) to execute financial transactions on an immutable public accounting ledger (blockchain), so you no longer need a ‘trusted third party’ like a bank.

In the case of Anchor, its smart contract automatically executes direct borrowing and lending agreements between protocol users. The smart contract allows automated and direct peer to peer lending and borrowing of certain cryptocurrencies.

The Anchor Protocol smart contract has a $5 billion total value locked. That means there is $5 billion dollars (US pegged) worth of crypto locked in the smart contract as either loans or collateral.

Anchor Protocol
Anchor Protocol TVL (Total Value Locked)

Anchor Protocol aims to pay a steady 20% interest rate to lenders. It uses the yield reserve pool ($73M) to maintain as close to this as possible when tokenomics fluctuate. Given failed tokenomics is a risk inherent to DeFI protocols (more on risks below), this features reduces the tokenomics risks of lending via Anchor.

What is US Terra Stablecoin?

US Terra is an algorithmic stablecoin that is pegged to the US dollar but NOT backed by US dollars (i.e. the Stablecoin issuer does not hold $1 USD for every $1US Terra issued). Instead, UST is backed by LUNA, which is the native token of the Terra Blockchain. You can read more about Terra Blockchain and LUNA is our article on investing in Layer 1 crypto assets here.

Terra uses an algorithm to ensure that US Terra stablecoin maintains its 1:1 peg with USD. Essentially, the algorithm controls the supply of LUNA token and UST on the market to stablise the peg.

There is more than $7 billion worth of UST circulating, representing a doubling of the UST market cap in the month of November alone. This UST is backed by a LUNA market cap of $16.5 billion.

How do you make passive income using Anchor Protocol?

You make passive income by directly lending your money via a smart contract on the Terra blockchain. Here’s how it works:

  • You lend your Terra stablecoins into a money market pool governed by the Anchor smart contract (protocol).
  • Borrowers can take a loan from the pool, in effect borrowing your stablecoins.
  • Borrowers must provide collateral in cryptocurrency – at a ratio of say 1:1.5 – to borrow your stablecoins.
  • These borrowers pay you a healthy interest rate to borrow your coins.

4 steps to earning 20% interest on your money

There are a few things you need to set up before you start:

  1. Terra Station Chrome browser – you’ll need to download Terra Station Chrome browser on your computer. Terra Station allows you to access decentralized applications (DApps) powered by smart contracts on the Terra blockchain.
  2. A Kucoin or Binance crypto account – Kucoin is one of a few places to buy US Terra, which is the Stablecoin you’ll be lending into the Anchor Protocol. With Binance, you can buy LUNA (native coin of Terra blockchain), send it to Terra Station and then Swap the LUNA for UST inside Terra Station Money.
  3. Anchor Protocol – have open on your computer the Anchor Protocol smart contract platform where you will lend your US Terra.
  4. Terra Station Money – the Terra Station desktop client.

Once you have all of these downloaded or opened on your computer, we can get to the juicy bit of making moolah…

Step 1 – Set up Terra Station Wallet

Set up a new Terra Station wallet inside the Terra Station Chrome browser extension you downloaded above. You will use this wallet to hold your US Terra stablecoins and lend them into the Anchor Smart Contract Platform.

Open the Terra Station Browser and click ‘new wallet’. You will need to enter in a wallet name and confirm a new wallet password. The wallet will generate a 24 word seed phrase – you MUST record this somewhere offline. If you don’t and something happens to your wallet, you will not be able to recover your crypto on the Terra blockchain.

Anchor Protocol
Terra Station Chrome browser

Step 2 – Buy US Terra or LUNA

Next you’ll want to buy some US Terra from your Kucoin crypto account or some LUNA from your Binance account.

If you already have USDT (US dollar Tether) in your Kucoin account you can do a USDT -> UST trade. If not, you will first want to deposit some fiat currency into Kucoin and use that to buy USDT. You can then trade from USDT -> UST.

In Binance you can simply trade BTC or USDT for LUNA.

Step 3 – Send your UST or LUNA to your Terra Station wallet

In this step, you’ll want to open up your Terra Station wallet and copy the public wallet address. You’ll use your wallet address in Kucoin or Binance to send your UST or LUNA over to your Terra Station wallet.

Terra Station Wallet
Grab your Terra Station Wallet address by clicking the box inside the red rectangle.

Sending UST from Kucoin

If you’re using Kucoin, jump back into your Kucoin account, click ‘Assets’ in the top right of screen, then click ‘Withdraw’. Select the coin you want to withdraw (UST). Paste in your Terra Station Wallet address, and input the amount of UST you want to send to your Terra Station Wallet. Make sure all of the information is correct and double check your Terra Station wallet address. Click Withdraw.

Sending LUNA from Binance

You can only buy LUNA on Binance you can’t buy UST. To send LUNA from Binance to your Terra Station wallet, go through the normal Withdraw process.

Once the LUNA arrives in your Terra Station Wallet, you’ll then need to Swap LUNA for UST using Terra station money.

Terra Station Money is the Terra station desktop client.

Connect your Terra Station wallet to Terra Station Money in the top left of screen. Then go to the ‘Swap’ menu in Terra Station Money on the left hand side. Select ‘from’ as ‘LUNA’ and ‘to’ as ‘UST’. Enter the amount you want to swap and click ‘Next’. Confirm the transactions and check your wallet – you’ll see you now have UST.

LUNA
Use Terra Station Money – Swap LUNA to UST

Step 4 – connect to Anchor Protocol and deposit UST

This step happens from the Anchor protocol page. Go to the top right of the screen and hit ‘connect wallet’. Choose the Terra Station Extension selection. You will need to confirm the connection in a pop up from Terra Station wallet. Once you have connected, you’ll see your wallet address appear in the top right of the Anchor Protocol platform.

Select the ‘Earn’ menu from the top of screen within the Anchor Protocol. Here, you’ll see a deposit button and the interest rate you’ll earn when depositing your UST. There’s also a calculator at the bottom that shows you your expected interest / passive income in UST, once you have deposited.

Hit the ‘deposit’ button and confirm the deposit of your UST using the Terra Station Wallet (follow the pop-up prompts).

That’s it! Now you have deposited UST into the Anchor Protocol ready for borrowers to borrow.

Heeeelllooo passive income! 🙂

Keep in mind that you can withdraw your UST at any time by hitting the ‘withdraw’ button. There is no lock up period. Reverse the process we’ve step you through here to exchange that UST into USDT or LUNA, and then into Fiat currency (if you plan on living off the income this provides).

The risks of using Anchor Protocol and how to manage them

There are two main risks with using the Anchor Protocol to make passive income:

  1. USD peg risk – UST is not backed 1:1 by physical dollars like USDC stablecoin. This increases the risk of the investment. There is a risk that the balancing algorithm may fail and UST may lose its USD peg (and lose value).
  2. Smart contract risk – this a risk present with all DeFi protocols: the protocol may be hacked and pools drained of their (your) coins.

Some of the other risks such as failure in the smart contract code or governance attacks, are laid out below.

Managing risk

One of the coolest things with Anchor Protocol if thought of using it keeps you up at night is that you can buy insurance to protect your invest. With insurance providers like Nexus Mutual you can buy insurance to cover both the USD peg and smart contract risks of using Anchor Protocol. Here are the risks Nexus Mutual will cover:

As a comparison, the current cost of a combined policy with Nexus Mutual competitor Unslashed.Finance is 5.199%/year. So even with insurance, you’ll still receive roughly 14% interest on your UST.

HUZZAH!

3 reasons Anchor Protocol will be the new high yield savings account for millions

1. A stablecoin APY that crushes your bank

Banks aren’t going to be increasing their savings rates by any meaningful amount let alone to double digits, anytime soon. At 20% or even at 15%, the Anchor savings rate crushes anything a bank can offer you in fiat. Not to mention, that APY is on a STABLE coin pegged to the USD. Holding UST doesn’t expose you to the same price volatility of holding other crypto, which means its a lower risk investment within the crypto ecosystem. You have less risk of your passive income being swallowed up (off set) by a drop in the UST coin price because it’s USD pegged…

2. Zero sign up requirements (no bank accounts or documents required)

Anchor savings has no minimum deposits, no account freezes, and no signup requirements – the smart contract can be used by anyone in the world with access to the internet and some crypto.

This is profound if you think about the world’s 2 billion unbanked population. That’s 2 billion people without access to bank accounts and the associated savings and investing vehicles of traditional finance. 2 billion people without the opportunity of basic financial services to get ahead.

Let’s look at how crypto uptake has been playing out in El Salvador, the first nation on earth to adopt Bitcoin as legal currency. 30% of El Salvadoran adults are unbanked. But 60% of all adults use the internet.

Now that means 60% of adults in El Salvador, many of them without traditional bank accounts, have access to DeFi services like Anchor Protocol that give them 10 times the interest rate that a bank account will offer.

Those lucky El Salvadorans now also have crypto. Following recent laws making Bitcoin legal tender, 49% of El Salvadorans have downloaded a Bitcoin wallet to their mobile phone. More adults in El Salvador now have a Bitcoin wallet on their phone than hold a traditional bank account.

And yes you can buy crypto without a bank account

The meeting of ‘the worlds unbanked; with DeFI is already playing out amongst large unbanked populations like El Salvador. And that’s huge for DeFi and for protocols like Anchor.

3. Alice wallet will make using Anchor Protocol a breeze

We’re not going to lie to you. It’s more complicated to use DeFi right now than it is to use your bank. User interface is THE biggest hurdle to crypto and DeFi mainstreaming today. Just look at this article as an example. For many people, taking 4 steps to make 20% on their money is a step too far up a steep a learning curve.

But that’s where the new Alice.Finance wallet comes in.

Alice wallet will solve the User Interface hurdles of interacting with Anchor Protocol, allowing anyone to lend their Terra on the Anchor Protocol in just a few easy clicks within the Alice mobile App.

Alice wallet will open the flood gates and help bring Anchor protocol mainstream. It will also catalyze the use of Terra blockchain and its stablecoins, which is good for the price of LUNA.

You can check out our article on investing in Layer 1 blockchains with potential for network effect here. Terra Blockchain is one of our picks.

Remember, none of this is Financial Advice peeps. Until next time, the Fat Stacks are out there. Let’s go get some!

The best cryptocurrency for exponential growth

best cryptocurrency

If you’re baffled by the exponential growth of certain cryptocurrencies and wondering how you might get in on the action, then this post is for you. The truth is, you won’t find the best cryptocurrency investments using conventional company and stock valuation methods. Crypto is different. You need to take a different approach to find those projects that will reward you with potential exponential growth over the longer term.

One approach to identify potential top gainers in crypto is to pinpoint those projects with strong ‘network effects’ that drive value to users and push token prices to seemingly parabolic levels. But what are ‘network effects’, where do you find them in crypto, and how do you invest? Let’s take a look…

What are network effects?

Network effects put simply are when a product, service or platform increases in value the more people use it.

Direct network effects happen in a reinforcing loop as users join a network and in doing so bring more value to existing and future users. The value of the product grows as more users join, and more users join because of this growing value. Hence the reinforcing loop. Think a telecommunications network, or a transport network.

Users also decide to participate in a network based on the level of benefits or value from ‘add on’ or complementary products or services. This describes the indirect network effects that can come into play in platform businesses that attract complementary products and services that add on to the platform and grow it indirectly. Like with Facebook. You don’t just use it to see your friends posting. There’s messenger, marketplace, advertising, FB groups and so on…

Most importantly, for investors looking for growth assets there is a point – a reaching of critical mass – when user adoption (on multiple sides) goes exponential due to the reinforcing value loops of direct and indirect network effects.

Why do network effects lead to exponential growth?

1. It’s numbers game

The number of possible connections in a network like Airbnb equals the number of users on one side (the hosts) multiplied by the number of users on the other side (the guests). Its the same for all two sided networks that produce network effects.. Every user that joins the network makes it more valuable for the next user. If you have a network with 2,000 hosts and 10,000 guests, that equals a network of 20 million possible connections between users.

The number of connections in a network represents the growth of the network and its utility to other users, as well as its value.

2. Network effects are hard to displace

A network effect, once created, is hard to displace. Why doesn’t Facebook have any real competition? Its network effects have established its incumbency – by virtue of its sheer size, reach, reinforcing value loops and sometimes built-in infrastructure. This incumbency means Facebook as a competitor is very difficult to overcome.

Another important point for investors is that incumbents with network effects enjoy large, entrenched advantages due to their existing customer base. Why is that though? According to this Harvard Business Review paper on why some networks thrive over others, an Airbnb competitor would have to enter the market on an international scale—building its brand around the world to attract travellers and hosts. To achieve that, the competitor can’t just be a little bit better, or even twice as good as Airbnb; it has to be a quantum leap better to convince a critical mass of guests and hosts to move to it.

This is why when platforms or businesses with network effects establish incumbency they’re very tough to disrupt.

So what does this mean for your crypto investments?

Firstly, projects that enjoy network effects (with incumbency) are around for a long time because they are hard to disrupt.

Secondly, if you get in early, the gains are exponential due to the effect itself.

Lastly, because of their levels of growth and incumbency, their stock continues to outperform over the longer term.

Identifying network effects in crypto

The implications for investing in crypto are straightforward: find the projects with the greatest network effects and (potential) incumbency.

The second one – incumbency – is important and hard to nail down. Crypto is new and very few projects have achieved sufficient size or growth to establish true and authoritative incumbency over the competition.

How to identify crypto projects with network effects?

So what factors might determine whether the a particular project has the potential for network effects? What metrics will tell you that a project is being actively used, rapidly built-out and adopted at a rate of knots? Lets take a look at 5 such indicators:

  1. Network users & nodes – the first sign network effects may be at play is the number of project users or nodes growing quickly. Nodes are found on blockchains. Their main purpose is to verify each batch of network transactions, or blocks. They’re necessary for the blockchain to both function and expand.
  2. Unique addresses – the number of wallet or payment addresses for the platform token that have more than a zero balance. For example, the number of individual ETH wallet addresses. It can be used as a proxy for the number of network users. When the network is popular and people are using it, there are more unique addresses. But that’s not completely accurate as one user can have multiple addresses.
  3. Total value locked – or ‘TVL’ shows how much is ‘locked up’ in decentralised finance products on the network (or in the Smart Contract platform). It’s an indicator of DeFi use on the platform.
  4. Daily transaction volume – this is the number of transactions associated with the crypto each day. Transactions volume shows the level of user engagement with the product or platform. For network effects, the trend should be sharply upwards.
  5. Developer activity – if new layers, applications and protocols being built on top of it or alongside and integrating with it this demonstrates indirect network effects that in turn bring more users and more developers. Developer activity indicates confidence in the ecosystem, roadmap and underlying technology.

The best cryptocurrency for exponential growth

So, if a network effects occur in platforms or networks where each user brings additional value and more users in a reinforcing loop, where in the crypto ecosystem might this occur?

The answer: Layer 1 blockchains.

What are Layer 1 blockchains?

‘Layer 1s’ are the blockchain ‘networks’ that form the ‘base layer’ of the crypto ecosystem. They are the networks on which everything else in crypto is built!

The digital asset ecosystem requires robust, secure and distributed blockchain networks to operate on and to ensure asset immutability. Layer 1s meet this need. They are the foundational tech of that digital asset ecosystem.

Blockchain-based digital assets, such as NFTs and stablecoins, are all built and issued on top of Layer 1 platforms.

How to invest in Layer 1 cryptocurrencies

Tokens native to these Layer 1 networks (such as ETH to the Ethereum network) play a role in securing the networks. Holders that stake their native tokens to support the network operating are rewarded for doing so. Tokens are also used to pay transaction fees on the network (with fees going towards rewards). In some cases, tokens also give holders a say in network decision making.

Buying these tokens are how investors gain exposure to the Layer 1 project and any network effects that may drive its growth.

Layer 1 projects have been the best performing crypto category since the May 2021 market correction. But this doesn’t mean their run is done. With crypto still in the early adopter stage and just a few hundred million users world wide, some argue the exponential growth curve for successful layer 1 blockchains has not yet even begun.

There are over 100 Layer 1 blockchains in the crypto ecosystem so next we sort the wheat from the chaff in our list of the top Layer 1 blockchains for potential network effects and exponential growth. Let’s look at ‘The Leaders”, “The Contenders” and “The Challengers.

How do you benefit as an investor in Layer 1 crypto with network effects?

When you own the native token of a Layer 1 blockchain, you own a share of the future value of transactions on that blockchain. As network effects grow demand for the blockchain and expand the on-chain economy, your share of future value grows too.

Layer 1 cryptocurrencies to watch

“The Leaders”

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the grandaddy of cryptocurrencies. Lyn Alden gives a great synopsis of the network effects of Bitcoin. We’re not going to go over the arguments here, but as a store of value, border-less medium of exchange, and an instantaneous and low cost worldwide payment system (think about the avoided remittance fees globally) the network effects globally are potentially huge.

Bitcoin is also the OG incumbent. Its total market cap makes up anywhere between 40% and 60% of the total crypto market cap these days. Nothing else comes close in terms leading the crypto market or influencing crypto price trends.

Network effects – tick

Incumbency – tick.

For these reasons, we hold Bitcoin in our crypto portfolio. We believe its network effects will continue to play out as more countries like El Salvador recognise the potential value to local economies and to raising their citizens out of poverty. We also see regulators in more countries (like Australia and eventually the US) normalising Bitcoin investment vehicles, which will help on-ramp more users into the network.

Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum is like a super computer base layer for smart contracts. Critically, Ethereum also has first mover advantage when it comes to Layer 1 projects in crypto, which has given it serious incumbency over the competition. Ethereum is the Top Layer 1 smart contract blockchain by market cap, with daylight second.

Fun facts for ETH investors:
  • Ethereum dominates the DeFi (decentralised finance) and NFT (non-fungible token) space. It has the most protocols and decentralised apps built upon it of any Layer 1 blockchain network.
  • TVL in the Ethereum network is $172 billion. The next largest Layer 1 by Total Value Locked sits at $20 billion. That’s daylight in between peeps.
  • The Ethereum ecosystem is gigantic. The biggest there is in crypto. Indirect network effects – tick.
  • Daily transaction volume on the ETH network has recently surpassed the Bitcoin network, which some suggest means that ETH will ‘flippen’ (overtake) BTC on the Layer 1 leaderboard sometime in the near future.
  • Other Layer 1 platforms are uniformly bridging into ETH. This cements Ethereum’s incumbency.
  • A recent protocol change introduced token burning so that ETH will become a deflationary asset (more tokens burned than new tokens issued). When supply tightens and demand grows, what happens to price?
  • Developer activity on platforms Github and Discord shows Ethereum development at almost double its nearest Layer 1 competitor.
  • ETH has executed and planned significant network upgrades (ETH 2.0), showing strong protocol consensus which is positive for its longevity.
ETH developer activity
best cryptocurrency
Ethereum developer activity reflects the size of its ecosystem and its growth
Eth 2.0 upgrades

Despite the hype, Ethereum suffers from one flaw that threatens its incumbency. The cost of using its network. This cost has driven hoards of users over to much cheaper Layer 1 competitors, like Solana.

Ethereum is fighting back with network upgrades (ETH 2.0) that claim to combat the gas price issues. Along with these critical upgrades, ETH also maintains its Layer 1 dominance the more it works with add on Layer 2 projects like Polygon network to extend its ecosystem reach and offer cheaper network solutions.

best cryptocurrency
Fees on leading Layer 1 blockchains. Source Coin Metrics

We are bullish on ETH as a blue chip digital asset in the making and one of the best cryptocurrency to invest in for exponential growth. ETH is is a core holding in our cryptocurrency portfolio. This is not financial advice peeps – DYOR always!

Now that we’ve taken a brief look at the leader board, lets move on and look at some other top contenders for the best cryptocurrency for exponential growth:

“The Contenders”

‘The contenders’ are, we think, the most promising Layer 1 blockchains in crypto, ex-Bitcoin and Ethereum. The two Layer 1 projects below are growing at pace and starting to jockey for shot at blockchain supremacy, alongside BTC and ETH.

Solana (SOL)

Solana markets itself as the fastest and cheapest blockchain in the world. These two factors have catapulted its token SOL into the crypto stratosphere since January this year. Solana’s high speed and low cost features have solved the problems of the Ethereum blockchain for both crypto enthusiasts and software developers. As with all network effects, the SOL price has shot up this year as more and more users and developers are attracted to the blockchain.

Solana is building out a rich ecosystem including NFT marketplaces, DeFI protocols, as well as gaming, metaverse and Web 3 decentralised apps. Some of the most popular dApps built on Solana include Aurory and Star Atlas (gaming), Raydium and Serum (DeFi), and Solarnart and Audius (NFTs).

Fun facts for potential Solana investors:
  • Solana is highly scalable and can already process 700,000 transactions per second.
  • Solana developer activity comes in second to Ethereum on Discord and third behind Polkdot on Github.
  • TVL is over $13 billion which is third highest Layer 1 TVL and represents just over 5% of Total Value Locked across all blockchains.
  • Solana already has around 400 decentralised apps built on its blockchain despite only being launched in April 2020.
  • Solana has a thriving NFT marketplace that is growing in popularity due to the cheaper transactions costs of using the network compared to Ethereum.
  • The price of SOL is already up over 13,000% this year. That’s an exponential growth rate indicating network effects may already be in play.
Solana blockchain outperforms on number and growth of active user addresses. Source Coinbase Analytics

The biggest criticism of Solana is its lack of decentralisation. In crypto, decentralisation is often seen as an indicator a project is a safe bet over the longer term. Decentralisation is gauged by the number of validators on a network. Layer 1 incumbent Ethereum is highly decentralised with over 200,000 validators globally. Solana has just 1200 validators, showing its more centralised structure.

It’s worth knowing that the Solana network recently suffered a DDoS attack when bots targeted the network with 400,000 transactions causing it to reach max throughput and taking the network down for 17 hours. While it was a set back, the attack was of insufficient threat to affect the long term growth of this Layer 1 protocl, or our investment in it..

Polkadot (DOT)

Polkadot is different to the other Layer 1s featured in this post. It’s more than a Smart Contract Platform. Its aim is to ‘enable a completely decentralized web (3) where users are in control’. Here’s how Polkadot bills itself:

Polkadot is built to connect private and consortium chains, public and permissionless networks, oracles, and future technologies that are yet to be created. Polkadot facilitates an internet where independent blockchains can exchange information and transactions in a trustless way via the Polkadot relay chain.

In a sense, Polkadot is a Layer 0 network because it provides a framework for other Layer 1s to build on and connect to each other. Polkadot’s niche in blockchain technology is ‘interoperability’. Its aim is to build the trustless network layer that links Layer 1s together, making it seamless to move through the crypto ecosystem.

Because its vision is so large, Polkadot is probably the hardest of all of the Layer 1 networks to get your head around. It is also difficult to value using the metrics we talk about above. But the enormous vision, and the calibre of its tech founders, make Polkadot an incredibly interesting digital asset play.

Fun facts for Polkadot investors:
  • The founder of Polkadot is Ethereum Co-Founder and former Chief Technology Officer, Gavin Wood.
  • Polkadot has a $50 billion dollar market cap and is the 8th largest crypto by market value.
  • There are 142 project building inside the Polkadot ecosystem. The list includes DeFi, NFTs, DAOs, Layer 1s, Layer 2s, Metaverse projects, blockchain gaming, Oracles and so on.
  • Polkadot holders have locked over $1B in the first Polkadot ‘parachain’ auctions which will determine which bespoke blockchains get to use the Polkadot network. ‘Parachains’ are the name of the blockchains that get to built on Polkadot. The Polkadot network can support 100 of them. ACALA DeFi platform won the first Parachain auction for a slot on Polkadot.
  • Once it’s fully functional, Polkdot is expected to be able to handle 1,000,000 transactions per second. That’s faster than the fastest Layer 1 in today’s crypto ecosystem – Solana.
  • Polkadot’s token supply is inflationary, growing by 10% a year which is not great for the DOT price longer term.

Polkadot, by its very design, is the ultimate network effect platform. It’s the blockchain of all blockchains. However, DOT has not experienced the same level of ripping growth this year that competitor Layer 1s like Solana and Avax. Investors may still have a chance to jump in before face melting gains occur.. We’re excited for Polkdot’s future and hold DOT in our crypto portfolio, but this ‘blockchain of blockchains’ is going to take some pulling off. Treat the investment risks accordingly.

“The Challengers”

“The Challengers are the up and coming Layer 1 blockchains. The smaller cap projects with small but growing ecosystems of platforms, tools and dApps building on top of them.

Avalanche (AVAX)

Avalanche is the new blockchain on block this year and its concept is a lot like the Polkadot project. It bills itself as a network of blockchains with blazing fast speeds, better decentralisation (more validators) than Solana, and better scalability than Polkadot. If Avalanche becomes all of these things, our view is it looks considerably undervalued at its current price, despite AVAX’s recent run up.

Fun facts for Avalanche investors:
  • Avalanche’s TVL has hit parabolic levels since August 2021, growing from a bit over $300M to $11B! 24% of that is locked in the AAVE lending protocol.
  • Avalanche’s market cap is up 85% in the last 30 days, hitting $23 billion. The price of AVAX reached all time highs this week is now in price discovery.
  • Avalanche has a fast growing ecosystem with loads of DeFi protocols and dApps, tonnes of exchanges and swaps, as well as a growing NFT dApp presence. Gaming is not as big on Avalanche as it is on Solana.
  • Avalanche recently announced $600 million in incentives to encourage development on its network. It aims to coax developers over from Ethereum.
  • AVAX token is used for network fees, capped at 720 million, and burned (on creation of blockchains, assets, subnets and payment of transaction fees). If the tokens burned exceed rewards (to validators) the tokenomics are deflationary. This is generally positive for the AVAX token price longer term.

Terra (LUNA)

Terra blockchain is all about creating programmable (private) money for the internet. It is a growing stablecoin payment system Layer 1 ecosystem. Terra is primarily a DeFi play, making it less versatile than other Layer 1s here like Solana and Polkadot. But it also has a clear niche and need. The Terra token used to pay network transaction fees is called LUNA. Terra’s most popular product by far is the Anchor lending protocol.

Fun facts for Terra investors:
  • Terra holders can stake their LUNA and earn rewards for supporting the Terra network.
  • Terra users can lend their UST (the USD pegged Terra stablecoin) on Anchor Protocol for a 20% APY with little exposure to price volatility. This one product has massively increased the popularity of Terra blockchain.
  • Terra has introduced a token burning mechanism, making it a deflationary asset.
  • TVL is just shy of $10 billion, with around 40% of that locked in Anchor protocol.
  • Terra issues stablecoins pegged to loads of different world fiat currencies – like the EURO or Korean Won. This makes it a cheap and fast global payment system. Terra stablecoins are currently widely used for retail and commerce in Korea and use in other countries is growing. Terra claims to have 2 million users of its stablecoins worldwide.
best cryptocurrency

3 December update: Since publishing our LUNA pick on 19 November the price of LUNA has rallied 70%. Just an example of the kind of exponential growth that can occur with rapid network adoption.

If you want to learn more about LUNA and the Terra blockchain and ecosystem, check out our article “Why Anchor Protocol is the new high yield savings account”. Anchor is a DeFi lending protocol in the Terra ecosystem with a $7B TVL. Well worth looking at.

Constructing your digital asset portfolio

Whether you believe in a multichain digital asset ecosystem future, or you believe in ‘one chain to rule them all’, you would be amiss not to include at least one Layer 1 blockchain in your digital asset portfolio.

If you’re interested in investing in these or other Layer 1 crypto projects you can do so on Binance or Coinspot (Australia), or on Coinbase and Kucoin (US).

By virtue of their role in the crypto ecosystem, Layer 1 blockchains are in our view the most likely to demonstrate the kind of network effects that can lead to exponential growth.

Some, like “The Leaders” and “The Contenders” introduced in this post, are already showing the signs of network effects. If they continue their growth, “The Contenders” have a strong chance of establishing incumbency and cementing their role as a base layer of the future global digital asset system.

As we’ve already argued, network effects + incumbency form a potent mix for future price growth.

And then there are the “The Challengers”, where nothing is certain but there’s still a chance for investors to get in early.

Not financial advice peeps – just sharing our opinion about the best cryptocurrency for exponential growth with y’all. As always, DYOR!

What is the best NFT token for long term growth?

best NFT token

The holy grail of crypto investing is trying to work out which are the ‘shitcoins’ (coins that have no value or purpose) and which coins and tokens are going to be around and grow in value for years to come. The latter are digital assets we prefer to invest in. So in this post, we look at three top contenders for best NFT token if you’re looking for long term growth.

Warning: You’re going to have to open your mind as you read through this post if you are new to digital assets. Especially if you’re a boomer or at least not a millenial. The digital asset ecosystem is like a parallel universe built by aliens using mind bending technology. That’s exactly how we felt when we first fell into the crypto rabbit hole. There’s a learning curve to crypto investing that is both financial and technical. Get comfortable with it.

Also..this is not financial advice peeps! If you’re making crypto investments based on an article on the internet (even from us haha!), it’s time to take a long hard look at yourself. 🙂 DYOR stands for Do Your Own Research – we do recommend this! The coins and tokens that we cover here are ones that we’ve invested in. Let’s go over them so you can find out why we took the plunge.

best NFT token

Theta (THETA)

Theta Network is a decentralized video streaming blockchain network that offers crypto rewards to users in exchange for their unused bandwidth. Theta uses this bandwidth to provide video streaming services to partner companies. The company is attempting to establish itself as the leading media and entertainment blockchain. Here are some runs already on the board:

Partners – Google, Samsung, MGM Grand, Katy Perry, Decentraland. Lionsgate, Cinedigm, World Poker Tour, One (MaiTai fighting league).

Investors – Sony Innovation Fund and CAA to name a few.

Media Advisors – Steve Chen Co-founder of Youtube and Justin Kan co-founder of Twitch.

Theta’s revenue streams include decentralised streaming and video delivery, as well as a new, complementary revenue stream of NFT digital collectibles. Let’s look at each of these.

Decentralised streaming and video delivery

Theta blockchain leverages underused devices in homes across the globe to distribute video more efficiently using the decentralised Theta Network. Products include Theta.tv, which is like a decentralised version of Youtube but with really great streaming quality. The biggest difference is that Theta doesn’t monopolise the value created by its creators (Youtube keeps 45% of ad revenue peeps!).

Users of Theta.tv can watch streamed video content and get rewarded at the same time for sharing their unused bandwidth to relay video. Rewards are in Theta Fuel (TFUEL) tokens. There is no special equipment required to contribute to the video streaming network – you just connect via a standard PC or Smart TV.

Theta’s decentralised streaming model results in lower cost streaming for its partners and more reliable quality of service for Theta.tv content creators and end users.

Creators on Theta.tv can monetise their content through subscription and donations. They also get 25% of all TFUEL earned by their viewers.

You can also earn TFUEL just by staking THETA and supporting their blockchain network.

Both THETA and TFUEL can be swapped into stablecoins like USDT. Stablecoins can then be exchanged into Fiat (dollars), so earning money on Theta.tv equals money IRL (in real life).

You swap coins on ThetaSwap.

Theta Edgecast is Theta’s decentralized video streaming DApp product that is 100% built on Theta’s native blockchain. Theta Edgecast can capture video, transcode it in real-time, and cache and relay it to users globally all through Theta’s peer-to-peer edge network. That network comprises over 100,000 edge nodes today.

NFT digital collectibles

Theta expanded into the NFT arena this year with the launch of ThetaDrop NFTs.

Theta intends on incorporating exclusive NFT drops as part of the live user experience for movies and shows. ThetaDrop NFTs incentivize viewers with TFUEL and introduce a fan reward and engagement program to improve the fan experience.

ThetaDrop NFTs launched in 2021 with the first live streamed World Poker Tour, which has a world wide audience of 140 million. Other leading global brands to join include Katy Perry and many top crypto streamers and influencers.

The ThetaDrop Marketplace, which went live in June 2021, provides a secondary market for users to trade their ThetaDrop NFTs and has generated significant volume and value for both creators and collectors. More than 100,000 ThetaDrop NFTs were sold in the six weeks after launch, generating over $2 million for content creators.

Future NFT plans

In the future, Theta will support decentralized NFT storage. NFT users will own and take custody of their content IP, without relying on any centralized platform for media data storage. An upcoming cross-chain bridge between Theta Network, Ethereum and others will enable NFT transfer and transactions across networks, so users can take their NFTs with them wherever they want to.

Theta has also recently been awarded a US patent for ‘virtual ticket’ NFTs. Think of event and concert tickets on the blockchain. Not only would your NFT ticket provide provable ticket ownership and access to the event, it also doubles as a digital collectible and can provide users in future with fan incentives and rewards like Airdrops.

Theta envisions an ecosystem that operates like a ‘fan lifecycle management system’ – monetising all touch-points of a fan’s engagement with their media or entertainment of choice.

The Theta ecosystem includes a web wallet that you can use to store and stake your THETA, earn and store TFUEL and eventually store your NFTs.

Why we like Theta

1.Theta is poised to take advantage of two very strong growth trends over the next 5 years – online streaming and online entertainment and media.

2. The project has real use cases, Tier one partnerships, strong tokenomics, a clear roadmap and has invested in patented tech. All indicators the project will be around for some time to come.

3. Technicals look bullish (not financial advice – just in our opinion).

  • Theta retested support at around $5 on the daily chart on 20 July and has since printed higher lowers in a sign of a price uptrend. The price action may also be printing a possible ‘adam and eve’ bullish reversal pattern on the daily. The measured move of this pattern is to all time high levels (if the pattern ends up playing out). As a larger cap coin, Theta is at the mercy of Bitcoin price movements. As always DYOR and invest at your own risk.

Chilliz (CHZ)

Chilliz hosts scaleable tokenized fan engagement ecosystems ready for the worlds biggest sporting clubs to better monetise fan engagement through unique and exclusive engagement experiences and superfan rewards.

It achieves this through a tokenised sports and entertainment exchange. Ticker CHZ is the native digital currency for the Chilliz exchange.

Fan token economy

The Chilliz concept is based around a fan token economy. For sports clubs and associations, fan tokens offer a way of connecting clubs with fans and unlocking new revenue streams and fan value.

Fan tokens are purchased on the Chilliz exchange. You use CHZ on the exchange to buy your favourite fan token. Fan tokens are floated on the market and the token price of each moves with the market.

CHZ holders get access to various fan tokens and literally have a stake in their club.

Socios platform

In addition to its token exchange, the company behind Chilliz also operates the blockchain-based sports platform Socios.

Socios is a platform where ‘super fans’ can congregate and support their favourite team by buying fan tokens. In return, these tokens allow fans to participate in the governance of their favourite sports brands and provide access to superfan rewards and bonuses.

The Socios platform is just the first example and use case of the Chilliz fan token model.

Socios is backed by partnerships with some of the soccer (football) clubs in the world: FC BarcelonaManchester CityJuventus Turin, and Paris Saint-Germain. Chilliz also boasts partnerships with the UFC and gaming organizations.

Gamefication & play to earn

Chilliz has also gamefied their ecosystem. Soccer fans for example are able to ‘hunt for tokens’ (get them for free) by playing games and participating in activities inside the Socios app. You need to hold CHZ in your Socios App to participate and buy fan tokens but you only need one token to start. Users can rack up rewards and use them to unlock exclusive fan offerings like merch, experiences and VIP access.

Chilliz NFT collectibles

Chilliz recently launched it’s first digital collectible NFT with soccer giant AC Milan. NFT drops have eligibility criteria and are designed to incentivise holders of the AC Milan fan token. The NFT itself is collectible and tradable between AC Milan fans, with ownership authenticated on the blockchain. But what’s really bangin’ about these NFTs is that they have built in loyalty rewards functions. Holders will be able to use them to unlock experiences and rewards from the club that fiat money just can’t buy.

AC Milan is just the start. Think sports trading cards on steroids with all sorts of built in bonuses….

Why we like Chilliz

Great concept and clever launch.

  • Soccer fans are C.R.A.Z.Y passionate. Superfan tokens with exclusive access, club experiences and a chance to participate in club governance sounds like a soccer superfan’s wet dream. The two just work together, if you feel us. What a great proof of concept and demo by Chilliz. We’re not even soccer fans and we want some socios NFTs!

It’s massively scaleable.

  • We see no reason the concept and business model can’t work with fan engagement across other major sports, and even other industries like music and movies. Imagine superfans of the TV show Yellowstone buying a show token giving them the ability to access early episode drops and vote on storyline and character developments, for example. The Chilliz model could be as big as your imagination. Esports brands like OG are already on board with the Chilliz concept. Who’s next?
best NFT token

Enjin (ENJ & EFI)

Get your head around this financial freedom seekers. Enjin is a large cap crypto company with a mission to build..

…a product ecosystem that will help humanity create advanced virtual economies through the power of blockchain technology.

The Enjin product ecosystem comprises a developer platform, product market place, and crypto wallet.

But what products are they focussed on exactly?

  • Gaming assets – NFT gaming assets that unlock in-game experiences, new levels of play and play to earn opportunities.
  • Digital art – users can create digital art and monetise it on Enjin, without knowing any code
  • Sports collectibles – Enjin allows developers and companies to create tradable, programmable, validated and scarce digital sports collectibles to bring more value to fans and more revenue, and
  • Music tracks – music as own-able and programmable tokens. Simple as that.

Enjin offers users and developers a native platform to build websites and integrate gaming features. You can also create and and run forum boards, NFT shops and gaming guilds using Enjin’s platform.

The Enjin network is built on the Ethereum blockchain. Its gaming and NFT based ecosystem is powered by dual tokens – Enjin Coin (ENJ) and Efinity Token (EFI). Lets look at each.

ENJ

ENJ is the ecosystem currency for the Enjin Ethereum blockchain. You need ENJ to create and buy ecosystem products. ENJ will also have utility in the Efinity network. ENJ is used to mint NFTs on the Efinity network, where the ‘ENJ-infused’ NFT will be automatically staked and generate passive income in the form of EFI tokens.

ENJ will be transferable between both Enjin and Efinity networks via a cross chain bridge.

Efinity network (EFI)

Efinity Network refers to Enjin’s new Efinity parachain built on Polkadot (instead of Ethereum). Crypto users and NFT holders will use Efinity Network to cheaply and quickly move cryptocurrencies and NFTs between blockchains.

Efinity is trying to resolve some of the transactions costs and other issues of transacting NFTs on the expensive and clogged Ethereum network.

EFI is the native token of Efinity network. Users of Efinity will pay EFI for transaction fees, marketplace commissions, bridging tolls, and smart contract charges. It’s kind of like Ethereum gas fees. EFI is used to automatically reward ENJ stakers for supporting the Efinity network. EFI is what Enjin calls a ‘paratoken’. This means it is compatible with all parachains built on Polkadot and sister network Kusama.

Holders can swap ENJ and EFI for stablecoins and then swap these stablecoins (via a crypto exchange like Binance) into fiat currency (money IRL).

Why we like Enjin

Multiple use cases

  • Enjin already integrates with a heap of games with millions of players – like Minecraft and World of Warcraft. But’s its utility is far beyond gaming. With a digital product marketplace and developer platform covering music, art and sports collectibles, the uses cases are mindblowing.

Incumbency, token expansion and user base

  • Enjin has been around since 2009 and has built Enjin Network (the Enjin blockchain) to a community of 19 million gamers globally. That’s a nice customer base to launch a token ecosystem, an NFT marketplace and NFT developer platform. They’re also expanding their token economy and utility with the Efinity network plans, which is great for ENJ holders.

Where to buy NFT tokens THETA, CHZ and ENJ

LocationTHETACHZENJ
Australia – buy with AUD (AUD bank transfer first)CoinspotCoinspotCoinspot
The US – buy with USDT (US dollar bank transfer first)KucoinKucoinKucoin

Is a crypto hedge fund better than buying crypto?

crypto hedge fund

Crypto hedge funds are booming. So should you be buying cryptocurrency or is it better to invest in a managed fund that focuses on crypto? A crypto hedge fund is a managed investment fund that offers investors exposure to digital assets without actually owning the asset directly. But why invest in a crypto hedge fund when you can just buy crypto? In this article we help you weigh up your investment options. We’ll cover what crypto hedge funds are, things you should know before investing in a crypto fund, their performance versus owning crypto outright and the top 5 crypto hedge funds by assets under management.

What is a crypto hedge fund?

A crypto hedge fund is a type of investment where investors pool their funds together to invest in cryptocurrency assets. Crypto hedge funds are usually operated by an experienced crypto trader or group of traders who have years of experience trading crypto. The fund manager(s) will use the capital from the crypto hedge fund to buy crypto assets, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Hedge funds are known to employ more aggressive investment strategies than other types of funds (ETFs), differentiating them as an investment vehicle. There are different types of investment strategies from longing, shorting and arbitrage trading to more fundamentals based strategies like relative value or tech analysis. The chosen strategy will impact that risk profile of the fund.

The word “hedge” is used because these funds historically focused on hedging risk by buying and shorting assets concurrently, in a long-short equity strategy. They’re not called hedge funds because they protect investors from all of crypto’s investing risks however.

On top of these trading strategies, crypto hedge funds will often stake, lend and borrow coins and tokens to increase the IRR of the fund.

Crypto hedge funds don’t just hold crypto assets. They can invest in crypto adjacent assets. For example, there are funds that invest in and trade blockchain stocks. These are stocks of companies that provide Blockchain products and services.

Crypto hedge funds are different from traditional hedge funds in that they focus only on digital assets associated with cryptocurrencies.

Crypto hedge funds are booming

According to PwC, there were 150 to 200 funds at last count. These funds have total assets under management (AuM) in the billions.

The number of funds set up correlate directly to the price of Bitcoin which is no surprise. Because Bitcoin is booming, so is interest in these kind of more aggressive crypto specific funds.

crypto hedge fund

Who is investing in them, and how much?

The funds, by their structure and the way they’re regulated, target already wealthy investors. Because they are seen as ‘risky’, the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) limits access to hedge funds to ‘accredited investors’. Accredited investors have a net worth of more than $1 million, not including the value of their home, or annual individual incomes over $200,000.

Basically, if you’re a US citizen but you’re not already rich you can’t invest in in any kind of hedge fund, including a crypto one (but by all means take your cash to Vegas and blow it all on black…).

It follows that around 50% of crypto hedge fund clients are high net worth individuals followed by family offices and ‘funds of funds’. The average investment in crypto hedge funds is $1.1 million.

Crypto hedge funds are traditional investment vehicles. They’re a known quantity to traditional investors and these are the investor types they will continue to attract.

3 things to know about crypto hedge funds, before investing

  1. Fees – You have to pay them and they’re high. You pay both management fees AND performance fees for the privilege of investing in these funds.
    1. Management fees – average 2.3%
    2. Performance fees – average 22.5%. Often increase with a higher IRR.
  2. Buy-in hurdles – if you don’t have at least $100k you’re NGMI – not gonna make it. You won’t meet the hurdle rate to invest. You also need to be an accredited investor (see below) and prove it, which means paperwork! Meh…
  3. Redemption gates – you can’t take your investment out whenever you want. There are rules about when and how much of your funds you can access at one time. This, they say, it to prevent pricing impacts from large redemptions. So it’s there to ‘protect’ clients, but it just goes against the grain a little.

Are crypto hedge funds better than owning crypto?

The trade offs

Let’s look at the trade offs and benefits of crypto hedge funds, starting with most important part first – cost and performance.

We know the costs or fees are 2.3% management fee on average plus a 20%+ performance fee. So, what does the average hedge fund performance look like, versus owning cryptocurrency outright?

Median performance of crypto hedge funds in 2020 across all investment strategy types was 184%. Here’s how that breaks down:

crypto hedge fund
source PwC

But don’t forget, you’re handing back 20% to 30% of that in fees.

If you had just bought and held Bitcoin your investment would have returned 305% over the same period.

And that’s Bitcoin – the largest large cap crypto of them all. Had you chosen instead (as we did) to buy and hold a lower cap altcoin, like the Layer 1 protocol Fantom (FTM), your return over 2020 was 1088%. That’s a mighty return for investing yourself, with zero buy-in hurdle rates and no performance fees.

And here’s something else to consider when it comes to crypto hedge funds. They will invest conservatively for a bunch of reasons; reputation, performance, regulatory obligations etc. In this way, crypto hedge funds are no different from traditional hedge funds.

A recent PwC survey revealed that crypto hedge funds predominantly trade the large cap ‘less risky’ coins that are slower to move and less likely to moon. 92% of crypto hedge funds traded Bitcoin ‘BTC’, followed by Ethereum ‘ETH’ (67%), Litecoin ‘LTC’ (34%), Chainlink‘LINK’ (30%), Polkadot‘DOT’ (28%) and Aave‘AAVE’ (27%).

Larger cap = lower risk = lower reward.

crypto hedge fund
The coins crypto hedge funds typically trade. Source PwC

So what are you trading returns for when you invest in a crypto hedge fund? Exactly what do you get out this kind of investment (if you do meet the buy in hurdle that is).

The benefits

Time & effort saved

For the fees you pay them, fund managers will do the research for you. They will also manage the blockchain transactions for you. You don’t need to learn anything about crypto – how to use on and off-ramps from fiat, how transact on the blockchain, where to store to coins, etc. etc.

Seen as less risky

Hedge funds use more aggressive investing strategies than other funds, but crypto hedge funds are still seen as less risky than owning crypto itself. Why is this?

Firstly, the fund managers do the due diligence for you. They research the companies, projects and code so you don’t have to worry about putting your money into something that turns out to be a rug pull or some other scam. Fraud, scams and rug pulls are a realised risk in crypto for many investors.

Secondly comes diversification. A hedge fund uses the money in the fund to buy into multiple coins, tokens and projects. The concept being, your money is diversified to help reduce single asset risk exposure and soften market volatility.

While they will help you avoid some of the risks inherent in investing in crypto (check out our article on this here), crypto hedge funds are still exposed to broader crypto market volatility. Although they actively seek to manage the impacts, it’s more to dilute than avoid them.

No asset custody worries

You might sleep better at night knowing that you are not responsible for keeping your crypto safe from cyber hack yourself. That’s because buying into one of these funds, you won’t really own any. No need for cold storage wallets, private keys, seed phrase storage, or any of that palaver.

Tax advantaged

This is a weird one. We’ve always had trouble with the concept of picking investments specifically for the tax advantages, but it can be a nice by-product. If you’re a US Citizen, hedge funds can qualify to be held in IRA and Roth IRA accounts.

Crypto hedge fund list

With over 150 crypto hedge funds in the market, it’s difficult to nail down exactly which one might be right for you. This is precisely why there’s a whole industry of brokers available to refer you to their crypto hedge fund of choice (for a commission or trailing fee of course!). To help out, here’s a list of crypto hedge funds but by no means is it exhaustive. Some of the better known and large fund managers not on the list include:

  • Grayscale Investments
  • Pantera Capital
  • Galaxy digital
  • Invictus Capital and
  • Coinshares.

Is a crypto ETF a good investment for crypto beginners?

crypto ETF

If only 13% of Australians own crypto, are the 87% about to jump in? It’s about the same in the US. Bitcoin is just off all time highs after its epic retrace in May 2021. It’s probably time for the FOMO set in. If you’re a crypto beginner and looking for ways to get involved with crypto, you might have heard about the new crypto ETF. The first Bitcoin ETF launched in the US recently. Australia and Canada have followed suit.

However, before you jump on the bandwagon, there are some things that you need to understand about this historic cross-over of traditional and crypto markets. In this article we will cover the new Bitcoin ETF, who it’s good for, and 5 reasons any crypto newbie might think twice about investing.

What is an ETF?

An ETF is an Exchange Traded Fund, which basically means that it’s a fund listed on the stock exchange.

An ETF is an investment fund that (usually) owns the underlying assets (shares of stock, bonds, oil futures or gold bars) and divides ownership of those assets into shares. These can be traded on exchanges just like individual stocks.

This differs from buying shares in companies because instead of owning fractions of businesses, you are invested into funds containing lots and lots of companies within a particular investing theme.

As the crypto market has matured, many have called for the creation of a crypto ETF or a Bitcoin ETF.

Can you invest in a crypto ETF today?

The answer to that question depends what country you’re in!

If you are in the US, you can now invest in a Bitcoin Futures ETF – an ETF based on the Bitcoin Futures market.

In the last week, US regulators have approved the first US Bitcoin Futures ETFs: ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF (Ticker BITO).

Several other fund managers, including the VanEck Bitcoin Trust, Invesco, Valkyrie, Ark Invest and Galaxy Digital Funds, have also applied to launch Bitcoin ETFs in the United States but as yet these are not approved.

The ProShares Bitcoin ETF is a futures based ETF.

The are no Bitcoin or crypto ETFs (either Futures or Spot) approved for investment in Australia, but there are several in Canada and Europe.

crypto ETF
The first Bitcoin ETF launches in the US today

Futures vs Spot Bitcoin ETF

Futures-based ETFs are different from spot market ETFs in that they track futures contracts rather than the spot price of an asset. A Bitcoin futures ETF follows Bitcoin futures contracts rather than the value of bitcoin itself. As a result, the ETF’s price will not correspond to the price of bitcoin.

A futures ETF is a ‘synthetic ETF’ because it’s based on financial derivatives (futures contracts) traded at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). The fund BITO doesn’t buy and sell any Bitcoin and you don’t actually own any Bitcoin by buying into fund!

A spot Bitcoin ETF is in the works. Word is that trust fund manager Grayscale will soon apply to regulators to have their Grayscale Bitcoin Trust fund changed to a Bitcoin ETF.

What is the difference between a Bitcoin ETF and a crypto ETF?

A Bitcoin ETF will follow the Bitcoin spot price or futures contracts. It doesn’t cover other cryptocurrencies. It’s movement up or down relates only to Bitcoin’s movement.

A crypto ETF will track a broader basket of cryptocurrencies. It’s movement / price is weighted to the fund’s allocation of this basket cryptocurrencies. It make sense that the first crypto ETFs are likely to track a basket of large cap coins or more established crypto themes, like Decentralised Finance coins or Layer 1 protocols. Although there seems to be growing support for an Ethereum ETF to launch next.

Why you may be tempted to buy shares in a crypto ETF

Exposure to a new asset class

Crypto ETFs are new. Hell, mostly they still don’t even exist. But they’re coming, and large investment houses will undoubtedly be successful selling these funds to their clients as a new ‘must have’ asset class in their portfolio. They will espouse a bunch of benefits about an ETF being less risky, easier to buy and out of, more passive – all appealing traits for new crypto investors. Will you be convinced? Let’s look at these.

Diversification

If you buy into a crypto ETF that holds a basket of cryptocurrencies, then on the surface at least your portfolio is more diversified than owning one coin and you minimise risk. How? Your investing eggs aren’t all in one basket. Also, a basket of crypto may slightly dampen the market volatility of exposure to a single coin. That said, large cap crypto and crypto asset classes can move together and move wildly, so you’re not avoiding volatility altogether.

Easy to buy and sell

Investors who want exposure to cryptocurrency without actually holding any will find it easier to purchase via an ETF than going out and buying Bitcoin directly. This makes crypto ETFs accessible to traditional investors that don’t want to go through the learning process of setting up their own crypto wallet and navigating the on and off ramps into the crypto ecosystem.

For example, you can buy shares in an ETF through a regular stock broker or on an easy to use stock app straight from your mobile. To get crypto is a bit more involved and there’s a learning curve.

Reduced investing risks

Crypto funds are still relatively new and we’ve posted extensively about the different risks of investing directly in crypto (and how to manage them).

If you really don’t want to take the plunge buying into a crypto ETF could help avoid some of these risks – like human error in navigating the block chain. Any ETF fund manager will also do the due diligence for you. They vet the coins in the basket, so your risk of things like project failure (when the coin goes to zero) and rug pulls are theoretically less. You also don’t need to think about coin custody and cyber hacks because you won’t actually ever own any cryptocurrency.

A crypto ETF is good for crypto (but is it good for you?)

A crypto ETF is expected to bring more money into the crypto asset ecosystem. Mainstream investors will see it as opening up the possibility of large gains to traditional stock market investors. The common view is crypto ETFs will bring new money, new investors and greater legitimacy into the crypto ecosystem.

This is good for crypto hodlers like us because demand for crypto assets that we own will increase.

The price of Bitcoin has already pumped more than 10% on the news of the Proshares Bitcoin Futures ETF and the ETF will not even hold any Bitcoin!

But in the end, a crypto ETF is a traditional financial instrument. That means already obscenely rich middlemen taking their fat fees and others controlling your money. Ask yourself, is buying into a crypto ETF a good way to start your crypto investing?

Here’s 5 reasons we don’t think so..

5 reasons to think twice about buying a crypto ETF

1. You’ll pay more

There are additional fees associated with using a fund set up by institutional investors. Instead of paying more of you hard earned fiat, you can buy crypto directly and pay less for the opportunity.

2. Wall Street gets richer

ETFs involve middlemen who clip the ticket on your investment. If you’re cool fattening their pockets, then go you. But if you know about the idea behind crypto and believe in its human good, then making Wall Street richer should grate on you.

Crypto is about decentralised system of finance where opportunity isn’t controlled by Wall Street and everyone invests from a level playing field.

3. You miss out on DeFi opportunities

Owning cryptocurrency can open up the opportunity for gains in addition to the underlying asset price movement. For example, holding a crypto asset can qualify you for an ‘Airdrop’ in which you’re gifted another asset by the same crypto project (for free). We’ve received many an Airdrop that has turned into sweet profits in the past. You won’t get this owning shares in an ETF.

DeFi is also a killer opportunity to compound your crypto investment gains. You can own a crypto, be exposed to its market price and also earn passive income from lending that crypto or staking it in a DeFi protocol. An ETF only exposes you to the price gains or losses of the underlying crypto asset.

4. It’s double the market risk

ETFs are part of the stock market (fiat currency based). Irrespective the asset an ETF covers, it is arguably influenced by overall stock market movements and sentiment. On top of this, a crypto ETF will be influenced by crypto market movements and sentiment. The question is, do you want to carry both of these risks in the one investment?

5. It’s not the future

You don’t need to learn anything new to buy a crypto ETF. This may seem like a benefit, but is it in the long term? We would argue that with digital assets and blockchain tech growing exponentially, the sooner you learn about how to use blockchain technology and transact cryptocurrency assets, the better off you’ll be in the long term.

Conclusion – invest in yourself not Proshares

None of this is financial advice peeps, be we think crypto is here to stay. Digital assets are a legitimate asset class and a growing part of our asset portfolio. The opportunities you open up from understanding the crypto ecosystem right now are asymmetrical.

But they won’t always be.

It’s up to you. You can invest in a crypto ETF and you might get some nice gains. Or you can invest in yourself, learn crypto and use it like we have to get to your financial freedom.

If you want to join the digital asset revolution and just by crypto instead, check out our starter guide to the right of screen. It’s free and it will get you buying your first crypto safely in 6 easy steps. It even has links to everything you need on the internet. -> -> ->

If you want to buy into the new Bitcoin Future’s ETF we’ll provide an updated link to the fund as soon as the product is public!

How to manage Airbnb properties for others

manage Airbnb properties

If you want to escape the office and be your own boss you we know of a great income option that can be as big as you make it: manage Airbnb properties for other people. In this post, we’re going to answer the biggest questions for wanna be Airbnb managers and co-hosts. We’re Superhosts who manage our own and other people’s Airbnb properties.. So we know a thing or too about what you’re in for and this guide comes from the heart! Here’s what our article will cover:

Contents

  • Can you manage and Airbnb for someone else?
  • How does it work?
  • A gap in the market for good Airbnb managers
  • Different business models to manage Airbnb properties
  • How do Airbnb property managers get paid?
  • Do you need a real estate license to manage and Airbnb?
  • How much work is it to manage an Airbnb?
  • Do you need money to get started?
  • How much can you earn?
  • 4 steps to start managing Airbnb properties for other people
  • Conclusion
manage Airbnb properties

Can you manage an Airbnb for someone else?

Yes. You definitely can manage an Airbnb for someone else. We would go so far as to say there are tonnes of Airbnb owners out there looking for reliable people to manage their Airbnb properties! We’ve been in those exact shoes.

The best thing about it? There’s loads of different ways to set it up to suit the services you offer and the needs of local Airbnb owners. Some that don’t require you to obtain a real estate license.!

How does it work?

It all starts with Airbnb owner wanting someone to manage their Airbnb property on their behalf. The types of tasks Airbnb owners often need help with include:

Existing Airbnb listings:
  • managing the listing on Airbnb, including bookings, the calendar and nightly rates
  • guest communications and resolving guest issues with Airbnb
  • managing or doing the cleaning and laundry
  • keeping inventory inside the Airbnb
  • managing property maintenance and upgrades
  • any social media (mostly on vacation rentals)
New Airbnb listings:
  • styling and set up for the Airbnb – sourcing furniture, linen, decor and other supplies and setting up the home within a budget
  • listing the property on Airbnb – setting up the account, guest communications, professional photography, payment methods etc

Airbnb management services

These tasks listed above are the types of services you would target when you manage Airbnb properties for others.

Airbnb owners may want all or just some of these services. For example ,some Airbnb owners may just want Operations Managers. Operations Managers typically cover cleaning, maintenance, inventory and any on site services. The owner may be happy to manage the listing and guest communications themselves.

What this means is that there is loads of flexibility in how you operate and what you do when you set up a business to manage Airbnb properties for other people.

Once you find a service offering that you’re good at and works for your market, stick to it!

A gap in the market for good Airbnb managers

Professional Airbnb management companies are expensive. Any Airbnb owner that engages a professional management company will likely lose a hefty part of their Airbnb profits. Management companies start from 20% (of total Airbnb revenue before costs – eek!) and go as high as 50% ‘depending on what services are involved’.

Airbnb management companies are also still rare. While Airbnb’s are everywhere around the globe, professional Airbnb management companies are not. In our experience, they operate on a volume based model, which means they are located in and focussed on large cities with lots of Airbnbs.

If you’re not located in a large city, there may be a gap in the market for you. Huzzah!

Don’t fear city dwellers, there’s still plenty of room in the market depending on your chosen business model and value proposition.

Different business models to manage Airbnb properties

From professional Property Managers to Airbnb Co-hosts

Professional Property Managers (usually incorporated businesses) manage both the Airbnb listing and the operations for the Airbnb owner. To do this, they list the Airbnb property under their name or brand. The owner simply sits back and receives their Airbnb income and performance reporting.

This is the model with the highest fee structure as the Airbnb manager has all of the responsibilities listed above and more. It is also the model that is likely to trigger real estate license requirements and public liability insurance requirements in many states, both in Australia and in the US. There’s more details on this below.

By all means, if you’re looking to build an Airbnb property management empire in your local market, then go for it! Get licensed, insured and off you go!

However, the good news is there are also other models to manage Airbnb properties for others, where licensing is not necessary.

For example, you can co-host an Airbnb with another person (the owner) and still provide services and get paid, without having to receive the rental income.

What is an Airbnb Co-host?

An Airbnb Cohost is a secondary host role on the Airbnb platform. A cohost helps the Airbnb owner manage their listing. Cohosts can be added to a listing by the Airbnb owner.

Airbnb restricts the activities that Co-hosts can perform on the platform. Generally you can’t access the owner‘s payout or tax information. But you have access to almost everything else about the listing, enabling you to provide co-host services.

How do Airbnb property managers get paid?

Percentage fees

This is where you’re paid a percentage of the total Airbnb revenue (usually after Airbnb fees). The percentage is up to you and the Airbnb owner, but industry practice is to start at around 10%.

Remember, that’s just the management fee and it does not cover actual operating expenses! You can see in the equation below where these are deducted.

This payment method works best when you are managing all parts of the listing, including revenue, on behalf of the owner as you get to see all income and expenses. You simply take your negotiated fee from gross earnings (ex Airbnb fees). It’s easier to work this out AFTER Airbnb fees are deducted because of the way the platform reports income. Here’s an example of what it might look like.

Airbnb management fees = (total monthly Airbnb income – Airbnb fees) x 10%

Airbnb owner profit = total monthly Airbnb income – Airbnb fees – Airbnb management fees – operating expenses

You don’t have to calculate your fees this way – it really depends on what you and the Airbnb owner negotiate. You may take a percentage of Airbnb owner net profit, instead of total revenue (minus Airbnb fees).

By guest turnover

This is when you are paid by the Airbnb Owner (via bank transfer) in the form of a fixed fee per guest stay at the Airbnb. You negotiate what is included for this fixed rate.

This kind of payment method suits Airbnb Operations Managers. But make sure to be clear on what is included and what is not. For example, cleaning, laundry, gardening and basic maintenance. Any repairs, replacements etc would typically not be included in the fixed fee. They would be paid separately by the owner, although you might be responsible for organising them.

Because there can be extra duties outside of guest turnovers that sometimes need to be taken care of, it can be a good idea to agree an hourly rate to perform these one off tasks.

Hourly

You’re paid a simple hourly rate and are on call to manage the Airbnb as needed. This may include cleaning, laundry, guest check in, maintenance, gardening and the list goes on.

If you head own this path, our advice is to negotiate an ‘after hours’ rate. Airbnb management can involve night time call outs when things go wrong – like the guest can’t operate the fold out bed or misplaces the door key.

Do you need a real estate license to manage an Airbnb?

Not necessarily. It really depends on what you do as an Airbnb manager.

In Australia, if you’re receiving rental income on behalf of someone (whether short or long term), you need to have it paid into a trust account. To open a trust account for this purpose you need a real estate licence.

In the US, states vary on their real estate licensing requirements for Airbnb.

It’s really a state-by-state requirement in both Australia and the US.

The good news is, you can avoid this requirement by avoiding managing the Airbnb revenue.

How much work is it to manage an Airbnb?

It’s entirely up to you, based on your business model.

If all you are doing is outsourcing work to cleaners, handymen and linen providers for your 10% management fee then it’s not a difficult gig. You’re mostly coordinating guest turn-overs, managing guest communications (and these can be automated now on Airbnb systems) and managing inventory, quality and disputes.

The skills you need are things like coordinating, communicating staying organised and problem solving.

If you’re doing the cleaning, laundry, maintenance, and gardening yourself then it is a lot of work so make sure you negotiate fair payment for it.

Do you need money to get started?

Not necessarily. There’s no or minimal start up capital needed if you’re already an experienced Airbnb host and you’re managing outsourced activities.

You may spend $50 on AirDNA data to determine your business model and fees. If you want to advertise on Cohost Market (seed down below) you might need another $50.

You will need a car, and may need to be co-located with the Airbnb listings that you are managing. That said, remote Airbnb co-hosting is a thing. Stay tuned as we explore this in a future post!

If you’re new to Airbnb, we absolutely recommend you learn the business before starting to market yourself as a co-host. Invest in your Airbnb education like we did. Your new business and income will thank you for it!

How much can you earn?

How long is a piece of string? If you’re asking whether you can earn a full time income managing Airbnb properties for others, then the answer is definitely yes.

The amount you earn per listing, per month depends on:

  1. Everything in our guide above.
  2. The property itself. Luxury properties, unique properties and well-booked properties are clearly your target market. The better the listing performs, the more you earn. To earn the big bucks, you need to be able to spot a great listing, or make a good one even better!
  3. How many properties you manage. As we mentioned previously, there are tonnes of new automation tools and platforms that have sprung up around Airbnb. Many are designed to automate the tasks of property management. This means you can build a really, really good income stream managing multiple properties with automation in place.

You can even build your own Airbnb management empire!

4 steps to start managing Airbnb properties for other people

manage Airbnb properties

1. Learn the Airbnb business

We can’t emphasise this enough. Airbnb is a competitive market. To successfully managing other people’s listings you need to know how to:

  • find Airbnb owners to work with
  • nail your elevator pitch about why they need you to manage their property
  • showcase the Airbnb listing
  • optimise for the Airbnb algorithm
  • get bookings and manage nightly rates and calendars
  • maximise revenue
  • manage guest demands and needs
  • resolve disputes
  • comply with Airbnb’s many rules and policies (or risk having your account shut down).

If you’re marketing yourself as a Airbnb manager and learning these on the fly, you will be out competed. Full stop.

Revenue will suffer and so will your income.

You certainly won’t get a look in on the type of properties that we mention above and that will earn you the highest income as a co-host or property manager.

Invest in yourself – we did!

If you’re serious about building a real income from Airbnb then our advice is to invest in yourself. We did, and it has paid off big time. We live on our Airbnb income and it’s allowed us to quit the rat race. We can be our own bosses and we automate a lot of the tasks we do.

Bnb Formula is our recommended course to learn how to successfully manage multiple Airbnb properties. Check out the incredible value that is included in this online course and registerright here!

Remember, you’re only as successful as the listings you manage!

2. Decide what services you will offer and your fee structure

You need to write down your business model and work out your minimum fee, whether it be fixed or variable (percentage). We wouldn’t suggest opening your negotiations with your minimum rate of course, but don’t undercut it either!

If you want an example of Airbnb earnings, take a look at this this post about the monthly earnings and expenses for our 1-bed apartment listed on Airbnb.

You might also benefit from a one month subscription to the AirDNA analytics tool. Here you can find real data and actual earnings of real listings in your area. You can also see the nightly prices and occupancy rates of these listings. With this information, you will be able to determine your fees and the types of properties you should target. It’ll cost you less than $50 for this invaluable data.

3. Pull together your Airbnb management team (if you’re outsourcing tasks)

In some cases, an Airbnb owner may already have service providers that they use for their listing. You can inherit these if you take on management. In that case, you won’t need this step.

Alternatively, you may want to pull together a core group of reliable people around you to perform the tasks of cleaning, laundry, maintenance, gardening and repairs. Your Airbnb management team should include these people:

  • cleaner (who does linen and inventory preferably)
  • gardener (for stand alone homes only)
  • carpenter (for broken furniture, doors, etc)
  • plumber
  • electrician

As part of this, you’ll be negotiating rates for each service. You’ll either incorporate them into your business model or clear them with the Airbnb owner. Just note that cleaning and laundry is listed separately on Airbnb and paid for by the guest directly, so rates can be market driven.

4. Market your services

Here’s where the Bnb Formula training will first come in handy. The training teaches you were to find Airbnb owners, or potential Airbnb owners. It also teaches you how to pitch to them. We’ve done these pitches successfully and the training actually works. Without it, we would have struggled to bring owners and their properties on board.

Where to advertise

Other places to list your services as an Airbnb Co-host or manager are:

Fiverr – Fiverr is a freelancer website with global and local reach. It’s popular in the US and growing in Australia.

Airtasker – in Australia you’ll find people advertising their Airbnb services on Airtasker. It’s where we went to try and find help managing our Airbnbs.

Upwork – this is an other freelance online marketplace where people go to find help with their Airbnb properties.

Airbnb Facebook groups – there are heaps of these but be careful about the group rules and any self promotion as you enter.

Cohost marketprimarily in the US, UK and Canada this is a platform where you can register as a Co-host of property manager for a small annual fee of less than US$50. In return you get to market your services and search job listings specific to the Airbnb sector.

Conclusion

You can make a legitimately great income, be your own boss and quit the rat race. Just manage Airbnb properties for other people. You don’t need a license and you can build a service offering to suit your local market. In this article, we’ve provided tips about different business models, how much you can earn, and 4 steps to get started today.

If you’re keen to kick-off your new Airbnb co-host or property manager venture, your first step is to sign up for this Bnb Formula training.

Find out how to put yourself in the top 1% of Airbnb hosts and maximise your income.

Get learning now, and good luck!

Our first steps into the world of off-grid living

Off-grid living

It’s been 2 months now since we moved into our humble home in rural Tasmania and began our adventures in off-grid living.

Time for another update to our financial freedom journey!

What a busy period, with lots of adjustments – work, lifestyle, home life, finances, remote business running – just about everything really. 🙂

Unpacking into our new life

Before the dreaded unpacking, we camped in our little cottage for two weeks while the floors were re-done. I wouldn’t recommend it, but the floors look great.

We also had a wood heater installed, which makes for a cosy winter night with a glass of red or a tasty craft beer. The first night we ran the heater I worried we might burn the house down while we slept (we’re Queenslanders after all!). Now we’re chopping wood like maniacs and drinking more red wine than ever. Something about those flickering flames… 🙂

Cheap and cheerful $100 DIY reno

We love a DIY reno and also completed a cheap and cheerful do-over of the once ghastly pink study.

To make the standing desk for two, we bought $45 worth of timber and hinges and built two trestle legs. We then repurposed a beautiful, heavy timber barn door from the kitchen into a gigantic desktop. Add some crisp white paint to the walls and ceiling and voila! The room is perfect, with a picture window so pretty it’s a dangerous distraction from blogging.

The study is where I work when it’s raining out, which it almost always is in Tasmania!

We’ve had to pinch ourselves a lot in these last two months. We feel like we’ve stumbled into a huge slice of luck to be living here. But then, I’m a firm believer that luck is the meeting of preparation and opportunity. And our financial freedom was a journey we started 8 years ago…

We’ve met our curious cow neighbours and our thin Queensland blood has proudly survived the winter frost and a late spring snow.

Urban life to off-grid living – what has the transition been like?

One welcome adjustments and part of our financial freedom plan has been our move to off-grid living.

I confess, we’re not entirely off grid. We do have power lines. But we are off-grid for our water, waste water, septic, rubbish and 80% of our heating. For these life-time urban dwellers, it’s been a fun and a learning experience. So what exactly do we do differently now?

We manage our own water supply

Our water doesn’t just turn up at the tap as it does with urban living. It’s on us to make sure we have enough water and that it’s sufficiently clean to use and drink. We run two water pumps and two ‘pump and gravity fed’ rainwater tanks. The water is not clean enough for our liking so we have ordered a whole-house water filter to be installed before the main pump to clean up the water supply to the house. We double filter our drinking water through a Dolton tier one drinking water filter inside this cute and custom pot-belly pottery urn.

In return for our efforts, our variable water cost is zero. Our infrastructure costs are sunk and contained (no water utility to put up the fixed cost component of the water bill). And we don’t complain about the rain.. 🙂

We heat our home ourselves

We had 5m3 of dry timber delivered just after the wood heater was installed. Wow. That ended up being a lot of timber! We were stacking it for days inside our shed. Two months in, we’ve used about 1/4 of our timber supply. At $120/m3 delivered plus fire starters, we’re paying $90 per month for whole of house heating.

We live with less waste, more sustainably

Here’s a revelation for you. There’s no curb-side rubbish collection in the middle of rural nowhere. Who’d have thought.

This means that we have to take our rubbish for a drive to the transfer station each week. As we are putting it in the car, we find we are way more careful about what goes into our bins. We compost our kitchen waste. We recycle everything, especially paper and cardboard into our heating supplies. We live more consciously about our waste, and more sustainably because of it.

The same concept applies to our septic and grey water. We don’t use toxic chemicals down the loo, the sink or for cleaning. This keeps our septic system healthy and respects the surrounding farmland where our grey water filters.

We are rewarded for doing these things with much lower Council rates and a satisfying sense of living more lightly on the land.

We’re more self reliant

The transition to running our own systems hasn’t been hard. There’s no noticeable difference in the quality of the essential services that we now provide ourselves. But we do feel more self reliant and prepared for any future.

And that was a big part of our ‘Plan B’; a plan to rely less on centralised systems for our own well being.

Our next step off the grid will be uninterrupted power supply, and to build a growing tunnel for home-raised fruit and veg. So much to do and learn, this retiring from a wage earner job thing sure is hella busy! 🙂

That’s all great Tara, but now show me the money, right!

Net worth

Our net worth has grown by just under $55k in the September quarter, mostly due to cryptocurrency and some superannuation gains. We also added a new ‘digital assets’ category to our portfolio. This covers off the websites and domains we own. Property still makes up the largest share of our personal wealth. We also continue to hold more cash than our emergency fund rules require as we didn’t make large investments during the quarter.

Debt position

Our good debt position hasn’t changed as we have interest only loans on our investment properties. Bad debt remains at under $10,000. We funded our move in cottage renovations with cash that we had put away because the home cost less than we had budgeted. Oh, and some sweat equity!

September quarter income

Our Airbnb income this quarter was down on expectations thanks to two weeks of lock-downs in August. We’re not complaining because we know pandemic lock downs have driven many tourism businesses to the wall.

To manage this risk ongoing, we’ve been building up a business emergency fund for our Property Management business. It’s a strategy we’re using for peace of mind that we can ride through the uncertainties of living with a pandemic. We didn’t have to draw down on that fund in August, which we are grateful for.

Our expenses

If you’re wondering how expenses might change with your financial freedom, here’s what ours now look like. We live on around $3000 per month – less than half of what we lived on in Brisbane! With lower living costs, our money goes further. This geo-arbitrage strategy has helped bring forward our financial freedom date by years. It should definitely be on your radar if you’re open to it.

Not counted in our living costs is the capital we put into setting up our cottage – $36,000 from savings. This included:

  • new floors throughout
  • wood heater supply and install
  • NBN wireless connection and phone signal booster antenna
  • DIY study renovation
  • a new doorway to bring the stunning mountain views into the loungeroom,
  • some new large appliances and yard equipment
  • additional kitchen cabinetry
  • water filter systems
  • Snake mesh fencing – which we’ve half installed
  • Ikea shelving for the study
  • new blinds, which have yet to arrive.

Savvy spenders, not frugalistas

Our largest expense by far this quarter was food. We’ve spent more than usual to stock up our fridge and deep freezer. Rent comes in second but it’s all from July, before we had our new home. Happily, we’re no longer paying rent.

While we’re living on about $750 per we, we’re not practicing frugality. We still go out and eat out every weekend. We’ve been on a weekend trip to Launceston and a couple of day trips. It’s just that, where we live means we don’t ‘incidentally’ spend money on things like Uber, take out and coffees. It’s much easier not to consume blindly when the shops are a 35 minute drive away… This too has been intentional.

Our savings rate

Because our income was down this quarter, our savings rate also dipped from July’s 75%.

We still managed a healthy 52%. You can check out how much you need to be saving to win your own financial freedom right here.

Our investments

In July, we said out next investment would be a rooftop solar system, which we expected to give us a return of around 20% each year. We haven’t had solar installed because it rains a lot in Tasmania. We still intend to go solar and hope we can get it installed over summer and take another big step in our off-grid living adventure.

In September we did invest some fiat currency we had sitting on the sidelines into three Layer 1 crypto projects. These investments are already paying off.

We also made a small investment during the quarter into a US based innovation ETF with a very savvy fund manager. We’ll reveal all in a post at some stage. But first, back to the off-grid living thing – there’s wood to be chopped!

Til next update, have fun, be happy and do good!

The best stock apps to start growing your dough

Stock apps

Investing in stocks is a great way to grow your money. It can seem like a daunting task for the uninitiated. There are a lot of stock apps to from your mobile, but some are better than others. It’s not easy to figure out where to start, who to trust, and how much money you need when starting from scratch. If you’re just starting out, you want an app that’s easy to set up and sign in. You also need to figure out who has the lowest fees and commissions and the best access to markets. That’s why we have put together this list of the best stock apps available in the USA and Australia. These apps will help make investing in stocks and building wealth a lot easier and you can do it on the go!

Content

In this post, we’re going to cover everything you need to know to use stocks apps for investing on the go:

We’re bringing wealth building straight to your mobile phone, so it’s even easier to get on that road to financial freedom!

What are stock apps?

Stock apps are apps that allow you to buy and sell stocks and invest in different financial products, directly from your phone. You can use these apps on Android or iPhone. There are two categories of stock apps each with their own benefits and trade offs:

  1. Bank and broker stock apps
  2. Fintech stock apps

We’ll go into the pros and cons of each of these below.

What should you look for in a good stock app?

The good news is there is a lot of competition to win your custom and that’s great for you as an investor. It means you should expect more from your stock app than just trading stocks. It can also mean decision fatigue when you’re getting started because there are so many apps to choose from! Don’t worry, we know your time is precious and we’ve go you covered!

A great stock app will have these features:

  1. high levels of trust and authority
  2. easy to set up and use
  3. low commission and fees
  4. Good research and market access
  5. Responsive customer support
  6. investment portfolio ‘bells and whistles’ to help manage your money

Some apps even offer rewards and incentives to invest and use the app!

Let’s look at each of these features in turn.

Trust and authority

Trust and authority comes from the legitimacy of an app, its history and user base. It’s easier to trust apps from companies that are regulated and licensed where required.

Trust and authority also comes from the company longevity and whether it has built a strong, satisfied and growing user base. If an app has all of these things, we would put our trust into the company and our money into the app.

Easy set up and use

Gone are the days where it takes two weeks and a mountain of paperwork to set up a brokerage account! Fintech has upped the game here. It should be easy to set up your account. In some cases – like with Stake app – you’ll be able to do it in minutes. The app should also be intuitive to use and simple to navigate. The apps on this list are clean, simple and even fun to interact with.

Stock apps

Low commissions and fees

There’s loads of competition in this space, which lets us really nail down the best of the best. It’s not a matter of find the lowest commission and fees per se. It’s more about whether you’re getting value for your commission and fees. There are zero brokerage apps in our list. But it’s ok to pay brokerage if you need good research and analysis to inform your investing decisions and the app provides that. We just don’t want you to pay high fees and get little value in return.

Just remember, companies have to make money so do expect some fees always. If you can’t find them, be suspicious! In the US there are also regulator fees for securities transactions to consider.

Research and market access

You should expect your stock app to provide access to investment news at a minimum. If you’re paying more in brokerage, the app should provide access to research reports and company performance metrics.

Market access is about the diversity of investment opportunities in the app. It should cover plenty of different stocks and provide choice of investment. This might be through the markets you can access or the range of portfolio options and companies covered within them.

Responsive customer support

This is a biggie if something goes wrong. You need to be able to trust the company and get in touch with a human sometimes. This one factor has made us really pair back our list. The fact is, some of the really big Fintech stock apps out there have terrible customer service. You can see it reflected in frustrated App Store reviews and when you do a Google search on the app. We’ve stayed away from those apps and so should you.

Investing bells and whistles

These apps will often market on added extras for investors. Feature’s like automated investing, fractional investing, retirement fund investing, tax optimization and so on.

Off all of these services, we like fractional investing the most. This means you can buy a slice of some of the best companies (and most expensive stocks) around without having to have enough money to buy 1 whole share. It opens wealth building up to everyone, even if you’re starting with just a little, and we love it!

Incentives and rewards

You might find incentives to sign up with a stock app, like a free stock or a small dollar value amount towards your first stock buy. Cashback rewards for credit card purchases is another popular in-app reward. Some stock apps also have referral programs that pay you in stock or money when a friend you refer signs up an account and buys their first stock.

Choosing the right stock app – bank or fintech?

As we said at the beginning, there are two types of stock apps – bank stock apps and Fintech stock apps. Each type offers trade offs against the other, so you need to make sure you start with picking which type you prefer based on what you value This will make selecting the app easier.

Bank and broker stock apps

These are stock apps developed by existing banking and brokerage services that allow you to invest in stocks from your mobile. The names of these apps may be familiar to you. For example if you are in the US there is xxx. If you are in Australia, there is the Commsec Mobile app, which is an offshoot of the Commonwealth Bank.

The pros

High trust and authority.

Bank stock apps generally rate very highly for trust and authority. Especially if the app is from the investment arm of a big bank or broker (Like Wells Fargo or JP Morgan). They’re from institutions that have been around forever, are regulated and licensed, and have government consumer protections in place. They’re a known quantity, and you’re used to dealing with them!

Research and analysis.

Because they’re spin offs of existing financial institutions with big pockets, these apps can feature great research, analysis and company performance metrics to inform your investing.

Links to bank accounts. The benefit of bank stock apps is that they link pretty seamlessly with existing bank accounts if you’re a customer of the bank already.

The cons

Paperwork and process

On the cons, big banks mean big bureaucracy and this extends to their stock apps in a few ways.

Firstly, bank stock apps are from big bricks and mortar banks that have existing overheads to cover, so they’re not cheap to use. Fees and commissions are higher per trade as these institutions have focussed on large net worth customers. If you’re starting out with small amounts, you’ll be paying high fees.

It also takes time (days!) to apply for an account to trade from with apps. In addition, the paperwork is often done by snail mail and needs to be ‘processed’. More time. I recently applied for a Commsec international trading account. It takes Commsec 7 days to process your application and send you tax forms, which you then return by post. It’s another 5 business days from there to activate your account.

Transactions are also pretty slow with these apps – it takes 2 or 3 days for your money to settle for example.

No in app rewards or incentives

Bank’s just aren’t used to doing this!

Fintech stock apps

Fintechs are companies that operate in the finance and technology space. Usually, using better technology to bring users new and innovating financial products and services. Some of the big name Fintech’s have built their brand on financial services apps.

The pros

Low or no commission.

A lot of these apps have targeted their app products to lower net worth and younger investors. As a result, they often provide a platform for people looking to invest money into the market with minimum start up capital. To do so they have to offer low per trade brokerage commissions. They do have fees though – they have to make their money some how!

Digital wallet capabilities.

Many Fintech stock apps are actually all in one personal finance apps that offer both banking and investing. You can get bank cards with some apps, linking your investing and banking all in one place.

Access to cryptocurrency.

These apps are more likely to let you trade both stocks and cryptocurrency, if that’s what you’re after. A word of warning however, the crypto supported will be limited and the fees on transactions are not the best you can find. If you want to invest in crypto, we suggest you do it with a crypto mobile wallet.

Banks are not into crypto so you won’t find this service with them.

Rewards and incentives.

Fintech companies often offer in-app incentives, rewards and referral programs to grow their business. They’ve perfected the gamification of investing because their targeted audience is younger. We think this is a fun feature, and if it gets your to invest more in great assets then we’re big supporters!

The cons

Trust and authority score is lower than the big banks.

Some apps come with a warning in the App store that investments are “not FDIC insured, are not bank guaranteed and may lose value.”

The FDIC is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Being FDIC-insured means that up to $250,000 of your money is protected in the event of a company failure. The FDIC covers the traditional types of bank deposit accounts – including checking and savings accounts, money market deposit accounts (MMDAs), and certificates of deposit (CDs). Investment products that are not deposits, such as mutual funds, annuities, life insurance policies and stocks and bonds are not covered by FDIC deposit insurance.

You can find out more about FDIC insurance here. Or use their look up tool to find out whether a company is covered or not.

If the company does not have FIDC insurance it should at least offer SIPC insurance. SIPC is the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting customer assets. SIPC insurance protects you up to $500,000 or $250,000 in cash if the company goes bankrupt.

Of course, if you lose money on a bad investment, you’re not covered by any insurance!

Customer support can be dismal.

Customer support with Fintech stock apps can be hard to nail down. Dealing with customer support in a big bank can be a pain in the proverbial but at least they have this service. If anything goes wrong with a Fintech app, you may have a bit of battle on your hands to fix it.

How to vet a stock app before investing your dough

We are writing this post because we don’t just want you to put your dough anywhere. It’s important that your money is safe! Here’s how to go about vettingn a stock app before you hit download:

  1. Check for FDIC insurance or SIPC insurance. Look for a statement in their app description in the App Store or on Google Play. Then double check this with SIPC or FDIC look up.
  2. Do a similar check to see if they are regulated by FINRA. Or in Australia, by ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission).
  3. Google the name of the app and see what people are searching on. If it’s all about how to contact their customer support or solve some other problem – red flag!
  4. Read their website to know exactly what fees you’re up for. They have to make their money somehow! Fintech apps often have a different business model than banks which means they don’t make their money from you in brokerage fees. It can be more difficult to track down what fees they do charge. Look for their FAQs and financial services guide on their website!
  5. Check out the reviews on Google Play or the App store. Read them, especially the most recent ones.

Top stock apps – our pick

Top 3 stock apps – USA

Public

Public is a social investing app with more than 1 million downloads that’s also brokerage firm. It’s a straight forward stock investing app without lots of bells and whistles but with a social twist.

Because they are a brokerage, Public is regulated by FINRA and also carry SIPC insurance.

Features we love

Welcome to social investing!

Social investing means you can see what others are investing in and learn about stocks that way. You can also set up investing chat groups or join them in the app. You can follow investors and companies, so that information about them will come up in your feed to inform your investing decisions.

Public is straight forward and transparent investing, which means it doesn’t have the retirement accounts and other bells and whistles of some apps on this list. Public does give referral rewards however! As an incentive to refer friends, you can get a free stock worth up to $70. T&Cs apply – your friend has to make a deposit into their account first. You get to pick from 1 of 9 different stocks and a portion of that stock is then randomly picked deposited to your account.

Fees

So what about their fees? Firstly, unlike Acorns or Stash there are no subscription fees. This means you can start with really small amounts and invest and hold for the long term and you won’t pay proportionately high fees.

Public doesn’t make money through Payment for Order Flow (PFOF), which is where a brokerage firm receives rebates on trades routed through its clearing house. Its view is that this type of fee structure does not align its interests as broker with the interests of its customers. We commend this, and it’s one of the reasons they make our top five list. Instead Public makes money from:

  • tips (yes you can tip them optionally if you love the app!)
  • 0.2% on uninvested cash balances in the app.
  • when their clearing house lends shares to other investors and institutions. This doesn’t impact your trades however.

Betterment

Betterment has built their app around cash management, guided investment and retirement planning. They excel in automated and ‘hands off’ investment products. If you want a ‘set and forget’ service without the hassle of stock picking yourself, then check them out. To achieve this, they create a portfoilo of investments for you that are primarily based on ETFs. You set a money goal when you sign up, and Betterment customises a portfolio for you based on your time horizon and risk tolerance. You answer a few questions about yourself up front for them to do this.

Betterment is a member of the SIPC providing you with SIPC insurance protection. Their Cash Reserve Account and Checking Accounts are also FIDC insured and protected.

Features we love

If you hate paying tax, you’ll love Betterment. The app stands out for its automated tax tools, which help you avoid paying unnecessary taxes. They manage tax outcomes in your portfolio across all included legal accounts, using your dividends and withdrawals to improve asset location (the type of account your money is held in). They invest assets that they believe will be taxed at a higher rate in your tax-advantaged accounts (IRAs and 401(k)). They maintain assets in your taxable account that they expect to be taxed at lower rates. They also rebalance when they see chances to do so without incurring taxes.

Alongside your investment options, Betterment offers banking with rewards. With Betterment, when you spend from your Checking account or using their Debit Card, you get cashback rewards on some big name brands – like 5% cash back from Adidas and 2% from Walmart. They also reimburse ATM fees and foreign transaction fees worldwide and have completely cut out overdraft fees and minimum balances for their Checking accounts.

Fees

Betterment fees are straight forward – 0.25% of assets under management. They also make money through their Premium Plan which charges 0.4% in fees. Their advice packages another source of revenue. They also make money from merchants when you use their Visa Debit Card.

We love their transparent and simplicity – and the app is super easy to use as well.

Webull

Webull is a free mobile app that helps you invest on the go. It’s the most diverse stock app we have on our list. Webull is a US based company and the app offers commission-free stock and ETF investments from USA markets and 40 other countries worldwide.

Your money is insured as with Webull – like other apps on this list, you get up to $500,000 in protection against any bankruptcy of their brokerage firm partner (in this case Merrill Edge). They also offer an FDIC insurance guarantee for your checking and savings accounts with Webull Federal Bank.

Features we love

There are no minimum deposits to open a Webull account and Webull offers fractional investing. You can buy $5 worth of Apple stock if that’s all you have. You can also invest with margin loans if that’s your risk tolerance (we don’t do it!). 🙂

With Webull you can open cash and margin accounts as well as Traditional, Roth and Rollover IRAs.

Webull’s product offering is targeted at the active instead of the armchair investor. As a result you get access to better investment resources. In the app you can view various explanation videos and articles about how markets work and how to invest. In a nutshell, you’ll find better trading and market analysis tools on Webull than the other apps on this USA list.

Webull has a refer-a-friend program that offers free stock for qualifying referrals.

Fees

Webull makes it’s money from stock loans, interest on free credit balances, margin interest and payment for order flow. They don’t charge commission on trades. Certain types of deposits and withdrawals like by Wire Transfer will also attract a fee (a hefty one!) so make sure you stay away from those. It costs $75 to transfer a stock out of Webull, so once you buy with them you’ll need to stay there until you sell up or be prepared to pay up!

Top 3 stock apps – Australia

Spaceship

According to their webiste, more than 200,000 Australian’s are already investing with Spaceship. The app allows you to invest passively and to manage your investments. It also features som investment related news and editorial content.

You can open a Superannuation (retirement fund) account with Spaceship which comes with it’s own fee structure so make sure you look at the Super financial services guide if you’re into this product.

Spaceship has an Australian financial license and is regulated by ASIC.

Features we love

Spaceship makes investing easy and pretty fun. They have three investment portfolio options based on investing themes – Spaceship Universe, Spaceship Origin and Spaceship Earth. It takes 3 to 5 days to fund your account. Once your account is funded, Spaceship will issue you units in the fund of your choice. And that’s it! A super simple experience if you’re first getting into investing.

Fees

Their fee structure is also simple to understand, which we like. They charge zero fees on investments up to $5000. This a much better structure for investors with small amounts than the monthly subscription options from the likes of Acorn (in the US) or Raiz (in Oz). They charge 0.05% to 0.1% above $5000. So if you had $10,000 invested you’d be paying $5 a year.

Commsec mobile and Commsec pocket

We’re bundling these two together even though, annoyingly, they’re separate apps. It seems like the Commonwealth Bank has made an app for it’s existing brokerage customers (Commsec mobile) and has created Commsec Pocket to compete with the low commission Fintech apps like Acorn or Robinhood.

Commsec Mobile app is an all-in-one app for investing developed by the investment arm of the Commonwealth Bank. It’s free to download and easy to use.

There are no automated investing options or robo investing portfolio options here. It’s all about investing direct in listed market products.

Set up is easy using just your Netbank (Commonwealth Bank banking app) if you are an existing customer. A word of warning though, if you link it to a standard CBA account you’ll be hit with their $4 per month account keeping fee, which means using the app is more expensive than other options. Commsec say the fee can be waived but good luck making that happen. If you set up a Commsec CDIA (Commonwealth Direct Investment Account), there’s no account charges.

Features we love

Like Webull, Commsec mobile is designed for the active Australian investor. If you’re someone who knows about stock investing, has a good amount of capital to invest, and can make use of the full service research and analytics products, then this is a great stock app for you. These things are important to weigh up because you are going to be paying for their full featured investment research in brokerage fees which are not cheap if you’re investing small amounts.

Commsec Mobile features stock trading on both Australian and international markets. You can trade in the US, UK or Australia with Commsec – so if you’re looking to invest globally, it’s a good option. If you have an existing brokerage account you’ll be able to link it up too.

Commsec has a separate app called the Commsec Pocket. It’s designed for stock investors with smaller investing amounts – minimum $50 investment amounts apply. It’s basically straight forward ETF investing on autopilot with Commsec Pocket. You can invest in 7 themes like tech, sustainability and others. You also have access to investing tips and articles.

With both these apps you get the best customer support if anything goes wrong and just about the highest trust and authority score on the planet. There’s no bigger bank for Aussies than CBA…

Fees

Commsec mobile makes money from brokerage and from margin interest and other fees. Fees are specific to the type of product you’re trading, so check out their fee schedule here.

With Commsec Pocket, trades below $1000 cost $2 and you pay a fee of 0.2% for trades above this amount.

Stake app

Third on the list of Aussie investing apps is Stake app. Stake started originally as a cheap way for Australians to invest directly in international markets. They charge zero brokerage fees (but they make their money in other ways).

You can set up stake in just 3 minutes and it takes a 2 days to fund your account. They have a long list of US stocks, ETFs and other investment vehicles you buy into directly. The app is easy to use and they have a refer a friend bonus program.

Stake has focussed singularly on the US markets up until now but they have Stake ASX (Australian market) coming soon. It’s currently in Beta mode and trades will cost $3. If you join their waitlist you get free brokerage until 2022.

Features we love

We’ve done a full review of Stake app right here that explains their fees, how they are set up and regulated, cool features and our experience using the app.

If you read this and then want to set up an account with Stake, use our link and we both get a free stock! Huzzah!

Where to next for your investing?

So you want to invest from your mobile and you’re looking for the best stock apps to do it. But what kind of investor do you want to be? If it’s the passive type, perhaps choose something like Spaceship (for Oz) or Betterment (USA). If you’re an ethical investor and want your app to be aligned with that, then Public has a customer centric philosophy. If you’re an experienced stock investor and just want more mobility, then Webull and Commsec (Oz) are for you. Whatever you chose, your money just got mobile. May you invest it wisely!

Cashing checks – the best cashing app for your mobile

cashing app

Who wants to waste time and money these days going into the bank or ATM and lining up just to cash a check or money order? Did you know that you can use a cashing app solve this problem? You can now cash your checks straight from your mobile phone with no fees, in just minutes. You can even get the money instantly if you need it. In this post we’ll explain what to know, who to use and how to do it!

A new world of banking direct from your phone

The best cashing apps are not from the big beaurcratic, fee charging banks you might be thinking off. Since the day’s of lockdown, a bunch of new fintech companies have started bringing full banking services direct to the mobile of US citizens.

The best thing about these new fintech apps? They don’t just let you cash your checks quickly and easily. Here’s a list of some of the awesome banking bonuses you get to help manage your money and build your wealth with these new apps:

  • fast account set up – within minutes
  • savings and checking accounts inside the app
  • savings on fees for overdrafts and transactions.
  • access to automatic cash advance
  • linked investment accounts with native, direct access to invest in stocks, ETFs, and sometimes cryptocurrency
  • investment features like fractional trading and autoinvest, that can help you build wealth and get to financial freedom earlier (because that’s what we’re all about at the LLP after all!)

Now these fintech apps do make money. Some of them charge a small monthly subscription fee and others make money on credit transactions. BUT SO DOES YOUR BANK peeps! There’s no such thing as a free lunch but Fintech apps are eating the lunch of the big banks by undercutting them on fees (becasue they’re all online and efficient). And who wins if fees are lower? You!

If you want to know more about how these apps can help you save, track, invest and build wealth then stick around as we navigate you through a whole new world of online money.

In the meantime, lets take a look at how cashing a check from your mobile phone works with these apps…

cashing app

What sorts of checks can you cash using a Fintech app?

Most cashing apps will allow you to cash and these checks direct from your mobile:

  • Personal checks written to you
  • Commercial pre-printed checks issued by a U.S. business to you such as:
    • pay checks
    • insurance agency checks
    • money orders
    • cashier’s checks
    • rebate checks
    • stock dividend checks
  • U.S. Government-issued checks including:
    • tax refunds
    • federal, state and municipal government checks.

How to cash a check from your mobile phone

Simply follow these steps to cash a check with a cashing app – although menu selections may differ in each app.

  1. Log into your app
  2. Find the check deposit option in the menu
  3. Select the account you want to deposit the check into (i.e. checking or savings)
  4. Enter the check amount
  5. Take a photo of the check – front and back. It’s critical to ensure you obtain a clear picture on both sides of the check. You may run into difficulties completing a mobile check deposit if you don’t have a good image of both sides. Clean your camera lens if the images are fuzzy or unclear. Also, make sure to take photographs in proper lighting to ensure legibility.
  6. Review the information you entered is correct and then submit the deposit
  7. You will receive a confirmation message that your check has been deposited in the app.

Voila! You’re done.

8 tips you need know for mobile check deposit

There are a few things you need to know if you haven’t used your mobile to cash a check before. Once you know these things, you’ll never go to bank or ATM to cash a check again!

  1. Some apps – like Venmo and PayPal – will cash your check into to your native account. Other apps require a linked bank account to send your money too (IngoMoney).
  2. There are some things that may cause your check to be dishonored – like the check and account name not matching, failing to sign the check to endorse it, or unclear photos. Make sure you have confirmation in the app that the check has cleared before trying to spend the money!
  3. You need to sign the back of the check to endorse it before you photograph it
  4. All apps will confirm that you have submitted the check successfully.
  5. Some apps require you to keep the check for a period of time and then destroy it, others require you to write VOID across the check once it is confirmed as cashed
  6. There are check cashing limits that apply – generally more than $5 and less than $5000 for any one check.
  7. Your check needs to meet criteria, that we’ve included below.
  8. DON’T SAVE THE PHOTO OF YOUR CHECK ON YOUR PHONE or anywhere online! Make sure you delete the photo immediately.

Top 5 fastest cashing apps (for a fee)

If you need your money fast and you’re willing to pay, here are the best apps to look out for. These are popular Fintech apps that allow you to cash a check on your mobile and get instant access to your money:

  1. IngoMoney
  2. Paypal (which uses IngoMoney)
  3. ACE Flare
  4. Brinks money
  5. Venmo (which uses IngoMoney)

The fee to clear your check instantly is generally 1 to 2% for payroll and government checks with a pre-printed signature and 5% for all checks, with a $5 minimum fee per check.

If you don’t want to pay, you can still use these apps but it will take 10 days for your money to clear.

cashing app

Top 4 easiest cashing apps (free)

These apps below might be a better option if you don’t want fees, and still want your check to clear quickly.

Each app has a native account – like a debit or checking account – within the app that you can cash your check to directly. You need to have one of those accounts set up to cash your check to it. But the thing is, because the companies operate solely online it is much easier to set up an account than with a bank.

If there is a native bank account inside the app you can use, it means you don’t have to cash your check in to linked bank account so you are likely to get it quicker. On top of that, these apps don’t charge you to cash checks.

Here is our list of the easiest and cheapest apps to cash a check using your mobile phone:

  1. Dave App
  2. Cash app
  3. Chime app
  4. Stash app

Can you use a bank apps to cash a check?

Yes. The are bank apps that allow you to cash checks, but you will need to have an account at the bank. This can be a painful and slow hurdle to overcome given the identification requirements of big banks in setting up an account. You also need to log in to your app, go to the menu and make sure the mobile check deposit option is turned on.

Some banks place a limit on the number of checks you can deposit with a time period, or a dollar limit on your check cashing.

Bank apps might be an easy solution if you’re already a customer, but you’re probably not getting any of the additional bells and whistles. Why not manage, save and invest your money cheaply and easily at the same time you cash your check?

If that sounds like you, its time to roll the dice with a fintech cashing app!

10 powerful money affirmations that will have you drowning in dough

money affirmations

Does the law of attraction work for money? Probably not on its own. But paired with a clever financial freedom plan, money affirmations might just bring a laser like focus to your money ‘A game’ and put a rocket under your finances. So let’s test them out.

money affirmations

Some vouch for the power of money affirmations. They say they are a necessary tool if you want help to bring money into your life. Affirmations are a means to reinforce the laws of attraction, if you believe the universe will manifest for you that which your mind is focussed on.

In practice, money affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself, about money, usually in the morning when you wake up and before bedtime.

The aim of affirming positive statements about money is to make you feel like more of it is already flowing through your life!

Whatever you believe, a little positive thinking about money never hurt anyone. So let’s start where money affirmations are designed to work – your money mindset.

Be a money mindset ninja

money affirmations

Your money mindset is important if you’re serious about becoming financially free. Why? Your money mindset dictates how you feel about money, what money means to you and your relationship with it. To have a positive money mindset means there’s no anxiety about not having money or road blocks to you making more of it.

If on the other hand, if your money mindset is one of scarcity one then money could bring up negative emotions in you because money represents fear and anxiety.

The concept goes, having a healthy money mindset will help you attract more money into your life and keep it because it has positive rather than negative associations for you. You get to become financially free much faster than if your money mindset was unhealthy!

Now let’s look at money affirmations.

What is a money affirmation?

A money affirmation is repeating a positive statement about money to yourself that’s based in truth.

For example; “I am becoming more and more financially free every day”.

This type of money affirmation aims to help you develop the right money mindset by helping to build your self-confidence around money, which in turn helps you attract money into your life.

Money affirmations are said to get their power from repetition, which is thought to be key when it comes to manifesting things in our lives. This includes money! The more you repeat the money affirmation, the faster that money affirmation will be written on your subconscious mind which will result in attracting money or anything else for that matter, into your life.

Do affirmations help?

Firstly, there are opposing schools of thought about how much help money affirmations are. Researchers seem split down the middle. Some research about using affirmations has found that they help because they release your mental resistance – in this case, to money.

Other’s are more skeptical.

Whatever your personal belief, we at the LLP are 100 per cent convinced of this:

As you think, so you are.

When can money affirmations help you?

Here are some situtations when money affirmations may be helpful for you:

  • If you feel like money is something that’s hard for you to attract or come by.
  • If money seems scarce or you feel a resentment towards people with more money than you money affirmations may help you change your negative money mindset.
  • If you have a hard time charging for your services or chasing money that’s owed you
  • If money is something that you worry about all the time.

How long do affirmations take to work?

Don’t expect money affirmations to manifest you fat stacks of cash overnight! Some people say it takes 21 days for money affirmations to take effect – so repeat your money affirmation every day until you notice a difference in the way you think about money and feel around money. Pay attention to what you say about money in everyday conversations and what goes through you mind when the topic turns to money.

Money affirmations can be very powerful, but they won’t do anything if you don’t do anything with them! We’re of the view that you get the best out of them if they’re supported with some real money action! Affirm and execute peeps!

Here’s where to start with your financial freedom action plan.

How to attract wealth with money affirmations

Here’s how to use the power of words and positive thinking to increase your own money vibe.

Express for success

When repeating money affirmations, you’re aiming you keep your statements positive and emotional. This is so that you can connect emotionally with what you’re verbalising.

For example, instead of saying “I hate money” say “I am a money magnet.”

It’s also effective if you speak to yourself in the present and not in the future tense. For example, say “I attract money” instead of “I will attract money.” The thinking is, you’re already in the shoes of someone that money comes easily to. You can more easily identify with and be that person.

Repeat your money affirmations in a quiet area with few distractions, where you feel comfortable and safe. Repeat your money affirmation to yourself rather than out loud.

How to release money roadblocks

If money affirmations don’t seem like they are working, try repeating money affirmations in a new way! If you feel stuck, ask yourself “What am I resisting right now?” and repeat an affirmation about releasing resistance towards money instead of focusing on attracting money into your life.

You may just be suffering from what is referred to as a money roadblock.

…money road blocks are the beliefs, habits and stories that stop you from receiving money in the most natural way possible.

Denis Duffield-Thomas, Author of Chillpreneur

In business, money blocks determine things like:

  • the prices you set,
  • your ability to charge people appropriately for your services.
  • How comfortable you feel chasing money that’s owed to you or
  • dealing with unreasonable refund requests.

What are your limiting money beliefs?

You can use money affirmations to release blocks around money. Try saying “I release all my money resistance”, and when you feel ready try adding a money affirmation on top of it such as “I am open to receiving abundance in every area of my life!”

Stay consistent with your daily ritual. Repeat your money affirmations for 21 days straight – this is the amount of time that psychologists agree upon.

Keep repeating money affirmations until you notice a difference in how you feel about money. If money is something with significant negative connotations for you, this could take more like three months.

Now its the list you’ve all been waiting for. It’s time to find those skin-tingling money affirmation to assuage any feelings of anxiety, release those money roadblocks and turn your negative money thoughts into a millionaire money mindset!

It’s time to be a money magnet

Here are 10 powerful money affirmations to bring more money into your life.

1. Money is abundant – I can always make more of it.
2. I am financially free.
3. I deserve to be wealthy.
4. Money is a wonderful thing that comes into my life easily and effortlessly.
5. I welcome money abundance in my life.
6. I am worthy of a wealthy life.
7. I am receiving money easily and effortlessly now.
8. Everything I need to make money is within me.
9. Money is the source of joy, comfort and security.
10. I release all money roadblocks and negative energy about money.

Money affirmations can be a great tool to help you achieve financial freedom, but they aren’t the only tool you need. If money affirmations don’t seem like something that’s working for you, try another money technique such as creating an inventory of your limiting money beliefs or reading up on how to have healthy financial boundaries.

And don’t forget, affirm and execute.

May you attract money in your sleep for the rest of your rich life!

Til next time – have fun, be happy, do good!

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