Lex Sokolin of Autonomous Research has stated that he feels it’s time that financial advisers started doing their jobs properly and learned about cryptocurrency. He claimed that since investors will buy into digital currencies either way, it’s irresponsible for many so-called advisers to remain clueless about the ever-expanding financial innovation.
Sokolin: Cryptocurrency is “Really Here to Stay”
Sokolin’s comments were made during an interview with CNBC earlier today. The global director of fintech strategy for Autonomous Research claimed that the advice of many advisers to stay well clear of cryptocurrencies was a big mistake. He stated:
“Cryptocurrency is very controversial, but it’s really here to stay… And the underlying [blockchain] technology is really fundamental to the types of companies that people are building right now.”
During the interview, Sokolin went onto state that since clients of financial advisers were going to invest anyway, it was imperative that they learned about the innovation:
“So [advisors] can choose to say that this whole thing will fall apart and not get educated about it and not help [investors], but that’s really irresponsible.”
His comments come in response to the likes of JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon famously dismissing Bitcoin as a ‘fraud,’ Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet and his sidekick Charlie Munger who called it ‘rat poison squared’ and ‘scum-ball activity’ respectively, and Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley arguing that ‘you will never see a fund from Vanguard on Bitcoin.’
For Sokolin such blanket dismissal is down right dangerous considering advisers are supposed to offer advice. He said:
“Advisers really need to start to understand the basics of how blockchain works… Start to understand why there are different cryptocurrencies.”
He continued, stating that it was important for those who want to invest in digital currencies first to understand what they are getting involved with. This requires them learning exactly what blockchain technology is. For this, they might require the assistance of an adviser and naturally it’s desirable for that adviser to have in-depth knowledge of the subject before they themselves form a snap decision. Sokolin also claimed that the most interesting thing about crypto is the underlying blockchain.
Sokolin then said that despite their volatility, it’s a wise move to take up a small position in crypto. However, he definitely recommended against going ‘all-in’ on digital currencies:
“It’s volatile right now, so you should not just go and fill your entire portfolio with cryptocurrencies… But it is a good way to add alternatives to your general allocation, something like 3 [percent] to 5 percent of your portfolio.”