Angela Ilievski is a 60-something former teacher. She is currently self-employed as a proof-reader and editor specialising in the Social Sciences.
What got you interested in investing in Bitcoin?
I first came across Bitcoin around 2014 when I featured it as a discussion topic in a Business English course I was teaching. I was intrigued enough by the concept of ‘digital money’ to consider buying a few as I might put a bet on a horse race.
But since I didn’t have an online bank account, I was unable to ‘place my bet’. However, I kept an eye on the evolution of Bitcoin and other coins and often used cryptocurrency as a discussion topic in class.
On retiring in 2017, I received a small pension and, setting aside some cash, looked around for potential investments outside the stock market (which I had mistrusted since the 2008 crisis) and settled on Bitcoin along with some gold and silver coins to balance intangible and tangible assets.
What does saving mean to you?
I come from a generation of savers not spenders and recall my parents’ often-repeated mantras: ‘always put something aside for a rainy day’ … ‘if you can’t afford it, you can’t buy it’ … ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’. This risk-averse/credit-averse attitude was hard-wired into our DNA.
Most of us children had a Post Office Savings Book and would put aside something from whatever was earned from our Saturday job. It was so satisfying to see the total mount up week by week, page by page and be topped up with interest from time to time.
Moving on from P.O. savings to Building Society/Bank Deposit Accounts and ISAs, using a standing order to squirrel away a set percentage of my income each month is a familiar and appealing way to maintain a savings habit.
Do you worry about the impact of inflation and economic volatility on the value of your savings and investments?
I review my finances at the end of each financial year and this April felt that now was the time to save in crypto rather than invest in cash. There were a number of factors behind this decision including:
– 0% interest rates/negative interest rates imminent
– the example of Cyprus, Greece, India and the Lebanon ‘bail-in’ seizure of bank deposits/limits on cash withdrawals & transfers
– the (equally scary) prospects of either stagflation or deflation on the horizon
The coincidence of the latest Bitcoin halving at the same time as the Fed was accelerating money printing provided powerful motivation. This was a lightbulb moment: the realisation that Bitcoin was becoming ‘hard’ money whereas fiat currency was being ‘softened’ by incessant money printing.
Why did you choose Coinfloor to help you invest in Bitcoin?
At this point, I came across Swan Bitcoin on Keiser Report and the concept of DCA (dollar cost averaging) to reduce the impact of Bitcoin’s volatility which could be addressed through an ‘auto-save’ low minimum amount/low fee strategy.
Via their website, I found that Coinfloor was a UK alternative and looked further into the company through reviews etc. I liked the fact that it was the UK’s longest-running exchange which, together with its exclusive Bitcoin focus, encouraged me to open an account and make a trial deposit.
Struggling with uploading ID for verification, I was contacted by a Coinfloor team member with the option to do part of the verification via a live Skype call. It was reassuring and gives the company a human face in the normally impersonal tech world.
The discussion we had around security issues, data/privacy, the risks and danger of fraud/scams around Bitcoin was also reassuring and very much the opposite of ‘the hard sell’ approach.
Do you think others in your situation can benefit from investing in Bitcoin?
I believe that even if you are a highly risk-averse investor, you should have some allocation to both Bitcoin and gold in your portfolio simply in the interests of diversification.
With mainstream hedge fund managers like Paul Tudor Jones announcing their investment in Bitcoin, this might also give retail investors more confidence in crypto.
With interest rates falling, senior citizens will probably relate to the quote from legendary investor David Tepper that ‘there is a time to speculate and a time to conserve capital’, and should look at alternative investments at a time when a bank account is probably the riskiest place to keep your money.
When the rising stock market is not reflecting the collapsing real economy, anyone would be well-advised to review their savings/investment strategy simply to hold on to what they have accumulated since those Post Office savings days.
Any gain through the rise in price of Bitcoin is almost a secondary issue in my view. Over the course of my journey I have shifted from short-term-speculator to long-term HODLer [hold-on-for-dear-life] and have enjoyed the knowledge I have gained along the way.
Do you have any tips or advice for others?
I would never present myself as a financial or technology expert and any advice or tips come from a place of common sense and personal opinion.
There was definitely a fear factor for me with tech in general and I am a self-proclaimed ‘digital dinosaur.’ I would advise anyone to do their research and be open to not finding much information on mainstream media so explore ‘alt media’. Particularly useful is The Keiser Report (available on YouTube), especially the segment where experts discuss a range of socio-economic-cultural-political topics, often referencing Bitcoin as ‘a community’ which again, gives a much-needed human angle to crypto.
Born in the ‘50’s, I am not a digital native and one of the challenges I had with my first Bitcoin purchase was the hassle of having to navigate several websites and applications simultaneously.
Coinfloor’s Autobuy option is attractive to those who share my discomfort with online transactions and is a relief from the hassle of buying intermittently from an exchange with the added nervousness of ‘buy today or tomorrow?’ due to day-to-day price volatility of Bitcoin.