Financial advisers remain wary of cryptocurrency

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Though they’re getting a lot of questions about it from their clients, many financial advisers are wary of cryptocurrency, though some see investment opportunities in companies that serve the industry. 

“We are not advocating to our clients that they buy bitcoin or other cybercurrencies,” says Fred Dent, a Baton Rouge-based chartered financial analyst, who adds that he is studying the topic. “I would not put any of my clients’ capital at risk, because we don’t speculate.” 

Dent says his clients do inquire about crypto. That’s not surprising, given the media hype that includes celebrity endorsements and Super Bowl ads. 

But a cryptocurrency is just that: a currency, a medium of exchange. Buying bitcoin (for example) is a bet on price movement; it’s not an investment like buying a bond, real estate or shares of a company, Dent says. 

However, he believes the blockchain–the distributed ledger technology upon which the currencies are built–will be revolutionary. Publicly traded companies that serve the industry might be worth considering, he says. 

Cryptocurrencies are not highly regulated, which adds to the volatility, says Chad Olivier, a certified financial planner in Baton Rouge. President Joe Biden has asked federal agencies to study the impact of crypto on financial stability and national security, and Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell has discussed the need for regulation, Olivier adds. 

“There are exchange traded funds that track certain cryptocurrencies, which could be an alternative for many investors,” Olivier says by email. “Any way you slice it, this is a technology that is rearing its head now, but who the winners might be is the tricky part of it.”

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