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Posted January 4, 2022

Last year was a very good year to be in equities. The S&P 500 returned 29%, the Nasdaq did almost as well, and the Dow and the small caps did about half that.

The old favorites — Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) — went up an average 37% in 2021. It’s good to have scale in pandemics.

But the places to be were hydrocarbons and cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin went up 66%, and crude oil went up 55%. I expect oil services companies will have a banner year as they turn the pumps on full again.

The big losers were Chinese ADRs, which fell 46%, and gold, which was down 4%. Chinese leadership would rather have obedience than riches, and gold is a barbarous relic.

Here's a nice chart of the gains in the crypto space that Charlie Bilello was kind enough to put on Twitter. You’ll notice that Bitcoin is way down on the list.

crypto gains 2021

I’m not a fan of Bitcoin and wouldn’t recommend buying it simply because it isn't very useful and will be the first coin that gets the legislation hammer from Joe Biden.

That said, there are a number of great alt-coins out there. In my trading service Launchpad Trader, we bought a number of these stocks and saw some nice triple-digit returns. I use a basic three-tier system when buying these alt-coins:

  1. They are in an uptrend.
  2. They meet a specific need.
  3. They are backed by big names and/or companies.

Launchpad Trader assumes a bit more risk than your average newsletter, and it seeks a higher reward. It's not for everyone.

That said, cryptocurrencies should have another big year in 2022. The industry is maturing from the "gee whiz" idea of Bitcoin and Ethereum to tokens that actually do things like trading items in video games and the metaverse and allowing sports betting without a middleman.

Right now, the friction and costs associated with using crypto to buy and sell are simply too high... but that will change this year. The techno geeks have been working hard all over the world for the past few years, and I expect that this is the year they will make great leaps forward.

That said, big growth is still ahead of us. Crypto isn’t even close to being mainstream. We are at the start of a five-year, high-growth trend.

If you think crypto is a stupid fad or Ponzi scheme, that’s fine. You should, however, recognize an opportunity when it comes along.  

One way to play crypto is to buy Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN). COIN is the largest crypto exchange in the United States by volume.  

As you can see by the chart below, it went public last April. It sold off when Bitcoin sold off, rebounded in October, and is now well below its IPO price. 

Coinbase Chart

COIN has a market value of $66 billion. It has a price-earnings ratio of 21, $6 billion in cash, and $3 billion of debt. Profit margins are fat at 49%, and year-over-year earnings growth was 399%. Yahoo Finance puts its price-over-earnings growth at 0.73 — a five-year guesstimate, but anything below 1 is considered a value. If it grows earnings 25% this year, this stock will be a bargain. I feel COIN will do a lot better than that.

As the crypto space grows and creates some legitimately useful applications, more and more people will trade crypto, and many of them will use Coinbase. I use Coinbase. It's fine.

The stock is a great buy at these levels.

All the best,

Christian DeHaemer Signature

Christian DeHaemer

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Christian is the founder of Bull and Bust Report and an editor at Energy and Capital. For more on Christian, see his editor's page.

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