22-year-old, Ethan Nguonly, a software engineer with Google recently talked about his biggest financial mistake. Mr Nguonly revealed that he lost about Rs 67 lakh by investing in crypto on margin- it means using borrowed money to purchase cryptocurrency, CNBC Make It reported.
The young techie, living in Orange County, California started investing in the stock market with the help of his parents before he was a teenager. His investment portfolio includes more than Rs 1 crore in retirement and brokerage accounts, plus two houses.
The techie shared that he lost Rs 67 lakh in crypto between November 2021 and June 2022. He told the media outlet that his losses include Rs 24 lakh of his original investment and an estimated Rs 41 lakh in unrealised gains. He told the publication that he had already invested around Rs 33 lakh in Bitcoin and Ethereum, apart from a few hundred dollars that he used in altcoins like Shiba Inu and Dogecoin. But as bitcoin’s price went on a tear, he decided to buy more – about Rs 12 lakh worth – on margin.
The 22-year-old told the publication that he was up about Rs 42 lakh as the price of Bitcoin reached its all-time high. But at the end of 2021 the crypto market took a turn, and by the summer of 2022 bitcoin’s price crashed over 70 per cent.
“I was investing with some money that I didn’t necessarily have,” Mr Nguonly told CNBC Make It. “Once the crypto market kind of reversed, my losses were amplified.”
Looking back, Mr. Nguonly doesn’t necessarily regret the decision to invest in crypto, he borrowed money for investments. He continues to keep some money invested in cryptocurrency but sticks to historically more established tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum versus the more volatile altcoins.
“I still believe in cryptocurrencies as a whole,” he says. “However, I do think that a lot of these altcoins can be very risky and I avoid putting any money towards them.”
The biggest lesson he learned from his Rs 67 lakh mistake is to “only invest money you have and don’t go un-leveraged into very speculative investments,” he says.
In an earlier interview, he told CNBC that he is aiming for an early retirement with a target of accumulating $5 million (roughly Rs 41 crore) by the age of 35.