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Buy bitcoin directly

The first option is the most straightforward: If you want to buy bitcoin, just buy bitcoin.

These days, many platforms allow individual investors to buy and sell crypto. Just be aware that some exchanges charge up to 4% in commission fees for each transaction. So look for apps that charge low or even no commissions.

While bitcoin commands a five-figure price tag today, there’s no need to buy a whole coin. Most exchanges allow you to start with as much money as you are willing to spend.

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Bitcoin ETFs

Exchange-traded funds have risen in popularity in recent years. They trade on stock exchanges, so it’s very convenient to buy and sell them. And now, investors can use them to get a piece of the bitcoin action, too.

For instance, ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) started trading on NYSE Arca in October 2021, marking the first U.S. bitcoin-linked ETF on the market. The fund holds bitcoin futures contracts that trade on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and has an expense ratio of 0.95%.

There’s also the Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTF), which made its debut a few days after BITO. This Nasdaq-listed ETF invests in bitcoin futures contracts, and charges an expense ratio of 0.95%.

Bitcoin stocks

When companies tie some of their growth to the crypto market, their shares can often move in tandem with the coins.

First, we have bitcoin miners. The computing power doesn’t come cheap and energy costs can be substantial. But if the price of bitcoin goes up, miners such as Riot Blockchain (RIOT) and Hut 8 Mining (HUT) will likely receive growing attention from investors.

Then there are intermediaries like Coinbase Global (COIN) and Paypal (PYPL). When more people buy, sell, and use crypto, these platforms stand to benefit.

Finally, there are companies that simply hold a lot of crypto on their balance sheets.

Case in point: enterprise software technologist MicroStrategy (MSTR). It has a market cap of $2.3 billion. Yet its bitcoin count reached 129,218 at the end of March, a stockpile worth around $3.8 billion.

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More from MoneyWise

Fine art as an investment

Stocks can be volatile, cryptos make big swings to either side, and even gold is not immune to the market’s ups and downs.

That’s why if you are looking for the ultimate hedge, it could be worthwhile to check out a real, but overlooked asset: fine art.

Contemporary artwork has outperformed the S&P 500 by a commanding 174% over the past 25 years, according to the Citi Global Art Market chart.

And it’s becoming a popular way to diversify because it’s a real physical asset with little correlation to the stock market.

On a scale of -1 to +1, with 0 representing no link at all, Citi found the correlation between contemporary art and the S&P 500 was just 0.12 during the past 25 years.

Earlier this year, Bank of America investment chief Michael Harnett singled out artwork as a sharp way to outperform over the next decade — due largely to the asset’s track record as an inflation hedge.

Investing in art by the likes of Banksy and Andy Warhol used to be an option only for the ultrarich. But with a new investing platform, you can invest in iconic artworks just like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates do.

About the Author

Jing Pan

Jing Pan

Investment Reporter

Jing is an investment reporter for MoneyWise. Prior to joining the team, he was a research analyst and editor at one of the leading financial publishing companies in North America. An avid advocate of investing for passive income, he wrote a monthly dividend stock newsletter for the better half of the past decade. Jing holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree, both from the University of Toronto.

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