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Be careful with cryptocurrency

Rebolledo still isn’t sure how her husband managed to spend all their money. But she said in another video that she thinks he might have lost it by investing in cryptocurrency.

Crypto has become a common financial secret within relationships. Bread Financial’s survey revealed that 16% of people (12% of men and 4% of women) admitted to hidden crypto ownerships. Though the survey didn’t delve into the whys, it’s likely because cryptocurrency is often considered a risky investment and respondents didn’t want to risk upsetting their partners.

Charlie Munger, the late right-hand man of Warren Buffett, famously bashed crypto at a 2023 conference, stating that it had too much “hype.” He even called for an outright ban of it in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, calling it a “gambling contract.”

Cryptocurrencies are a particularly volatile investment. Although some have gone bullish on the commodity — such as CNBC’s Jim Cramer — there are still plenty of skeptics.

This is likely due to the unstable nature of the crypto market. In 2022, CNBC reported that Bitcoin had dropped more than 60%, alongside a huge nose-dive of the entire cryptocurrency market amidst the FTX implosion.

Because crypto is considered so risky, it may be contentious between two people in a relationship, making it a prime candidate for a hidden financial decision.

A good way to ensure that your partner doesn’t blow all your money on crypto is by discussing both of your investment risk tolerances. That way, you can talk about what is considered an acceptable investment for the two of you and to avoid any secret ones down the road.

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Don’t let go of control

Rebolledo’s husband took complete control of their finances. She’d assumed he was paying the credit card bills on time, but he never paid them at all. Because her name was on several of the cards, she said her credit score dropped from 740 to the mid-500s.

Plus, she mentioned in yet another video that they’d never had a joint account until 2022 — 11 years after they got married. There was almost no financial transparency in their relationship.

A lack of openness around money may be a sign of financial infidelity. Bread Financial’s survey discovered that 48% of respondents uncovered a surprise when they started sharing one or more bank accounts with their partner.

Though some found good news, others found frivolous spending habits, bad credit scores and financial mismanagement.

Consider asking your partner to show you their financial status — and to show them yours. You want to avoid the kind of financial surprises that Rebolledo found after her husband’s arrest.

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Sabina Wex is a writer and podcast producer in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, Fast Company, CBC and more.

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