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Financial Advisors

Can Microsoft’s Partnerships Fend Off Amazon?

Microsoft isn’t just offering access, storage and processing, it's offering expertise in the cloud for a wide array of businesses. With a series of strategic partnerships, MSFT stock is keeping Amazon at bay. Read Article

10 A-Rated Stocks the Smart Money Is Piling Into

If you follow the smart money, you end up following these stocks to buy. Here's what you should know about each. Read Article

Buying Bitcoin the Right Way: Beginners Should Always Do These 3 Things

As a cryptocurrency analyst, people often ask me if they should be buying bitcoin. When I say yes, they want to know how. I can’t speak to your personal financial situation. I can tell you this, though: despite the recent selloff, bitcoin has thrived for more than a decade. It’s a new asset class ... the first digital currency not controlled by a central organization or government. And we’re nearing a point where the real risk won't be owning bitcoin ... it will be not owning it. In my mind, it’s the best hedge against economic turmoil. Before I encourage anyone to start buying bitcoin, though, I always tell them three things:

1. Buying bitcoin? Start small

Don’t jump in headfirst. If you want to start buying bitcoin, don’t spend more than 1% of your investable assets. For example, if you have $100,000 set aside, buy $1,000 worth of bitcoin. [ipm_internal_ad_list ipm_ad__post_id_1="1309659" ipm_ad_copy_1="InvestorPlace%20Roundup%3A%20The%20Top%20Stocks%20(and%20the%20Worst)%20in%20the%20Stock%20Market%20Today" ipm_ad_url_1="https://investorplace.com/2019/01/investorplace-top-stocks-to-invest-in-today/" /] This protects you from a selloff. It also lowers the stakes as you learn to use bitcoin. Buying cryptocurrency, moving and storing it is not like online banking or investing. If you send bitcoin to the wrong location, you can’t call your bank and cancel the transaction. With bitcoin, what’s done is done. There is no reversing it. A learning curve is inevitable. And experience is the best teacher.

2. Write everything down

Bitcoin is one of the world’s most advanced technologies. The irony is you still need to keep “offline” records. That means printing out Word documents ... or even using pen and paper to back up your information. To store, send or receive bitcoin, you need a digital wallet. Think of it as the vault where you “keep” your bitcoin. Here's an example of an online bitcoin wallet from Blockchain.com: An example wallet for buying bitcoin Your wallet has a public key, which will look something like this: 1GwV7fPX97hmavc6iNrUZUogmjpLPrPFoE. That key is an address you can share with others who want to send you bitcoin. Think of it like an account name. Your wallet also has a private key. This is an alphanumeric sequence, or a string of words generated by your wallet. Never share your private key. It’s the “password” you use to access your wallet. Whoever controls it has full control of your bitcoin. If you lose your private key, you won’t have an “I forgot my password” option. (Note: some less secure wallets may offer this functionality. I advise you to avoid them. If you let a third party store your private key, they might be able to access it.). No private key? No access to your wallet. And you lose your investment. Period. That’s why I write everything down. Or, I print out screenshots that include my wallet information. And I always put them somewhere safe.

3. Don’t leave money on an exchange

The easiest way to start buying bitcoin is by opening an account with an exchange. Much like opening an online bank account, it can take a few days. That gives the exchange time to conduct Know Your Customer (KYC) diligence on you. During that process, they verify your identity. They also ensure you're not a criminal. Once you have an account, you can fund it with a bank transfer -- or a credit card in some cases. Then, you can exchange that money for bitcoin. After you’ve purchased your bitcoin, store it in a bitcoin wallet. Leaving it in your account on an exchange creates undue risk. If the exchange gets hacked, you might lose your money. This has happened in a couple high-profile cases. In 2014, bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox -- which handled up to 70% of all bitcoin volume at the time -- filed for bankruptcy. Altogether, the exchange lost 750,000 bitcoin that belonged to its customers. At today’s prices, that bitcoin is worth $1.5 billion. Hackers have a big incentive to target exchanges. Follow these tips to buy bitcoin, and you can avoid being one of their targets. Good investing, Eric As of this writing, Eric Wade was long bitcoin. [ipm_internal_ad_list shortcode_ui_saved_config="1275476" ipm_ad_title="More From InvestorPlace" ipm_ad__post_id_1="1276794" ipm_ad_copy_1="2%20Toxic%20Pot%20Stocks%20You%20Should%20Avoid" ipm_ad_url_1="https://investorplace.com/2018/10/toxic-pot-stocks-to-avoid?cid=MKT382818&eid=MKT385969" ipm_ad__post_id_2="1309195" ipm_ad_copy_2="10%20Stocks%20You%20Can%20Set%20and%20Forget%20(Even%20In%20This%20Market)" ipm_ad_url_2="https://investorplace.com/2019/01/10-best-stocks-set-and-forget-forever/" ipm_ad__post_id_3="1309571" ipm_ad_copy_3="10%20Virtual%20Assistants%20for%20the%20Future%20of%20Smart%20Homes" ipm_ad_url_3="https://investorplace.com/2019/01/10-virtual-assistants-for-the-future-of-smart-homes/" ipm_ad__post_id_4="1266364" ipm_ad_copy_4="7%205G%20Stocks%20to%20Buy%20as%20the%20Race%20for%20Spectrum%20Tightens" ipm_ad_url_4="https://investorplace.com/2019/01/7-5g-stocks-to-buy-as-the-race-for-spectrum-tightens/" /] Read Article

IRS Tax Refund 2019: So, Where’s My Tax Refund?

This year could be dicey for tax refunds. Keep in mind that the government shutdown could slow things down, as well as the complexities of the new tax law. So here are some things you can do. Read Article

10 Speciality Retail Stocks to Seek Refuge In

The one thing you can count on in the U.S. economy are consumers. When things get dicey, retail stocks can be a refuge and opportunity. Read Article

10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill

Marijuana stocks have recently lagged the markets, but the newly signed farm bill provides a significant catalyst for pot businesses. Read Article

Follow the Money into the Future of Transportation With Self-Driving Car Stocks

The autonomous driving revolution is coming. Position yourself to profit with self-driving car stocks. Read Article

5 Futuristic Artificial Intelligence Stocks to Buy

These five hot artificial intelligence stocks in the automotive and tech sectors have a consensus strong buy analyst rating and are all poised for further growth. Read Article

10 Best Stocks to Buy That Represent the Future

During times of turbulence, it is important to remember that companies that represent the future are the best stocks to buy today. Read Article

Should You Care About the Inverted Yield Curve?

The inverted yield curve is the talk of Wall Street, yet investors should just focus on fundamentally strong companies with growing bottom lines. Read Article

What Does the Inverted Yield Curve Mean for Your Money?

An inverted yield curve means a recession is likely, so make sure you have cash today to buy the bargains of tomorrow. Read Article

The 7 Best Car Stocks to Park in Your Portfolio

What are the best car stocks to buy in the auto industry? Try this combo of industry-dominating stocks with strong future trend support. Read Article

10 Boring Stocks to Buy for Red-Hot Returns

Warren Buffett has made his fortune on many businesses that would lull you to sleep. These 10 boring stocks to buy are simply beautiful. Read Article

10 Value Stocks to Buy for December

The 10 value stocks are great examples of companies that reward you with both income and growth, regardless of the market’s gyrations. Read Article

10 Goldman Sachs Top Stock Picks for 2019

Chances are, the volatility of the 2018 markets isn't going anywhere. But Goldman Sachs is here to help with these top stock picks for 2019. Read Article

Why Is Apple Hiding Its iPhone Unit Sales Numbers?

Apple is not winning investor support by being more opaque with iPhone unit sales. That could hurt AAPL stock holders in the near-term. Read Article

Microsoft vs. Apple: Which Is the Better Stock?

With Microsoft surpassing Apple's market cap, is MSFT stock the better buy here? Neil George breaks down both companies' valuations. Read Article

15 Artificial Intelligence Stocks Leading the New Wave

With so many strong sectors on steep discount, now is an ideal time to position yourself with artificial intelligence stocks. Read Article

Now That the Pot Stock Bubble Has Popped, Should You Buy Cronos Stock?

Before buying the dip in CRON stock, investors should understand that the cannabis industry will produce more losers than winners. Read Article

General Motors Stock Is a Bargain After Restructuring

General Motors is still a deep value play. The company's cost cuts will position GM stock toward high-growth automotive markets. Read Article