Turning 2k to 2M in 16 Months: My Story on Branding, Opportunities, and Technical Analysesby@thecryptocactus
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Turning 2k to 2M in 16 Months: My Story on Branding, Opportunities, and Technical Analyses

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In 2018 I had nothing, I had returned from Bali with ZERO in savings, I went there with $10,000 a few months earlier thinking I was some god-tier trader who would be able to just keep growing and growing my capital. I decided to make a big pivot and focus on the bigger picture, I stopped trading on a daily basis, I focused my time on researching projects for their underlying technology and use cases. I started a research project called ‘Papercoins’, we would write and design one-page summaries and reports for cryptocurrency projects. I would cold message 20-40 projects a day, offering this service in return for ETH.

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So you probably clicked on this article because of the title, and are super interested in understanding how you can grow your net worth vertically over a short period of time and become a multimillionaire.

This isn’t some clickbait article, I’m am happy to share a part of my story on the investment side and how I achieved so-called ‘financial freedom’ in my mid 20’s where the majority of people are just starting their career.

I started writing this newsletter a few days ago and it turned into an autobiography so I scrapped the entire thing and will just try and simplify my trading style and investment decisions that have led me to where I am today. I will expand on my personal story in the future, I think it’s a pretty interesting and unique story.

First things first, in 2018 I had nothing, I had returned from Bali with ZERO in savings, I went there with $10,000 a few months earlier thinking I was some god-tier trader who would be able to just keep growing and growing my capital, living the good life and relaxing on a sunny beach. Long story short, reality will always slap you in the face if you're not careful and what might be yours now can ALWAYS be taken. I think I learned some very valuable lessons on that trip that set my investment thesis for years to come.

Everyone has to struggle with the market at somepoint, this is not a zero sum game. Everyone has to experience different aspects of the market or life in generally and find what fits their trading or life style.

I tried my hand at trading for a living, waking up every day, and being pressured into scanning charts and price action for a signal to buy or sell was having a negative effect on my portfolio. Even though I had a pretty good understanding of technical analysis and could find setups to trade, being quote on quote, forced to find trades every day was really hurting my portfolio. I decided to make a big pivot and focus on the bigger picture, I stopped trading on a daily basis, I focused my time on researching projects for their underlying technology and use cases. As I had no longer any income from active trading and knew I needed capital for investing during the years of 2018-2020 when the bear cycle was in full swing so I started working 9-5 and hustling on the side to build as much income as possible, putting every last cent into Ethereum at the time.

You have to know what your strengths are when it comes to investing or trading, you need to play into your strengths even if it takes you down a long path to success. I truly believe if I had made millions day trading crypto, I would have lost millions day trading crypto.

Early 2019 I started a research project called ‘Papercoins’, we would write and design one-page summaries and reports for cryptocurrency projects. Why? Well during my time researching hundreds of projects and reading whitepapers for each one, I noticed that there was no effective way to see all the different aspects of a project in one simplistic approach. We highlighted, the project, the team, the UI/UX, the GitHub repo activity, and even the competitors in one custom-curated A4 page. I would cold message 20-40 projects a day, offering this service in return for ETH.

The original papercoins website

The original papercoins website

Honestly you need to think or coming up with unique or interesting ways to either a) grow capital or b) grow your network. I picked the latter since day 1, and found network to be way more valuable in such a ‘small’ industry. But a leads to b and b leads to a, its all just about how you want to approach the game.

I knew that Ethereum had so much potential for upside, I knew I wanted to stack as many ETH as possible for the next bull run so I worked my ass off for close to 3 years, working a 9-5, coming home from work, writing papercoins articles for 2-3 hours, then uploading 1-2 charts on twitter analyzing the market for that day and making a few trades here and there on a weekly or monthly basis. Obviously, to achieve this, I gave up everything else in my life, friends, hobbies, and even family (lived 3-4 hours away). I knew that the end result would be having more than enough time and money after grinding for a few years to be able to treat and enjoy time with family and friends.

It was a race against time, I knew the bear market was coming to an end sometime in the next 1-2 years and I just dedicated my time to learning, building, and stacking projects that I believe in long-term. I think this is probably where most people will find some value in this newsletter, this market will correct, there will be a time in the not-so-distant future where if you have the correct toolset or network, you can build and achieve some very cool things in this space.

To put it into perspective, the majority of my ETH was purchased around $104, not $1400. I knew this technology would change the world, it was my core thesis for believeing in crypto at that time.

For the majority of 2020, I was pretty much just hustling and juggling as many side incomes as possible in the space, and spending the early months of COVID-19 lockdown playing Warzone with @BitcoinBirch for hours upon hours per day. Just from casually playing and becoming good friends, the amount of knowledge about crypto, exchanges, how products and platforms are built was just phenomenal, obviously, Birch was building stacked at the time and I totally inspired and amazed by the ambition and determination one individual could have. It set my tone moving forward and triggered something in me to push and build something bigger than myself. I do miss the days of just grinding the call of duty with my boy.

I believe in spring 2020 we had that insane crash with traditional markets and crypto, I remember traders calling for ETH to head to ‘double digits’ I pretty much emptied my cash account into ETH at $120, doubling or even tripling my holding at the time.

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Now in the summer of 2020 the market started to turn around, I probably had 150 to 250 ETH stacked at this time and felt very comfortable as the price of the market started to climb. I knew my position was untouchable no matter what corrections we would see in the future, I had caught the golden egg was had no intentions of letting go. I remember my portfolio passing $100,000 in the summer of 2020, I was beyond excited, it was like an affirmation that everything I had been preaching for years was coming true and my thesis in crypto, blockchain, and the market just went parabolic.

Projects that I had sat on for years started to resurrect, I had never been part of a bull run before and the feeling was pretty indescribable, little did I know that we were just getting started. I rolled profits from funds that I have on exchanges into some smaller caps that had still not started moving higher, I knew that BTC capital moved into ETH and that ETH capital moved into altcoins, so I started buying everything.

I had already stopped using leverage at this point, but for anyone who was trading around that time the volatility was pretty wild. Swings in pretty much all directions, likely if I used leverage I would have gotten wiped early on.

Autumn of 2020 was when the market really started to ramp up, through working with projects in the past and also having some incredible friends and colleagues in the crypto space, I started allocating a very small amount of capital to projects that had not yet launched. I had heard stories of similar activities in 2017, and was very very skeptical at the time to partake, I just researched projects carefully, went play by play, and tried to remember that nothing lasts forever and at any time the music could stop.

At this point leading up to christmas, some of the projects had done well in the market, some failed miserably but understanding what the wider macro market was learning towards was important going into 2021. I knew polkadot was going to be hot. This was one of the first projects that got me excited since seeing Ethereum.

Then we have 2021, this was a major year for crypto, I launched the first ‘Newsletter NFT’ to start the year, this was when only a few select people had good insight and thesis about how NFT’s would shape the world (@chatwithcharles and @Avlisnj). I did everything I could to keep stacking ETH, working multiple advisory roles in the early Defi space, still grinding research reports for projects, picking up with trading activity, and getting off some major early investments into the DOT & NFT sector. The NFT newsletter itself had some really hot calls in Q1 of this year, but the main thing I regret from 2021 is not being able to pour more content into my own personal NFT.

The Animated Newsletter NFT

The Animated Newsletter NFT

After researching, reading and analyszing the fundamentals of crypto projects over the past 2 years with papercoins, I had a pretty good eye for finding solid projects and mixing this with macro technicals for selling out of positions I found a very healthy and balanced way to be acitivly trading in the market.

Fascinated with searching for projects, and also realizing the current market conditions, myself and a few friends decided to start a small private fund to not only invest in early-stage projects that potentially had promising futures but also back smaller-sized projects and connect them with additional resources that could expand their growth. White Palm Capital is excited to be backing projects such as AIOZ, Coldstacks, Automata Network, Blank Wallet, Crowny, Gather, and Mist NFT just to name a few, and we are now expanding our portfolio into mining and yield farming.

The portfolio from Q1 and Q2 investments is probably up over 1000x in Q4 which is crazy, and I really do think adding to these positions in the next bear cycle for me is going to be a major play. I am also bullish on Sovryn which is Defi built on the Bitcoin Network, this being one of the ecosystems I’m looking to heavily invest in.

On a personal level my thesis is pretty simple and has been pretty simple for the year; a) Do I truly believe in the project or vision? and b) Is the project undervalued? If both of these are valid then you would use technical analysis to find macro support levels on HTF’s and start marking out levels where I want to accumulate a position.

Current investments from White Palm Capital

Current investments from White Palm Capital

Looking back now, it was pretty clear that the polkadot ecosystem growth played a major part of this story, for 2-3 months earlier this year I remember hunting and whitelisting for pretty much anything that was launched on polkastarter. The same situation is playing out with Solana right now, anything attached to the solana ecosystem has the power of the market behind it. In moments like these, its best just to lock in and focus on hunting for solid projects or new listings.

On top of this at the end of spring we also so a huge milestone get cracked for ETH and as the price hovered around $4000 I started to scale out, pretty heavily, I knew the price was overextended just by looking at the general sentiment in the market and the crazy run we had already seen the few weeks prior.

Personally I scale out as price becomes ‘unsync’ with realistic price expectations or TA, if PA is climbing passed macro resistance without hesitation im usually scaling out with the thinking to buy back on a successful retest.

I scaled out to around 75% stables around $4000 on Ethereum, looking back at the telegram messages, it was likely more around $3900 but in that general region. I ended up scaling back in around $2700 and increased my position significantly, which currently is still being held as I write this article on the 4th November 2021. I am looking to scale out slowly up over Christmas and into early January, I do feel as though we have some solid room for further upside, but I do really think we will get a large correction again at some point and I think it’s not so far in the future.

Finding a good trade or investment entry is important, but selling is a necessity that a lot of people forget about this, its fun watching your portfolio grow day by day but the realistic espectations is that 70% of traders will rise and fall with their portfolio, without actually coverting paper profits into cash.

I feel in the macro after I scale-out again, I’m likely only going to scale back in with a fraction of my current portfolio, I feel I know my risk tolerance extremely well and I really am content with what I have achieved so far in such a short period of time. The horror stories of traders going broke after over-leveraging a small fortune are insane, I do not plan on making that mistake but time will tell. I really like Bitcoin mining through Compass and using Defi yield farming aggregators to make up for the LTF trading aspect that I was once found impossible to maintain.

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I have never been a fan of leverage, I used it briefly in 2018/2019 but I really dont think its needed for any amount of success. Leverage your personality and connections more than your portfolio, you will come out much better.

Another key thing to point out is that your ‘goal’ or ‘target’ that is the reason you keep pushing yourself every day will never be enough. You're probably thinking it’s easy for me to say, but the truth is once I made $100,000 back in 2020 I was content, I never forced a trade, I never tried to push a narrative so that I could invest, I just stayed calm and followed my thesis on finding strong projects, working and accumulating.

I strongly recommend surrounding yourself with like minded people who have similar thoughts and connections, NOT a echo chamber. People to bounce ideas off, people who inspire you to achieve more and have strong opinions.

Speaking of surrounding yourself with like-minded people, a quick funny story, I remember back in February when Charles Read had a conversation with me about ‘Crypto Punks’, saying I should really look into them, pick a few up for $20,000 and hold onto them for the next 2-3 years. I laughed it off, thinking what’s a bunch of pixelated heads going to be worth, this is not a ‘real’ investment. Little did I know…

Speaking on the above, you are and will always been on your own path. Whatever the decision you make, you need to have strong belief if yourself and your thesis. Pixelated NFT’s where really not my expertise and I stuck by that decision.

That pretty much sums up the path I have been on from an investment standpoint over the past few years, I have leveraged a lot of my personal skills and awareness to be able to build capital that is now considered a small fortune. The game for me has now shifted to capital preservation, turning down the elements of risk that I would once find necessary. The goal is not to lose it all!

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