Markets are soaring, coins are putting in 50% days and the Lambo memes are back. Is this 2017 all over again?

I don’t normally do this, but let’s start with the caveats. This might not be the start of the next bull market. Even after a few good weeks, we’re still below where we were in May last year. So, do your own research, manage your risk and only invest what you can afford to lose. Just because things are going up now doesn’t mean they’re gonna keep on going up in perpetuity. Protect yourself and your money, because even in an uptrend it’s easy to lose out big time.

With that out of the way, have you seen the absolute state of the crypto market right now? As of writing, a full 95 out of the top 100 coins on Coinmarketcap have notched up gains in the last month and some of them have doubled or tripled in value. Since July 20, the entire crypto market cap has increased by US$100 billion, an increase of around 40%. If this isn’t the beginning of a bull market, it’s wearing a very convincing cow costume and saying “moo” a lot.

But if this is the start of something big, then you’ve got to be prepared. As a veteran of the 2017 bubble – and someone who bought Ethereum for the first time at $9 and sold it... very, very early – here are the four lessons I wish I knew back then.

Lesson #1: Don’t wait for the pullback

In a bullish market, you can be waiting for a very long time for that ideal entry. Back when bitcoin was at US$9000, everyone was waiting for US$6000. Now it’s at US$12000, everyone’s waiting for US$9000. It might happen, it might not, but if this is the beginning of the next bubble, the chances of you getting that ideal entry are small – and the difference could appear marginal by the time things really get going. When BTC hit US$20000, people probably didn’t care all that much if they’d bought in at US$900 or US$1200.

Lesson #2: Wear the bumps

With that said, there will be pullbacks. Some of these will be savage. During 2017, there were no less than four market implosions where 30-40% was wiped off the price of most coins in the space of a few days. And then you know what happened? Multi-week rallies that went 300-400% in the other direction. The lesson: don’t panic sell at the first sight of red. That’s what they want you to do.

Lesson #3: Don’t go overboard

When coins are doubling in value in a week, it’s easy to lose sight of how risky these markets can be. But you can almost be guaranteed that the moment you decide to go all-in, things will turn and you’ll find yourself wondering what happened to all your sweet, sweet dollar bucks. It’s called euphoria and it’s one of the biggest warning signs these markets have. Be patient, be measured, be risk averse. The good times won’t last forever and you need to be prepared for when that happens.

Lesson #4: Patience pays - literally

Most of the time, the best thing you can do in a bull market is literally nothing. Pick your coins, make your investments and then pretend they don’t exist for the next year or two. Pick up a hobby, focus on your family, start building that fallout shelter in your backyard. Whatever you do, don’t keep refreshing your CoinJar app to see if you’ve made any money in the last 45 seconds. It’ll drive you crazy and lead you to make poor decisions (see Lessons #2 and #3).

When ETH hit US$1400 at the height of the 2017 bubble, I forced myself to sit down and work out how much I could have made if I hadn’t spent the previous year trying to out-trade the market. Suffice it to say, I don’t own my own home, but could have. So, don’t be like Uncle Luke, ya dingus. Be bold and HODL. You’ll thank yourself in 2022.

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