Transcription Episode 12

Welcome to another episode of Living on Blockchain. Today we’ll be speaking to Glenn Goodman. Glenn was associated with BBC as a business journalist, whose trading hobby became so profitable that he was able to quit his day job.

He’s written the book called The Crypto Trader. The conversation with him was freewheeling, and we talked about journalism, his experience in the crypto world, lots of fun, and I hope it is as fun and insightful for you as it was for me. Hi Glenn, how are you? Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us.

No, thanks very much for inviting me, I appreciate it. Wonderful. So could you tell our listeners a little about your background, because you’ve had quite a varied background.

You started as a journalist, if I’m not wrong. Yes, that’s right. In fact, even before that, I was working in radio, TV, for a while in the record industry as well, in the sort of early days of the internet, or not the early days of the internet, but in the days when companies were trying to get their heads around how to make the most of the internet.

And I sort of got involved with all of that kind of thing at a big record label. And yeah, then I became a journalist and a TV correspondent, a business correspondent for the BBC, and for ITV News, which is the BBC’s main competitor here in the UK. And I worked for them for many years.

And all the time I was trading, it started off as a hobby, because I was into businessy things and internet-y things, so it just kind of happened and I got into it like a lot of people do. I made some huge mistakes early on, lost my savings right at the beginning, because this was during the dotcom boom and crash. I did what all young idiots do, which is dive right in with all your money, think, I’m going to be rich, I’m going to be rich, and then I messed it all up, of course, because the market crashed, one of the biggest crashes of all time.

And I was holding and holding on in the hope that things would go back up, and of course they didn’t, well, not for many years anyway. So I lost my life savings, but that was a very valuable lesson for me, because it taught me to take trading seriously. A lot of people, like friends of mine, were trading at the same time, but they just kind of gave up after that, whereas I was determined to kind of learn a proper way of doing it.

So I started reading tons of books, tons of articles, and just getting my head around it. And then some years later, when I was still a TV correspondent, I started earning more money trading in my spare time than I was from my actual job. So that’s when I started thinking about giving it all up and just trading full time.

And so about eight years ago, that’s what I decided to do. I quit my job, started trading full time, and it was only shortly after that, that I got into cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency trading, which has been the most rewarding and most kind of interesting type of trading that I’ve ever done. Wow.

Okay. That’s quite a journey. You know, the record label thing is very interesting.

You must have quite had a lot of fun while you were working in the music industry, I imagine. Yeah, that was quite fun, but at the same time, it was a bit frustrating because I was meeting a lot of pop stars and working with them as part of my job, and I was just a kind of a bit jealous of them, to be honest. I was just like, they’re the ones with the good life.

I was just kind of like their assistant for the day, and I don’t know, I didn’t enjoy that too much. I like being a TV reporter better, because when you’re a TV reporter, and you go around doing stories, everybody treats you like you’re a really important person. Yeah, that’s true.

Everyone’s like, oh, it’s the TV reporter. So I don’t know, in terms of self-esteem, I found that better than being in the record business. Right.

Okay. So yeah, like I’ve shifted from you to them, and that was quite a dump, I guess. Yes.

TV reporting was great. I got to interview, you know, loads of really interesting people. I interviewed our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, and our previous Prime Ministers, David Cameron, Theresa May.

I’ve interviewed lots of people in the entertainment industry, Leonardo DiCaprio, people like that. So it was a great job, don’t get me wrong, but after more than a decade of doing it, it sounds spoiled, I suppose, to say you get bored of it, but you can get bored of any job when you have to go to work nine to five, or nine to six, or nine to seven, actually, it was in TV reporting, it was like 10 hour days, which is okay, but every single day, and it’s hard, hard work putting together TV reports, it’s very stressful. You have to get everything done and ready by the time the programme goes on air, which for us was six o’clock every single evening.

And, you know, it takes its toll on you. Absolutely. It gets too monotonous, right? Yeah.

You’ve got a bit of an invader there. Yeah, yeah. It’s my dogs in the background, I think there is somebody outside, but now it’s been taken care of, I’ve moved rooms.

So okay, you know, this sounds really exciting, so to say, but you know, what is more exciting is how, you know, you took the step to kind of switch careers when you realise that you’re earning more by training. That must have been a great move, right? Because going from the security of a full time job to training, I am sure that, you know, that was not a popular decision that you made with your family. Yeah, my wife was a little worried, but at the same time, you know, I’d sort of proved myself that I could make money trading over quite a few years by that point.

So she wasn’t too worried, but yeah, as you say, I mean, you know, I had full time employment. I was on staff and had been for years. So it was quite a big move in that respect, though at the same time, I carried on doing a bit of freelancing, working for my old employers and also presenting, you know, anchoring on some 24 hour news channels, satellite news channels, that kind of thing as well.

So I was doing like maybe one or two days a week, where I’d still do some reporting and presenting for several years after that. So I was kind of slowly easing myself out of journalism. I didn’t just quit completely, go cold turkey and go straight into full time trading.

But it was mostly trading from that point on. And then, yeah, for about the last sort of three or four years, I’ve done no TV reporting at all. I’ve managed to wean myself off it altogether and just, I don’t know, you know, I don’t know.

I quite, I have to say, maybe I shouldn’t have done that, because I quite like the social aspect, you know, I miss that. I miss the being in the camaraderie with other reporters and just the chatting and the fun. And, you know, obviously, I still chat to my friends during the day on WhatsApp or whatever, but it’s not the same.

It’s not the same, yeah. When you’re in the house on your own, you know. Yeah, yeah.

It’s not the same. I would agree. You know, when you sort of embark on these, so to say, unconventional paths of, you know, kind of, you know, when your professional life takes that path, it does become a little solitary even for, you know, now you would be, you are an entrepreneur in your own right.

And self-employment can be a lonely path. But I think the rewards are there. So you have, it’s more of a conscious choice, right? Yeah, I just, I suppose I wish I hadn’t stopped it altogether.

I tell you what, it was just nice to have even one day a week where I was going out and doing something different. And so, you know, I’m now open to possibilities. If somebody says to me, oh, we’d like you to be a TV reporter here one day a week, or not even TV reporting, just anything that’s not in my house would be quite good.

Right, okay. Cool. But you know, this is a minor complaint, all right? It’s a minor complaint.

I’ve got my family, I’ve got my wife, I’ve got two children, you know, so it’s not like I don’t speak to anybody. It’s fine. I’m just, I’m just moaning.

That’s okay. I think this year has made our moaning completely acceptable for everybody. So it’s absolutely fine.

Yeah, so okay, I’m not talking about, you know, getting into crypto. Your book is called Crypto Trader, right? And it’s doing, it’s done really well. And you also have like a Facebook community around it, if I’m not mistaken.

Yes, that’s right. Well, actually, the Facebook community came before the book. It was around about, it was 2016, 2017, when cryptocurrencies were really taking off, or Bitcoin was really taking off in people’s imaginations.

Everybody knew about it. You know, everyone in the world, even my wife’s mother was asking me about cryptocurrencies, and she can’t even use a computer. Even now she can’t use a computer, but she was still asking me about how to buy Bitcoin.

So that was kind of when I realized it was truly, truly, truly mainstream. And I had this Facebook page, The Shares Guy, where as the name implies, I was originally talking about shares, stocks and shares. And then the more I talked about cryptocurrencies, the more people were interested.

So I kind of pivoted more to that, even though I was happy to talk about both. I still am, really. I trade, I trade everything.

I trade stocks and shares. I trade futures, currencies, you know, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies is my main thing now, though, these days.

And so I built up that big Facebook community by making videos about trading cryptocurrencies, talking about my strategies and so on, not tipping cryptocurrencies or anything like that. I don’t do that kind of thing. I just kind of explain my own process.

I don’t tell people what to do or what to buy or that kind of thing. But you know, people can learn a lot by watching the process of someone who’s been doing it for a long time. And so then I was asked to, yeah, and when I was asked by a publishing company if I would write a book about that, particularly because they’d heard about how I warned my followers at the top of the boom at the end of 2017, when Bitcoin hit its peak, I saw some signs just again from my own experience of having, you know, particularly of the dotcom crash.

I recognized the signs of when we’re reaching a kind of crescendo, like the peak of a market. And so I warned all my followers and that warning coincided with, you know, pretty much the very top of the market and I started selling my Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies towards the end of 2017. And so I avoided what most people suffered, which was watching the value of their cryptos fall between 80 and 90 percent in most cases.

Which is, if you’ve made big profits before that, and of course the profits were huge in 2016, 2017, it’s still pretty painful for people to lose 80 percent. So I avoided that and the publishers asked me to write a book about not just my experiences, but about my techniques, my strategies, how I do it and how I avoid the losses, but make the profits. And so that was the Crypto Trader, which came out last year.

Wow, wonderful. Okay, so that’s quite a journey, you know, you’ve written a book about the techniques and the experiences for people to learn from, but what is your outlook now towards the crypto market? Like, what do you think currently, what is happening? Do you think, you know, Bitcoin has seen its peak or what is your outlook? Well, like all markets, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have bull and bear markets and sideways markets. Those are the only three types of market and, you know, it’s no different, that’s the thing.

Yeah, it had a big peak and it had a big collapse, like markets always do. And then you have the boring sideways bit, which we’ve had a lot of for the past couple of years, where you just kind of, you have to, as a trader, you have to try hard not to trade too much, because that’s how you can lose, you know, your money can kind of be frittered away slowly but surely by trading a lot during a market where the price is just moving sideways or just sort of going up a bit, going down a bit, going up a bit. You know, a lot of people will keep, every time it goes up a bit, they’ll be like, oh, it’s recovering, I’m gonna buy.

And then it goes back down a bit and it, you know, it goes sideways like that in a sort of zigzag shape for, it can happen like that for years. And that’s what we’ve had in cryptocurrencies for a couple of years now. But the signs are now good.

The market has shown technical signs, you know, I do chart analysis, technical analysis, it’s showing good signs of starting to enter a proper recovery phase now. I would be hesitant to call it a bull market. I don’t think we’re quite there yet.

It’s not like the new bull market. But I think the best sign that I’ve seen is that not Bitcoin itself, which is doing okay and recovering slowly, but a lot of the other cryptocurrencies, the smaller ones that suffered massive, massive declines over the past couple of years, a lot of them are now starting to recover. And I’ve been buying some of those because I can see them entering bull markets even before Bitcoin is entering a bull market.

So the early signs are actually coming from these little known cryptos, the ones that people don’t talk about as much. Right. Yeah, that’s actually very true.

So, you know, because now you’ve kind of touched upon it, there is a lot of noise regarding a lot of DeFi projects these days. Right. What is your take on that? Is there any project in particular that you know you’re eyeing and you see a lot of potential in? I like I mean, I like the most well-known names like Compound and so on, because well, because they actually have something to them.

The problem with DeFi, as I’m sure you know, is that there are more and more projects growing all the time or just sprouting up, you know, every week. There are new projects and a lot of them have got very or so I’m told very dodgy code, which is which can, you know, suck people in. And already we’ve had that sushi collapse.

They will not collapse. You know, the problems with sushi and a lot of people lost money there. And and so, you know, I am sceptical of a lot of the newer ones, but the big ones that are already kind of out there and and doing quite well, I respect them and I also respect the technology behind it.

I respect the idea behind it. It’s just the very, very beginning of a completely new way to borrow and lend money, which is fantastic because the world has needed this for quite a long time. It’s still not quite at a place where, well, in fact, it’s nowhere near a place where ordinary people can understand it and access it and use it.

It’s still much too complicated, I think, for that and not user friendly enough. But, you know, this is the experimentation phase. This is just the early days.

So it’s very exciting to see what they’re doing there in that space. And as I say, yes, some of them are doing very well. And and I like it.

OK, so, you know, that is actually what you said is very true. I think, you know, on the user interface side, we really need to work very hard for mass adoption, because unless people really start seeing that, you know, the problems are being solved in any way, they will not really change the way they are or where they are parking their money. So I completely agree with you on that one.

So, you know, apart from DeFi, non-fungible tokens or Nifty, as they’re called, they are making a lot of noise these days as well. What is your outlook towards, you know, these non-fungible tokens? Sorry, you cut out slightly there. Which which thing are you talking about? I’m talking about non-fungible tokens.

So, you know, Nifties, as they’re called, they are also, yeah, they’re making there’s a lot of noise around them as well these days. So what, you know, what is your outlook towards that? Because some people are really, you know, they’re foo-fooing the entire noise around Nifties. But I’d like your perspective as well.

Well, I mean, I haven’t done too much in terms of trading with non-fungible tokens. Let’s think, what have I got to say that’s useful about those? I mean, all right. So they’re they’re not mutually interchangeable, obviously.

I don’t know what to say about them from a kind of from a trading perspective, because I’m a trader. And I mean, give me an example of one that you want me to talk about. So if there if there are some, you know, if would you as a trader perhaps look into trading, you know, or looking into investing in some sort of non-fungible tokens? Like that, I think would be a good way to start.

I mean, I would be interested, certainly. I mean, CryptoKitties was something that obviously started the whole thing and was very exciting at the time. And and I wrote about it in my book as well, because it was it was it was just an interesting concept.

And it still is an interesting concept that could go a long way in the future. But so far, I have to say, I feel like non-fungible tokens have not fulfilled much of the potential that was promised of them a few years back. I mean, CryptoKitties is old now.

Yeah, a few years old. And it’s still kind of the main name that everybody associates with with Nifty’s, which kind of kind of unless I’m missing something. I mean, as you can probably tell, I’m not like massively clued up on that area.

So I don’t I mean, you tell me, have I missed something really important happening in that area since? No, not exactly. But, you know, nowadays there is a lot about Nifty’s that are more towards digital artwork and people, you know, that is why there is there is some noise around it. And Nifty’s were not something that I was also looking at, seriously.

But because, you know, I have been asked this, so I’m asking people if they are, you know, I am missing something because I don’t seem to understand the sudden interest as well, because I don’t personally see any other project that is doing very well. As you said, that the potential has perhaps not been, you know, kind of released until now. So I think we are on the same sub, you know, same boat regarding these Nifty’s, so to say.

But yeah, there was a little noise, I think, recently about digital artwork and, you know, how Nifty’s kind of the economy has been growing apparently. So there are some, you know, I saw some numbers. I think it was one million dollars or something that were blocked there or some purchase was made, I think.

So that kind of has brought it back into the forum. But yeah, I don’t see any, you know, project which is kind of doing this right. Quite like you said.

It’s one of those things. Well, I suppose it’s one of those things where it could just suddenly happen because because Nifty’s allow you to, you know, make tokens that can become collectible like CryptoKitties. Then all it would really take is for something to just capture the public imagination.

And then suddenly it could become the biggest thing in the world. You know, it could be the new. I don’t know if you know the game Roblox, for example, that my kids play is like massively popular game that largely involves collecting things on.

You know, you play it on an iPad or, you know, a tablet device or you can play it on phone. You know, it’s just one of those kind of kids games, a bit like Minecraft. But it often involves it has lots of sub games within it.

And a lot of them involve collecting things, collecting things called neon unicorns and things. I mean, they’re just pieces of little little pieces of artwork, like little pretend animals and that kind of thing. Digital animals.

But the point is, it’s become massively, massively popular throughout the world, kind of like Pokemon, I suppose, like just like massive. So, you know, there is obviously the potential there with Nifty’s that one of them will just take off in a massive way and suddenly a billion children will be using it all the time. And then and then, you know, and then we’ll be embarrassed that we sat here on our podcast going, yeah, there’s not much going on in Nifty’s.

Yeah, that’s true. You know, it could just suddenly happen. Yeah, why not? Of course.

But it’s worth keeping an eye on for that. Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely.

I think, you know, now that I’m looking it up, I think, you know, apart from artwork, apparently there are something known as, you know, photographs. I think thirst traps are also exploding on NFT platforms, apparently. And that is what is kind of creating that boom, because a lot of artwork, which is probably not safe for work, is going out for like a lot of money.

So I think that is also created some noise around it. But then again, this is not really referring to a particular project. They’re just talking about artwork that is going on and what they are trying to do, perhaps with Nifty’s rather than Fiat.

So, yeah. So, OK, you know, we should go keep an eye on it. I think, as you said, this can become big potentially.

So now to my next question, are there any particular books that you would recommend for people, apart from your very own, who are trying to perhaps get into the space and understand more about it? Well, I mean, it’s a shame that he doesn’t have a book, but Vitalik Buterin is probably the person I respect the most in the crypto space, because he’s just so clever. Yeah, he’s just so intelligent. I just, you know, every time he opens his mouth, something brilliant comes out of it.

So I love listening to him. So there’s no books there. But I would certainly follow him on Twitter if for anybody who doesn’t.

In terms of books, Chris Berniski’s book, Crypto Assets. Have you read that one? I mean, that’s all right. Well, I found it a really interesting read.

It’s a little bit out of date now because, of course, things move so fast. But it’s still a really, really useful introduction to the kind of, particularly to the classification of cryptocurrencies, you know, security tokens and utility tokens and all of that kind of thing. For anybody who’s not familiar with the with the area, it’s a really, really useful introduction.

And it also goes into quite a lot of detail about attempt, different attempts to value cryptocurrencies, to find ways to value them for for trading purposes, which obviously I found very useful. And and some of the stuff he talked about in that book, you’ll also find in my book. And, you know, I go into even more detail in terms of trying to try to value them, which is really difficult because, of course, cryptocurrencies don’t have profits and revenues with which to value them in the way that you would value stocks and shares.

Yeah. Which is part of the reason why I put so much emphasis on technical analysis and charting when it comes to cryptos, because because you don’t have those fundamentals, those profits and those revenues to kind of sit underneath the value of a cryptocurrency for that for that reason. You need to take very seriously which way the chart is heading, because any crypto can become extremely popular.

It’s all about popular perception. You know, a crypto can become very, very popular with people or it can go to practically zero if people lose interest in it. That’s true.

That’s absolutely true. OK, so now my second to last question is, you know, tell us a little about your portfolio. What what are you currently holding? If you’re if it is OK to discuss like what kind of what amount of stock like in percentage do you keep and what how much of your net value perhaps is in crypto and if there is any particular, you know, token that you’re really, really bullish about? Well, at this point in time, not too much of my net value is in cryptocurrencies, though that obviously may change if we enter a strong if we enter a proper bull market in crypto, then I’m sure I will be putting a lot more of my money into them as I did in 2016, 2017.

At the moment, though, I have opened a number of trades just in the past week or so, actually a week or two that I’m hoping might come to something. Theta, for example, and Waves and also Monero as well, XMR and Maker, which you’ll know about, I’m sure. And a few others as well.

Cardano again, but I don’t know that trades just sort of hasn’t made me any money so far. It’s been sort of about zero. But let’s have a look.

I haven’t made a loss on it, which is good. But I don’t know. I’m, as I say, I’ve opened trades in some that look like they are entering proper bull markets.

The ones I just mentioned generally have real kind of long term bull market potential as far as I’m concerned. Now, you know, for anybody who reads my book, they’ll know that that doesn’t mean that I just buy them and just hold on to them willy nilly. I don’t just hold on and hope I don’t hodl.

I’m really against hodling. I think that’s that’s what made everybody lose their money in 2018. They were all hodling.

You don’t want to hodl. You want to follow the trends, sure. But then if it turns out that you’re wrong and the thing is not actually in long term uptrend or a long term bull market, then you’ve got to get out.

And that’s I always use stop losses in my trading to get myself out of trades that start to lose money. I’m very strict about that. And I think if you interview other traders, you would find that most successful traders are very strict about getting out of trades that start to lose money.

So I never have big losses anymore, like the ones I had in the dot com crash. No big losses, just little losses and little losses don’t really matter. So then, you know, some of my trades do really well and I make lots of money on them and some of them don’t do well.

But I get out quickly so I don’t lose money on them. So, you know, that’s that’s the way to make money in the long term, whether you’re doing cryptos, stocks and shares, commodities, anything. That’s kind of probably the main the main lesson that that people need to learn when they’re learning to trade is to get out of losing trades quickly, because that way it’s it’s much harder to lose in the long term, much harder to lose.

That’s true. You know, I think a good trader should be, you know, a little removed from his or her emotions, per se, because, you know, you need to be a little more rational. As you said, you know, you have to go with the trend rather than thinking that, OK, you’ll just huddle or you’ll just keep sticking to one project that you found promising in a few days.

So that’s actually very good advice. Yeah. So people get very emotionally attached to a particular cryptocurrency and so they hold on for dear life because because that’s what you do when you love something and you think it’s definitely going to.

You know, you see all the people on Twitter who think that Bitcoin or any other coin is going to go to the moon and it’s definitely going to become the biggest thing ever. But there is no definitely in this world. I mean, you know, four years ago, everybody was saying Donald Trump was definitely not going to win the U.S. election.

Yeah, you still won it. You know, unexpected things happen all the time. And in cryptocurrencies, it’s still such a new area.

Even with Bitcoin being as famous as it is, you can’t just assume it’s going to become the biggest or stay the biggest coin forever. You know, there are better technologies out there, in my opinion, than Bitcoin. They’re much less famous.

So they’re finding it hard to kind of break through and become successful cryptos in the way that Bitcoin is. But again, I list in my book a whole load of massive companies, the biggest companies in the world that went out of business because nobody ever thought they could because, you know, names like I’m thinking of companies like Kodak or Xerox or, you know, like these massive, massive brand names that people thought would be safe forever because they were so well respected. And then and then within a matter of a couple of years, they go from the biggest in the world to like practically nothing.

Yeah. Yeah. Happens.

Nothing is permanent. So, yeah, I think that’s that’s actually very sound advice. So now coming to, you know, the very last question of the segment, I’d love to know what advice would you give to somebody who’s perhaps just starting out as a trader? I think the main advice I would give is to take it slowly.

Don’t jump in with all your money or even a large chunk of your money very quickly, because like I said, when me and my friends were all putting money in the dotcom boom and then we lost our savings, which wasn’t that much, you know, because we were young, but it was it seemed a lot at the time. And all my friends were so emotionally scarred by that, that they just never traded again. That was it for them.

The end. Not only did they have to build themselves back up financially, but they had to build themselves back up emotionally. And the reality is when you start trading from day one, you are up against some of the most experienced and cleverest people in the world.

It’s like starting to play tennis. And on your first day playing tennis, you play against Serena Williams. You know, it’s it’s hard at the beginning and you probably will lose money, even if you have a bit of beginner’s luck and you do really well.

Initially, you’ll get overconfident and then then you’ll make massive mistakes and lose loads of money. So you just got to you really got to be humble and not think you’re a genius straight away. You’ve got to take it slowly and and learn and read a lot of books and and articles and and just slowly build yourself up.

Yeah, that’s very sound advice. Be open to learning and, you know, just just be humble. I think that is something that a lot of us tend to forget, because, you know, it’s usually young people who come into the foray and they become a little overconfident when they get, as you said, beginner’s luck.

So this is really great advice. Well, thank you so much, Glenn, for taking out the time to speak to me. This this episode has been so much fun to record.

And I’m going to, you know, put in the link for your book, which is is it just available on Amazon or is it available on other platforms as well? It’s available in bookshops all over the world, like so. So, you know, in physical real bookshops, but also on lots of different lots of different selling platforms. I don’t know what they’re all called, you know, Barnes and Noble or whatever.

I don’t know all the different bookshops. But, yeah, the only one whose name I can remember is Amazon. OK, so I’ll link it up.

Well, yeah, exactly. It depends what part of the world people are in. You know, you’ll find whatever online bookstore is the popular one usually stocks it in every country anyway.

Brilliant. So I’m going to link it up. And thank you so much once again.

Any parting thoughts? Parting thoughts. I would tell people, don’t be downhearted about the way that cryptocurrencies have, you know, languished price wise for the past few years. It’s perfectly natural and perfectly normal after such a big run up as we had in 2016, 17 is then perfectly normal to have a few years or even more than a few years sometimes of prices just going nowhere before things pick up again.

It happens in every single market. So it doesn’t worry me. It’s just it’s just been a bit boring.

Yeah, that’s true. That is true. But, you know, this is this is really good.

Some hope for our listeners. Thank you so much, Glenn, for taking out the time. It has been absolutely lovely talking to you.

I very much enjoyed it. Thanks.

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