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Three strategies to diversify your portfolio with cryptocurrencies

Sygnum Bank’s Head of Asset Management, Fabian Dori, shares his views on high equity valuations, the increasing correlation between traditional assets – and how to intelligently diversify traditional portfolios with cryptocurrencies.

Traditional asset classes are currently facing challenges

Record amounts of fiscal stimulus being injected into economies globally has created challenges for traditional asset classes. Interest rates have moved into negative territory, equity valuations are at record high levels, and the correlation between asset classes have increased.

All this has reduced the amount of value that can be generated from investments and increased the risk of a traditional portfolio. In addition, the massive liquidity injections could create inflationary pressure, leading to the loss of a portfolio’s purchasing power.

During this time cryptocurrencies are emerging as an alternative asset class which can boost returns and diversify a portfolio. Here we outline how to approach the construction of a digital asset satellite portfolio.

Three simple strategies to invest in cryptocurrencies

1. Invest in the core

More than 70 percent of cryptocurrency market capitalization is represented by three tokens – Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP – which have separate and unique use cases.

Bitcoin is perceived as a store of value, Ethereum is a smart contract platform, while Ripple (or XRP) is a payment network. By investing and trading these tokens, one already gains diversified exposure to the cryptocurrency market.

2. Build out

For investors who would like to take further exposure to smaller, niche protocols with future potential, they can invest in Sygnum’s Platform Winners Index ETP.

The index identifies on a dynamic basis the tokens of the most established, foundational protocols (including smaller ones such as EOS, Binance Chain, Cardano, etc.) and this product provides a convenient, safe entry point to digital asset investing. The ETP has had a gross cumulative return of close to 100 percent year-to-date.

3. Get active

For those seeking greater alpha, Sygnum’s digital asset multi-manager fund is ideal. This fund diversifies across best-in-class digital asset managers and strategies and managers, providing broader exposure to digital assets including value extracted from information asymmetries and market inefficiencies.

The fund has had a gross cumulative return of approximately 40 percent year-to-date.

Get started by investing in Bitcoin

Looking at real historical data, a 5 percent allocation of Bitcoin to a traditional portfolio originally comprising 75 percent equities and 25 percent fixed income would have increased investment returns by 12 percent from the start of 2019 (see performance of portfolio 1 without Bitcoin versus portfolio 2 with Bitcoin in figure 1).

While volatility would have also increased, the outperformance after adjusting for the increased risk is still positive, with a Sharpe ratio of 1.04 compared to 0.76. The winning factor is that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have historically demonstrated a low correlation to traditional assets.

For the most part, Bitcoin’s correlation to equities and fixed income has fluctuated between -10 and +10 percent, which means that in the long-term Bitcoin is a good diversifier and can increase the resilience of a portfolio.

Figure 1

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This document is purely for educational purposes and has been issued by Sygnum Group. It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a marketing communication. It does not constitute an offer or a recommendation to subscribe, purchase, sell or hold any security or financial instrument. It contains the opinions of Sygnum Group, as at the date of issue. These opinions and the information contained herein do not take into account an individual‘s specific circumstances, objectives, or needs. No representation is made that any investment or strategy is suitable or appropriate to individual circumstances or that any investment or strategy constitutes personalized investment advice to any investor. Therefore, you must verify the above and all other information provided in the document or otherwise review it with your external advisors. Some investment products and services, including custody, may be subject to legal restrictions or may not be available worldwide on an unrestricted basis. The information and analysis contained herein are based on sources considered as reliable. Sygnum Group uses its best efforts to ensure the timeliness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness of the information contained in this document. Nevertheless, all information indicated herein may change without notice.

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