DEAR HARRY: With all the noise we hear about bitcoins, I have been wondering whether to get in on the great potential. I have a friend who was lucky enough to buy 1,000 at a cost of about $22,000. As you can see, he is way ahead and on his way to making a lot more if the predictions hold up.
I am not wealthy by any means, but I see this as a chance to put some whipped cream on my hot chocolate. When is the best time of year to get in? I have about $50,000 in stocks and bonds plus about $20,000 in cash. How much should I invest?
WHAT HARRY SAYS: Bitcoins are a form of money created by investors rather than the Fed. They have had their own ups and downs with a recent high above $1,000. Your friend got lucky; his roulette wheel kept coming up on the color he bet on. Even the recent decline didn't dent his gains.
On the other hand, we have a timid friend who bought in at about $900, and she is starting to worry. There's a great element of fad and of gambling with these things. They are very risky. I would place them between a large bet on the lottery and a long night at the craps table. At least the lottery does some good things for our senior citizens. Do not invest more than you can afford to lose. So far, there is no best time of year to get in or out.