Ethan Nguonly, a 22-year-old Google software engineer, recently opened up about a significant financial blunder. According to CNBC Make It, the young professional disclosed a loss of approximately ₹ 67 lakh due to margin trading in cryptocurrency, implying he was using borrowed funds for these transactions. Hailing from Orange County, California, Nguonly began his investment journey in the stock market under his parents’ guidance before he even reached his teenage years.
His financial assets now boast over ₹ 1 crore across retirement and brokerage accounts and ownership of two properties.
The software engineer revealed that he incurred the ₹ 67 lakh loss in crypto from November 2021 to June 2022. He elaborated that this amount consisted of his initial investment of ₹ 24 lakh and an additional ₹ 41 lakh in potential gains that never materialized. He had initially invested around ₹ 33 lakh in leading cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, along with minor investments in altcoins like Shiba Inu and Dogecoin. However, as Bitcoin prices skyrocketed, he further invested about ₹ 12 lakh using margin.
Nguonly’s crypto investments surged to a promising profit of ₹ 42 lakh when Bitcoin hit record highs. Yet, as 2021 drew to a close, the crypto landscape shifted, culminating in a staggering 70% plunge in Bitcoin’s value by summer 2022. Commenting on his experience, Nguonly shared with CNBC Make It, “I was investing with some money that I didn’t necessarily have. Once the crypto market kind of reversed, my losses were amplified.
Reflecting on his journey, Nguonly doesn’t rue his decision to step into the crypto world, but he admits to the pitfalls of leveraging borrowed funds for such investments. While he continues to maintain some investments in cryptocurrencies, he now predominantly opts for established tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum, steering clear of the more unpredictable altcoins.
Expressing his faith in the crypto domain, he remarked, “I still believe in cryptocurrencies as a whole.” But he also issued a word of caution, “I do think that a lot of these altcoins can be very risky and I avoid putting any money towards them.
Nguonly’s takeaway from his ₹ 67 lakh mishap is clear: “Only invest money you have and don’t go un-leveraged into very speculative investments.”
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