Dr. David Rhoiney could be described as a true rag to riches story. His Twitter profile describes him as “from homeless as a child to robotic surgeon”. He is also intensely curious and has a passion to help people. He has used those traits to teach himself about the financial markets, crypto and how to apply what he has learned to help others get ahead. He joins the ETF Think Tank to offer his thoughts on what’s good and bad in the financial markets as well as what he’s learned throughout his personal process.
As a physician, Rhoiney is not necessarily constrained by the same regulations as those in the financial industry, but it doesn’t stop him from holding himself to similar standards. He feels that he’s being responsible by not investing in healthcare. Outside of just the compliance concerns and the potential conflicts of interest, he wants others to know, in both personal and professional capacities, that he is doing things for the right reasons. It allows him to be honest about products and devices. In most cases, investors don’t know what is going to happen and he just doesn’t want to take that risk.
Rhoiney says that he’s fine with the idea of advisors but worries that the economics of hiring one means a lot of people are locked out of financial planning and advice. It’s just not feasible for people with lower incomes and that is why he tries to focus his work on the forgotten. He does his own financial planning and is okay with that because he knows where he wants to get. People will often give their opinion on what you should do, but those opinions come with bias. He doesn’t need a CFP designation to help point people in the right direction. Rhoiney says that he does not need to be fast, but he does need to be accurate.
Rhoiney sees a lot of finance folks coming into crypto and making the same Lehman mistakes. For many, their first investment was made into crypto and a lot of people, especially those in the underserved communities, are going to get hit hard by this. A lot of people have a distrust of the traditional financial outlets and were sold on the idea that they needed to be in crypto. There are so many people that don’t know the difference between FTX and BlockFi and Coinbase, so they probably had no idea how exposed they were. Unfortunately, a lot of smart people just checked the box to get in or were simply following the crowd.
A spot Bitcoin ETF doesn’t necessarily solve the problem either. Even if it were approved and Bitcoin experienced a 90% decline, the existence of an ETF doesn’t solve the volatility problem. An approval of such a product by the SEC would, however, give a Bitcoin ETF a certain appearance of safety for investors.
Other key takeaways:
- In order to manage his time, Rhoiney takes time to decompress, compartmentalizes his time, and understands he needs to sacrifice some things. He believes that people should pick 1-3 things they want to be good at and focus on those.
- No one wants to be associated with crypto regulation right now. Some companies will step up and do it themselves in order to operate with integrity, but you cannot force other people to be honorable. There are bad actors even in a regulated environment.
- With regard to crypto, what we’re seeing today is not a Bitcoin problem. It’s a human behavior problem. You had people who wanted to make money and Bitcoin crashed because Wall Street manipulated it. It is a digital thing that could have been used for so many good things, but it ended up getting perverted by opportunists.
- Rhoiney believes we are going to see some level of regulation at least towards those intermediaries that provide crypto access.
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