Bitcoin Hits High of $19,850 As Doubters Become Believers
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Bitcoin Hits High of $19,850 As Doubters Become Believers

By Avi Salzman
Mon, Nov 30, 2020 12:40amGrey Clock 2 min

Bitcoin soared to an all-time high on Monday, hitting US$19,850 in the morning before again slipping below US$19,500 by the afternoon.

It has nearly doubled in just the past two months. The cryptocurrency has been boosted by a flurry of endorsements from traditional investors, favourable government policies, and expanded access on investment apps, as Barron’s noted this weekend.

Even traditional investors who had long spurned or ignored Bitcoin have begun reconsidering. New buyers tend to view the digital asset as a hedge against currency devaluation at a time when governments have loosened monetary policy to deal with the coronavirus. It doesn’t bother many bulls that Bitcoin remains mostly useless as a currency. Its role as an asset appears to be enough.

Scott Minerd, the global chief investment officer at Guggenheim, appears to be warming to Bitcoin. The Guggenheim Macro Opportunities Fund (ticker: GIOAX), with more than $5 billion in assets under management, said in a regulatory filing that it may invest up to 10% of its net asset value in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), a stock-like security that tracks the price of Bitcoin.

Bernstein analyst Inigo Fraser-Jenkins, co-head of the portfolio strategy team, wrote on Monday: “I have changed my mind about Bitcoin’s role in asset allocation. In January 2018 we declared that it had no such role. But actually, maybe we have to admit it does. What has changed is the policy environment, debt levels and diversification options for investors post the pandemic.”

One reason that analysts are changing their minds about Bitcoin is that it may serve to balance portfolio exposure for some investors. Stocks are trading at high valuations, so it makes sense to hedge exposure to them. But bonds and Treasuries have also rallied, and are trading with such low yields that there’s not much reward for the risk that investors are taking on.

Gold has also risen in recent months and is trading near a 50-year high relative valuation to other commodities, according to Jim Paulsen, the chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group.

Paulsen recommended on Monday that clients consider Bitcoin as a way to balance their portfolios. He is impressed with how uncorrelated it has been to other assets — both stocks and things like bonds and gold. “The thing is, Bitcoin has risks, but today, so do most of the other balanced portfolio alternatives,” he wrote.

He explained more in a follow-up email to Barron’s.

“I still don’t really understand what drives Bitcoin but I am finally willing to recognize that its short history yields some beneficial attributes which I can’t find elsewhere,” Paulsen wrote. “And, unlike other balance possibilities, I am not looking to ‘buy and hold’ Bitcoin (would need to understand it better to do that), but rather looking to exploit its excessive volume in order to improve the workings of a traditional balanced portfolio in a way which is not possible if utilizing only traditional assets. My point essentially is that I am not really attracted per se to Bitcoin fundamentally, but rather only its ‘interactive’ character (including its unique excessive volatility) with stocks and other traditional assets.”



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Milestone birthdays and anniversaries, weddings, and graduations are momentous life occasions that some like to mark with large and elaborate celebrations.

And the deep-pocketed set are still in catch-up mode after a party-throwing standstill during the pandemic that went on for many months during the height of the lockdowns and social distancing. Bashes since then have become ever more extravagant and experiential—mere get-togethers, they’re not.

Hosts are also seeking any excuse to throw an event and having parties with the same “wow” factor for far less significant reasons, or for micro-occasions as they’re called, and even “just because,” according to luxury event planners who work with this elite set.

Colin Cowie, a planner based in New York and Miami who regularly orchestrates multimillion-dollar gatherings and was behind Jennifer Lopez’s and Ben Affleck’s wedding, calls it the “event revolution.”

“Large-scale events have become the norm,” Cowie says. “The wealthy, who are used to celebrating their life moments in a big way couldn’t do anything during the pandemic and are now going all out for anything they host.”

His company, Colin Cowie Lifestyle, plans 30% more events today than pre-Covid and has a lineup booked for the next two years. An example includes an upcoming million-dollar dinner party in the Hamptons simply to socialise with friends. It’s an affair with free-flowing Dom Perignon, centre-cut filet mignons, and unlimited caviar.

Colin Cowie Lifestyle plans 30% more events today than pre-Covid
Calen Rose

Other high-end planners also attribute the rise of over-the-top celebrations to a “live life to the fullest” attitude that’s become prevalent in the last few years. But they say that these parties aren’t necessarily about spending more than before—rather, they’re increasingly creative, thoughtful, and, with respect to weddings, longer.

Lynn Easton, a Charleston-based planner, says that her typical wedding used to span two days and entailed a rehearsal dinner plus the wedding itself. “Now, it’s a five-day bonanza with events like a groomsman lunch,” Easton says.

Easton also plans glitzy milestone birthdays such as one for a 60th where the host flew 60 friends and family to a private island. Dinners were multi-hour affairs in various locations around the isle with the showpiece being a five-course meal where the food was presented on dishes that were hand-carved in ice.

Another planner, Victoria Dubin, based in New York and Miami, says that, in a new precedent, the weddings she’s tapped to design kick off with striking welcome meals. She recently planned an al fresco rehearsal dinner at the Brooklyn pizzeria Roberta’s that recreated a Tuscan garden. Elements included potted herbs, lemon trees, vintage olive oil cans, ceramic plates, and table cards presented with palm leaves in limoncello cans.

Another planner, Victoria Dubin, recently planned an al fresco rehearsal dinner at the Brooklyn pizzeria Roberta’s that recreated a Tuscan garden.
Aletiza Photo

Pashmina shawls hung from chairs to keep guests warm, and freshly baked pizzas and Aperol spritzes were in ready supply throughout the evening.

Stacy Teckin, the groom’s mother, hosted the party with her husband, Ian, and says she sought to pull off a dinner that made an impression on their guests. “The wedding was delayed because of Covid, and now that we had the chance to celebrate, we wanted to go all out,” Teckin says. “I’m not sure we would have done that before.”

In another example, acclaimed planner Norma Cohen threw a wild safari-themed bar mitzvah for a client.

A four-day wedding in Paris where the ceremony was in a historic chateau and the host paid for guests to stay at Hotel Crillon
Norma Cohen Productions

The memorable occasion transpired at Spring Studios in downtown Manhattan and saw 400 guests be transported to the African plains: Details included mammoth replicas of wildlife such as giraffes and elephants, servers in safari themed attire, and entertainment dressed like giraffes. The event was one of several over-the-top parties Cohen’s arranged recently.

A four-day wedding in Paris where the ceremony was in a historic chateau and the host paid for guests to stay at Hotel Crillon, one of the city’s most luxurious properties, also ranks high in Cohen’s memory.

Then there’s a destination party in London that Cohen planned for a client who was turning 40. It as a six-day affair with dinners at swanky spots such as Cipriani, the Arts Club, and Cecconi’s at Soho House. The finale was Lancaster House, a mansion in St. James, where guests were entertained by cabaret dancers from the famed Ibiza club Lio Ibiza and feasted on prime rib and lamb chops and imbibed on Krug champagne.

“People today don’t want to host events,” Cohen says. “They want experiences that take you away to a different place and make you forget that the real world exists.”