Crypto.com stops and kills card staking program (no more crypto passive staking income!)

Sorry news indeed

I received this sorry, sorry news today, 2nd May 2022.

In a nutshell:

  1. decreased CRO cashback across all cards (most notably, all staked card cashback: Obsidian drops from 8% to 5%; Icy White/Rose Gold drops from 5% to 3%, Indigo/Jade drops to 1.5% and blue doesn’t earn any cashback at all)
  2. capping of CRO cashback below Icy White/Rose Gold and Obsidian – Indigo/Jade max $50/month and Ruby Steel max $25 CRO cashback per month
  3. the hardest hitting was the entire killing of crypto stake returns, which was the primary reason why I (and perhaps many others like me), still held onto staking

End of crypto.com?

To me, it marks the end of good crypto passive income (technically, crypto passive staking income) which I got as a Icy White CRO VISA card holder.

It was pretty good too, at 12% returns per year.

As I mourn this, I’m not dumb – I knew it’s a matter of time, but as I mentioned, there should be better tiering like say, go from 12% to 10% or 8%, is still acceptable.

But oing from 12% to 0%?

That’s way hard nerfing man, crypto.com.

Well, it was good while the earn and stake lasted, and I dont think it’s the end of crypto.com – they still have their developing cannons:

  • DeFi
  • Cronos chain
  • ?NFT (not sure if they’re strong with this).

What am I doing from here?

Well for me, there is little point to hold onto the card anymore, and I have shelved the idea of upgrading to Obsidian black. Zero benefits of locking $40K or $400K for zero stake returns as well as 3% and 5% CRO cashback.

So as my card stake has already hit the 180 days (6 months) staking, I unstaked it and sold my CRO for USDC. I am still holding onto CRO coins, just rebalancing and spreading out the love.

I will also be cashing out a portion to invest in more traditional investments, such as

  • rental property
  • index funds

Still have chunk in crypto of course

I think we’re still early to the crypto party, just that now we’re in bear market and winter, so I’m just gonna hodl after I withdraw profits and principal amounts, and camp on.

Can Bitcoin price go up to $950K with adoption and government regulation?

Disclaimer: crypto is volatile and there are lots of scams out there – you can make a lot or you can lose a lot (or everything). Do your own research – this is not financial advice. I’m just showing what I’m doing, and I’m taking risks on my end too. I’ve been both right and wrong before, so do your research.

How I started in crypto

I entered crypto speculation in late 2017 when my best friend introduced me to it, and of course I was freaking skeptical when I first saw it. I was very cautious of it being a scam as I hadnt really heard of bitcoin or crypto before that (I’m in the offline physical therapy world).

I pored over whitepapers, got involved with different crypto and blockchain projects.

Of course, I definitely got rugpulled a number of times across different projects (the highest risks are with new projects with lots of hype and fluff and promises of high returns).

At the end of 2018, there was a massive crash (or correction?) as bitcoin went I sat on a paper loss of 80%++ – I was so sad and guilty when I told my wife, but I stayed for both the tech and adoption, which I believe will increase the price.

True enough, in 2021, my speculations in crypto sits currently at 300%+ of my original investment amount, and I’m sensing that it should have another good run as governments and regulations on board and after it gets regulated, the returns should be “normal like financial markets”.

Note #:1 regulations usually means that financial institutions, sovereign/wealth funds, pension plans etc will have more exposure to crypto as a whole.

I chanced upon some videos/articles and wanted to share this with you:

  1. Kevin O’Leary: Crypto Will Be the 12th Sector of the S&P https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSPSRVDN8l4
  2. Kevin O’Leary: 20% of my portfolio is in cryptocurrencies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqkC_XcxxJg
  3. Kevin O’Leary: Buy The Dip And Chill For 1 Year – They Want To Fool You, Don’t Listen To Them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKqEOFwTO2A
  4. Kevin O’Leary: This Is Your Last Chance To Become Millionaire – My Most Sincere Advice To You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_cyE10Ljms&t=5s
  5. BlackRock, Fidelity and others to invest $400M in USDC stablecoin issuer Circle https://techcrunch.com/2022/04/12/blackrock-fidelity-and-others-to-invest-400m-in-usdc-stablecoin-issuer-circle/
  6. Coin Gecko https://www.coingecko.com/
  7. 2021 financial market value https://www.statista.com/statistics/421060/global-financial-institutions-assets/

I believe that crypto including bitcoin, ethereum, solana, ripple and other crypto/blockchain projects would be regulated soon enough, and that itself will lead to a global increase of crypto market cap value as a whole.

No dang crystal ball

Of course, I dont have a crystal ball though that’d be nice lol, but I am ready to hodl my crypto speculations for a good 5-10+ years and longer. Why this is the case is as crypto becomes mainstream, it’d become “normal” to have, own and use crypto as methods of making and receiving payment =)

Note #2 I made a mistake – I thought the global financial market is worth 105M (see link #7), but it’s actually closer to $460 trillion in 2021. And I hadnt factored in other types of investments such as real estate.

For reference, crypto market cap April 2022 is $1.9T. That’s a conservative 230X comparatively.

What you can consider

For those who want to dip their toes / speculate into crypto but unsure, you can consider

  1. speculating into the top 10 / 50 / 100 of listed coins on coingecko
  2. ask your employer/side hustle jobs to pay you in crypto/btc
  3. invest into companies that have crypto exposure such as Tesla, MicroStrategy, NVidia etc

Remember, direct crypto speculation can be very volatile though is an emerging asset class – do your research and assume you can lose your invested amounts.

I’ll be holding onto my crypto and 5-10 years plus and equally as important, is to cash out (take out principal invested and profits) regularly – makes me sleep like a baby because my loss-related stress levels go down significantly =)

As Kevin o’Leary said in one of his videos: buy the dip and chill.

How To Save $1000+ This Month (and every month)

My preferred way to saving $1000 a month is the “pre-paid expenses” (including investments FIRST) ie I will set aside $1K and chuck that into investments, and then pay bills/mortgage/utilities/necessities, and then just use the rest without guilt.

Because I’ve “sorted” the core financial work and stuff that I want done.

But if you wanna squeeze out $1K or more for an upcoming large expense, or to invest more, here are 4 simple tactics you can do:

#1 Retire unused or under-used monthly subscriptions

Such as streaming media such as NetFlix, Disney+, Hulu, Spotify – there are just so many streaming services out there. Kill off the ones you use least/lesser. This can save you around $20-$50+ depending on how much you have.

#2 Slice your underused phone and internet bills.

For your phone bills, you can make more whatsapp/messenger calls (calls over internet), change carriers and even downgrade your plan if you find that you’re not using as much data/voice/SMS.

The same goes for your internet bills.

#3 Plan your meals**

This is one of the biggest movers in terms of savings.

An average meal in US is $20+, so if you can eat home or pack meals during workdays (assuming 5 workdays a week), that’s a saving of $20 x 3 meals a day x 5 weekdays per week x 4 weeks a month = $1200 (if you eat 2 meals a day, that’s a savings of $800 a month).

Of course, have your social meals on weekends with family and friends too (which becomes more special when it’s weekends out eheh) =)

#4 Plan and limit your “silly spending”

We all have impulse purchases and silly spendings, so instead of buying impulse stuff on an as-when basis, which has no limits, why not set aside a budget and a day a month to spend on “silly buying”, without guilt or grief?

This makes me look forward to these silly spending days.

These are just 4 tactics as part of your financial education and money saving tactics that you can do this month to save $1K or more, based on reducing expenses that you dont use in the first place. Explore which expenses are unnecessary to you, and adapt accordingly.

What to do with the $1K savings?

Invest it in safe investments, and set aside a portion to upgrade yourself with more skills and maybe open a business too.

Or treat yourself or your loved ones to a holiday – whatever rocks your boat.

How To Become A Millionaire (The Lazy But Slow Way)

How To Become A Millionaire (The Lazy But Slow Way)

I became a millionaire twice over due to my business and my crypto investments, but man, those are highly intense with lots of risks, pressure and stress.

Not to mentioned health neglect too – this is the worst. I remember those moments where it was so stressed I blanked out. And the slow neglect of my health and fitness. Nasty stuff, ew.

For those who have time and patience to wait, and some cash you can inject every month, I present to you, the best but slow approach to become a millionaire (or multi-millionaire) using the magic of compound interest, consistent investing and reinvesting.

I recently discovered:

“Vanguard and Chill”

I mean, I’ve come across that a couple of times now in subreddits of fatFIRE, and never thought their ROI was so high (average compounded interested per year is 14%!) – it’s no wonder they chose vanguard and chill.

I will be studying this approach seriously – looks like a fairly straightforward and easy way to multiply my earnings and savings.

At 14% per annum, I can safely withdraw 7% profits per year and still have 7% growing to counter inflation and add in growth. Much better than the 7-9% offered at wealth management too it seems.

What about yourself?

Crypto com USDC Stablecoin Earn Versus Binance USDC Flex Earn – Which is better?

So I wanted to compare between Crypto.com’s flexible USDC earn program versus Binance’s flexible USDC earn program (as crypto.com is an upcoming contender to binance), and I found some nice nuggets:

Binance earn flexible USDC program is documented at 1.2% but it’s actually a blended of:

  • First $75,000 USDC : 1.20%
  • Above $75,000 USDC : 0.30%

So if you put $100,000 USDC earn in Binance you will get

  • First $75,000 @ 1.20% pa = $900
  • Next $25,000 @ 0.3% = $75
  • Total = $975 end of 12 months ~ 0.00975%

Compare that to Crypto.com’s flexible USDC earn problem:

Firstly, crypto.com’s earn program is 1.5%, so $100,000 is $1,500 per annum, an easy win comparatively…but we’re not gonna be satisfied with that right?

I speak for myself at least (eheh) – what I want to know i:

how do we earn more on binance and crypto.com earn?

3) If you’re good with USDT, Binance flexible earn documents a 10% per annum…

but it’s a blended percentage of

  • First $2,000 USDT : 10.00%
  • $2,000-$75,000 USDT : 3.00%
  • More than $75,000 USDT : 1.00%

This means that it’s NOT a pure 10%, but a blended, mixed.

A clearer illustration, so $100,000 in binance USDT earn =

  • First $2,000 @ 10% = $200
  • $2,000 – $75,000 ($73,000) @ 3% = $2190
  • Last $25,000 @ 1% = $250
  • Total $2640 ~ 2.64% — much better than a blended 1% of USDC flexible earn in Binance.

Better than crypto.com’s $100K in USDC flex earn too (but USDT versus USDC…different).

How to earn more % USDC on crypto.com

  • Stake more cro (go up in tiers) – but of course this requires more cash (buying CRO coins and getting their higher tier card, the higher the tier the better the rates, but min Obsidian Jade / Indigo will give you best Earn rates)
  • Stake fixed 3-month term (more than USD 30K will be half the rates but the rates are higher anyway)* (This is key).

The best terms are based on 3-month earn program, which can net you up 6% for the first $30,000 and 3% above $30,000.

That’d mean if you put in $100,000 for 3 months with 400 or less CRO staked, your USDC earn rates are:

  • First $30,000 @ 6% = $1,800
  • Next $70,000 @ 6% x 0.5 = $2,100
  • Total $3,900 ~ 3.9%

Let me know what you’re doing with your crypto.com earn.

Crypto.com Cuts Earn Rates Again – Stablecoins 2% Flexible Term

Arghhhhh!

I shared in an earlier video how crypto.com was changing their crypto.com earn rates which would go live on 4th April 2022 (video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUlA6bTpDyw)

And most of our begrudgingly lick our wounds, accepting it generally, and I would believe many of us are planning our next 3-month lock in…but alas!

Crypto.com made another sudden change, by further decreasing the rates on 26th March 2022, one week before 4th April =(

Basically, the rates dropped more eg if you stake 4000 CRO, a 3 month USDC earn would net you 8% on the first USD 30K and anything above that would be 4%. (From 12% pa to 10% to 8% pa)

Does this mean doom and gloom for crypto.com?

Nah, I dont think so – their T&C indicated they could change the terms anytime, and though I’d like to to be done in a cooler, open and sincere manner, they didn’t.

But this doesnt mean that their company suck.

If anything, crypto.com is doing a lot of aggressive marketing and advertising for their platform, and I am looking at good price action of CRO (cronos) coin as a whole.

I will be aiming to upgrade my card from icy white to obsidian to get more cashback too.

I’m also at a place in my life where I am looking to enter real estate for both living and rental, so…I’m gonna roll with this. They never promised we would get those delicious 12+2% forever, so I enjoyed it whilst it lasted =)

For those who are searching for more stablecoin earn rates

I’ve been hearing people mention these two:

  1. Anchor Protocol is paying up to 19% per annum (droooooooool)
  2. Celsius Network is paying up basic at 7.1% and platinum tier at 9% which is pretty sweet

I have not used these both at all, so I cannot vouch for them on a personal basis, buuuuuuuuuut celsius looks pretty solid as a company as well. I will be taking a look at them to consider diversifying from crypto.com

Not financial advice – I am sharing with you the most recent crypto.com changes to their crypto earn program, how it’s affecting my passive income cashflow, what I’m planning to do with creating more passive investing income.

3 Key Lessons From Rich Dad Poor Dad Book That Changed My Personal Finance

In this video I’m going to share with you the three key important lessons that i got from this book.

It’s called Rich Dad Poor Dad, and it’s authored by Robert Kiyosaki.

To me, it is my first book that opened my eyes and mind to the world of personal financial education – my parents never spoke to me about money and I just observed lots of weird money habits of borrowing but never about making more.

This book was so easy to read and understand, and I remember that I’ll pick it up every now and then to re-read it all over again.

Robert Kiyosaki Brief Background

If you read his books, you’d know that Robert is a successful entrepreneur and real estate investor, but he didnt start off that way. Robert’s story is a familiar-sounding rags to riches entrepreneur story.

His father is a school teacher, who didnt learn about money, and continued to go to school to get more degrees to earn more…who lost it all when he tried to enter politics and got smashed out. He then took his hard earn savings and tried his hand in a franchise…and then truly lost it all.

On the other hand, he has a very close friend who has a very very wealthy dad, and Robert soon realized that he could compare the money practices between his friend’s “rich dad” and his own “poor dad”, and that’s how the book came about later.

Robert started by being a fighter pilot in the air force, before going into doing sales at fuji xerox and then saving money into starting his first company: a nylon velcro wallet company in 1970s. It was a hit initially, with a lot of merchandizing deals but it eventually fell apart due to piracy and overseas competition, and he became a bankrupt.

He had a few other business but eventually succeeded in the business of financial education and personal growth. He gave seminars and taught around US and the world, until he published the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, together with the gamification of financial education with his tabletop learning tool, and that’s when his business took off

The 3 Key Lessons I Learnt From Rich Dad Poor Dad

#1 Make Your Money Work Harder For You

As an employee, most of the time, you get paid for your time.

Sometimes a little more.

And that’s pretty much it.

No work = no income.

The rich, on the other hand, though they work hard, they have a purpose and focus, which is to either raise money or provide cashflow to build or buy assets that make more money for them.

#2 Assets Put Money In Your Pockets and Bank Accounts

You got to know the difference between assets and liabilities – assets puts more money into your pocket, liabilities take the money away from you. Robert explains that rich people acquire assets such as investments and securities whereas poor people acquire liabilities such as commitments, obligations and shit that make them poorer.

I thought Robert was kidding…but over the years, this is true even till today. I see people making money for expensive cars and watches but shun away from investing.

Assets are anything that makes more money for you.

This can include

  • stocks which are mainly public listed businesses on stock exchanges
  • venture capital or angel investing
  • cryptocurrency
  • real estate

Let me give you an example, if you buy stock of a good business at the right time, you’re probably gonna make a positive return. Say you put in $1000. After 5 years, if you bought it at a good entry price, your stock would have grown positively and you can sell it for a good profit.

This is fundamental to investing. Put in X amount and get back more than X amount, ideally 2X or more.

See how that works about investing into assets?

Basically you need money, then pick the right investment, enter at good-ish time and do nothing but hold (or hodl?) and watch your money grow. After a while, you then can sell it for a good profit. Of course we’re not gonna just “all-in” into 1 investment right, that’s too risky, that’s why we have to have more than 3-5+ of these, depending on your budget, risk appetite and growth desire.

#3 Reduce Spending As Brutally As Possibly In The Short Term

Expenses are something that you can have more control over as compared to controlling market forces or share price (man if i could control those 2, i’d be a billionaire by now lol ehehe).

Aggressively kill off your unnecessary spendings and debts, and the purpose of this is by doing this, there is 2 very direct benefits

  • you need lesser to retire and become financially independent
  • you free up more money to buy more assets that make more money for you

Thank you for watching The Book That Changed My Financial and Business Life – 3 Key Lessons From Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad

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Choose to retire and get financially independent as early as you can for you to enjoy more of life

You got to choose to retire and financially independent as early as possible; to free yourself up to do shit you care about for as long as you can.

Today’s episode is a short and sweet one – my third kid baby Josh sits with me as I share about the rebranding and focus to Retire Early with Nigel.

Retiring early is directly linked to financial independence (that’s why there was / is a big FIRE movement a couple of years back; and frankly, that has been in the center of all I do since 27 years old (40 years old this year).

My message that drives me forward, day after day, since 27, is “to get money out of the way of my life so I can focus on shit that matters.”

Today, 13 years later, the message remains the same, and clearer than ever, amidst COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine war/conflict, work from home etc.

Life is really too short to work till 60 or 70+ then stop and then die.

Hell no.

I want (and will) retire by 45 while I’m still strong and active, to spend meaningful time with my wife and kids and pursue projects and stuff I care about.

NOT wait and mope around wondering where all the time went if I retire at 60s and 70s, no way.

Come, let’s get financially independent and be able to shit we want.

Boy and girls, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: Retire Early with Nigel.

The three core pillars that I focus on that helps to achieve and maintain this are:

  1. Earning (more). I need to earn money which helps me to pay for daily living, and allows me to invest for passive portfolio income.
  2. Saving (more). Without the ability to save and optimize spending, however amount one earns will never be enough. Every dollar counts BUT i cant live like a miserly scrooge.
  3. Invest for passive income. This is third and final leg of the trinity of retiring early. The goal is to invest for enough passive income that our portfolio and investment passive income can sustain for our living expenses and more.

And then we’re free.

Crypto.com Cuts Crypto Earn Passive Income Rates

So it was a sudden and shocking update to me in the crypto.com subreddit where fellow users started to complain about the buried, unannounced new crypto.com crypto earn terms.

I searched around and found the update here: https://help.crypto.com/en/articles/2996965-crypto-earn-how-does-it-work

In a nutshell, a few big changes

  1. The changes affects everyone, regardless you’re a “whale” obsidian or a beginner.
  2. New terms:
    • New rates of few increases in % namely BTC, ETH, SOL, DOT, AVAX, MATIC.
    • Most of the damage is to stable coins where rate decreased from 12% pa to 10% pa.
    • Everyone’s maximum earn is decreased to first $30K will get full rates; anything above $30K is half rates (It is 2b that is the killing blow to stable coin staking.)

This in essence, is very shocking to higher-tier cardholders such as the Icy White / Rose Gold and the Obsidian, both of which previously had crypto earn limits of USD 1M and USD 2M respectively.

Of course people are upset, because the way it was done was unfortunately nonchalant and seems “a little hiding” because they were expecting backlash.

…though frankly I believe most of us who were with crypto.com from beginning knows its a business and will operate like one, but at leastconsider tier it up man, say use these earn tier limits

  • Obsidian $2M >> $1M
  • Icy White / Rose Gold $1M >> $500K
  • Royal Indigo / Jade Green $50K
  • Ruby Steel $30K
  • Midnight Blue $5K

Does this change anything?

Say CDC refuses to budge and change:

  1. I feel that this will cause a short term dip as people who are upset as well as those who needs the cashflow will either sell their CRO to stable coins and move it to other places that offer better yield. There are some out there, google search (others had mentioned)
  2. This affects crypto.com EARN but NOT stake. Staking for Icy and above still gets 12% pa for CRO card staking. So it’s possibly that some may double down on CRO staking (especially those who are bullish on CRO, cronos and crypto.com), leading to a more stable CRO network as a whole in the mid to short term
  3. Icy and above still gets additional 2% in CRO on top of the half eg 5% + 2%; so some may just eat the difference. Again, I prefer CDC to revise the limits instead according to different card tiers.
  4. It’s possible that new users get more love and CDC attracts more new users too…

On the other hand, if they decide to introduce a better and tiered reward system according to card level, I will be super grateful.

What will I be doing?

I am unlikely to hunt for yield in other platforms. I will likely

  1. Double down in CRO staking to maximize the 12% CRO stake returns (this strategy relies on CRO being stable and growing and/or
  2. Withdraw portion to fiat to pay in part for my home purchase and/or
  3. Continue to stake stable coins but also sell my weekly CRO stake returns to supplement my cashflow

Again, this is not financial advice – I am sharing with you the most recent crypto.com changes to their crypto earn, how it’s affecting my passive income cashflow, my take on how it could have been done better and what I am thinking of doing.

Thank you for watching Crypto com Cuts Crypto Earn Passive Income

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Selling our resale HDB…should we buy a new HDB or upgrade to freehold property?

So Louise and myself decided to sell our resale HDB (government public housing) that we bought back in 2009; and now mulling and cracking my brain if we should

  1. buy a new HDB BTO/balance of sales flats OR
  2. upgrade to a freehold apartment

The challenges are

  1. HDB is wonderful with 1 main bugbear: 99 year lease decay. Freehold properties dont have this same issue – but of course the price is more than 250% more PSF wise which I’ll have to liquidate most of my investments to enter, which will take me out of baristaFIRE
  2. I dont want to wipe out my investments and liquidate them to upgrade to freehold apartment. Though the idea of freehold to preserve capital will be good, but that will possibly mean I have to retire later than 50 (aim for 45). I like the peace of mind and heart to make sound decisions and have more time with my loved ones
  3. I want to get my boy to try to enter St Andrews Junior in 2 years time. If we get in, then we’d be staying in potong pasir / woodleigh / bidadari area for a good 5+ years

I have 3 investments to spread out and stack my chances of increasing and growing value, but they will take time to grow tremendously with small chance of failure. At least 5 years to be conservative.

Current decision / conclusion

  1. continue renting until 18 months time when I find out if my boy can enter St Andrews Junior (Primary) or not, if yes I’ll be stuck within 1 KM of here ie potong pasir, toa payoh, woodleigh and bidadari area; if not we are free to move anywhere
  2. purchase a new HDB with 99 years lease after 5 years of Minimum Occupancy (MOP) period, we can either continue staying and let our investments continue to grow as portfolio; or sell HDB with capital gains if the investments do well later to purchase the freehold apartment and preserve the investment portfolio

Tomorrow I’m consulting one of my wealth manager to see if my conclusion is the best one, or if there is a better decision.

HDB or freehold apartment, depends on so many reasons – cash on hand, CPF, salary drawn, investment style/risk, preference for property etc.

You have to decide what suits you, and dont overstretch to purchase large properties and big mortgages if it means that it locks you into work and unable to enjoy it (cos you need to pay the mortgage) or retire early (which is important to enjoy your life, relationships, hobbies, travel etc).

If cash no issue, then no issue la ehehe. But if push comes to shove, I prefer simpler enjoyable life than to have to keep working to pay for something I dont need so big for.