Plus NFT guru Jacki Roach, and Jean shares lesson’s learned from her recent hospital stay
Ric Edelman: It's Friday, February 10th. We're living in a digital world these days. No surprise there. It means there's a new threat to our way of life. Cyber-attacks.
Cyber-attacks are growing in number and size. At the World Economic Forum this year, 39% of companies said they have suffered collateral damage from cyber-attacks. 90% of these companies are concerned about future attacks. I don't have to tell you, things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. For example, a year ago, a cyber-attack caused wind farms that produce electricity to shut down across all of Europe. In 2021, supermarkets in Sweden had to close after a cyber-attack. Student loan data was hacked last year and the Social Security numbers of two and a half million students was stolen. Twitter was hacked last year too. Data from 5.5 million accounts was stolen. Uber's servers were hit. So was Rockstar Games. They make the video game Grand Theft Auto.
In Australia, the account data from 10 million customers was stolen from a major insurance company, including confidential information about medical procedures and diagnoses. And the hackers then published the names of people who had gotten medical treatment for HIV, drug addiction, alcohol abuse and mental health issues like eating disorders. The hackers also published a file that listed the names of patients who had abortions.
And WhatsApp was hacked, too. Hackers stole the data on 500 million users from 84 countries, including 32 million here in the US. How did it come to this? 15 years ago, there were only four major hacks that year. Last year there were more than 4,000. And those are only the ones that were publicly announced. 22 billion records were stolen last year, a 22% increase in the number of hacks last year compared to the year before. And IBM says that the average attack now costs companies nearly $10 Million. Sounds scary.
But there is a silver lining here. As a result of all the hacks. Companies now realize that cybersecurity risk is a business risk. 88% of boards of directors agree with that statement. Two years ago, only 51% said so. Now that the boards get it, you can bet that they will authorize big increases in budget spending on cybersecurity to protect their companies. Gartner says that by 2025, 60% of organizations will include cybersecurity risk assessment when choosing vendors and looking at all third party transactions and business engagements. This is going to range from not buying a company if it doesn't have good cybersecurity to not booking a hotel for a meeting if it doesn't have good cyber security.
And you're going to see something new, too, by the end of this year. 40% of companies will be using socio-behavioral principles to improve cybersecurity within their organizations. Right now, less than 5% do that.
What's a socio-behavioral principle? Well, most hacks occur because of human error. You write down your password on a post-it note, you tack it on your monitor or you fail to change your password every few months. Socio-behavioral principles nudge people to act more safely. It's like encouraging people to wear seatbelts, and we're going to see an eightfold increase in this over the next couple of years. By 2026, in fact, half of C-level executives will have performance requirements related to cybersecurity risk built right into their employment contracts.
In other words, if the firm gets hacked, their pay is going to get dinged. There's no better way to get executives to pay attention to cybersecurity than by making it a part of their comp. And this means that they're going to demand that their companies ramp up their cyber protection and the heck with the company or the workers or the customers. They're going to do this to protect their own bonuses. Right now, only 2% of companies have ESG goals that are focused on cybersecurity. ESG - environmental, social and governance. But if executives are focusing on that stuff without paying attention to cybersecurity, hackers could interfere with their ESG efforts. And so Gartner says that figure is going to skyrocket from only 2% of companies paying attention to it today to 30% by 2026, a 15X increase. The result of all this is that the global cybersecurity market is projected to be $370 billion within five years. That's an annual growth rate of 14% a year.
A growing number of investment opportunities in cybersecurity
There's only one conclusion you can reach. There's an investment opportunity here. Morgan Stanley says revenues at security software vendors was $45 billion in 2020. It's expanding at the rate of 12% a year, and that makes cybersecurity one of the fastest growing sectors in all of technology, faster than AI and robotics. And Morgan Stanley says this growth rate is going to continue for years. There are so many companies involved in this sector now, endpoint security providers that protect computers and cell phones, antivirus software providers, network security vendors that protect users, data and apps, defense and aerospace firms that are dealing with geopolitical risk.
At Davos, the World Economic Forum released the 2023 Cybersecurity Report. Nearly 40% of organization leaders agreed that cybersecurity is key for business success. One way you can invest in this and capitalize on the opportunity is through ETFs. There are dozens on the market that invest in this sector. One of my favorites is the Global X Cybersecurity ETF. The symbol is BUG. This ETF invests in companies that will gain from the increased adoption of cybersecurity technology, including companies that are developing and managing security protocols, preventing attacks, building cyber safe networks and applications, computers and mobile devices. Ask your financial advisor about investing in cybersecurity companies or visit GlobalXETFs.com for the cybersecurity ETF, symbol BUG.
And if you missed the webinar that I did earlier this week called What's Coming for Crypto in 2023, you can watch the replay for free. Just visit DACFP.com.
Ric Edelman: There's no question that you've heard of Bitcoin and other digital assets, and there's no question that you are familiar with the incredible volatility of Bitcoin and other digital assets. That volatility for most people is a reason to stay away. It's a reason that people fear digital assets. Wouldn't it be cool if there was a digital asset like Bitcoin that wasn't volatile, that was in fact stable in value, just like your bank account is stable in value?
A lot of people like bank accounts over stocks because bank accounts are stable. Stocks are volatile. Well, guess what? If you don't like the volatility of Bitcoin, then go get a stablecoin. These stablecoins are digital assets similar to bitcoin, except that their price doesn't fluctuate just like your bank account doesn't fluctuate. How do they pull that off?
It's easy. The money that you place into a stablecoin is invested into US treasuries and bank CDs and things like that. In other words, assets that don't fluctuate in value. Stablecoins are considered as safe as bank accounts and US treasuries because that's what they invest in. And billions of dollars have been placed into stablecoins for exactly that reason. Why bother buying a stablecoin if the price doesn't fluctuate?
Well you're not buying it for price fluctuation, you're buying the stablecoin to make it easy to move money online freely, immediately, securely and with transparency - benefits you don't get through the global financial system. Stablecoins. One of the big reasons there's a lot of excitement about blockchain technology.
Interview: Digital artist Jacki Roach explains the power and promise of NFTs
Ric Edelman: We've talked often about crypto on this podcast and for obvious reason. And you heard a lot about NFTs. Well, what you probably never stopped to consider is that if you're going to have NFTs in the marketplace, non-fungible tokens, you've got to have an NFT consultant and that's who Jacki Roach is. I'm very happy to welcome Jacki onto the show. She's Chief Communications Officer of My Crypto Advisor and you can reach them at MyCryptoAdvisor.com. Jacki, helps people understand and use NFTs and she does this in a way that makes sense. She also creates digital art on her own under her own personal brand Whelmness Pro, and she explores metaverse solutions that attract and address real world problems. Also, I'm really happy to tell you Jacki is a member of my faculty at the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals. Jacki has presented one of the modules on NFTs in our certificate course that financial advisors and financial professionals take to learn about blockchain and digital assets. Jacki, great to have you on the show. A year ago bitcoin was already by now well on its way down. It ended up losing about 60% in 2022. So the first thing I want to ask is, in the middle of this crypto winter, does anybody still care about any of this?
Jacki Roach: Oh, absolutely. What's the expression, 'buy when there's blood on the streets'. So people in the industry and on the inside are definitely enjoying the discounted prices right now. Stacking sats, buying NFTs and doing all sorts of Web3 activity,
Ric Edelman: Stacking sats. Now that's something that you and I understand but explain to people what you mean by stacking sats.
Jacki Roach: Yes. So just like a dollar is split into 100 cents, Bitcoin is split into Satoshis. So those are units of a bitcoin. So when you're stacking sats, you're stacking those satoshis and just putting it away.
Ric Edelman: And instead of 100 pennies equaling a dollar, it's 100 million satoshis that equals one bitcoin. So when people are stacking sats, they're really stacking tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny fractions of a bitcoin. Nobody buys a bitcoin; they buy a piece of a bitcoin. Just like nobody uses dollars; they use pieces of dollars. So yeah, they're stacking sats. It's pretty exciting. What are some of the things that people are focusing on in the crypto marketplace today? You've talked about the carbon credit market.
Jacki Roach: Yeah, it's really interesting. I saw you just were talking about these green initiatives and how you can start implementing them, thinking for the future, environmentalism. All of these things are important. They're important to young people, they're important to old people. And we're starting to see a lot of projects definitely in the NFT conservation place. So when we're thinking about land and all these different assets, how can non-fungible tokens play a role in actually moving these projects forward, including members, including people into them? And as I know, and I talk a lot with people about Web3, it's all about community. It's about a way of engaging people in new and different ways. And NFTs are a great way to do that.
Ric Edelman: So we need to go back a little bit and help people understand exactly what an NFT is. So let's see if you can tackle this because it ain't easy. One of the most difficult chapters I wrote in my book, The Truth About Crypto. Explain what an NFT is.
Explainer: All about NFTs
Jacki Roach: So, we simply talk about technology and automating things. When I talk about NFTs, I say the smart contract is the guts of it. So a smart contract is automating a lot of our services that we do now. So when we think of setting prices for things, when we think of paying out royalties, when we think of programing, terms and conditions, we can put all of that into the smart contract. So you're actually dealing with the asset, you're dealing with all the paperwork and all the stuff that goes along with it - keeping that in one nice tidy place and actually moving all that data. With that token.
Ric Edelman: What's the difference between a fungible token and a non-fungible token?
Jacki Roach: Sure. So in a fungible token, we're thinking for things that exchange on an even basis. So if I asked you for a $1 bill, I wouldn't care what $1 bill you gave me. If I asked you for some artwork, I would care if you gave me a Picasso or your niece's school artwork that she did that day. So nonfungible tokens are all unique. They have their own identities and properties, whereas fungible tokens are just an exchange. One for one.
Ric Edelman: So who creates NFTs?
Jacki Roach: NFTs are multi-disciplinary. There're artists that create NFTs. All the documents associated with a house or any other asset that can be put into an NFT. We can track things on the supply chain with NFTs. The best way to think about it is just a token that has all the metadata, all the information associated with an asset altogether. So if you can think of an asset, you can think of an NFT.
Ric Edelman: And in other words, anything that's unique. A driver's license, the deed to a house, a concert ticket, anything that is unique, that contains unique information or offers unique rights or services or benefits can be digitized and converted. That digitization is referred to as a non-fungible token. And you can buy them, you can hold them, you can sell them. And it's a very large open marketplace. I remember reading recently that OpenSea just said that last year they paid out $1.1 billion in royalties to people who had created and sold NFTs.
How I became a NFT artist
Jacki Roach: Yeah, and there's a lot of early mover advantage. It's one of the reasons I became an NFT artist. Graphic design was always a passion of mine. Art was always a passion of mine, and actually touching the technology and learning some of this stuff. And I was rewarded handsomely for a couple of the projects that I was just working with. ENS - which is the Ethereum Name Service, I got quite a hefty bag on that one when they launched, when they airdropped their token just for using their service. So there's definitely advantages to getting in early.
Ric Edelman: So let's elaborate on that. You're an NFT artist. We begin with a premise. You're an artist first. I assumed you were doing art long before blockchain came about.
Jacki Roach: Yes, I actually have a BFA in graphic design. That was my first degree.
Ric Edelman: And what medium did you focus your art in?
Jacki Roach: So I really gravitated towards acrylics. But honestly, I was just always into computer graphics. I was the little kid during take your kid to work day that was on Microsoft Paint in my dad's office. I just always loved computer graphics from a really young age.
Ric Edelman: And so it was a natural for you when digitization came about, blockchain digital assets and tokens, non-fungible tokens came about. It was easy, natural for you to gravitate to that; you were already creating art on your computer. And that image you created was a unique piece of art, but it was "only a computer file". It wasn't art that hung on a wall. It didn't have any physical properties. It was virtual. It existed on a computer screen as a digital file, and suddenly you're able to convert that into an NFT where you can now easily sell it, right?
Jacki Roach: Yeah. And so this is kind of revolution. And with our current Internet, we have to use centralized platforms to buy and sell things. So in the past, if I wanted to sell any kind of art or think of an Etsy artist, they're relying on the platform to take care of all of that for them. But when you go on OpenSea or you make your own NFT, you are programing the terms and condition yourself. You're setting the price, you're setting the royalties for it, you're even putting the metadata in there, what you want attached to that art. So those NFTs are out there. We actually had a client a few years ago. He did a song and when you purchased the song, it actually unlocked the music video. So there's all sorts of new cool ways that we're using this technology and going way beyond just something you can hang on a wall.
Ric Edelman: And there's one other element to this that I find really exciting, and I think artists around the world are extraordinarily enthused about this as a recording artist. If somebody writes a piece of music and records it every time the song is played, the artist earns a royalty. So when Whitney Houston recorded I Will Always Love You, the song was incredibly popular. But what most people don't realize is that it was Dolly Parton who made all the money because Dolly wrote the song. She owned the copyright. Whitney just covered it. So Whitney made some money from doing it. But it was Dolly Parton who made a fortune because every time the song is played, the owner of that music earns a royalty. The problem with artists is that when you create a painting using your acrylics on a canvas and you sell that painting, the buyer of the painting one day may choose to resell it to somebody else. You earn no money from that. You know, Picasso made money selling a painting. We always hear of artists who are struggling artists. They die in poverty. Van Gogh died penniless. It was only after his death that his paintings became worth a fortune. But now, because of NFTs, you can take your digital art and embed in the code a recurring royalty. Any time you sell your painting as an NFT, you get a sale, you earn the income. But when the buyer of your art resells it, a piece of their resale goes back to you as a royalty. And this will happen forever. This is revolutionary.
Jacki Roach: It really is. And another place this is really big is in the online gaming world. So we look at traditional video games. When you owned assets inside the video game, say you played long enough and you powered up, you got a sword or something cool like that. You didn't own it and you didn't get to do anything with that. But say there's another player out there who now wants to purchase that sword from you. And now it's gone up in money because it's had power ups as the users used it. And so it's really cool that not even are you selling it at one price, but you have no idea in the future how much that could be worth. Or think if some celebrity happens to own that, is it worth more because they touch that digital asset at one point. So lots of new, new ways that this is unraveling.
Ric Edelman: Jeff Beck sadly passed away recently and we know that his guitars are now worth an awful lot more. It's just sad to say, but it's an inherent nature that people love owning things that were once owned by a celebrity, a car that Steve McQueen drove or the house that the Kennedys used to live in. It just increases the value. So, yeah, you're absolutely right. In other words, you're not merely being a fan, you are now being an owner. You're participating in the economics of this. It's not just Facebook who's going to make a fortune off of you. You're going to equally participate in the creation of your own uploads.
Jacki Roach: Yeah, absolutely. And it's really cool because as we're going through this technological renaissance, I would also argue that we're going through a consciousness renaissance as well and being more mindful about your assets, being more engaged with them. This is a really cool thing that's happening for people, for individuals, for everybody involved.
Ric Edelman: Now we know that artwork was the big attention grabber in the world of NFTs. Over the past several years, Beeple sold a digital piece of art for $69 million at an auction. We've had a number of NFT projects ever since. The Bored Ape Yacht Club is probably the best known of the NFT projects. And you talk about the Bored Ape Yacht Club a lot in your module on our certificate program. Give us an idea of just how big this is and also how is it doing now in the middle of this crypto winter.
Jacki Roach: So the Bored Ape Yacht Club is really, I tell business professionals, this is really something to look at as a case study. There were a lot of celebrity endorsements. There were people buying in from the entertainment industry. And you have to understand that when they're looking at these NFTs, when they're looking at these projects, you can fully expect that they knew they would be in the inside of a courtroom at some point talking about these things, crafting regulation, all that sort of stuff. So when it first came out, I believe there were 10,000 cartoon apes. And yes, they look very bored in each and every one of them. And they were about $220 when you could first purchase them. Within months, they went up to over $100,000. We saw celebrities Aping in from Madonna to Steph Curry. Justin Bieber spent $1.3 million on one. It's only worth $60,000 today - which there's a lot of negative press about how much these decreased in value, but they were really riding alongside the Ethereum. It was minted on the Ethereum blockchain. So as Ether went up, the NFT went up, and as Ether's gone down, so has the NFT. But I look today and the floor price for a Bored Ape is still 78.8 Ethereum. So that's about $111,000 right now. And like I said, in the beginning, during this crypto winter, people are looking at these projects. It's too early to tell that these are blue chip projects, but things that have this much professional investment in them, so many experts working on them, you can tell these are in for the long run. So I'm very bullish on it. If I could pick up a bored ape, I would right now. We'll see.
Ric Edelman: So explain that because a lot of folks scratch their heads over this. If anybody has ever seen what a Bored Ape looks like and we'll flash one up here on the screen. For those of you watching this as a video, that's not sophisticated art, it's not a Rembrandt.
Jacki Roach: No, It's very easy to write these off based on image alone. But it's that magic word in the NFT realm utility. So when you own one of these, you are a member into their Bored Ape Yacht Club. So you're enjoying special privileges, events that they throw in, things like that. But way deeper than that, you're awarded governance tokens. They launched their own ape coin, which was listed. So this is really a self-sustaining ecosystem for their members and how this is going to play alongside our current ecosystems of whether that's fiat or other tokens. It's very interesting to watch how this is happening and just to be an owner within this project and get something like governance, be able to vote on the next blockchain game that they partner with or other things. Again, it's that deeper level of engagement that we're seeing with the digital assets. That's truly exciting.
Ric Edelman: So does this mean that it's really all just about money? Nobody's buying a Bored Ape because it's attractive art. Are they buying it simply because they believe that there's economic potential here?
Jacki Roach: Oh, absolutely. Like I said, just the breadth of investment, the different industries that are involved in this, and they're touching everything. Like I said, they're getting into blockchain gaming. They want to open up their own merchandise. There was an owner that used his Bored Ape, to brand his restaurant with it. And actually, there was another project, World of Women, which Reese Witherspoon was an advocate for. And you can buy a World of Women NFT. And then let's say I make candles; I can use that NFT as my branding. We just don't see that now in the current licensing and copyright industry, so that we're really breaking new ground with these NFTs.
Ric Edelman: I've often had people say to me, why would I want to buy an NFT, a piece of digital art that only exists on the Internet as opposed to a real physical piece of art that I can put on my wall. And my reaction is, well, how often are you standing in front of your wall? Your phone is with you all the time. So you literally have your digital art with you all the time. And so it's just a totally different way. We have to rethink our viewpoint on art.
Jacki Roach: Yeah. And beyond that, the displays that are coming out for digital art, anyone that saw some of the things going on at Art Basel this year, it's really cool. These immersive technologies, the software, is pushing the hardware. It's a really nice relationship that's happening if you're following it.
Ric Edelman: There are two stores in New York City that I know of. There may be more where they are physical stores, retail stores, one's on Fifth Avenue, where you walk into the store and they sell NFTs. So the store is filled with television monitors. And these video monitors are each displaying a specific NFT. And you can purchase the NFT with or without the monitor and you buy it with the monitor. You can take the monitor, hang that on your wall, and that's how you get your NFT on your wall. And so it's fascinating that we're beginning to see the merging of virtual and physical by having retail stores selling virtual art.
Jacki Roach: Yeah. And on the flip side of that, you can go in the Metaverse, you can go in somewhere like Decentraland and visit one of these high-end boutiques, and you could purchase an NFT that then mails you the physical piece of clothing to your house a couple of weeks later. So it's happening on both ends.
Ric Edelman: So, you mentioned earlier that there's an intellectual property element of this. We talked about royalties to payments. And when it comes down to AI generated art and art that's created by a computer, there's been some backlash about this. Some artists in the community are not really excited that this is the next iteration in the field of this technological evolution, that it's one thing for an artist to take acrylics and paint on a canvas, then for that artist to use Microsoft palette to create art inside of a computer program and manipulate it, say, using Photoshop. But it's now another level for the computer itself to be generating the art. And who owns that intellectual property if that occurs? So talk about what's happening with AI artwork.
Jacki Roach: Yeah. So in some of the bigger platforms we're calling it text to image. So you can input a sentence like 'dogs snowboarding in the morning' and it will generate an image of a dog on a snowboard in the morning. And that's pretty cool, pretty benign. But what if I say 'dog snowboarding in the morning, Picasso or Degas' or one of these other artists? So now the AI is actually scraping the entire Internet for that artist type of work or style of work. And it's reproducing the art in that style. I saw somebody use ChatGPT, which is a text generator, and they were writing poems in the style of Edgar Allan Poe. So you can really start to see here that we are getting into a murky land of intellectual property. And actually one of the big platforms, there's a platform called ArtStation where this has been around for decades and artists upload work and they actually revolted. They started putting a no AI sign - uploading that as their artwork, and they were really pressuring ArtStation to put blocks up that actually won't allow the AI to scrape their work. It's one thing to use an artist who is dead or something, but there was a video game artist and people were making things in his style. This is a middle-aged guy out there who still works and needs money. So is it fair that people get to do things in his style, and use a computer to do that? So yeah, that is part of the landscape that we are navigating right now.
Ric Edelman: A few weeks ago I think it was Colorado state had an art show and somebody submitted a piece of art that was created by AI without telling the judges. And the judges ruled that it was the best art of the show. And afterward, when it became known to everybody that a human had not created this art and was competing against human artists, there was, as you would imagine, quite a bit of controversy. But the judges' attitude after they were told that they had voted a piece of AI art as the best submission, was, 'We still think it's best. The fact that it was created by a computer doesn't bother us'.
Jacki Roach: And I think this transitions really well into the time when many of us tuned in to the Jeopardy episode when Watson was playing. But when you tune in to Jeopardy now, you're not watching computers play against each other. Why? Because it's not that entertaining. Of course, we know the differences between human intelligence and artificial intelligence. So I would venture to say that as it does become known, that artificial intelligence is behind something. What we really want to pay attention to is, well, what's the relationship with humans with that? And how do they start to value it? And I can tell you, a few weeks ago, AI was everything and I've already seen it lose its novelty in a lot of ways. So, jury's still out.
Ric Edelman: There's no question about it. I think the only certainty is that one of the winners of this conversation are going to be attorneys who practice intellectual property law.
Jacki Roach: Oh, absolutely.
Ric Edelman: Because this is not merely an American issue. This technology is global. And so we're going to be dealing with multi-jurisdictional questions that I think none of them have been resolved. What are your feelings about all this? Are you using AI in the creation of your digital art?
Jacki Roach: Yeah, as an artist and anyone in any profession, it's always important to stay relevant. So I think it would be silly for me to shy away from it. So of course I've been playing around with the tools. I still value human art a little bit more than artificially made art, but a program that we're doing at My Crypto Advisor right now, we teamed up with a company called SkiWithMe and the Salvation Army, and we're actually setting all the adults and administrators up with digital wallets, and then we're exposing the kids to creator economy classes. So we're collaborating with them on using AI tools. And a big part of my background, I'm a big advocate for meditation and using mindfulness in our own lives. So that's something I'm impressing with the kids, just letting them know that these tech tools are things we can use, but we don't want to be used by them. So I think it's really important to expose them to this now and have them get a handle of it.
Ric Edelman: I imagine that kids are attracted to this incredibly naturally, just as they are to the rest of technology. It's second nature to them.
Jacki Roach: Yeah, absolutely. For all of us, including those who did not grow up with cell phones or a computer in our pocket. It amazes us how fast things are. But you watch the younger generation and they really are digital natives now and it just comes very, very naturally to them.
Ric Edelman: Now, you're talking about this entire topic very calmly, very naturally. You might as easily be talking about the weather or last night's sporting event, which anybody can talk about, but most cannot talk about crypto. You're using, in some cases, words that are new and unique to people. You've mentioned NFTs, you've mentioned Airdrop. At one point you're talking about digitization of artwork. A lot of folks, the vast majority, I think of Americans and people worldwide, and certainly the vast majority of the people who are listening and watching this podcast are befuddled by the whole thing. So what do you say to folks who know little to nothing about this? They may be curious, they may be interested, but they really don't know much at all. Is this something for only folks like you? I mean, you've been an artist forever, you've been a technologist forever. So moving into the world of blockchain is second nature to you. But what do you say to others? Is this just for the Jacki Roaches of the world, or is this something that everybody ought to be paying attention to?
Jacki Roach: No, it really is for everybody. One of my favorite stories about one of our clients at My Crypto Advisor, he's in his 70s. He meets with us, if not weekly, biweekly. And this has been going on for years and we absolutely adore him. But he got into this to talk to his teenage grandson about investing, the importance of investing. And this is a conversation that they're now having together. And that's one of the things I love about NFTs. If you're new to this whole thing, look into a project, it doesn't even have to be an expensive one. There are thousands of NFT projects, but I kind of say it's becoming the new water cooler conversation, right? So if you buy into a project, one of the first ones I got into was called Crypto Chicks. I think I spent maybe $100 getting the first NFT, but you're welcomed into the community. You know you can follow. The beauty of our remote lives now is we have lots of apps and ways to connect with one another. So whether those are Facebook groups or using an application called Discord, but you can actually stay up to date with the projects and a lot of these projects will walk you through all the things you need to do to participate. So it's really just a matter of anything else. It's just getting started and that's a lot of what we do at MyCryptoAdvisor.com. You can head over to our site, book a call with us. We do free 15-minute diagnostics to get people on their way. And the one thing I'll impart with everybody, if there's one thing you take away from me talking, I may be a little biased, but the digital wallet is really the technology you want to look at. That's really where you want to start and try to understand wrapping your head around this.
Ric Edelman: Now, how would you suggest people begin by doing that?
Jacki Roach: There's wallet. Well, one, you could really just do a Google search on that, but there's a few cold storage wallets that I always suggest to people. Ledger being one and Trezor being one. But even just perusing their websites and seeing what they have to say about this. Metamask is a wallet that's connected to the Internet. They're going through a lot of issues right now. They're sending a lot of communications out right now. So really just following these projects, you can follow him on Twitter, you can follow him on LinkedIn, any of these social media outlets. But just exposing yourself is really the best place to start.
Ric Edelman: And how about the world of financial advisors? You went with me last November to the Barron's Women's Summit in Palm Beach. That's an event of the top women financial advisors in the country. And this was, I think, your first experience being among hundreds of financial advisors. In this case, all of them were women. What were your thoughts of that conference? Were they engaged in crypto? Were they interested? Were they involved? Tell us about your reaction to being at that event.
Jacki Roach: So I was really encouraged that all of the speakers were addressing crypto or digital assets in some way. They were saying you at least need to look into this. Many of them were not getting into the meat and potatoes of it, but they were at least saying like, Hey, this is something we need to look at. But on an individual basis, almost all the advisors I spoke with were very interested but were not touching this technology at all. And for women, I can tell you at My Crypto Advisor, we've been doing this for the better part of a decade now, I can tell you that we have been onboarding both your clients and your colleagues. So for women specifically, we need your point of view, we need your wisdom, your perspective on these things. I would love to see more women get involved and just bring that. There were a lot of focus in the financial industry about engaging the next generation, both having them become financial advisors and retaining clients. And I was really encouraged. There were a few people talking about the tech clients they have and just saying, Hey, look at the younger people resonate with this. These are digitally native currencies and they just move faster there. They're kind of just a better way to do money. So they're not going anywhere and you would really serve yourself well in enrolling in something like the PHP certificate program. Go find someone like Ric Edelman that you can listen to, like this daily podcast. Little stuff will get you far.
Ric Edelman: You had mentioned that you have a lot of clients you're serving at My Crypto Advisor. Do you know offhand what the breakdown of men versus women are of the people that are coming to the site?
Jacki Roach: It's overwhelmingly men. I don't know exactly, but my gosh, I'd probably say 90% are men.
Ric Edelman: Oh, goodness.
Jacki Roach: Usually, I get the female clients and it's my counterparts that are working more hours than I am, I'll put it that way.
Ric Edelman: And why do you suppose that is? That men are more engaged in this than women.
Jacki Roach: I think the industry up until now has been very, very left brain. It's been very math and markets and numbers. And maybe women care more about the tangible effects. And that's probably why I gravitated towards NFTs because kids are handling these and this is really where you're seeing teenagers and the Roblox generation. You're seeing a lot of parents get engaged at the NFT level. So for women, I always say, especially if you're an artist or anything you can gravitate that dovetails into your own life, that's a great way to cross over into this. But I would absolutely love to see more women getting involved.
Ric Edelman: Well, I think if you're a female financial advisor, what Jacki is saying is that these women financial advisors have a huge opportunity to be a differentiator in their practices. If there are so few women engaging in crypto, this is a wonderful way for you to offer services and advice to clients that your competitors, your fellow female advisors are not doing. And that in and of itself is a pretty compelling reason to pay attention. And I share your viewpoint. I would encourage women to get far more involved. Don't let this be dominated by men. We know how lousy men make things. Look at the world which has been dominated by men over the centuries. So knock it off. Here's a chance to start with a clean slate, and I hope women don't blow the opportunity. You came out with some statistics at My Crypto Advisor regarding the people that are contacting you. You mentioned that overwhelmingly they're men, but there was something else that you would have told me prior to us chatting here that over the last three months, four in 10 of the people who reached out to you at My Crypto Advisor, the reason they reached out was asking for help with scams. Talk about that.
Getting help to combat crypto scams
Jacki Roach: Scams are rampant in in our industry right now. And just touching back, I'll take some tech out of this and just go to some tangible examples here. So I said before that digital wallets are the most important piece of this puzzle - in my opinion, right now. So just to break that down, the wallet is the gateway to blockchain and distributed ledger. So with our current Internet, we have a lot of usernames and passwords for every site. You're putting one in Facebook, you're putting a different one in your banking, you're using another one to shop. But with Web3, you are not entering usernames and passwords. Instead, you are connecting your wallet to websites. So if I were to use a real-life example, if I was going to run a bunch of errands, go to a department store, a grocery store, get a haircut, I'd take one purse with me. And in that I would just have the things I need - some cash, a membership card, credit card, whatever. But I wouldn't also have my birth certificate, a fine art painting, all my jewelry. So similarly with digital wallets, you don't want all your assets in one wallet. And when you're connecting to all these different sites, you really kind of want to think, Well, what purse do I take for this and what do I do for that? And then even on the next end of that, regard your digital wallet as just as important, as your real wallet, as your real purse.
Jacki Roach: This is a container for your assets. We also like to tell people to diversify your assets, spread them out amongst multiple wallets. And I know people hear this and they're like, Oh my gosh, this sounds like so much, but that's the state of the industry right now. There are a lot of scam artists out there, so you want to be vigilant about your assets. For instance, my Bitcoin is a long-term hold, so I keep the majority of that on a cold wallet like Ledger or Trezor because these are not connected to the internet, so they don't have that point of vulnerability. Another point when I'm shopping somewhere in the real world, I don't leave my purse there when I'm done shopping. So on Web3, when you're done on a website, you really want to make sure that you disconnect your wallet every time you're done. This is hands down, number one, the most neglected security measure that we see. I would be lying if I said I didn't do this once in a while.
As a species, I think we're just we're just not mindful. We want to go fast. We don't want to be inconvenienced. But with the current environment, you really are exposing yourself to a lot of nefarious actors when you keep your public wallet address connected to discord servers or websites or anything else like that. And then lastly, a beginner mistake we see a lot is not researching the sites that you're connecting to. So a lot of times we get people that airdropped this token or opened their wallet up the other day and just saw some friendly person out there and they "gave" them an NFT and it said to go to this link. So I went there and then I connected my wallet and then all my Ethereum was gone. So you really want to make sure you know and trust the people that you're connecting to. And this can be really hard information to get. Sometimes I can tell you personally, I have probably 100 tokens that have been airdropped to me over the past year that I just don't even look at them. I don't pay them any mind whatsoever because I just assume that they are scams.
Ric Edelman: So it's a very scary portrait you're painting for this as a practical element. How many digital wallets do you have?
Jacki Roach: Well, I think just being a consultant in this industry, I probably have over 60 and our founder, Alex, probably has well over 200. But a normal person, I think a good rule of thumb is, think about your email addresses. We all have an email address that we use for store coupons and to sign up on websites. If somebody broke into it, it wouldn't be a life-threatening situation. And then we have other email addresses that we use for our gas bill or our electric bill or things that might have sensitive information. So even for someone that's a Bored Ape Yacht holder, you know that NFT, I wouldn't have that in the wallet that I'm traveling around Web3 in. I would have that in a wallet that is safe, secure, and ideally not connected to the Internet. So you really want to think about these things just like real physical assets.
Ric Edelman: So why not store all of the assets in, say, a ledger, cold wallet and simply use other wallets for the transactions, but once you do the transaction transfer to the cold wallet. Why not do that?
Jacki Roach: That is really good practice. But I still think we're a little overcautious at My Crypto Advisor just from being in this industry from the very nascent days. But I still diversify things over multiple cold wallets.
Ric Edelman: So I think you're demonstrating to us that there is a lot of excitement, a lot of opportunity. It's new, it's creative, it's innovative, but at the same time it's also very practical, pragmatic. We can't lose our heads. We have to deal with this responsibly and maturely. And if we have that right combination, then I think we can have a good experience.
Jacki Roach: Yeah, and to your point, I have friends that would be considered influencers in this Web3 area now and they held Bored Apes or World of Women NFTs worth $40,000, $60,000, $100,000. And they have been scammed. They somehow didn't realize their wallet was connected somewhere. So, the best of the best. And I give those people a lot of credit because they're publicly saying what happened. And I'll tell you, they're getting annihilated in the comment sections by Monday morning quarterbacks, But we're humans. We make mistakes. But when we're dealing with things that have potentially this much value, you just you need to be careful.
Ric Edelman: It's been a fascinating conversation. That's Jacki Roach. She's the Chief Communications Officer for My Crypto Advisor. And you can reach them at MyCryptoAdvisor.com. And if you want to learn all about blockchain and digital assets, we encourage you to get your certificate in blockchain and digital assets available from DACFP.com, where Jacki is a member of our faculty. Jacki, thanks so much for being with us today.
Jacki Roach: Thank you Ric. It was wonderful.
Jean shares lessons learned from her recent hospital stay
Jean Edelman: Great to be with you this week. This week, my title of my little talk is It Will Get Better - Teachers in Our Life. Teachers in our life can be people or events. This past January, I had a tremendous teaching moment when I landed in the hospital with viral bronchitis. As I was watching the EMT and the air docs and the nurses swirl around me, I surrendered and trusted I was in good hands. But I started to think about what it was that landed me in this situation and what was it that I needed to learn from this life event. Now I know when we're sick and we're not feeling well or there's an emergency and we've got to get to the hospital. We're not thinking like that. But for some reason, when I was going through all this, this was all I could think about.
And so what came to me was that I needed to slow down. I needed to stop pushing through everything like I was in survival mode and I needed to nourish my soul more.
But where had I learned these aspects of myself? And I started to think about my dad. And he had passed away in August of last year. My fun dad was creative, he loved to cook, he loved to do research. He was so much fun to work on our school projects with because we would research and we'd make displays and we'd figure out how to make little things together. And it was so much fun. And I loved that piece of my dad. But the not so fun dad and the aspect of his personality that he learned from his dad and passed down from generations was that he was in constant survival mode. He would push through everything. It would be okay when you finally got to the end. And that was how he just moved through everything.
And so as I'm sitting there experiencing this health event, it's like I'm seeing all these little pieces of him and me and how we're all tied together. And like his dad and his dad and all these men in that line of the family, it was just an inherited piece of my personality. And that piece is what got me to that moment in that hospital, on the stretcher, because I felt like I had to just keep pushing through - it would get better, it would get better, and then it didn't.
So my dad, he learned that survival mode to push through from his dad, who learned from his dad, who learned from his dad. It could go back to 310 generations of survival. So if you think about it, our ancestors probably were working the farms or life was very different back then, and that was their mode. But they taught it to their children.
But now, in the 21st century, I'm not so sure we need this anymore. To me at this moment, this health moment, this momentous moment in my life, I realized that it's time to let this piece go. And so the action item for this week is to think about our heritage. Think about our family and our traits that maybe we see in ourselves, that we gave to our kids, that we see in our parents and our grandparents. Do those traits still fit here now in 2023? And is there something we can let go of? All aspects of our life are teaching moments, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Yeah, we can blow them off or we can see them for the rich personal learning opportunities that they are. Because this is what makes us better human beings. I chose to see the learning opportunities. I chose to hold the higher purpose of what I was experiencing.
As bad as it was, as scary as it was. I truly had no fear. I knew I was going to get through it because I had a lot of good people around me taking care of me and all my family and friends. So many prayers. It was awesome.
And so my word of the week is just LOVE.
The L is to Listen to our bodies. They're always telling us something. Put a time limit if you're experiencing something. Put a timeline, a number of hours or days. Say, okay, if this doesn't change in one day or three days, I'm taking action. Listen to our bodies.
The O is to Observe. Our health can shift quickly. We think we can stay ahead of it. Trust me, there are moments when we cannot. Don't take a chance. Be proactive. Observe.
V is to Visit the doctor. Make sure you're getting those annual physicals. Make sure you're getting your blood work. Make sure you're seeing the medical experts that you need to see. Visit your doctors.
And the E is for Enjoy. Each day is truly, truly a gift. And as I experienced, life can change on a dime. So make each day the best day ever. Slow down. Stop pushing through and nourish your soul. What greater learning can you take from these life experiences? What can we let go of? What can we change?
Have a great week, everyone.