New numbers conclude that the best returns come from cutting through the noise and simply buying Bitcoin.
Bitcoin (BTC) has produced phenomenal returns most years, but when it comes to maximizing them, it's best just to buy and hodl.
That was the conclusion from new data circulating on social media this week, which casts serious doubt on the merits of following investment advice from mainstream media.
Don't believe the hype?
Under the microscope was CNBC, which in 2017 offered viewers an investment portfolio made up of 30% Bitcoin and 70% altcoins.
Four years later, those who invested $10,000 at the time now have around $52,300. Had they just bought and hodled Bitcoin, however, they would have over $140,000.
"The 30% #BTC allocation is responsible for 75% of the return," Twitter account StatsBTC, which uploaded the numbers, noted in comments.
CNBC's portfolio came courtesy of well-known pundit Brian Kelly, months before it hit then all-time highs of $20,000. Altcoins also saw peaks, months later in early 2018, with most only to crash and never recover.
Subsequently, the network gained an unenviable reputation for acting as a buy signal for investors — ironically by telling them not to invest in Bitcoin. The same fate has since befallen the likes of gold bug Peter Schiff.
As Cointelegraph reported, fellow host Jim Cramer, on the other hand, has embraced Bitcoin thanks to persuasion from Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano. His investment, thought to be around $500,000, has made Cramer "a ton of money," he said earlier this month.
All hail the king
Meanwhile, even a longer-term HODL strategy will have suffered from exposure to altcoins at the expense of its Bitcoin presence.
According to Bob Simon, owner of the StatsBTC account, $100 divided equally between Bitcoin, Litecoin, XRP, Dogecoin and Peercoin in March 2014 would now be worth $6,000. A Bitcoin-only punt, by contrast, would sell for $12,130.
"An equally weighted basket of the top 5 cryptocurrencies has underperformed Bitcoin by over 50% over the past 7 years," he summarized.
Analysts still believe that this coming summer will produce huge gains for altcoins, with one arguing that a peak price "Alt Season 2.0" has already begun.