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Digital Money Advisor: How and Why Northland Wealth Allocated Bitcoin for Its Families

Updated: Jul 18, 2021

Arthur's introduction to Bitcoin happened in May 2017 during an investment conference held in the US. He shared his introductory work which was published in his column Curve Appeal - Financial Post Magazine in June 2019.

Arthur followed this topic in the the next year in a column of Curve Appeal - April 2020, where he shares further insights into Northland's due diligence and how it was viewing and investing in this relatively new asset class.

Today, Northland is considered a global leader with it's investment in bitcoin for our families.

3 Quotes from Arthur Salzer:

When we did finally make an investment, some people were interested and that went across age brackets. Some people as mature as 82, when I open up a hot wallet with them and give them some bitcoin, they go, “Wow, this is amazing. I like this. How do I get more?” But other people were screaming, “I’ve talked to other financial advisors, I’ve talked to my accountant and we know it’s a Ponzi scheme. Are you stupid?” And I’m like, did they spend 2,000 hours doing due diligence? Did they meet with successful managers and people in the cypherpunk field to understand what this even is? And the answer was, no. It was just generally, “We saw it on television” or “We haven’t done the work,” but let’s just get angry and deny it. Those people typically came around, but we had some tough discussions at the beginning.
It’s one thing to buy bitcoin and “HODL.” But as a professional risk manager, the Canadian equivalent to a registered investment advisor, you have a fiduciary duty to these families, and that means managing risks. So that means taking proper position size. If the position size gets too large, to reduce it. Risk management really, really comes first. And that’s what we decided at the outset.
Don’t buy bitcoin until you do the research. Do your own due diligence. We’re at the latter part of a four-year cycle. There’s lots of time to catch the next one, but start doing your research today to understand how to buy a year, a year and a half from now. Understand the cycles so you don’t get caught. 80% draw downs can really, really hurt. And it can burn an adviser hard enough and their client base hard enough that they’ll never really trust or understand the asset class. They’ll just shut down. So, do the work ahead of time, know how to get out before you get in. I think that’s important.

For the original interview with Steve Sanduski.


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