While pursuing an MBA at the Robinson College of Business, Zach Hoffmeister learned how to make sound investment decisions and started trading cryptocurrencies. He graduated in late 2017 and today is a millionaire. Last month, Hoffmeister, MBA classmate John Granofsky and mutual friend Timothy Suggs released The Millionaire Millennials: A Handbook to Crypto Investing, which not only chronicles Hoffmeister’s and Suggs’ success but also offers readers a how-to guide on approaching projects in the cryptocurrency space. Hoffmeister and his co-authors share their most adroit financial moves as well as their worst mistakes.
One of the book’s overarching messages is to conduct the appropriate research to evaluate the legitimacy of a crypto project. Hoffmeister lost $6,000 after some coins he left on a digital currency exchange got hacked. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently released a statement warning investors about these “potentially unlawful digital platforms.”
“The market is rife with scams and coins that have no intrinsic value,” Granofsky says. “That’s the purpose of the book — to give readers the foundational knowledge to do their own digging before risking money on a coin.”
In addition to helping readers avoid fraud, Millionaire Millennials outlines steps to take when analyzing a crypto venture — anything from visiting the company’s website, to checking out the associated white paper, to reading up on the team members who hatched the idea.
“A lot of people have good intentions for implementing blockchain into different sectors like healthcare or supply chains,” Granofsky says. “But that doesn’t mean they can actually pull it off.”
Hoffmeister put $25,000 into Litecoin in May 2017. His initial investment ballooned to an all-time high of $690,000 the following spring, enabling him to pay off his student loans.
“I stuck it to the man!” Hoffmeister jokes. “The shoe’s on the other foot now!”
Hoffmeister currently works as an account executive officer for Travelers, while Granofsky is a senior sales manager for smartphone accessory manufacturer ZAGG. The two continue to collaborate. They serve on the formation team of Currency, a crypto magazine that will launch in September, and host a GroupMe chat where industry enthusiasts can ask questions and share resources.
Hoffmeister says the grounding he received in Robinson’s Derivative Markets (FI 8200) and Hedge Funds and Their Trading Strategies (FI 8260) courses gave him the confidence to dip his toe in the crypto trading arena. Granofsky cites specific skills the MBA curriculum added to his toolbox.
“We were exposed to general information on how markets work, conducted valuations of financial assets, learned how to do Black-Scholes options pricing and discussed more conceptual topics like semi-efficient market theories,” Granofsky says. “That education was invaluable.”