If you go to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, you won’t find an entry for the term “apeing”. You’ll find the definition for “aping” which is basically the verb form of the term “ape” which in this context means to imitate or copy in a crude way.
Apeing is a term that’s close to “aping”, but for our purposes, we refer to the practice of rushing in to purchase crypto, NFTs, or other cryptocurrency-related commodities without researching or performing any sort of due diligence to protect the investor from a dodgy opportunity.
When you’re apeing, you’re trusting “vibes” or your “gut instinct”. Whether or not that is a successful long-term strategy for investing in any commodity or collectible is beside the point.
The fact is, if you have ever invested in crypto in any meaningful way, chances are good that you’ve aped. Some crypto pundits believe that everybody does it. But some of these pundits rightfully point out that if you ONLY acquire crypto in this fashion you are headed toward turbulent times.
There is a school of thought which informs some crypto investors; to become a success in digital currency speculation or NFT trading, you must find high-value projects to invest in.
This school of thought further holds that day trading crypto is not the wealth-generating prospect that long-hold investments represent.
But as a side strategy, apeing can be an asset since the nature of virtual currency includes the fast-moving speculative purchases apeing tends to favor. To paraphrase Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, crypto moves pretty fast, if you’re not willing to take the occasional risk you might miss something.
Yes, Apeing can and often is informed by FOMO. And some feel that’s for a good reason. Some crypto speculators earned small fortunes by apeing on the right virtual currency or NFT at just the right time.
The Difference Between Apeing And Investing
Investing is a thinking person’s game. To do it properly, you should study the companies and entities you wish to invest in. You’ll want to read the prospectus of a company, view the 52-week average, and look at the investment’s performance over time.
You’ll want to know the financials of the company; is it over-leveraged, has the stock ever split, etc.
If you invest in bonds or Treasuries, you’ll want to check the maturity dates and make sure that the term of the investment is suitable for your needs. Treasury bonds, notes, and Treasury Bills all have different features that may or may not work for your needs.
How close are you to retirement age? The duration of a Treasury Bond might not work for you as well as if you were purchasing them at the start of your career.
Apeing, as mentioned above, has nothing at all to do with research or the financials of the entities you wish to invest in. Apeing is about how the investment feels in the moment. Are you buying into the current zeitgeist or betting against it?
Apeing has much to do with intuition and is closer to gambling than investing. That’s not to say that you should never, ever ape. It’s also NOT to say that you cannot ape without a little pre-planning to protect yourself.
How To Ape
Keeping in mind that Fear of Missing Out informs much apeing behavior, some general guidelines can help you avoid being manipulated by FOMO. The first thing you should think about? An exit strategy for the apeing you plan to do.
Don’t go into a high-risk investment situation of any kind without thought of how to cut your losses and get out quick if you need to.
That is sometimes easier said than done depending on the nature of the investment, how hot or cold the marketplace is toward it at the moment, and other variables. But that’s part of having a good exit strategy. You want to anticipate what might happen in the best-case and worst-case scenarios.
Apeing doesn’t completely forego traditional investing advice. One of the best types of investment advice applicable to stocks, bonds, crypto, Bored Apes, or Meebits? Don’t over-invest in any single opportunity.
Also, don’t over-leverage yourself. If you cannot afford to lose your investment, don’t gamble with it. If you can’t afford the loss on a single opportunity, you may need to revisit more conservative strategies than apeing.
Another piece of advice some take from traditional investments even while remaining committed to apeing? Doing SOME research on the opportunity to make sure the reputations of all involved are acceptable, and that the best practices of the group don’t involve over-incentivizing crypto investors in a single opportunity.
By this, we mean look at the token distribution among the project. Too many coins or NFTs set aside for insiders may point to a sort of fast profits type scheme that cares less about the investors and more about specific parties within the investment pool.
Has the project you are thinking about investing in ever been audited or gotten in trouble with other members of the crypto community? Have they doxxed or have they been doxxed? And if so, to what extent and why?
Some of these options are quick internet research chores while others might require more time. But even if you are apeing, this kind of knowledge gives you a distinct advantage over someone who isn’t informed at all about what they are sinking their hard-earned cash into.
As mentioned above, you want to do some basic homework on the project, coin, or NFT you want to invest in. If you are committed to apeing, it’s a smart idea to keep your “aped” investments completely separate from your more serious activities.
Consider apeing from a separate crypto wallet or account than your main investments. This provides a bit of a firewall, so to speak, against hackers and scammers getting into your primary investment accounts.
And when experienced crypto investors begin complaining about a specific project, it’s smart to pay attention to the voices of experience. It is wise to ignore excessively bright-side advice when there is just as much experienced talk about the shortcomings of a project or opportunity. Watch the chatter on social media about certain projects that look tempting to you, but beware excessively positive sales hype.
And beware any project or opportunity that does not pay proper respect to the need for certain degrees of transparency.
And, it is too important not to mention another time–don’t ape with money you can’t afford to lose.
Joe Wallace has covered real estate and financial topics, including crypto and NFTs since 1995. His work has appeared on Veteran.com, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and many print and online publications. Joe is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News.