Keep Calm and Carry On. Learn to manage the volatility of cryptos

Glenn Lawrence writing from Ronda, Spain

It’s going to be OK, really.

A crypto crisis does not mean the demise of crypto. The crypto universe is not ending. But the collapse of prices and the industry crisis offers important lessons, especially to newcomers to investing and trading who don’t have experience in other markets that periodically experience crashes.

The volatility of crypto is exceedingly high relative to other tradeable assets making this crash especially painful. Learning to manage volatility is crucial to success. And applying the lessons learned provides dual, complementary benefits: avoiding substantial losses when prices are falling and putting volatility to work for you to take advantage of crypto’s outsized profit potential when prices rise.

And, of course, if you are willing to short the market, you can take advantage of volatility to capture outsized profits when prices are crashing. Some recent quotes put the current crisis into perspective.

For example, in a story in Fortune, Mark Cuban, a crypto evangelist, especially of Ethereum (he calls himself an Ethereum “maximalist”), refers to an apropos quote from Warren Buffet: “When the tide goes out, you get to see who is swimming naked.” And, no doubt, the current tide is exposing a lot of naked swimmers. Cuban says, “Disruptive applications and technology released during a bear market, whether stocks or crypto or any business, will always find a market and succeed.”


This vicious bear market is capitalism working at its best. The bear market is good old creative destruction at work. The lousy business models tying up too much capital must go. It’s a market-driven reallocation of capital to successful surviving business models and new, improved models.

Many influential pundits claim that cryptos are a sham or Ponzi schemes based on the greater fool theory. But I say “not so fast”—these are easy claims for crypto haters to make.

All assets become overvalued, such as conventional assets like stocks in 1929 and the U.S. housing market in 2007-2008.  Those who buy “too high” also get exposed as “greater fools.”

The greater fool theory isn’t unique to cryptos. However, this train of thought leads to an interesting parallel. Remember the roaring “dot-com” days in late 1999 and early 2000? Forgive me, but most in the crypto space may be too young to remember that bubble.

This vicious bear market in cryptos reminds me of the bear market that followed the bursting of the dot-com bubble.

At the peak of the dot-com days, many were getting rich via IPOs with nothing much more than a business plan. Some were developing businesses that had just begun to generate sales but were not yet profitable.

For example, I have a friend who made millions via the IPO of a company that owned the twelfth-highest-ranked internet search engine. Who’s eager today to buy shares in an initial offering for the twelfth-highest-ranked search engine?

In another pertinent article, Rick Rieder, BlackRock’s chief investment officer of global fixed income, told Yahoo Finance Live, “You are seeing a lot of the leverage that was built up around crypto come unglued quickly. I still think Bitcoin and crypto are durable assets.”

Well said.

Market excesses are always a function of too much leverage and misallocated capital. Crypto as an asset class is here to stay. But much of the inefficiencies and excesses need to be cleared out.

It’s unfortunate, though, that the high amount of price volatility in cryptos makes this crucial period of creative destruction so painful. That’s a hard lesson for less experienced crypto investors and traders who haven’t lived through a bear market like this one.

That’s where Sovereign X’s SX Wealth comes in. You don’t have to lose your lunch riding the intolerable rollercoaster of crypto volatility.

SX Wealth’s philosophy is to play it smart; you don’t have to subject yourself to horrendous levels of volatility, and the corresponding doubt and anguish, to participate in crypto. Consider a lesson learned (usually the hard way) by the best traders of all time. Rule No. 1 in successful trading is to “cut your losses.”

Markets don’t always cooperate—it’s guaranteed that a market will viciously turn around on you at some point. Capital preservation is key. You have to protect your capital to take advantage of future opportunities. (For more of our guidance on successful trading practices, please refer to our user guides on the website.)

Beware that going “all in” on crypto in the past might mean getting blown up today. Please don’t do it.

Many leading cryptos with legitimate and productive business models have fallen 90% from their peak value in just over half a year. No one should have to endure that kind of risk, witnessing a 90% decline in the value of an investment. So how do you avoid painful downside volatility while preserving your ability to take advantage of bull markets?

First, you need guidance on when to step aside to avoid excessive risk and then when to step back in when conditions are favorable. That’s where SX Wealth | Crypto comes into play. We provide a variety of time-tested and proven models, many of which we have enhanced with our volatility adjustment technology, and we offer an objective synthesis of all of our models’ signals, so there’s no question about whether to buy or sell or how much capital to allocate.

Here’s an example.

Long-time subscribers are aware of our Buy and Sell Gauges. These gauges measure the aggregate of our trend models’ uptrend and downtrend signals. For instance, if all models signal an uptrend, the Buy gauge reads 100%. If half are signaling an uptrend, the Buy gauge reads 50%, and so on.

To show how well these signals have worked using our historical data, we are pleased to introduce historical charts focusing specifically on gauge readings.  Subscribers can now find three related charts on their dashboard to view the history of all of our models: buy signals from our Buy Gauge, sell signals from our Sell Gauge, and a chart that aggregates signals from both gauges. A relevant example for today’s discussion is presented below.

The chart of BTC’s Sell Gauge shows the daily price series of BTC in the upper chart window and the daily reading of BTC’s Sell Gauge in the lower window. When the gauge indicator is at 0, our models are not signaling a downtrend.  And when the gauge indicator is at its maximum of 10, it means all of our trend models signal a downtrend. A conservative approach to using SX Wealth’s gauges?  Act when the indicator is at 7 or higher (which equates to a 70% reading on a gauge). 

Notice that the chart has a purple horizontal line marking the 7 threshold. 

After BTC failed to rally in April 2022, the market entered the current leg of the longer-term downtrend.  Notice that in late April, our BTC Sell gauge rose to 7 (marked with the red arrow), and ever since that date, the gauge reading has been between 7 and 10.  A reading of 7 or above is considered “strongly bearish.” So why endure the pain of watching BTC lose almost half its value when by following our signal you could have been sitting in the safety of cash, preserving your capital for the next time our models turn bullish (as they inevitably will)? We invite you to view the history of our signals from our Buy and Sell gauges using these charts by signing up for a risk-free 60-day trial subscription to SX Wealth | Crypto. Your password-protected dashboard will provide you access to see how our signals have accurately reflected crypto market trends, specifically Bitcoin’s movements, both up and down.


L. Glenn Lawrence is co-founder and managing partner of SX Wealth. 


So why is gold going down when inflation continues to rise? Real yields and gold revisited

L. Glenn Lawrence, writing from Ronda, Spain

With consumer price inflation raging globally, I thought it would be a good time to revisit an analysis I drafted several years ago. We addressed the effect of “real” bond yields on gold prices and developed a simple econometric model as an objective indicator of a fundamental driver of the direction of gold prices.

This year we improved the model.

For those not familiar with the concept of a “real” yield, here’s a simple definition: the real yield is the effective yield of United States Treasury bonds when adjusted for consumer price inflation. It’s an essential fundamental driver of gold prices.

When bond yields are not high enough to provide a reasonable return in excess of the consumer inflation rate, investors and traders tend to seek the safe haven of gold. Conversely, when bond yields are high enough to offer a generous return above the inflation rate, investors and traders leave the safe haven of gold and seek a conventional return on capital in assets like government bonds.

Gold is a commodity (or form of money if you prefer) that effectively has a negative return. Gold doesn’t pay interest or dividends. Gold owners cannot earn a rate of return on the capital used to purchase gold. And in larger commercial quantities, gold owners have to pay a fee to store their holdings. The storage cost of gold effectively becomes a negative return. Historically, when investors are afraid inflation will erode the value of their investments or fiat currency, they willingly pay the penalty of the negative return because they believe gold will protect their wealth.

Developing technical and econometric indicators based on the real yield is the key to monitoring whether investors will seek the safe haven of gold or will pursue interest-bearing investments. Let’s look at some examples of the real yield.

For ease of use and access to data and consistency of bond issuance, we use data from the U.S. Federal Reserve for the yield on constant maturity 10-year Treasury securities and the annual rate of the median consumer price index.

In a previous commentary, we analyzed the real yield threshold where investors and traders were incentivized to own gold rather than Treasury securities. We found that a range of between 2% and 3% (i.e., yield on Treasury securities of 2% to 3% greater than the annual rate of consumer price inflation) was historically the most effective pivot point. We chose a threshold value of 2.5% for the analysis.

We have since tightened that threshold to 2%. Historically, the real yield is typically 2% or less most when gold prices are rising. Gold prices are generally weak when the real yield is above that threshold. But there are exceptions to this rule, and we have added to our arsenal of econometric indicators to improve our fundamental modeling.

It’s not just whether the real yield is above or below 2% that matters—the prevailing trend of the real yield also matters. It can be argued that, in the modern financial world of “risk-on / risk-off,” the trend of the real yield is even more important than its absolute value.

An important case in point is 2013. The real yield was below the pivot threshold of 2% for the entire year yet gold prices were in a downtrend for most of the year. But what also occurred in 2013 was that yields on U.S. Treasury securities were rising and outpacing the rate of inflation, driving a solid uptrend in the real yield.

It didn’t matter as much whether the real yield was below or above 2%; what mattered was that the real yield was improving rapidly. The uptrend in the real yield led to optimism on the part of investors and spurred them to sell gold and buy U.S. Treasuries.

Let’s look at the example of 2013 and then compare it to today’s market.

Figure 1 presents a chart of the real yield in 2013 (blue line). Notice that the real yield was generally moving higher for most of the year. Remember, gold is not an attractive investment when the real yield is trending higher.

We have developed an indicator to track the trend of the real yield, which is the green line on the chart in Figure 1. Notice that our trend indicator headed higher for most of the year – this is a strong signal not to buy gold during that period.

Figure 1


In the next chart in Figure 2, we add the price of gold to the first chart, represented by the price of GLD, a leading gold exchange-traded fund. Notice that GLD was generally falling in price while our SX Trend Indicator was rising (indicating that you should avoid owning gold). GLD fell over 20% during that period.

Figure 2

Next, let’s look at the past year’s real yield and our SX Real Yield Trend indicator.

This is the opposite of 2013 until the last few weeks. The downward trend in the real yield, which has been not just below the critical 2% threshold but negative in 2022, is precisely the kind of inflationary environment where investors tend to seek the safety of gold. The real yield is both far below the 2% threshold, and the trend has been firmly lower (meaning that U.S. Treasury security yields are performing relatively poorly compared to the surging rate of inflation).

How did gold perform in this environment? Gold rallied in the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first two months of this year as the inflation rate skyrocketed. Its strong rally was capped by a rapid move higher as an initial crisis reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But what about the last few weeks? If inflation continues to be a problem, why has gold been going down?

The answer is that the trend of the real yield has reversed. The annual consumer inflation rate has declined slightly since January, while the yield of U.S. 10-year Treasuries has climbed substantially.

On the following chart in Figure 3, you can see that between early September 2021 and early March 2022 our SX Real Yield Trend indicator was heading lower, which is a buy signal for gold. And indeed, GLD moved higher. But beginning in the middle of March, our SX Real Yield Trend indicator started trending high, which is a sell signal for gold, and indeed, GLD has started moving lower.

Figure 3

With this new development of the SX Real Yield Trend indicator, our econometric modeling includes both the 2% threshold for the real yield and, most notably, the trend of the real yield. You want to be a buyer of gold when three things occur:

Our SX trend models are signaling that gold is in an uptrend.
When the real yield is below 2%.
When the trend of the real yield is lower.

But when our SX Real Yield Trend indicator is in an uptrend, be careful owning gold because gold prices face strong headwinds.

We’re scheduled to roll out our SX Wealth Precious Metals advisory service later this year. Our service will include a combination of econometric and technical price models.  

Precious metals can be highly volatile. And volatility is one major reason why we introduced our SX Wealth’s VolatilityEdge™ technology,  powering and informing our first-to-market trading signals, trading indicators, and advanced trading analysis for crypto.

For more information, visit Sovereign X’s SX Wealth channel.








Stuck in the middle (with the left and right)

L. Glenn Lawrence, writing from Ronda, Spain

“Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the [anocratic] middle with you.”

I ask a thousand pardons of Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan for mangling the lyrics to their great song, but I couldn’t resist. With both right-wing and left-wing autocrats on the ascendancy around the globe (the reader is free to assign “clown” and “joker” labels to their choice of extremists), I am deeply concerned about the future of the world’s leading democracies that seem stuck in the middle.

I recently learned a new term: anocracy—a way station on the distressing road from democracy to autocracy. An anocracy involves elements of both democracy and autocracy; it is an unstable hybrid stuck between the dissimilar systems. An example would be a country with democratic elections but with a critical lack of due process and freedom of the press.

Democracy is on the wane globally, while autocracies are booming. Alarmingly, in just the last decade, the autocratic proportion of the world increased from 49 percent to 70 percent. According to a recent study by the respected V-Dem Institute, the world has regressed to autocratic levels last reached before the end of the Cold War.

To the left of me are rising autocracies in Europe (Hungary, Serbia), naked dictatorial maneuvers by Putin, and a Big Brother-like technological stranglehold on citizens in China, while to the right is rising autocratic extremism in the formerly democratic United States of America.

According to respected observers of the health of democracies around the world, the U.S. fell from the rank of democracy to that of an anocracy during the past few years. Among many reasons, Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and domestic attempts to interfere with the transfer of power in the 2020 election triggered the fall from democratic grace. These are hallmarks of autocracies, not of democracies.

It required only two and a half centuries for the U.S. to descend into an extremist mess that the country’s Founding Fathers strenuously tried to prevent in drafting the Constitution.  

Fortunately, in the last year or so, the U.S. has climbed far enough out of the muck that it has rejoined the lower echelon of democracies. But unfortunately, with increasing extremist maneuvering to gain undue control over future elections, it’s a short drop back into the anocratic cesspool.

The danger of being stuck in the middle is that anocracies are three times more likely than a democracy to suffer civil war.

Barbara Walter, professor of international relations at the University of California at San Diego, serves on the Political Instability Task Force, a CIA advisory panel. She offers a good description of the conditions that have historically led to civil war. [And by the way, it’s scary when such a task force has to turn its focus on the U.S.].

As quoted on Washington Post Live, Professor Walter outlines the variables that have proven predictive of civil wars: “The first is a variable… called ‘anocracy’… countries that are neither fully democratic nor fully autocratic… The second factor [is]… ‘ethnic factionalism’…”

The U.S. is not literally suffering from ethnic factionalism, at least not to the degree of places like the countries of the former Yugoslavia. But belief systems and political factionalism in the U.S. are potent analogs to ethnic factionalism. Extremist clowns and jokers are causing saner voices in the moderate middle to be silenced. The U.S. already suffers from virtual civil war through social and other forms of media. Youngsters raised in fervent “red” and “blue” households are learning to hate those of the other color, much like Serbs and Croats, and Arabs and Israelis.

The seeds of civil war are being sown, with a potential intermediate step being political and belief factionalism developing into terroristic strife like that between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.

With social media fueling America’s political and extremist factionalism, I’m not optimistic about the future of the liberal democracy the Founding Fathers tried to engineer. [Liberal in this context means supportive of individual rights and civil liberties, not “progressive” or “left-wing”.] The U.S. was supposed to feature civil political discourse, religious freedom, and a government with checks and balances to avoid extremist autocratic power.

In an excellent article in The Atlantic, “Why the past 10 years of American life have been uniquely stupid,” the author makes a highly compelling case for laying the blame for fanning the flames of extremist ethnic-like divisions at the feet of ill-managed social media. The result has allowed extremists to take over the stage like preening divas while crowding out moderate voices. This outcome fuels the devastating growth of extremists with dictatorial aspirations.

The global decline in liberal democracies means we need to stay flexible with our international lifestyle plans. It doesn’t mean we can’t commit to making a home in an expat country of choice. Still, it’s crucial to be aware of how free (or not) the political system is where you may establish your expat home, domicile your investments, or spend a substantial amount of your time.

Flexibility means thinking globally, not locally; it means not anchoring your entire life to a single jurisdiction. It means having migratory insurance policies in the form of escape plans with the legal right to remain in more than one country and the right to travel between numerous countries freely.

Ideally, these rights are in the form of different passports, but long-stay residency visas and permits, in some ways, can be more important. Their importance lies in the greater ease of acquisition for many of those not of the lucky birth lottery club who can acquire first-rate second citizenship through ancestry or who can easily afford an economic citizenship from a country with a desirable passport.

I found my path out of the anocratic netherworld long ago—will you find yours today? I can’t claim prescience about the U.S.’ descent into anocracy, but I can claim becoming a proponent of an international lifestyle decades ago when I sadly witnessed early warning signs.

Signs such as the ramifications of the declaration of an interminable war against a stateless enemy (the War on Terror), previously unfathomable violations of personal privacy and suspensions of due process via the Patriot Act, and the growth of virulent extremism enabled and fueled by social media.

If you want help in planning your path to an international lifestyle including a plan for second residencies and passports, we at Sovereign X stand ready to assist.


L. Glenn Lawrence is co-founder and managing partner of Sovereign X.  










Your kids and the prevalence of gun violence in the U.S.

Choosing to raise your kids abroad could save their lives, given the prevalence of gun violence in the United States.

That may sound dramatic, but it may not be unreasonable, given that guns killed more kids in the U.S. in 2020 than car crashes, cancer, or drug overdoses.

More than 4,300 children in the U.S. died in 2020 due to firearm-related injuries, a 29 percent increase from the previous year. Of those gun deaths, homicides, rather than suicides, made up the majority of fatalities among children and teens, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The U.S. is failing to protect its youth against gun violence, and more and more people are looking to other countries for their safety and their children’s.

Earlier this year, Bennie, an eighth-grader at an Albuquerque middle school, chose to stand up to bullies picking on a younger classmate. The next day, one of those bullies pulled a gun from his backpack and pumped six bullets into Bennie’s body, killing him. This was just one of 42 acts of gun violence on K-12 campuses in the U.S. this school year alone.

How did schools in the U.S. become so unsafe?

The U.S. has been on a gun-buying spree over the past couple of years, spurred by many reasons including fears during the pandemic, social and political unrest…even the mere talk of background checks for gun purchases makes people buy guns.

According to a report published by the Annals of Internal Medicine, more than 7.5 million people became new gun owners between January 2019 through April 2021 in the U.S. Unfortunately, that means exposing more than 5 million children to a household with firearms. 

Of those 7.5 million new gun owners, more than half were women—women who no longer feel safe in their own country.

The staggering numbers continue. There were 693 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2021, which defines more or more gun injuries.

In 2012, when a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six educators with an AR-15-style rifle in Newtown, Connecticut, you would have thought things would change. Yet the U.S. Senate failed to pass even modest gun control legislation after the massacre. Instead, the change we have seen is an upward trend in the number of murders each year.

The U.S. experienced its most significant increase in the annual murder rate from 2019 to 2020 since the F.B.I. began national record-keeping in 1960. Overall, 20,720 people died from homicides in 2021. And the sad truth is that mortality data doesn’t capture the full scale of gun violence. Non-fatal gun injuries account for an average of 71,000 visits to the emergency room each year—a number that is undoubtedly rising.

Many countries worldwide offer a safe haven to live and raise a family. According to the Global Peace Index, in 2021 the top 10 most peaceful countries were Iceland, New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, the Czech Republic, and Canada. In addition, the murder rates in these countries are minuscule compared to the U.S. And mass shootings are virtually non-existent when they do occur, such as the one in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019, where a gunman opened fire at a mosque and killed more than 50 people. As a result, New Zealand swiftly enacted new legislation to combat firearms violence and keep its citizens safe.

The New York Times recently reported that a surge in U.S. shootings shows no sign of easing, an epidemic that “we can’t endure,” an ominous harbinger for the months ahead (summertime is typically America’s most violent period). Lax gun laws in the United States are only one of a number of reasons one should consider a move abroad, particularly if you have children. Our team of expats raised children outside of the United States. The experience could be the best gift you could ever afford them: the gift of perspective, a big worldview, and a much more carefree lifestyle (where a kid can still be a kid) are priceless. 


The credible case for crypto

Glenn Lawrence, writing from Santa Fe, New Mexico—This is the first of a two-part series examining the use of the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an excuse to disparage cryptos and gold.

I’ve read with pained interest some recent opinion pieces on cryptos. I’m saddened that those with fervent anti-crypto agendas are using the horrific Russian invasion of Ukraine as a contrived excuse to criticize cryptos.

In an Op-Ed in The Washington Post, “Ukraine is a big moment for cryptocurrency, but not for the reasons its promoters think,” the author criticizes the “crypto crowd” for using the Ukrainian crisis as “the chance to hawk their holdings as a force for justice…” And, what’s much worse, goes on to state that this is “…more evidence that crypto mainly reflects a desire from the analog world: the yearning to look cool.”

Really? I seriously doubt that a Ukrainian citizen resisting the Russian invasion (who gratefully benefits from a Bitcoin transfer) is yearning to look cool.

I was also horrified when the author made a fundamental mistake in confusing and misusing the terms and concepts of money and currency. For example, she states that a Ukrainian crypto exchange “…is also assisting the government in converting crypto to fiat. This real money is much more useful…”

Again, really? Conflating fiat currency with “real money”? Any high school economics student should know better. Currency is not money.

Through the advancement of civilization, money has emerged as a medium of exchange for goods and services and as an essential store of value. Gold, and to a large extent silver, emerged through thousands of years of real-world experimentation as the primary form of money most valued by societies.

But gold is nowhere near perfect. A significant weakness is that it is difficult to use as a medium of exchange for frequent and smaller transactions. Thus paper receipts backed by gold and silver—aka currency—emerged as a more convenient means for day-to-day transactions.

The modern currency world began in 1971 when President Nixon severed the last link between the U.S. dollar (currency) and its monetary backing (gold). Thus fiat currency (rather than paper currency backed with anything of tangible value) became the basis of the world’s financial system.

Whether made with paper currencies or a digital accounting of currency units in your bank or fintech accounts, fiat currency exchanges, not money, facilitate everyday transactions. Fiat currency is simply a promissory note, a stand-in for something else that supposedly holds the real value.

The author gets right that crypto is not as useful as fiat currency in payment for goods and services. There’s no question that cryptos are not ready to supplant fiat currencies for routine transactions. They function more like crypto money—they are a store of value and function as a medium of exchange, but not for everyday purchases (exchanges) for gasoline, gum, and groceries. 

For this reason, the cryptocurrency moniker is premature. The crypto universe is growing and evolving, but it’s not at a steady-state level of maturity where crypto functions as everyday currency—accepted as readily as dollars and euros for daily transactions. Today, cryptocurrencies act more like monetary assets or digital commodities than as a digital form of currency. Coins, such as Bitcoin, definitely function more like money than currency given their eternally limited supply.

The author further criticizes cryptos because the need to convert them into fiat currency is a type of “friction” on the ability of Ukrainians to use fundraising proceeds in the form of cryptos.

Once again, the author misses the point—a crucial one at the heart of cryptos. Getting international fundraising proceeds (currency) into Ukraine requires bankers’ efforts and functioning banks connected to a global funds transfer network like SWIFT. This is the actual “friction” in the banking and payments transfer arrangement.

Many people assume SWIFT is just an electronic transfer system, but it falls far short of that ideal. SWIFT is not a “system” per se, but rather a human-managed process where payment orders are exchanged and processed between correspondent banks (the exclusive club of large global banks that have accounts with each other).

And what happens to the ability to transfer fiat currency (or the author’s mistaken “real money”) if Russia seizes Ukrainian banks? Talk about friction!

The movie The Graduate had one word for us that would surely drive a post-1960s economic revolution: plastics.

So here’s one word that encapsulates what the crypto revolution is all about: disintermediation. 

While establishment types may put the word disintermediation in the same league as supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, the concept of reducing or eliminating the use or requirement for intermediaries like banks and brokers is critical to crypto’s viability.

The growth curve of crypto assets as money will be linked to the advancement of the disintermediation of the banking system: cutting out the inefficient friction of humans processing payment orders while charging fat fees for the privilege. This is the real fear of the crypto-haters—that cryptos will act as a universal solvent and dissolve the need for financial intermediaries like commercial and central banks.

Cryptos are at their best as a universally empowering workaround to traditional banking. How will people transfer the author’s supposed “real money” into Ukraine if Russia seizes Ukrainian banks?

Will the SWIFT transfer process resort to tin cans and a length of string across the border? I don’t think so. Whereas a wireless network connection, even via satellite, can enable access to asset value transfers via the blockchain. Yes, cryptos may not be as convenient as fiat currency for buying a loaf of bread. However, they still enable the holding and transfer of value—which may become an even more crucial alternative if Russia gains control of the Ukrainian banking system.

Today, cryptos do not offer a fully evolved financial ecosystem. But they’re getting there. And they are continually being embraced by more and more consumers, financial institutions, and even governments.


L. Glenn Lawrence is co-founder and managing partner of Sovereign X.


Sovereign X launches public Beta platform

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (March 4, 2022)—Sovereign X (SX) announced the release of its public Beta platform ( SX utilizes a unique one-platform, two-channel approach geared to audiences interested in crypto technical trading and/or expat and international living.

SX Wealth provides premium subscription advisory services that include innovative technical models and indicators, trading signals, and real-time market analysis for the crypto market. SX International delivers digital products to prospective expats interested in living and working abroad. Both channels offer consulting services and will release separate Master Class series this year.

The platform has been in development since late 2018. Until now, SX’s free and premium digital content, products, and services have been available to a private group of Beta users. However, products and services can be purchased or reserved during its public Beta. 

SX Wealth— Your life. Your assets. Your terms™

The SX Wealth™ VolatilityEdge© system is the engine for SX Wealth Advisory Services—powering institutional-grade research and proprietary trading signal systems and technical indicators to inform human-curated briefings, drive advanced trading analysis, and deliver actionable next steps. 

Co-founder L. Glenn Lawrence, a commodity trading advisor and risk management & trading consultant, writes the SX Wealth crypto advisory’s daily commentary. 

SX Wealth’s crypto advisory shows users how to turn crypto market volatility into their greatest asset versus a conventional “buy and hold” strategy. In addition, SX Wealth’s 30-day trial subscription includes a free private consultation with Lawrence. 

Lawrence developed SX’s Wealth’s trading signals using the high-tech, old-school trend following models he created in 1998 and has used successfully for private global institutional and individual clients, primarily in the energy and financial derivatives markets. 

In 2018, co-founder Brett Holmes and Lawrence recruited a colleague of Lawrence’s, Damon Hart, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based commodity trading advisor and systems consultant. Hart collaborated in backtesting and optimizing SX Wealth’s algorithmic models specifically for crypto assets. The results exceeded expectations. 

Based on these findings, SX built a team, retaining a technical designer and programmer, a former tenured analyst for Goldman Sachs and crypto expert, and a content editor. SX also engaged an initial group of Beta-testers. For more than 30 months, SX Wealth’s team tested their web-based models for functionality, usability, reliability, and accuracy. 

“Too many investors mistakenly use a traditional ‘buy and hold’ strategy or try to use their own ‘crystal ball’ to make sense of crypto’s market volatility,” said Lawrence. “SX Wealth’s technical trading methodology provides a systematic way to buy and sell crypto that helps remove uncertainty, giving you a disciplined approach designed to make more from your investments while managing the crypto market’s wild swings.”

SX Wealth | Crypto Advisory’s models will cover Bitcoin and Ethereum (Ether), and cover crypto’s top 50 coins starting in late summer.

SX International— Life on your terms™

SX International demystifies expat life, helping users identify and simplify strategies for “internationalizing” their lives. The channel offers digital books, reports, and briefs—inexpensive, easy-to-digest solutions for living and working anywhere in the world.

SX International’s digital products are sourced, written, and produced by Sovereign X team members who have lived, worked, run businesses, and raised children as expats. 

Digital products range from the ‘Ultimate Plan A Blueprint to an International Life’ to the ‘5 Best Global Second Passports [Third Edition]’ to 101 briefs and reports for top-ranked countries for expats, including editions written explicitly for prospective women expats. 

“SX International includes SX Expat Advisor, a free online assessment that provides the perfect starting point for becoming an expat,” said Holmes, an entrepreneur and marketing consultant who has spent the majority of his time since 2001 living and working from outside of the United States.

Holmes and Lawrence met in San Miguel de Allende, a colonial-era town in the mountains of central Mexico, in November 2001. Holmes had recently moved from Los Angeles to San Miguel, seeking a better lifestyle for his young family following the dot-com bubble burst. They met during a visit by Lawrence, who was exploring a move from New York. Lawrence and his family relocated in August 2002.

Their commonality? Both Holmes and Lawrence were highly successful yet seeking to build a more rewarding lifestyle outside of the conventional for themselves and their families. 

Some 15 years later, they started work in earnest on the Sovereign X business model, convinced that there were significant growth opportunities in the crypto technical trading space and the expat and international living segment. Furthermore, they recognized important synergies among these demographics, thus their one platform, two-channel approach.

Sovereign X will formally launch in fall 2022.

For more information, contact Brett Holmes at [email protected] or +1 (713) 244-4178.


Living in Color

Glenn Lawrence, writing from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

My family and I had only been in San Miguel for two days when I declared, “we’re going to move here.”

That was in the summer of 2000 when we had first arrived for a two-month stay. My resolve was even stronger when we returned to the United States. Strangely, it seemed much drabber than the place we’d left only two months before. Then it hit me—in San Miguel, we’d been living in color, and only upon returning did we realize that we had been living in black and white in our previous life. And we’d been living in color both figuratively and literally.

Literally, in the sense that Mexican colonial houses are typically painted in bright colors, both inside and out. The food is spicy and colorful. The mountains and countryside are visually stunning with color. The local artwork is alive with color. And colorful pink, purple and red bougainvillea are everywhere.

And beyond color, we were continually entranced by the artistic beauty of the incredible architecture and stonework that would be cost-prohibitive to replicate in the modern world: beautiful cathedrals and church towers at every turn, numerous picturesque plazas, and stunning courtyards that belong in Architectural Digest yet hide in plain sight behind walls of color.

All of this became part of our routine daily experience. It was an opportunity to continually lift our spirits and appreciate our decision to live there. We didn’t have to work in the black and white world for 50 weeks a year to live in color for a couple of weeks of vacation—it became a rich fabric of our everyday lives. More important than San Miguel’s literal color was its figurative color. We enjoyed a more dynamic and active lifestyle.

We left the extreme temperatures of New York and Austin behind for a pleasant year-round climate. We walked almost everywhere, yet we weren’t beset with the costs and stress of a dense urban environment. And we took advantage of the climate by eating in outdoor restaurants year-round (which eventually became a huge advantage during Covid).

Upon returning to the U.S. from those first two months in San Miguel, and realizing what we had been missing, I wanted more. I wanted to live in color everywhere and all the time. I started to understand how challenging it is to try to live in color in a drab environment that sucks the oxygen out of you.

So, we decided to move to the color rather than attempt to remake our environment with limited ability and success. I wanted to give direction to our lives—to live life in color by choice, not to live in black and white by default. And that’s when I decided to become an expat: live independently, treat the world as my playground, and introduce my children to the vast, wonderful, and colorful world, not just the black and white suburban playground down the street.

Of course, living in color isn’t for everyone. Not everyone is suited to be an expat. Some prefer the seeming comfort and perceived security of living in a drab world. And, I don’t begrudge their choice; everyone should be content with their life. It’s just that I’ve seen people blossom and grow beyond what they could have ever imagined when they venture out of their black and white world and experience living in color.

It was easy to declare that we were moving here on the first weekend in San Miguel. But admittedly, making it happen was not as easy as the dream.

For the devil was in the details—making sure to identify the right country for the right time of our lives, moving our household belongings from the U.S., navigating immigration requirements and establishing legal residency, opening a bank account, purchasing property in a foreign country, finding high-quality schools for our children, integrating into the expat community, finding doctors and dentists and various service personnel, working remotely, managing our business from afar, handling our tax obligations as foreign residents, etc. Yep, it took a while, but we made it happen by navigating steep learning curves with dogged determination.

And we’re still learning along the way in our multi-decade, multi-country expat adventure.

And that’s where SX International can help.

Recently, I wrote an investment guide for my children, who are now young adults, starting up their careers. They are saving money and want to learn how to invest in an increasingly uncertain world. I wanted to share what I wish someone had taught me at their age. [Incidentally, these are the same children who were educated in San Miguel and earned degrees from top-flight U.S. universities.]

In the spirit of sharing with my children what I wish I’d been taught at their age, our mission at Sovereign X is to provide the guidance, direction, and knowledge we wished someone had shared with us when we began our expat journey. The lessons we learned along the way are proofed and packaged in our digital books, reports, briefs, and Master Class series.

We wish you the best of success with your expat journey—should you choose to pursue it—and I hope that SX can be of value to you in your adventurous path forward. _________________________________________________________________________________________  L. Glenn Lawrence is co-founder and managing partner of Sovereign X. 


How to benefit from crypto’s volatility? Try an old-school, high-tech approach

Glenn Lawrence, writing from Ronda, Spain

A lead story in The Washington Post about the harmful nature of volatility in the crypto market irked me with its doomsday-like language. The article addresses the crypto “collapse” that supposedly is forcing a “reckoning” for investors and concludes that some are rethinking their investments while others claim to be invested for the long term. I haven’t witnessed a “collapse” in the crypto market (it’s functioning just fine).

On the contrary, many investors have learned to benefit from crypto’s volatility and, despite the dire stories, we are nowhere close to suffering a “reckoning.”

The article’s unspoken assumption is that crypto investors will inevitably suffer from crypto’s volatility unless the government protects them with regulation. It implies that the only two outcomes are for investors to

1. give up on the false hopes of crypto and sell their holdings, suffering significant and often life-altering losses, or

2. try to endure watching their account balances plummet while convincing themselves to hang on as a buy-and-hold investor (HODL).

Why are these the only two alternatives to saving us from ourselves?

It’s a shame that most investors either avoid the cryptocurrency market altogether due to volatility or consign themselves to tolerate a jarring rollercoaster ride with unnerving plunges in their account values. The reality is that investors can make crypto volatility work to their advantage.

Crypto investors need not suffer from price volatility. It’s not that hard. There is a third way.

SX Wealth offers a proven way to harness the volatility of cryptos: the latest in trend following market analytics. By taking time-tested trend following algorithms and adapting them for crypto price volatility, we have developed a set of refined analytical tools.

SX Wealth’s solution?

SX Wealth’s successful concept is quite simple: position yourself in the market when the trend (and volatility) moves in your favor while stepping aside into the safety of cash or stablecoins when things move against you. You don’t have to maintain your risky position when the market turns against you and gobbles up your funds. The concept is simple yet requires complex analytics. SX Wealth’s trading signals are based on objective, tested, and proven algorithms.

We don’t employ psychics or analysts who base trading recommendations on subjective chart interpretation. As a result, our customers can see for themselves the objective history of the trading signals of our models over their entire histories. Moreover, the signals are plain to see on our regularly updated charts.

In addition to our trading signals, SX Wealth offers advanced features that support our recommended portfolio approach. We employ numerous models and pursue a staged strategy so that we vary position sizes and portfolio allocations according to the aggregate of signals from our portfolio of models. We never recommend going all-in or getting all out according to our trend following signals.

On the contrary, plunging in and out of trades is a bad practice that is unfortunately common for newcomers and a typical bad habit of losing traders and investors. No one, including us, is right all the time, and you can’t have all your eggs in one basket when the basket breaks.

Here’s an example from this past year. The chart below shows BTC (bitcoin) from January 2021 through January 25, 2022, along with the daily readings of our Sell Gauge (scaled on the right vertical axis). Our Sell Gauge reports the aggregate status of our trend following models that are signaling lower prices.

If all trend models are bullish, the Sell Gauge reads 0%. If all models are bearish, the Sell Gauge reads 100%. We consider a 70% reading and above a “strong sell” indication. The shaded areas on the chart highlight market behavior when our Sell Gauge is at 70% or higher—in “Strong Sell” territory.

Would you want to own BTC during those periods? I certainly wouldn’t. Or better yet, if you were a BTC hedger or short seller, would you like to sell short during those periods?

Of course, you would.


Another feature of our services is that investors will learn to emulate the sound trading practices of long-term successful investors. This includes a widely ignored but crucial understanding of using potential risk to determine how large a position to establish. This is a “secret sauce” for successful trading, and it would be a disservice if we didn’t offer it.

Articles such as the aforementioned Washington Post’s are commonplace, with heartbreaking stories of people bemoaning their potentially life-altering crypto losses.

The reality is that traders need not suffer

But to avoid suffering, traders need a plan—a strategy for taking advantage of crypto volatility when it’s in their favor and avoiding it when price and volatility are moving against them.

And a plan for managing their position sizes and overall account allocation so that their market exposure isn’t too small when they are winning and, most importantly, isn’t too big when they are losing. Crypto investors will not enjoy sustained success until they have such a plan and the analytics and trading signals to execute the plan.

Our standard subscription plan offers ongoing coverage of BTC and ETH (Ethereum/Ether). And investors in altcoins can benefit from our signals. There is a high correlation between the price movement of BTC, ETH, and altcoins to date. Below are a couple of examples. The first chart has BTC plotted along with DOT (Polkadot). Then ETH is plotted along with SOL (Solana). Both charts show daily prices over the last year.

Notice that although none of these cryptos exactly matches the other’s price moves, wiggle for wiggle or zig for zag, the general direction of price movement and the significant up and down moves are the same.

In other words, when BTC is going up, DOT goes up, and when BTC is going down—like it is at present—DOT goes down. This means that our trend and trading signals for BTC are applicable for trading DOT.


The chart of ETH & SOL is somewhat different. SOL exploded in popularity (and buying activity) about six months ago.

But in the first six months of last year, even before being “discovered,” it moved essentially in tandem with ETH. So, no, the magnitude of SOL’s rise in the spring did not match ETH’s, although the general direction was the same.

So when you would want to be a buyer of ETH, buying SOL would work as well, and when you want out of ETH and in the safety of a stablecoin (or cash), or when you want to sell ETH short, the same would have been true for SOL.


The trend algorithms and trading signals from our portfolio of models for BTC and ETH are applicable not only for the two most popular cryptos but also for a whole host of altcoins. So perhaps someday, when the crypto marketplace has matured, we might be dealing with uncorrelated movement between cryptos, like stocks in the stock market today.

But today is not that day—a strong correlation continues to permeate the crypto market, and the signals for flagship cryptos BTC and ETH can be successfully applied to other cryptos.

We encourage you not to listen to ill-informed experts who claim that living with crypto volatility is either something to be regulated by the government or tolerated as a buy-and-hold investor. SX Wealth offers a better way.

Learn how to turn crypto’s volatility into your greatest asset and earn superior returns with less risk than a conventional ‘buy-and-hold’ strategy. Visit us at Sovereign X and register for our 30-day risk-free offer, and review our trading signals’ successful history for yourself.


L. Glenn Lawrence is co-founder and managing partner of Sovereign X.