Happy Friday the 13th, HODLers!
It might seem odd to wish you a happy day on this, considered the most unlucky of days. However, we don’t invest on superstition: crypto investors may have several reasons to buck this trend and put a smile on their faces.
We’ll dig into stories, superstitions, and how bitcoin has historically performed on Friday the 13th. Hopefully, this will settle the spirits of those nervous about today’s date.
Was Friday the 13th Always Unlucky?
The oldest known negative reference to 13 is found in the Mesopotamian Code of Hammurabi, a Babylonian code of law that dates to approximately 1760 BC. The laws are numbered, but the number 13 is omitted.
Those who consider 13 unlucky are called triskaidekaphobics. You might not be surprised that horror novelist Stephen King is among the list of famous triskaidekaphobics. So was the 32nd president, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Fridays that fall on the 13th possibly got a bad rap based on an event from the 14th century when, on Friday, 13 October 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest of the Knights Templar, and most of the knights were tortured and killed.
There’s even a name for those scared of Friday the 13th – paraskevidekatriaphobia.
The number 13 wasn’t always considered bad luck. In France, 13 was traditionally considered a lucky number before the First World War and was used numerically as a good luck symbol on postcards and charms.
Is Friday the 13th Unlucky for Crypto?
Good. Bad. Lucky. Unlucky. What does this all mean for crypto holders?
Honestly, not a lot unless you’re struggling with your portfolio. Friday the 13th has generally been positive in terms of stocks. Since its inception, the S&P 500 has averaged a gain of 0.1% on Friday the 13th, which doesn’t sound like a lot but is triple the average gain of 0.03% on all trading days.
While it has far less history to draw on, bitcoin has historically shown resilience and positive performance on Friday the 13th, despite the date being considered unlucky due to all the various superstitions and historical events noted above. Data indicates that since 2010, bitcoin has, on average, risen by 1% on this date, with significant surges in the following one and three months. That’s 10x the average gain seen from stock markets on a Friday the 13th.
Looking at the 1-month results is even more telling. Bitcoin, on average, returns 14% a month after Friday the 13th. If we look at the monthly return for the S&P 500 going back to 1900, we find that only three times have we seen monthly returns greater than 14%. And we have to go back to 1938 for the last time, the S&P 500 returned more than 14% in a single month:
- April 1933 - 29.3%
- May 1933 - 17.6%
- June 1938 - 20.5%
While I don’t have the data for three-month returns, I can assure you that the S&P 500 has never been up 66% in three months.
Drilling down further, we can see that some months are better or worse than others (obviously). October has seen the two worst Friday the 13th daily returns for the S&P 500. The worst Friday, the 13th, for stocks, was a loss of 6.1% on Oct. 13, 1989—followed by the 3.8% drop for stocks on Friday, Oct. 13, 1933. Conversely, bitcoin has only seen gains for Friday the 13th in October, though to be fair, there’s only one data point – a 6% gain on Friday October 13, 2017.
We don’t normally consider superstition when measuring our gains. We’re not gamblers, and we don’t count on luck (at least, not entirely).
Good investing is about knowledge, patience, and research. With the correct information and insight, you can invest in crypto without worrying about what day it is.
Fortunately for crypto inventors, the future is hopeful. While there’s not enough data for bitcoin’s historical outperformance to be considered statistically significant, there’s no doubt that bitcoin outperforms stocks given the data we do have. This is entirely in line with other historical measures of bitcoin versus stocks.