After more than a decade as a mortgage insurer at USAA, Brenda Gentry resigned in October 2021. Instead of continuing in traditional finance, she switched to cryptocurrency full time. Now, Gentry runs a crypto consulting company, which he launched after leaving his job.
The San Antonio resident views cryptocurrencies as a way to accumulate and pass on generational wealth. She and her family are excited about the “unprecedented opportunities that crypto offers,” Gentry, 46, told CNBC Make It.
Before going “all in” and dropping his constant 9 to 5, Gentry began investing in cryptocurrencies during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. It started small, but gradually began investing more.
By early 2021, it had made substantial profits. “My investment portfolio surpassed my 401 (k), which had taken 11 years to reach $ 200,000, in six months,” says Gentry. She acknowledges that cryptocurrency is a risky investment, but her background in finance and the due diligence process helps her feel comfortable investing in the space.
Now, Gentry is widely known as the “crypto mom” online. He continues to personally invest in digital assets, but primarily runs Gentry Media Productions with his daughters, Cynthia, 23, and Imani Gentry, 19.
The firm advises decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFT) projects, and Gentry typically generates between 10 and 20 ether, which is around $ 40,000 to $ 80,000, from the company each month. By comparison, he made about $ 75,000 a year at his previous job.
‘NFTs and DeFi are breaking generational curses of poverty’
But these factors also contribute to why DeFi is very risky. Investors should understand the risks and take time to do their research before buying.
For Gentry, going into crypto has led to tangible changes for his family. In September, Gentry says he was able to help his parents retire.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” he says. “My dad retired earlier, but he had to go back to work; the pension was not cutting them. My mom had worked as a cleaning supervisor for many years. The hours were brutal and they were affecting her health.”
His next goal is to help his siblings retire.
Although the cryptocurrency is volatile, Gentry plans to build wealth by keeping its assets long-term. The market “is not always going to be bullish,” he says.
Experts caution that you should only invest what you can afford to lose, but agree that a long-term holding strategy in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin is the best practice.
In general, Gentry and his family see cryptocurrencies as a way to generate generational wealth. Everyone is involved in different crypto projects, including gaming and DeFi. “We are very interested in games to make money and how that is positively affecting people in developing countries,” as users earn income from playing blockchain-based games, says Gentry.
Gentry has been successful in space, but what it has accomplished is not necessarily easy or typical. When it comes to investing in cryptocurrencies, financial experts recommend being careful. Although some coins and digital projects can increase in value quickly, they can also collapse just as quickly.
Gentry and his family get a lot of messages from people wanting to learn about space, he says, and “we have to let people know that there are days when the market is in the red.”
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