‘I made £10k on Bitcoin despite my wife’s protests. Do I have to share the profits?’

I have come into some money after taking a punt and buying some Bitcoin a few months ago. I invested £15,000 and have earned myself a nice £10,000 profit, but am unsure what to do with the money. 

I would really like to use it to buy myself a sports car. There’s a used BMW in a nearby garage that I have my eye on. My wife disagrees – she says we should spend it on replacing our shared car, which is getting very unreliable and becoming far too small for us. The thing is, I feel this profit is my money.

At the time my wife told me not to buy the Bitcoins. She said I was being stupid and would lose it all. I decided to do so anyway and it has paid off. If it was up to her the £15,000 would still be in our bank account, losing value with each passing day. I understand that we need a new car – but we could just save for a few years as we would have done anyway. Am I being selfish to want to spend this money on myself? 

RF, Dundee

Some readers would rail at your wife’s cheek. It is very bold of her to disparage your original decision then demand that the profits are spent for her own benefit. By distancing herself from your decision, surely she gave up her share of the winnings, they would say.

After all, if things had gone the other way, it is very unlikely she would have offered to share in the losses and cover half of the £10,000. People who do their research and make good investment calls should get their just reward. As you say, if not for your investment, the family would have less money now than it did a few months ago, because of the eroding power of inflation. 

Yet others would be appalled by your behaviour. You openly admit that the family is desperately in need of a new car and that it would take you years to save for one otherwise. Are you really going to make your loved ones’ lives more difficult and less comfortable for the sake of flaunting your new open-top? 

The key question, though, is whose money you invested. If your wife refused to put in her own cash and you used personal funds, then it is more reasonable that you would want to spend the profits on yourself alone. However if it was family money that you invested, it seems selfish not to share the gains – you would not have been able to make that profit without the help of your wife’s capital in the first place. 

If it was the latter, it was irresponsible of you to gamble the family savings on a very risky investment – particularly as your wife felt uncomfortable with it. You have been lucky this time but things could have gone very differently. For the thousands of stories about people making their fortunes on Bitcoin, there are thousands more who have lost it all. 

Perhaps in the future you and your wife should compromise and come to investment decisions together. You are likely to make more balanced choices and will have no confusion over how gains or losses should be split.

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