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How to Write the Perfect Executive Resume for Managers and Senior-Level Positions

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As an aspiring manager or senior executive, your resume’s audience will be different from that of entry and junior-level employees. Other managers, directors, executive recruiters, VPs, Board Members, and everyone else in the C-suite will scrutinize your resume.

They’re all going to ask the same question:

“Can this person solve our problems?”

Yes, it’s the same thing people ask when hiring junior-level employees. But the stakes are higher.

Does your resume match senior-level executive job expectations
Does your resume match executive-level expectations? (graphic source)

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to write a persuasive executive resume to match the expectations that comes with any senior-level job.

Main Differences Between a Junior and Executive-Level Resume

Let's first look at the difference between a regular resume and an executive resume:

1. Resume Content Differences


Junior Employee

Managers and Executives


Lists accomplishments and skills related to your target job, including academic studies and internships.

An executive summary shows your contribution to related jobs in a leadership capacity. Show them how you made an impact as a boss, not as a team member.


Employees with a few years of experience still list their Alma mater, but not their GPA and coursework.

This section also lists continuing education from their employers.

Education is often listed at the bottom of an executive resume.

While education is an important part of an executive’s career, the people reading their resume are more interested on how they learned on the job.


Work History

A mixture of employment details from various positions and industries.

Shows an abridged version of the applicant’s career. It highlights their progress from junior employee to management.

For experienced managers and executives, it shows their achievements from one leadership role to another.

2. Is It Written for a Specific Purpose?

You might get an interview with a generic resume for a lower-level position, but that strategy will never work for managers and executives.

Both managers and executives are hired for a specific reason, unlike regular positions where job ads are copied from the last hiring. Sometimes that reason is to turn a department around, enter a new market, create a new product, or build a winning team. If your resume doesn’t show the skills they’re looking for, don’t expect a call.

Customize your resume for each job application. If you have a contact, see if you can get an informational interview with a recruiter or anyone with information about the job vacancy.

3. How You Approach Your Personal Branding

Do you think you’re the only manager that can build a top-performing sales team? No.

Whatever your skill sets are, there are others that are even better than you.

That’s not meant to be demeaning—it’s only to show you the importance of setting yourself apart from others.

As a soon-to-be manager or executive, it’s time you establish a personal brand.

How Does a Personal Brand Look Like on a Resume?

Personal branding is such a buzzword nowadays that it’s hard to find actionable advice on the subject, especially on resumes.

Branding experts agree that your personal brand should be evident throughout your resume and other applicant marketing materials (e.g. cover letters, LinkedIn, and thank you notes).

A personal branding statement, sometimes called a leadership brand, is placed at the top of an executive resume, just below your name and contact details. It combines the main qualities that make you ideal for a position, and your personality as a leader.

5 Easy Steps to Write Your Personal Branding Statement

Kristen McAlister of Cerius Executives shared this step-by-step guide:

"1. Write everything you’ve accomplished in your career then find the underlying theme among these accomplishments.

2. Ask people you’ve worked with to describe the impact you made while working with them. What words do they use to describe you?

3. What are the types of work situations are projects you enjoy?

4. From the above three, what problems are you solving for a potential employer?

Example: Let’s say many of your accomplishments are related to training and motivating people. The people you work with all say you’re accessible and not afraid to try new teaching methods. You’re a risk-taker and forward-thinker.

Now ask yourself, if your current employer didn’t hire you, what problems would they have? For this example, the problems an accessible and forward-thinking manager can address are:

  • Prevents the company’s training materials and teaching methods from getting outdated
  • Helps new trainers improve their classroom management to ensure trainees or new employees listen to them
  • Ensure the training of new employees translates to an ROI for the company

Here is the last, important step that Kristen McAlister recommends: 

5. Write your personal branding statement in the form of a value proposition (I help [target audience] + [problem you solve]). 

Tips for Writing a Personal Branding Statement

  • Divide your accomplishments into different categories. Are they in training people, improving operations, developing new business, or is it in another business function?
  • Look for the adjectives people use to describe you. Examples include: strategic thinker, resourceful, collaborative, and accessible.

Learn more about writing a great personal brand statement: 

2 Examples of Top Personal Branding Statements (From Pro Executive Resume Writers)

1. From Jessica Hernandez of Great Resumes Fast:

Great Executive Resume Example

2. From Michelle Riklan of Riklan Resources LLC:

Great Executive Manager Resume Example

4. Your Emphasis on Core Proficiency or Specialty

Your executive resume should have a consistent message about the skills you bring to the table. For instance, if you’re a regional manager with years of experience in trimming production costs, that should be evident in every section of your resume.

Here’s how:

  • Write about your experience in optimizing production lines in your work history
  • List leadership skills needed in optimizing manufacturing process, such as process re-engineering, improving supplier relationships, and workflow management.
  • Include the savings in manpower and production costs achieved in your executive summary

CEOs and some high-level executives often have experience in more than one function, because they need to know how different parts of the company work together. Because of this, it’s advisable for them to have multiple executive resumes, each one tailored to the core proficiency required in their target job (e.g. sales and new market development, or human resources and change management).

Executive Resume Format: Chronological, Functional or Hybrid?

What's the best executive resume format you should use? 

A chronological resume works best to show your career progression, but it has its limits. It makes the reader work twice as hard to understand your value because your achievements are buried in your career’s timeline.

A functional resume showcases your achievements and areas of expertise, but it hides the narrative of your achievements. So it doesn’t say if you managed to increase the product sales of the team you’re handling as a manager, and five years later leveled up to increase the sales performance of the State where you’re Regional Director.

A hybrid resume combines the two formats:

  • Contact information
  • Executive summary (a.k.a. key accomplishments)
  • Achievements categorized into different skills or areas of expertise (skills)
  • Employment history
  • Education

All your qualifications are on the first half of the document, and the skills section doubles as an organized list of achievements. A hybrid resume format is often the best one to use for an executive resume. 

Page Length and Use of Addenda

A resume’s space limitations restrict you from adding too much detail. That doesn’t mean those details can’t be included in your application.

For top performing managers and executives, their achievements can be submitted as a follow-up to their resume in the form of an addendum. You can either give it to the Hiring Manager during the initial interview, or send it via email when you follow-up on your application.

Executive and Manager Resume Addenda Examples

They often include include: 

  • Leadership initiatives: a list of projects or new policies you established
  • Performance milestones: case studies of your notable accomplishments
  • Publications: includes books and articles you authored
  • Awards

Below is a screenshot of a technological addendum from Quintessential Careers:  

Executive Manager Resume Addenda Example
This resume addenda example shows different projects the applicant led, along with the challenges encountered and the results.

Just remember, the addendum isn’t a place to list more employers. Employment history should either be deleted if it’s not relevant to the job, or condensed as in the example below.

Earlier career info
Example of earlier Career information listed after the employment history and before the education section. From Michelle Riklan

How to Write an Executive Resume’s Most Critical Parts (With Examples)

1. Write Your Executive Summary

Start the executive summary with your personal branding or leadership statement. Then list three points that show you as an expert in solving the challenges your target employer is facing. You can also refer to the achievements you wrote in Step 1 of writing a personal branding statement.

For example, if you’re applying for a CMO role in a bank with aggressive expansion plans, you might want to position yourself as an expert in launching new products, entering new markets, and optimizing reach to different customer segments—individual customers, businesses, and investors.

2 Top Executive Summary Examples 

1. From Wendi Weiner of Writing Guru:

"I have a natural zest for leading teams to achieve explosive sales for clinical diagnostic laboratory testing services. The will to succeed is truly the most powerful tool in your personal kit." 
    - Market Growth Champion: Intuitive business acumen in achieving $20M new market share growth. 
   - Transformational Business Leader: Forward-thinking business ideals to drastically reduce contract costs by 45% and rally client retention by 92% 
  - Fearless Game-Changer: Entrepreneurial spirit in growing team from ground-up with startling sales wins and profits in less than 18 months."

2. From Jessica of Great Resumes Fast:

2. Areas of Expertise (Skills Section)

Organize your skills based on the management function required for the job, and then list it all under the executive summary. 

Chronological skills for executive resume
Example from Michelle Riklan

How to Handle Non-Leadership Skills

“If you have other technical skills required for the job, but aren’t necessary for management, list them in a standalone section (“Technical Skills”) after your employment history,” suggests Joanne Munekawa of Employment Boost.

Your talent in team management is important, but this alone isn’t sufficient to get you hired. List other managerial and executive-level skills in your arsenal. 

Skill Examples for Executives

  • Capital structure analysis
  • Change management
  • Creating and launching new initiatives
  • Integrated Engagement Planning
  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
  • New business development
  • Policy development
  • Profit and Loss (P&L) improvement
  • Strategic planning

Skill Examples for Managers

  • Delegation
  • Employee development
  • Project management
  • Coaching employees
  • Training new-hires

For combination resume formats, this includes a categorized list of achievements. To add context, the company where those accomplishments occurred are also listed.

Example of Areas of Expertise (Skills Section) in a Combination Resume Format

Skills section or areas of expertise for a combination resume
Excerpt of an HR executive’s resume from Michelle Riklan: 

Learn more about listing skills on your resume in this helpful Envato Tuts+ tutorial: 

3. Executive Work History

Combination Format Employment History

List the companies you’ve worked with and the corresponding employment dates, followed by a brief description of the company (A) and the scope of your work (B). Don’t forget to include:

  • Job-specific keywords
  • Your impact as a leader for the organization (business metrics)
  • How your work affects other employees (soft skills as a leader)

After all, managers and executives aren’t merely top-performers. They’re also accountable for their subordinates’ performance.

Combination format work history
From Michelle Riklan.

Most of your accomplishments would’ve already been listed at the top half of your resume, in the areas of expertise section. 

In some resumes, the scope of work isn’t even listed. Here’s an example of a combination work history for a General Counsel position:

General counsel executive resume example

Chronological Format Employment History

In executive resumes that use a chronological format, the work history section also includes a company description (A) and job description (B). This differentiates you from other managers and executives with the same title but a different job scope.

Accomplishments not included in the executive summary will be listed below each employment entry, sometimes emphasized as “key achievements.”

Executive resume work history for a General Manager
Work history for a General Manager from Michelle Riklan

4. Concise Education Section

The applicant’s Alma mater is still listed, but not their graduation date. In some cases only their master’s degree or doctorate is listed. Executive resumes also include continuing education and license information. 

Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Executive Resumes

1. Do Add Company and Job Information

Executive Recruiters I talked to for this article agree that adding information about the company and your role helps them gauge if you’d be suited for a role. Helpful details include:

  • Company size
  • Number of employers
  • Revenue information
  • Public or private
  • Industry information: products or services sold and target clientele

2. Do Use Action Words

Stay away from boring action words that don’t adequately describe your efforts at work. I wrote extensively about this here:

Do Use the CAR Framework for Your Notable Contributions

Follow either the “Challenge - Actions - Results” or its variation “Results - Action - Challenge" format to come up with concise but effective accomplishment statements. Here are examples of each:

1. “Challenge - Actions - Results”

Re-purposed an over-budgeted and rarely used CRM system for an inbound marketing campaign to recover 40% of invested money in the form of new leads and deals

2. "Results - Action - Challenge" 

Generated $2M in sales after implementing a regional sales and customer service refresher training for all under-performing employees

It’s Only Difficult at First

Is all of this overwhelming for you? That’s normal because you’re taking a huge leap in your career. You may not enjoy the writing process, but avoiding it will cheat you out of wonderful career opportunities.

Write your executive resume one section at a time if you have to. Just follow the steps in this tutorial and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. 

Find professional resume templates on GraphicRiver or browse through our curated selection of the best Microsoft word resume templates.

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List: Reasons That Lady is Crying in Whole Foods

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There is a 25-minute wait before the rotisserie chickens are done.

Her husband is in grad school for screenwriting.

The avocados are no longer on sale.

She took an Buzzfeed quiz that correctly guessed her age.

There are no container tops at the salad bar.

She forgot to take her Celexa but remembered to take her stool softeners.

Something Trump related, probably.

The guilt about buying pre-made food instead of making a hearty, home-cooked meal is getting to her.

She’s worrying about Richard Simmons.

Even if she made up her mind to make a hearty, home-cooked meal, she would have no idea how to go about it.

She’s trying to break into the kid lit industry.

She’s now imagined making a hearty, home-cooked meal and her children summarily rejecting it, so she’s full of resentment.

She’s starting to doubt that she ever was “cool.”

She’s been at her marketing job for three years and still doesn’t really know what A/B testing is but it’s too late to admit it at this point.

Health insurance is complicated. Who knew?

She keeps unsubscribing to Carter’s emails but they keep sending them to her and it’s starting to feel personal.

She can’t recall the difference between further and farther.

She misread the price on the organic, vegetable-based food dye and it’s $13.99, not $3.99.

She’s realizing that she may never, ever get to that web comic idea.

She’s trapped in a middle-class prison of her own creation.

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The Hotel Chains With the Best Customer Satisfaction Ratings

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When choosing a hotel, it’s good to consider amenities, hospitality, and quality in addition to price. These brands and chains are the hotels with the highest customer satisfaction marks for 2017.


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How to Make Cincinnati-Style Chili

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I promise, this is an article about one of the most amazing dishes that you will ever cook and eat. So trust me, I will get to the food.

But before that, in order to understand a fascination, you have to start at the beginning.

I was in rut.

I had just graduated from college, had moved to a new town, and I was working an entry-level gig that was well below my skill level. In today’s world, we often forget about the merits of toiling. For those struggling in their current form of employment, realize that many jobs are more about fortitude than skill. Lessons will be learned, and at some point, you will realize that if you want something, it falls on you to create it, not someone else. Hold that thought for a minute.

In my first few months of living in Nashville, without any connections or friends, I looked backward instead of forward. Another college friend was going through the same life experience; shipped off to Cincinnati to learn the insurance business as a “data entry specialist.” Truth be told, we were less than true friends in school, but a four-hour drive to a new city to hang with an “old” friend felt much more hopeful than passing a weekend with strangers.

So it began, a back and forth of social weekends to explore two new towns. Having a vetted friend by my side forced me to explore a new town, as well as what my current city had to offer — and vice versa. After a few months of weekends here or there, we both realized the naiveté of our undertaking. It was time to break the crutch — college was a great time, but it shouldn’t be the best time. It was our responsibility to grow up, meet new friends, and build our own lives in our current towns du jour.

But there is one thing I missed about my bi-weekly visits, perhaps even more than the friendship (sorry, Charlie). What I missed was not just Graeter’s ice cream, but also more importantly, the quintessential dish of Cincinnati — the chili.

Hungover, and sans a shower, I first experienced said dish via a Skyline Chili parlor in the Walnut Hills neighborhood after a long night of revelry in Mt. Adams. When they brought me a three-way and a pair of coneys, I nearly spit out the watery, cinnamon-laden dish. Who in their right mind would call this chili?

Cincinnati chili is a misnomer that confuses a lot of folks, and chili just so happens to have nearly as many different meanings as does BBQ. For most of us, our reference point is chili con carne, a thick and meaty dish fragrant with cumin. You’d be well served to forget about such a dish when you try Cincinnati’s interpretation. To be honest, and I mean this with plenty of heartfelt admiration, Cincinnati chili is best akin to a poor man’s version of a Greek grandmother’s pasta Bolognese.

As history is written, it was in fact Greek and Macedonian immigrants who first brought this concoction to the Queen City, starting in the early 1920s. Chili parlors began to sprout up throughout the town, and with customer demand, the “chili” soon topped spaghetti noodles and coneys, along with an ungodly amount of finely shredded cheddar cheese. Greek immigrant Nicholas Lambrinides is arguably most responsible for turning the dish into a franchise operation, starting his chain of Skyline Chilis that now number into the hundreds. Of course, any local will likely tell you that the Gold Star Chili chain is a formidable competitor — but the allegiance of most locals lies with parlors in their respective neighborhoods. I prefer Zip’s Café in Mt. Lookout.

As a dish, Cincinnati chili is certainly unique. I’ve spent years perfecting Bolognese sauce, which I truly believe is the base of this dish. But rather than cooking it in several time-consuming stages, per a true Bolognese, I found that I get the most consistent results by stirring and dumping everything into the pot and letting the ingredients, and time, do the work. Ain’t that always the truth when it comes to comfort foods?

As mentioned several times, Cincinnati chili is often served atop spaghetti noodles (two-way) or coneys (hot dogs). Adding cheese turns it into a three-way, pile on onions and you reach the four-way, and with the addition of beans you’ll cap out at a five-way. Oyster crackers and hot sauce should always accompany.

Many grocers will sell Skyline Chili in a can — or even as a frozen entrée — but I decided we could do better. After much trial and error, I’ve created my own version of the dish, authentic to its cheap eats roots, but also something I wouldn’t shy away from serving guests at a dinner party.

The lesson is that you never know where life will take you. In times of uncertainty, relish in le milieu (the middle). And don’t forget to stop and ask a local where to eat along the way.

How to Make Cincinnati-Style Chili

Set it and forget it — that’s my mantra. Instead of browning the beef and other ingredients, I find that bringing everything together into a boil and simmer produces the most authentic result. The final meat mixture is not meant to be chunky, and this cooking method ensures an even distribution of ingredients. Serve either atop spaghetti with your desired toppings, or dress a cooked coney with the chili and plenty of cheese. This dish freezes extremely well, up to six months in an airtight container.

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 3 hours
Serves: 6

Ingredients (Chili)

  • 2 lbs. 80/20 ground beef, crumbled
  • 1 onion, finely grated
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh-cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf

Ingredients (For Serving — Optional)

  • Cooked spaghetti noodles
  • Finely-grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Finely diced onion
  • Kidney beans, warmed
  • Oyster crackers
  • Hot Sauce
  • Cooked hot dogs and steamed buns


  1. Combine all chili ingredients into a large Dutch oven. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. When mixture reaches a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2-3 hours.

  1. Remove cover, and continue to simmer until mixture reaches a soup like consistency, yet just thickened (see photo above).
  2. Remove from heat, cool completely, and place into the refrigerator for 24 hours, or overnight.
  3. Remove from refrigerator, skim the orange layer of fat and remove.
  4. Reheat mixture over medium heat until warmed. Serve over spaghetti or coneys with desired toppings.


Matt Moore is a regular contributor to the Art of Manliness and the author of A Southern Gentleman’s Kitchen.

The post How to Make Cincinnati-Style Chili appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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The scam that knows your name and home address – here’s what to do

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The scam that knows your name and home address - here's what to do

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Blocked by SEC, Bitcoin investors are better off without ETF anyway

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Winklevoss Twins

It was a show of bullishness to rival last week’s run-up in Snap stock: The Bitcoin price suddenly jumped more than $100 on Friday morning, trading above $1300 per unit for the first time.

For a fleeting moment at about 8:27 a.m.—more than an hour before the U.S. stock market even opened—the price of Bitcoin spiked more than 10% from the day before. The blockchain-based virtual currency briefly touched a new record price of $1325, continuing its recent surge amid anticipated SEC approval of the first Bitcoin ETF. A week ago, Bitcoin even surpassed the price of gold.

But in a reminder of just how fickle the market for such newfangled assets can be, just after 4 p.m. Friday, the Bitcoin price took a U-turn and plummeted to lows not seen in months, dipping below $1000 to as low as $980, after Bitcoin investors received some bad news from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That’s a 35% swing in the Bitcoin price in the span of a day.

Bitcoin buyers were hoping that the so-called cryptocurrency, created through digital “mining,” would soon become available on the open stock market in the form of an exchange-traded fund (ETF). That way, mainstream investors could purchase Bitcoin as easily as they can now buy Snap stock following Snapchat’s IPO, theoretically pushing the Bitcoin price higher.

But the SEC made a decision Friday to prevent the proposed ETF, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, from joining a stock exchange, citing “concerns about the potential for fraudulent or manipulative acts and practices” in Bitcoin trading. The sponsors of the ETF, the Winklevoss twins known for their controversial role in the founding of Facebook), had proposed that the Bitcoin-only fund would trade like a regular stock under the ticker symbol “COIN.”

Bitcoin investors are used to the whiplash-inducing swings in the price of the currency, which has suffered flash crashes and numerous price collapses amid thefts and cyberattacks that have plagued the industry, such as the fatal hack of the bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox in 2014. The Mt. Gox scandal put such a dent in the bitcoin price that it took three years to fully recover, finally returning to its old highs just a few weeks ago.

But that hasn’t stopped Bitcoin speculators. For a taste of the hype surrounding the SEC decision, which some didn’t expect until Monday, look no further than the following photo, which arrived in my inbox in an email this week from “cryptopromoter,” bearing the subject line, “Bitcoin ETF Decision March 13th. Buy Before Investors!”

An bitcoin promotional email sent to this Fortune writer.

Above: An bitcoin promotional email sent to this Fortune writer.

Image Credit: Fortune

Or consider the strategy of Sean Everett, an entrepreneur specializing in artificial intelligence who recently launched a very small hedge fund called the Base Code fund. Last week, Everett sold all of his stocks in the fund as well as in his personal accounts, including Apple, Nvidia and Amazon stock.

Instead, Everett says he will invest a third of his assets directly in Bitcoin, a third in Ethereum (another type of cryptocurrency that is cheaper than Bitcoin but has surged even more recently), and keep the rest in cash. ” Now that gold is the same price as bitcoin, we believe that an investor will have a choice between the two and might end up choosing things like crypto during the next market downturn,” Everett says.

Ironically, investors in the proposed Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF likely would not have captured any of Friday’s surge or swoon in the price of Bitcoin. That’s because the ETF was designed to calibrate the value of its Bitcoins just once per day, as determined at a 4 p.m. auction on the Winklevoss’ Gemini Exchange, Monday through Friday. Bitcoin, which is not bound by traditional market rules and can be traded 24/7 at any hour of the day, would have continued fluctuating after the Winklevoss ETF priced its holdings and went home for the weekend.

But investors in the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF would not have gotten the same results as they would investing directly in Bitcoin anyway. The Winklevoss brothers have their own index to track the price of Bitcoin, which they call the WinkDex, averaging the price of Bitcoin across multiple exchanges. While the Bitcoin ETF did not plan to mirror it, the WinkDex provides an approximate idea of how the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust would have performed.

The price of bitcoin vs. the WinkDex vs. gold, at three-minute intervals.

Above: The price of bitcoin vs. the WinkDex vs. gold, at three-minute intervals.

Image Credit: Fortune

The chart illustrates the lower volatility of the WinkDex index compared to Bitcoin itself. Lower volatility, also known as lower risk, can often work in investors’ favor, but also sometimes against it. So far this year, for example, the WinkDex is up about 23%, but raw Bitcoin has climbed more than 30%. (That performance still far outpaces the gains in U.S. stocks, with the S&P 500 up a relatively modest 6% in 2017.)

The Winklevoss aimed to “insulate” the ETF from “price swings and volatility,” according to its SEC filings. Over time, that should pay off, as it protects against big losses. So far, though, in the little over five years of the WinkDex’s existence, it lagged the performance of Bitcoin itself, though both of their returns are off the charts. And if they can stomach the volatility, investors in Bitcoin have done quite well, and a little a bit better than if they had invested in the WinkDex. Even after Friday’s drop, the price of Bitcoin has had a 190% annual compound return since the beginning of 2012.

Maybe adventurous Bitcoin investors are better off without the ETF anyway.

This story originally appeared on Copyright 2017

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