It's been a whirlwind year for cryptocurrencies, as major players in the industry like Bitcoin and Ethereum reach record highs yet again.

But there are plenty of other cryptocurrencies making waves in the investing world, too, including newer tokens such as Shiba Inu (SHIB 6.60%). Its price is up by more than 166% over the past seven days, according to cryptocurrency data aggregator CoinGecko. Over the past 30 days, it's up by a whopping 950%.

Shiba Inu is also one of the most affordable cryptocurrencies, currently priced at a minuscule $0.00007352 per coin. Between its low price and its surging popularity, is it time to invest in Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu dog lying on a bed

Image source: Getty Images.

Is Shiba Inu a good investment?

Before you invest anywhere, it's important to consider an investment's long-term potential. It can be tempting to buy hot new cryptocurrencies that could make you an overnight millionaire, but these investments can be incredibly risky.

Cryptocurrency, in general, is a high-risk investment. Nobody can be sure whether it will still be around in a decade or two, and if it does stick around, it's tough to predict which cryptocurrencies will be the most successful. With new cryptocurrencies being developed by the day, there are no guarantees that today's investments will still have a competitive edge in the future.

In addition, Shiba Inu is a particularly risky investment. It was created as a parody of Dogecoin (which itself was created as a parody of Bitcoin), and its rise to fame is mostly due to retail investors who are buying the cryptocurrency in droves to drive up its price and earn a quick buck.

Shiba Inu has also gained popularity because investors are petitioning online broker Robinhood Markets to make the token available to trade. The increased media attention has spurred more investors to buy the cryptocurrency, further increasing its price.

While there is a small chance Shiba Inu could thrive over the long term because of its loyal fanbase, it's not the strongest investment right now. If you're a risk-averse investor, this cryptocurrency may not be the best fit.

Where to invest instead

When you're seeking out new investments, there are a few factors to consider.

First, think about the investment's underlying fundamentals. When you're buying stocks, consider things like the company's leadership team, its financial situation, and whether it has a competitive advantage in its industry. The healthier the company, the better chance it has of growing over time.

With cryptocurrency, look at factors like whether it has any real-world utility (or the potential for real-world utility), and examine any strengths it has over its competitors. While all cryptocurrencies are still speculative at this point, the ones with the strongest fundamentals are the ones most likely to succeed in the long run.

Also, only buy investments that you're willing to hold for at least several years, if not decades. Investing is not a get-rich-quick scheme, and the best investments are the ones that perform well over time. As Warren Buffett famously said, "If you aren't willing to own a stock for 10 years, don't even think about owning it for 10 minutes."

Shiba Inu's astronomical gains may make it a tempting investment, but it's important to stay focused on the future. Any investment with the potential of making a lot of money overnight is a risky bet, and there are plenty of other options that could be a better fit for your portfolio.