LIT & CRIT : FINANCE : CULTURE
JAMES ALTUCHER
Cryptogenius Guru or
Just A Nice Guy?

Continued from Page 2

When it got to about $16k I figured it would take a breather based on the Fibonacci numbers the trading algos must have been using to game the noobs and hodlrs, so I went on the BTC board at Reddit and made my name there by calling it lower and warning knife-catchers who knew nothing of the investor psychology driving the price.

 

Since, it spiked to about nineteen thousand and then dove to about $10K --where it sits right now as I write, but who knows, it moves like a rabbit--  so I hope I helped someone avoid losses.

(Sidebar factoid: About once a year I go on reddit and make the call of the year despite knowing it's a fool's errand, but who doesn’t like to have fun and play armchair quarterback? So far I've been right every time, haha, but they never give me the gold medal I deserve. For example, in 2016 I called the bottom of Oil at $24 the same day it bottomed, and called NVDA higher when it was only $40 and change and told them they'd thank me later.

 

Well, when you're a market player there's nothing really more satisfying that being bold on a call and then being right; sometimes you miss the dopamine. It's the end all and be all of trading because it makes you money. When you do it with the brass cajones on full display, too, it's a double win since it enhances your credibility for the next trade and makes your counter-parties worry. Of course, no one can predict the future. It's a fools game.

Anyway, since I didn't have the start-up capital to even really make use of James Altucher's advice, a lot of it was sheer curiosity. I really wanted to see what his next-stage game was. Not only because it is interesting but also because I keep wanting to crib his technique.

Thus, we get to the thesis of this article: James Altucher's next stage game is just a hyper-amplified version of his old game, with the help of a lot of professionals that are now beyond his ability to control. Hence, take his investment advice with a big grain of skepticism, but enjoy his writing.

 

Why is that my thesis? It's because I've been watching him and communicating with him for years, even after I shat in his living room.

I've always thought: he's such a contrarian pro that I want to keep my eye on whatever it is he is doing. Plus, I had an old article on him still on the back burner, and maybe this was some new ingredient that would get the whole stew ready for consumption.

Well, after all my investigations (which have been admittedly minimal), I'm still convinced he is 90% legit, still operating with good intentions. That's my bottom line impression, and what the rest of this article is about. (The last 10% is anyone's guess, but I can't presume to look in a man's soul).

Now, I've been taken in before so maybe I'm just a dupe, too, but at least it's for all the right reasons. Thus, after doing my own personal due diligence, as we shall see, the bottom line is that I still trust and admire him. 

 

I'm not sure if that is true of his partners or cohorts in the investment advice game, to who I give the credit for the more aggressive types of marketing he does. I do think it is probably true of James even now. He seems a pretty honest and well-meaning guy.

 

I might even have to set up a podcast interview with him and just ask him directly, but we'll see if he accepts the invite. I'm betting no.  (Plus, podcasts are just audio recordings of a radio show format you can download, so why not call it DRadio so you don't give Apple a branding win? Who has time to listen to em anyway? But that's another topic).

Nonetheless, I will admit at first I was indeed shocked and dismayed with James recently.

I mean, for Fernando's sake, let's be honest, this new chapter of James' mission involved calling himself a "Crypto-Genius" and a "Crypto-Billionaire" and million dollars per trade wizard? That's real fishy.

Over the past few months he's really been making a lot of promises I thought I'd never hear him make, even if he has been right before and is high on life and the idea that he might be right longer-term too and he's doing the world a favor.

Making forecasts or prognostications are one thing; promising sure returns is quite another. If this was the stock market he'd swiftly hear from some people's lawyers, probably. But of course, the crypto-currency marketplace is just a Pokemon card-trading game for money.

 

It is just as totally unregulated right now, a gold rush for scamsters and Wall Streeters who love to take advantage of any unregulated playing plain with an unlevel field they can find. It's a place where the naive, greedy, and noobs who have never witnessed a crash graze and fatten on the sweet grass while ignoring the sounds from the far-off slaughterhouse.

So there's that. I really do think it's a necessary public good to investigate just a little how James does what he does and question how legit his promises and approaches might be. He's in the public eye of his own volition.

For example, after I signed up for his Crypto newsletter I was a bit shocked --shocked, I tell you-- at how much the tone of James' pitch resembled the investment newsletters I used to despise in my past role as Smith Barney financial advisor. Spare me those aggressive sales techniques, those empty promises and that insider mojo juice they squeeze for suckers.

 

Classically, those rags promise more than they can ever deliver. Yet, I knew that was something which James never used to do, as a rule. His rule, as I gathered it from reading his blogs and books, was to always under-promise and over-deliver, if I remember correctly. 

Worse yet, as others have observed, just like most stock market related content hawkers, now everyday James or his affiliates are constantly demanding I keep upgrading my subscription or adding a new service to my automated billing cycle. Sure, it's more money to shill out after you thought you already paid to get his secrets, but it is going to be ever so worth it.  Yes, they all hint at explosive info but never get to it without you getting another pitch to buy something first. 

No wonder that guy Stock Gumshoe exists. Someone has to deflate the bubbles of greed and hype these writers often blow.

I get that's the professional technique you need to use to survive in today's marketplace, all that opt-in marketing and whatever, but holy crap!  I love James and all, but swear to god in the first two days I received like 20 emails from him and associates, all asking me to subscribe to more products. Several of them were pushy as hell, going going goooone! type pitches. Oh wait, one more shot at the secret to wealth, a minute before the midnight door shuts on your dreams forever. Secrets will be revealed, and it is more than something stitched into the lining of some clothes!

In between all those extra pitches, I got some of James' blog greatest hits and other value-added content. Essentially, I no longer have the time to even read them, and I created a special folder on my email just to stuff them in. 

Then I thought, wow, at least he's not cheating you on content or under-delivering, per se.  (Later I might devote a break-out side-bar to detail it all, but I'm not sure if I agreed to not disclose it or something so I don't give away his store. I guess another article somewhere on the net might enumerate it).

Still, you simply have to see it all pour in day by day to get an idea of the number and variety of hard sales pitches you will immediately start receiving if you subscribe to even one of his services. Swear to god, there are about 100 in the folder right now unread and it's been less than two months. Suffice it to say, it was a lot. But again, this article is not about picking that apart as much as it is trying to get at if what's behind it is generally legit or not.

Thus, to do this story right, we now have to go back again to when James was not the crypto-genius you see before you today so much as a post-Wall Street self-help guru slash guy on a podcast quest for truth.

 

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