With the single exception of a mention in The Kirk Report, by far the biggest traffic directed to Controlled Greed comes from James Altucher's occasional mentions in his blog column in TheStreet.com.
So I like James for that if nothing else.
But I also admire him for something else. He's a great column writer (he might be a great writer, period, for all I know). I'm talking Jim Grant-quality stuff, folks.
Take his latest piece in the Financial Times. Do you know what one of the signs of a top-notch column writer is?
The first sentence. It grabs you. In James' latest FT piece:
In 1985 my dad made $5m.
Short and attention-getting. Anyone who says otherwise is lying, illiterate, or can't read English. And anyone who can resist reading on must possess no curiosity. Or maybe not a pulse.
The column details financial ups and downs in his father's life, and his own. James tried lots of different things, including Zen-style meditation:
All of this is to say: nothing works. The saying, “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” is not true when it comes to money (I’m not so sure it’s true with love either). Better to never have than to taste what feels like immortality and to have to part with it.
I was able to learn from my mistakes and slowly climb out of the hole, possibly becoming a better person as a result. My dad’s worries ultimately overcame him, and he passed away from a stroke two years ago.One thing I learned in the process, as clichéd as it sounds, is that nothing is worth worrying about. Right now, with the US economy seemingly in collapse, a run on the banks being discussed in the mainstream media and the housing crisis on the verge of depression-like proportions, it’s easy to worry or panic.
You and I could do worse than to read -- and re-read -- this column. Especially with the New Year approaching. Here's how James Altucher ends this one:
With persistence, diversification (both in your career and in your investments), and learning to postpone worry for a brighter day, these moments of panic turn into long-term opportunities if taken advantage of. As for me, the internet, plus investing, has paid off for now. But unfortunately my dad didn’t live to see it.