Friday, December 29, 2017

Is James Altucher a Scam Artist?

K emails:
Is James Altucher a scam artist?  I received an email from him that seems pretty scammy/slimy.  He's pushing the "Altucher's Crypto Trader" with penny-crypto recommendations.  He's charging $2,000 ($3,000 off the regular price!) but only to the first 250 people who respond.  He's pushing a new
24 cent crypto that "just hit our radar, and we believe it could explode 10,000% or more in the coming weeks... We'll send you the details as soon as we're 100% certain of its legitimacy.  To ensure that you don't miss out on this massive opportunity, you simply must click on the button below right now.  I look forward to hearing from you".
I've listened to his podcast and read some of his work and liked it.  However, the skeptic in me is wondering if that type of stuff is to build up confidence in him for when he sends out these types of scam recommendations.  Thoughts?
Also of note, Mashable has put out a piece on Altucher, This guy is the face of the bitcoin bubble, that pretty much asks the same question.

My first thought is that you aren't a scammer if you really believe what you are hyping. If James really believes that Bitcoin could go to a million dollars, then he is not scamming. His view may be way, way off but if deep in his heart he believes in e-currencies, he is not scamming. However, anyone who reads  EPJ regularly knows that my view on Bitcoin is far from the view that James holds. In my view, it could go to zero, though in the EPJ Daily Alert, I have advised trading in and out of Bitcoin (and other e-currencies) twice with huge gains, though I always have labeled the trades extremely risky,

My second thought is that the promotions that are currently going out promoting James' e-currency newsletters are written by a copywriter on steroids. It's the type of copy you would get from a super-hype copywriter if you don't put any limits on him.

All this said, James is a very interesting character. I use to feature some of his self-help articles here at EPJ but I haven't in a while.  There are only so many self-help articles you can write before they are repetitive.

James contacted me once, a few years back, and suggested that we get together the next time I was in New York City. On my next visit, we met at the Cornell Club on East 44th Street in midtown Manhattan. He is a Cornell alum and he bought me breakfast.

At the time, he was pretty much just promoting his website Altucher Confidential, we discussed different marketing strategies and also some personalities in the blogosphere. He wasn't putting any Google ads on his website and I pointed out that he could make some decent money if he had the ads up. This was in the early days when you could really make money with Googe ads. He told me he did not want to appear tainted by advertising.

This struck me as odd since I was running Google ads, and still do, and never once thought about holding back what I was going to write because of some advertiser that might show up.

I have since lost contact with him but we did talk over the phone a few times. He was once considering running for public office, we talked about that and other things.

 I did interview him once and maybe there is some insight into James because of that interview. It was the first time I was using Skype for an interview and the interview went for about 40 minutes but I had incorrectly pushed the button to record the interview and it didn't record. I called James back told him what happened and his immediate response was, "That's okay, we will just pretend that was a practice run and we'll do it over."

During a later phone call, he made an observation that really changed my thinking on an important topic. I consider it one of the top 10 things ever said to me.

So, while I am nowhere near the fan of Bitcoin that he is, and I think he is over judging its potential and he is letting his copywriter go Eggs on the Plate without the Plate, James is an interesting person from whom things can be learned

Which brings me to the beauty of free markets, we can exchange with people in areas where we find it valuable to exchange and ignore the rest. James has many great insights about living and life and depending on where you are in life they most certainly may be valuable reading.

I disagree with him on the future of Bitcoin and, indeed, think that we may have hit Bitcoin exhaustion buying which now makes even speculation dangerous. If, however, James is correct and Bitcoin and other e-currencies have a huge future, then those that follow him will become very rich. I just don't think it is going to happen.



  1. If he does put the full $500k into BTC and rides it out then he's a true believer.

  2. I am a paid subscriber to James Altucher's content and find it very valuable. In person he seems very sincere.

  3. Very fair assessment. I discovered his blog here and have found value in his work. Go Big Red.

  4. You pays your money and you makes yer choices.
    Go James.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I joined his Australian pogram which is affiliated with Agora Financial. $1930 annual subscription fee (Non Refundable!) for a 500 only membership.

    A tidy $965000.00 profit for the “Self Professed Crypto Expert”!

    From January 5th to today 19th February his “Expert Crypto Rcommendations” combined are running at a 16% loss on funds invested. Also I have tried to contact him through the contact page on his site at least a dozen times over the last three weeks and have received exactly NO REPLIES WHATSOEVER!

    As far as I’m concerned he’s either too arrogant to answer any curly questions about his suspect Crypto Alert Subscription or too bloody bust counting his ill gotten gains.

    “Self Professed Crypto Expert” or “Expert Scam Artist”?

    You readers make up your own mind.

    I have!