How to Lose $9 Million and Survive

Dear Money & Crisis Reader,

My wife and I lost most of our life savings in the 2008 financial crisis.

And it was 100% our fault.

Sure, there was a global financial crisis going on. But, for us, that was just the catalyst. The truth is we’d been careless with our money for years.

We thought we were in a good place but we were totally unprepared for even a small financial upset.

It was only a matter of time before we backed the wrong deal or sank all our money into one of our friends’ “too amazing to fail” startups and lost it all.

In a way, the crisis happening when it did was a small mercy. It knocked some sense into us and set us on the right track. And a decade later, our finances are stronger than they’ve ever been.

Rock bottom was tough. But it gave us a strong foundation upon which we could rebuild.

That said, unlike James Altucher, I’ve never lost $9 million in a single day.

I can’t imagine what a gut punch that must be. How you could possibly start the recovery process — or, as James puts it, “bounce back from a clusterf***.”

But James did it. He started to write books. He bought a comedy club and founded a podcast. And he built a media empire off the back of his failure.

He tells us how he did it in today’s issue of Money & Crisis.

All the best,

Owen Sullivan

Owen Sullivan
Editor, Money & Crisis

P.S. You can turn your failure into success by writing about it.

If you can write a simple sentence — like this one — you could make an extra $1,000 to $10,000 every month telling the reader how to avoid the same pitfalls you fell into.

Click here right now and James will show you how to write your book from scratch.

What to do When You Lose $9 Million in a Day

James AltucherI lost $9 million while I was on the set of the pilot of “Billions” season one, long before it became the huge hit it would be.

It was fascinating watching the shoot. I asked the director a ton of questions, the actors, the writers, etc.

I love to learn. And I love to see creativity in process.

I loved watching the actors shake to get ready for a scene. I loved how the director shows the same shot 10 times just to get the angle correct, while one car pulled out of a parking lot, inches from another expensive car pulling in (a metaphor for the risks the characters take).

I loved seeing the pleasure on the faces of my friends, the writers, as their vision was coming to life.

In the middle of the shoot, I got a call. Emergency board meeting! I owned $9 million of the company.

I got excited! Maybe we were sold. Maybe my life was going to change.

It did, but in the opposite way.

Without going into the details: Bad stuff happened with one of the top shareholders of the company. The bank was calling in its loan. Everything was over.

That day, the bank kicked everyone out, locked the doors, and sold off every part of this billion-dollar revenue company to other customers of the bank.

Everyone won except us. Except me. I lost big.

I had seven hours left to go before the shoot was over and we were in the middle of nowhere.

Plus, I was terrified. Am I going to go broke? I’m going to go broke! My heart was beating so fast. I felt like I was going to throw up and cry.

But I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t follow my own advice.

I wanted to watch creativity in action. I wanted to watch the shoot. And I didn’t want to let something horrible pull me down.

You can always make money back. You can NEVER make one minute of time back.

You bounce back by eating well, sleeping well, exercising.

This was a big lesson: Don’t be around the wrong people. You bounce back by ONLY being around the right people. Toxic people ALWAYS bring me down.

You bounce back by having 10 ideas a day, exercising the creativity muscle until you glow with creativity every moment of the day.

You bounce back by NO time traveling. Don’t travel to the past where your regrets live. Don’t’ travel to the future where your fears live.

Lessons learned only live in the present. Satisfaction with life only lives right now, not in the future or past.

This is the only way I’ve ever been able to bounce back from a clusterf***.

I was scared. I was even terrified. A mountainside had fallen on me.

I had to almost hypnotize myself. I had to say, “This is the moment I’ve been waiting for.” To prove to myself that my own writing wasn’t just self-help BS like everything else. Blech!

A year later, I told one of the writers what happened. He said, “What? We couldn’t even tell. You were asking questions all day.”

I don’t write because I’m an expert. I write because I need to always remember my own advice.

My writing is the last branch on the tree for me… before I fall.

I don’t want to fall. I don’t want to fail.

I remember that day for the fun I had. And I remember that day because I passed my own test.

I focused on what was in front of me. Damian Lewis playing a billionaire. My friends creating. Directors shooting. Actors acting. I learned so much and I was happy.

I followed my advice. I reinvented myself. I chose myself. Again. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I do.

The more I practice choosing myself, the easier it will hopefully be each time.

The books I write are love notes to my future self. They are bedtime stories for an older me.

Write the book that is a love note to your future self.


James Altucher

James Altucher

P.S. If you want to write but you don’t know where to start, this might help you.

It’s a course that I put together to help people choose themselves and write their own bestseller.

You have a book inside of you, we all do.

Find the courage to put pen to paper. Start here.

Owen Sullivan

Written By Owen Sullivan

Owen Sullivan isn’t a millionaire or one of the Wall Street elite. He was just one of the many folks who was hit hard when the housing bubble burst… and decided he was never going to let that happen again. Since then, he’s worked with industry experts to develop strategies and techniques to bulletproof his finances — and yours — against the next crisis. His methods don’t require years of financial experience. These are simple strategies that anyone can follow. After all, financial prepping shouldn’t be reserved for a select few.