You might be familiar with James Altucher for any number of reasons… He’s a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, comedian, author, and much more.
He recently wrote an article about why New York City is dead because of the coronavirus. It went viral to over 30 million people… including Jerry Seinfeld, who wrote a response calling James a “putz.” He also appeared on 60 Minutes and discussed his view.
In this exclusive interview, James doubles down on why New York will never come back… although he explains why he hopes his analysis is wrong. He also opens up about how this opinion piece negatively impacted his family and several of his businesses. [27:56]
Then, Daniel Creech joins Frank to discuss the recent news moving the markets—including President Trump’s on-again-off-again stimulus talks, his COVID diagnosis, market volatility, and more. They also discuss some stocks and sectors getting their attention right now… [01:20:46]
Wall Street Unplugged | 742
Altucher fires back at Seinfeld: Why New York City will never come back
Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged looks beyond the regular headlines heard on mainstream financial media, to bring you unscripted interviews and breaking commentary direct from Wall Street, right to you on Main Street.
Frank Curzio: How’s it going out there? It’s October 7th. I’m Frank Curzio, host of the Wall Street Unplugged podcast, where I break down the headlines and tell you what’s really moving these markets.
Frank Curzio: I had a bit of bad news this week. My mom went back to the hospital, this was actually on Thursday. She basically had a blockage in her ileostomy and started throwing up. So she had to go to the emergency room, which is standard protocol for that. But when she got there, she started going again, they started taking tons of tests, saw that her intestines, which is close to the stoma, the opening in her body, was narrowing.
Frank Curzio: So they chose not to do surgery, which is a great thing. I don’t know if my mom will be able to survive another surgery, she’s been through a ton of them now. For those that followed that story and sent me good wishes, I really appreciate it, and I’ll never forget that, but it makes sense not do surgery because everything’s kind of back to normal. So, she was in the emergency room though for six days and now they just sent her back home, which was yesterday, so she’s very happy, we’re all happy about that but she does have to monitor anything, and just lots of tests.
Frank Curzio: Anyway, I told my mom, “Listen, the next time you get sick, try to do it when I’m not so busy, right?” Me and my mom joke around a lot, but I told her, “When I’m not planning to bring my company public with Curzio Equity Owners token, or when the president of the free world doesn’t get infected with COVID, can’t get sick around those times, my subscribers need me.” But she’s really happy to be home. I’m praying that all goes well for her. But man, she’s just the strongest person I know.
Frank Curzio: It’s taking three shots a day, which she injects herself. Tons of pills, liquid food every night, which gets hooked up to the port inside her body, which is around her shoulder and her neck area, and all of this and she’s the happiest person ever. She’s full of energy, so amazing, she’s driving, she’s just pretty incredible. So I’m hoping everything goes well and, yeah, I guess, it just sucks getting old, but it’s pretty cool.
Frank Curzio: Anyway, I was at the hospital she was in, and it’s the same one where she was in ICU for four and a half months, which was last October, and that hospital’s located in Jacksonville. So it’s about a 40 minute drive for me. And the hospitals right now, I didn’t know this, I mean, they’re only allowing one visitor per day, only one. This is kind of interesting. So when I visit her, she has a TV in her room, she has a hospital bed with room and everything and the TV just went out, right? We were watching, what was it? One of the Chicago fire, Chicago PD, we were watching. An old episode of that.
Frank Curzio: So the TV shuts off and they said they had a problem with the satellite. So it came back on and when it came back on the first channel it’s programmed to is CNN. And she was like, “You want me to change this?” I said, “No, leave it on.” And they were talking about Trump, since he just got COVID, and I wanted to know what’s going on. My head was just thinking about my mom, just getting updates or whatever. So mom and I are talking, and we’re sitting there and watching from a hospital room, and it was in the background for two hours, and we started paying attention to it. And I got to tell you, what a piece of garbage.
Frank Curzio: I mean, I try to be politically correct, but I can’t anymore when I listened to this show, seriously. And I try to be politically correct, why? Because everyone, so many people, they’re so goddamn sensitive these days. You can’t say anything. Man, growing up in New York, if you knew something bothered them, that’s it, you targeted that. Man, I can’t tell you how many people made fun of me when I was fat, how many people made fun of me. We’d all rank at each other’s moms. You attacked everything that bothered your best friends, right? That’s what you did.
Frank Curzio: Today, forget. Everyone’s sensitive. I can’t believe he said that, I can’t believe it. But I can’t be politically correct anymore, I can’t. I mean, I watch these news’ organizations, they don’t have a soul anymore. I’ll tell you almost everyone on those panels, it’s CNN. Remember, okay? This is when this just happened. So this is, I think Saturday. They were hoping Trump was going to die. Almost every one of those panels. I mean, it was crazy.
Frank Curzio: And they’re talking about how he’s so irresponsible, not wearing a mask, he deserves this. Even though you have Democrats all over the place not seen wearing masks, from the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam who said, “Everyone has to wear a mask indoors and outdoors.” He now has COVID, he’s been wearing masks and then you saw him without masks… To Nancy Pelosi not wearing a mask, to Maxine Waters. Calling out someone who went to a Trump rally and died almost said you deserve it. She doesn’t have a mask on.
Frank Curzio: I mean, just a bunch of hypocrites. If you’re telling everyone that Trump’s a complete idiot and he didn’t wear a mask, he’s not wearing a mask enough. You should be wearing a mask every single time you’re in public until the election, at least. Until the election. I know plenty of people personally that are in the danger zone, they wear a mask all day, even outside and still got COVID, including my daughter’s old principal and his wife, who are great people, both are okay. It wasn’t an easy journey for them, they in the danger zone. I say danger, they’re over 70, older people with underlying conditions. They’re okay now and they wear masks all the whole time.
Frank Curzio: The mask preventive? Maybe. I mean, yeah. I think so. I mean, I wear a mask every time I go into a store, whatever, but if you’re going to rip someone for not wearing a mask, you better wear a mask all the time. It’s hysterical to see these people not wearing masks, but they were tearing Trump apart. And this is before he walked out of Walter Reed saying, “The White House is lying.” He had COVID before he announced it on, I think it was early Friday or maybe Thursday night. “He told his staff, everyone, to keep it quiet. He deserves what he gets.”
Frank Curzio: I saw someone suggest that this is all a hoax. He really doesn’t have COVID. It’s just a scam. Somebody actually said that on a news channel. I mean, yeah, that makes sense. He wants to stop campaigning in battleground states that he’s behind in for two weeks with less than a month left for the election. That’s a great strategy. What is it? The people who are undecided are just get to feel bad for him? Does he know he’s going to kick it? Come on, give me a break. Really? That’s how low you go.
Frank Curzio: The licensed doctors were saying, “He’s much sicker than what the White House is saying. He needs more oxygen, he doesn’t look well from the videos he’s tweeting out.” And then says, “Yes, he needs to step down. He’s got to step down.” The New York Times, Washington Post said they were quoting sources inside the White house that said the president is really, really not doing well. Who the hell are your sources? The New York times, Washington Post, you have no friends in the White House. When’s the last time you said anything positive about Trump.
Frank Curzio: And of course all papers do the same thing. Well, we can’t disclose our sources, which basically means we could lie whenever we want and just say we have sources. But it was just complete anger. I didn’t expect it. I understand where we are right now and I get the emotions on both sides if you’re watching Fox News or CNN, I get it. But at this particular time, I mean, it was complete anger in CNN. Miserable people tearing Trump apart, his administration, how he needs to cancel the Supreme Court nomination, how he’s on steroids, which is making him think crazy. An actual licensed doctors said this on CNN.
Frank Curzio: I mean, when have doctors become political correspondence? I mean, that has to, I’ll try not to curse, effing end. Doctors as political consultants? We want your opinion from a doctor. You could disagree with anybody you want, but doctors telling you who should stay home when they’re in the danger zone at 75, 80 years old, of course they should be staying home, but should a person who’s 30 years old stay? No, are you crazy? Not with the statistics out there. So then what happens?
Frank Curzio: On Tuesday, Trump walks out of the hospital on his own, goes back to the White House, makes a speech telling everyone, “Don’t be afraid of COVID, don’t let it dominate your life.” Great message by the way. Hopeful, positive, strong message from the leader of the free world. That’s what you want to hear if you’re an American, no matter who’s in office, who’s the president. Then he goes to the balcony of the White House, so he’s outside and takes his mask off and waves. Holy shit, CNN, MSNBC, they went absolutely ballistic. “This irresponsible idiot, he’s ripping off his mask and making fun of it. How could he say don’t fear the coronavirus?”
Frank Curzio: Well, he’s saying it because he’s 74 years old, extremely obese, that’s what CNN, MSNBC people were like, “Extremely, extremely obese.” Yes, he’s overweight. Just insulting the hell out of him. He walked out of the hospital in five days and seems to be better based on the thousands of tweets he’s sending Tuesday and Wednesday, which a lot of us won’t always agree with, we don’t like. But the media went nuts. How could he say don’t fear the coronavirus? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because 99.5% of people who contract the virus end up living. And most of these people only experienced mild symptoms.
Frank Curzio: Cam Newton, quarterback New England Patriots just contracted it three days ago. He has zero symptoms, zero symptoms. He’s perfectly fine. Take most young adults and kids who only get mild symptoms, if any. Most don’t get a fever, most don’t have any trouble breathing. These are the facts. These are facts. We don’t need to close down America with the fatality rate of 0.5% for people who are infected with COVID. That’s insane. It’s insane. It is okay if you were not in a danger zone or have underlying conditions to contract the virus, it’s okay. Incredibly strong chance you’re not going to die or have extreme symptoms.
Frank Curzio: Again, this is what we know now. These are facts. It’s not even debatable. These are the numbers coming out of everybody. We need to protect people who are over 70 year old’s. We know that. Those who have underlying conditions, we know that. Whether it’s obesity, respiratory problems, asthma, we know. Otherwise, this is similar to the flu based on the statistics. In fact, I would be surprised if anyone under the age of 50 with no underlying conditions will ever die from this strand of COVID again. That’s a pretty big statement and that’s crazy.
Frank Curzio: That’s my opinion from all the research I’ve done over the last seven, eight months and the hundreds of medical papers, doctors I’ve interviewed, people that are in a danger zone, all my research, I really believe that and I’m talking about just people who get COVID by itself because over 90% of the deaths that occurred were in people with underlying conditions, yes, COVID killed these people. It’s horrible. Over 200,000 people are dead in the United States because of this, but they had underlying conditions which contributed to it. So basically if you had cancer and they gave you four months to live and you got COVID and died in two months, you died of COVID. That’s how they count these people.
Frank Curzio: We’re looking for transparency, we want to learn more about this disease but what we’re learning is that, we know from studies that only 6% of the people died from just COVID out of, this was when it was taken at 180,000, now it’s 200,000 people that are dead in the US but it’s crazy. And what you saw with the president who obviously is going to get the best care in the world, but almost anyone that goes to the hospital, they’re going to get the drug from Gilead, standard protocol. If anyone goes to the hospital again for COVID. Steroids, convalescent plasma, antibody cocktails, one from Regeneron, was just available for the president.
Frank Curzio: I mean, I understand we’re all looking at a vaccine as an end-all. It’s a savior, the world’s going to be great. Sentiment wise it’s going to be great, for the stock market’s going to be great, and believe me, I’m going to tie this all back to the stock market. This isn’t just some bullshit rant about politics. It’s important. But we have made incredible advances over the past four months. Incredible advances to help people live when they have extreme forms of COVID. That’s why the death rate is slow from over 8%, when this thing first started to under 2% or at 2%, and has been falling every week for months.
Frank Curzio: The percentage death rates has been falling every week of the people affected because we know how to treat these people now. We know this disease, we know who’s at risk, we know the percentage of people who die, which is 0.5%. I wish it was zero. I know everyone who listens to this wishes it was zero, but at 0.5%, it’s not even close enough to think about locking down the economy, especially we know how to treat patients who have severe symptoms now like the president. If none of this medicine was available to the president, he would be critical condition right now. I really believe that, but we do have the medicine.
Frank Curzio: We have incredible advances. I know everyone’s looking at the vaccine as the end goal, but look at all the other medicine that’s available for treatments. And a lot of these treatments are great for people who just get COVID and are in a danger zone, who have the chance to get severe symptoms. That’s what this medicine is used for. But that’s not good enough for the media, no way. “Everyone needs to wear masks. Never ever take them off.” That’s what Chris Cuomo said, even though he got caught not wearing a mask in public and destroyed the guy who confronted him about it saying, “You don’t know anything about this disease.”
Frank Curzio: If you’re going to wear masks wear them, but don’t criticize people for not wearing masks when you’re not doing the same. I mean, come on. Give me a break about this. And I’ve got to make this clear. When I look at the left, they are going to do anything, anything to make sure Donald Trump doesn’t win the election. Lie, cheat, steal, they’ve already done it all. Already done it all. I mean, I’d be embarrassed supporting these people, just like Republicans should have been embarrassed by all the BS that was being said about Obama. He’s a terrorist, not born in the US. There’s a New York cover picture where Obama was dressed like a Muslim, Michelle Obama holding a machine gun. Are you kidding me?
Frank Curzio: Well, Joe Wilson shouted out, “You’re a liar!” When he was addressing a joint session with congress. Really? That’s not embarrassing for your party? What about when one Republican, I won’t mention a name, made fun of Obama’s daughters and what they were wearing. I mean, young kids come on! Off limits, young kids. Give me a break. The one thing I respect about Obama, when his daughter got pregnant and he came out and said, “If anyone says one thing on my staff, they’re gone.” About that, that’s off limits. It’s off limits. We know it, that’s the rules.
Frank Curzio: But it’s pretty crazy out there. Anyone supporting the far left, I mean, is this what it’s come to? And when I see Democrats making sure the world hates Donald Trump through things like the Russia hoax. I mean, so glad they’re not letting Hillary off the hook for this. The Ukraine impeachment? Telling the world that Trump is stealing mailboxes. That was an awesome one, by the way. That’s was fantastic. That’s great. How Trump calling up the stimulus deal is his fault when there is 1.5 trillion ready to go right now to help people struggling that Pelosi has rejected that offer for three months now.
Frank Curzio: She went on The View and said, she said this, “All or nothing. A small deal is not worth it to a person who’s worth $120 million plus and probably be conservative on it.” I’ll cover that later in my educational segment with Daniel Creech. Really? You don’t think sending people 15… And again, Trump said, negotiations are over and now he’s saying, “Well, maybe we can send a $1,500 check, I’ll sign it right away. Let’s bail out the airlines.” Back and forth, confusing people, whatever. But there’s no reason now for Pelosi not to say, “Okay, let’s send these $1,500 checks to Democrats. Let’s send it to them. Let’s send it to these people.” Why would you say no to that?
Frank Curzio: Let’s see what happens over the next couple of days. We know people are struggling, we know they need this money, the loans are done and some of these businesses are still closed. They need this money these people. I mean our politicians, it’s an effing joke that they can’t come to terms. It’s all or nothing, really? All these multi-millionaire, some billionaires deciding the fate of people who are struggling right now because they can’t get their way? I mean, it’s insane.
Frank Curzio: Well, Pelosi has rejected that offer for three months now, 1.5 trillion. 1.5 trillion has been on the table, rejected. No, we want 2.2 trillion. It’s 1.5, I think it was 1.2 and then the Republicans moved up to 1.5. They’re like, “No. It’s all or nothing with that woman.” Like Biden says, “Come on man, do what’s right.” Both parties do what’s right here. Anyway, if you want to beat Donald Trump challenge him on his policies. Immigration, COVID response, healthcare, the enormous amount of tweets he sends out. His person… There’s so much there. Attack him the right way. Not by lying and making shit up when I’m watching these programs. Are you kidding me? He’s stealing mailboxes. Come on. Really? Because people really believe this shit? I guess so.
Frank Curzio: You notice how that’s gone, it’s no longer a theory. It’s like a memo goes out to all these media organizations saying, “Okay, here’s what we’re focusing on right now. Okay, good. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Let’s get a whole bunch of crazy people on. Let’s focus on it.” But it’s crazy. Attack him on his policies, attack him the right way.
Frank Curzio: Hey, we still have no idea what Biden stands for because he hasn’t told anyone yet. I mean, the a hundred million plus people watching the last debate while hoping to get that out of him and it was Trump’s fault because he didn’t interrupt him a million times, he didn’t really allow them to speak, but anyway, that’s how you win elections. Not by trying to lower the age of voters, releasing criminals from jail so they could vote, pushing from mail-in voting all of a sudden. Why is it such a big deal now? Why is it such a big deal? Why? So COVID people can’t go and register? You really scared just outside to stand six feet apart?
Frank Curzio: You could debate either way, but why is there such a push and a huge fight for this? But it’s crazy. I mean, in my neighborhood where I live in Northern Florida, I drove down the main street here and there were about 50 to 75 Biden supporters, all holding up signs saying, “Honk, if you support Biden.” It was peaceful, it was cool. Three days later. I saw the same exact thing with Trump’s supporters, about 7,500 people holding signs. It’s cool, it’s patriotic, but to just bash all of the time even when the president is sick, it’s relentless. It’s anger, it’s depression. It’s not American.
Frank Curzio: Now, why is this relevant to you, an investment podcast? Because I know some of you are going to disagree with a lot of stuff I just said. Well, here’s why. It’s almost a hundred percent certain that Biden and Democrats want to keep our economy closed. Maybe it’s for political reasons. So maybe if Biden wins, they’ll change their tone immediately and start looking at the facts of COVID and say, “Okay, anyone who contracts the virus are going to be perfectly fine. Most people and it’s fine, we’ll open it up.” It could be political, okay? Because everyone knows that this is Trump’s biggest strength.
Frank Curzio: They’re telling everyone that you should be definitely afraid of COVID. Just put on the channels, just put them on. They say it every day. Every minute, every segment on their make channels. Did you see Biden’s new mask? I got to show you. But it stretches from his eyes to his chest now. Hey, relax. We know you wear a mask. Okay, everyone needs to wear a mask. We get it. You don’t have a massive mask from your eyes to almost your chest. We get it.
Frank Curzio: But if I was Biden, I would do everything in my power to not debate Trump again, because there’s zero upside for you. In the last debate, it was zero expectations. Trump handed it to you by being an idiot, I covered that fairly. He was just interrupting you almost every time you went to talk but Trump’s not going to that this time around. I know he won’t, he better not if he wants any shot of winning the election.
Frank Curzio: His strategists are pounding it into his head, “Don’t interrupt Biden. Why? Because then the world is going to hear about his policies that means Joe has to tell everyone how he supports the Green Deal, a $50 trillion nightmare that includes zero emissions and restructuring every single building in every metropolitan area. Yet, Joe says, “No, no, no, no, no, no. I don’t support the Green Deal.” That’s what he said, right? But it’s on his website, even though your whole party. You’re supporting that part of your party, you’re supporting them, right? That part of the left. Now you’re not which one is it. Let’s see.
Frank Curzio: Biden does not support fracking, which is a big topic in Pennsylvania, battleground state. But of course he dialed that back and says, “No, no, no, there’ll be no fracking on federal lands now.” Of course, you dialed that back because you saw the polls in Pennsylvania. Fracking is huge there, creates lots of jobs. Black Lives Matters, he said, “I don’t support them.” Well, I got to tell you all the elected officials in your party are marching with this group, that has nothing to do with saving black people, we all know that, right? They don’t care about black people getting shot in Chicago every day, black police officers getting killed in the line of duty from these mobs. They only care about power and I’m telling you listen up here, Democrats need to be careful. I understand that that’s a part of vote that you need, but when you’re supporting radical left, including BLM, okay?
Frank Curzio: Again, I understand it makes sense, you need that vote to the point where you’re going to dress up in clothes and kneel in George Floyd’s honor, even though you’re wearing the wrong colors and make sure the cameras are rolling so you get all those pictures taken perfectly and sent out to the crazy media. But when it comes to the left, these people don’t care about anyone. They don’t care about Democrats or Republicans. Hey, Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post, which is far left that you can get these days. He hasn’t written one positive story about Trump in probably three years, and these people are outside his house, along with workers and working conditions or whatever. I mean, they don’t care. They don’t care who it is.
Frank Curzio: I mean, sometimes when you see in desperate times, you turn to sources and sometimes crazy sources, but there’s a payback period for doing this. The left is going to expect something in return. If you don’t fall through in the Green Deal, universal health care, freeing every student of their debt obligations, these people are going to raise your home. They’re going to protest outside your kids’ schools, riot, destroy businesses, hurt people. That’s what we’re seeing in some of these areas.
Frank Curzio: In fact, even if you do all of that for them, if you give everything they want, they’re still going to protest and be pissed off. I think all of us could see that. Getting back to Biden and the next debate, if this actually happens, I probably give about 30% chance of the next debate happening. But I’m saying if Trump has the coronavirus, I’m not going to debate. I really think it won’t take place. I don’t think it makes sense for Biden. But what I want to hear is why Biden shows Kamala Harris has this vice-president choice. Someone who told this beautiful story about a little girl, which was her, and how Biden’s policies was the reason why she was bused to school. And she also said, right on the debate stage, she believed a woman who claimed Biden assaulted them.
Frank Curzio: Kamala defended this position by saying, “It’s a debate.” Which means what? You’re allowed to lie during debates? Will you lie in tonight’s Vice President’s Debate then? Just say whatever you want and what kind of character does Joe Biden and even Kamala Harris have? Biden for choosing Kamala as a running mate after she said these things and Kamala who thinks Biden sexually assaulted women. Really? To accept it? It’s a pretty good question I want to know.
Frank Curzio: But the most important topic that affects all of us working Americans and our kids, Biden and the Democrats will lockdown the US economy again, even though there’s zero scientific evidence supporting this. They will lock down America again. You think that’s crazy. Just watch these channels. Every left wing media station is pounding that idea into everyone’s head. The coronavirus is deadly, it killed over 200,000 people. More people are getting affected than ever.
Frank Curzio: Well, this is normal people getting infected, 99.5% you’re going to be okay but for 80% of them only have mild symptoms. You want to close schools again? You want to close businesses again? They want to force you to stay home. And that’s very scary to a lot, a lot of people, most of the people. That’s a big difference in these parties.
Frank Curzio: Look at California what a disaster? Disney Parks are open at Florida at 40% capacity. Demand is huge. They’re following the rules. Everyone is fine. Nobody’s dying of COVID yet California is still wont to open up its Disneyland Park. Which is the reason why, one of the reasons why, did they say we’re laying off 20,000 employees. I mean, California, can’t look at Florida’s playbook and try it out. Isn’t it smart. Don’t you want to look at other people’s playbooks?
Frank Curzio: They have roadmap, how this works. It’s been incredibly successful this far, but why keep Disneyland a park closed, especially since in California, you opened up Downtown Disney, which is restaurants, bars, stores. That was back in July at restricted capacities. Why can’t you do the same for Disneyland? And what about New York City, which is a ghost town?
Frank Curzio: Business going bankrupt by the day. Still, heavy restrictions in place. Rich people moving out in droves, violence in the streets, still crime like murder, arson, theft are up. Something good may never come back. That includes this week’s guest who is James Altucher, who’s here today to discuss his article that went viral, but wildly criticized of how New York City is dead forever. And when I say criticized I’m talking about Jerry Seinfeld, for one in 60 minutes calling him a putz at LinkedIn. It will be a fantastic interview, James unplugged. And let’s get to that interview right now. James Altucher, thanks so much for joining us on Wall Street Unplugged.
James Altucher: Frank, once again. So happy to be on your podcast. I feel like Frank we’ve known each other now, I want to say like 16 years, 17 years, it’s been a long time.
Frank Curzio: We work at the street together, which is located on wall street right across from the New York Stock Exchange. I mean, I’ve been a big fan of yours of such a long time, James and learned so much from you. So it’s incredible.
James Altucher: I appreciate it.
Frank Curzio: And I love that you’re coming on this podcast where I want to get right into it, because there’s an article that you wrote about New York, titled that, “New York City Is Dead Forever.” And you’ve been in New York all your life, you talk about it and this thing went viral and a lot of people would just… Seinfeld calling you out in 60 minutes. Other people calling you out. I mean, were you surprised this went that viral? I mean, this is something that you express your opinion about somehow that’s New Yorker, but man, I couldn’t believe how much press this thing got it’s pretty crazy.
James Altucher: I mean, yeah, I am surprised it went that far. I mean, it’s funny because I’ve had articles, you and I both we’ve been writing for like almost 20 years. Like I started writing for the street.com in 2002 and I was writing then mostly about finance stuff but starting around 2009, 2010, I started writing more about any topic and my own stories and my own stories of failure and how I bounced back from failure. And plus occasionally I’d give commentary or opinions, I basically broadened what I write about to essentially anything.
James Altucher: And so I’ve had articles that have gone viral in the past. Like my feelings on college, which I wrote about in the Financial Times in 2005 and kept writing about, and then my feelings about home ownership, my feelings about minimalism and my own personal experiences with throwing out all my belongings and just living in Airbnb’s.
James Altucher: So all of those went viral, but I now realize they went only semi viral. This article went truly viral in a way that I not only have I had never seen before with one of my articles, but I’ve never seen before, honestly, with really any article. And particularly now it’s rare for a 5,000 word article to go so, I mean, I can say this viral was read by or at least the contents are known by around 30 million people or more.
James Altucher: And I could easily get to that number just based on shares of it that I put on various platforms plus some other people who linked to it and so on, but I’ve never seen anything like that and I’ve never seen a response like that. Even though, again, I’ve had negative and positive responses to articles in the past. And again, I want to add like sometimes there are articles where they go viral for the wrong reasons.
James Altucher: Like if somebody says something that’s just outrageous or insensitive or tone deaf to what’s going on in the world, but I’ve never seen kind of a, just an opinion that wasn’t really, I mean, I wasn’t offending anyone. It was kind of an opinion based on facts and solid analysis. Everyone agrees to that and I’ve never seen like an opinion go viral like this.
Frank Curzio: And I was going to actually… It’s a great segue to what I was just going to ask you, because this is an opinion piece, but you stated a lot of good information, a lot of good facts there. And one of the things that you said as New York was always a place where no matter what happened to you, I’m calling you, you were always able to bounce back up, but not this time.
Frank Curzio: Why do you think this time is different? I know you compare it to the ’70s and the thinking days and how bad it was there. I lived at ’80s we lived there for close to 40 years before moving to Florida. I’ve never seen it even close to this bad. So why do you think that New York City could never bounce back?
James Altucher: Yeah, it’s a good point. And so, I started article by saying, by basically describing my own personal love affair with New York. I was born in New York. I grew up in the New York area. I lived my entire adult life in New York City. My kids live in New York. Some of them go to school there. So I’ve been up and down in New York so many times. I’ve been dead broke over and over and over again in New York.
James Altucher: I mean, New York City is just, it’s a great place to go. Or at least over the past 30 years, this is a great place to go to find entrepreneurial opportunities, professional opportunities, creative opportunity. You could reach the Heights of success, you could come crashing down, you could bounce back. And that’s happened to me like four or five times in New York, not to mention I lived right next to the World Trade Center on 9/11.
James Altucher: I lived on wall street actually during the financial crisis. So every morning I’d walk out of my apartment and see depressed traders walking into the New York Stock Exchange. I mean, I was in New York City in the ’70s when it was just horrible there. So I’ve seen New York City at least over the past 50 years at its worst moment. And I agree this time is far worse and it’s much different.
James Altucher: And by the way, every time was different. People always say, oh, you can’t say you this time it’s different. But the reality is every crisis was different. 9/11 was of course the first terrorist attack on U.S soil. 2008 financial crisis could have kind of emanated from New York, but it easily could have turned into a great depression and it didn’t.
James Altucher: The ’70s, New York City was bankrupt. There was crime, there was garbage, it wasn’t really safe. I mean, I was a kid then, but I was scared if I was walking around by myself. It was a scary place. But this time it’s much worse. I mean, the basic answer is, in the prior situations the economy was never shut down.
James Altucher: I mean, imagine if, pandemic aside for a second, imagine there was no pandemic and someone basically said to every store restaurant and essentially most workers, hey, for 6 months, we don’t want you to open up and everybody’s got to stay at home. You would think to yourself, well, that sounds like that would be a disaster for the economy. Now, of course, in today’s context there’s a lot of opinions about the lockdown and so on, but regardless of those opinions, it’s reality.
James Altucher: It’s fact that happened, everything was shut down to avoid any spreading of the virus and to keep cases at a minimum. So there was a reason for the shutdown, but it doesn’t it any better economically. Again that’s why I think it’s worth going through the mental exercise. Imagine there wasn’t a pandemic. And we were asked to do the same thing. The only response would have been that it’s crazy and the economy will suffer maybe irrevocably.
James Altucher: And that’s sort of what happened. And people are in denial about it. And in terms of like, why something like this goes viral, I’ve been thinking a lot about it. It’s been a month and a half since I wrote the article and there’s still almost every day, somebody writes an article, someone mentioned something, Jerry Seinfeld was on 60 minutes, two days ago, or three days ago talking about the article, talking about me.
James Altucher: And so it’s still like this ongoing almost battle or battle ground, but why does it go viral? I think first off, some people said, oh, he just wrote it to be controversial. That is such a BS response to my article. I mean, if all you do is write stuff to be controversial, your writing career will last about three weeks, because right away, everyone will know, oh, I don’t need to read this guy, he’s just saying something to say something. So I only write about things that are bothering me. And then I tried to do three things. Well, four things. So it’s five things. I’m going to go through all the elements of what I do and why I think this went viral. Is that okay?
Frank Curzio: Perfect. Perfect. Keep going.
James Altucher: Yeah. So basically, I write about things that are bothering me when I give an opinion piece like this. So if something happens in the nation or the world or people are misinterpreting some news or some data, I try to help. And if I have a different interpretation, I try to express my own interpretation or try to express my own opinion. And an opinion is only worth expressing if you’re saying something new and unique, so you’re adding to the discussion.
James Altucher: So many people write articles that are not unique, or they add to themselves, they say this could happen or maybe this could happen. And so there’s really no conclusion. Whereas, what was bothering me in this case was for months, I mean, all through the pandemic I was in New York, in Manhattan through the protest I was in Manhattan. I went to a couple of protests during the pandemic. This is not bragging it’s just kind of underlying what I’ve been doing.
James Altucher: I was helping out on food lines. I saw throughout the pandemic as more and more people would come to these food lines on the weekends because they simply didn’t have food. I own a store front business in Manhattan, so I’m very aware of the restaurant and small business community and how much they were suffering and how many businesses were going out of business.
James Altucher: So I was seeing many things happening that were maybe a little bit under the surface. I was seeing that businesses were not just closed temporarily but around April, May, June, I saw more and more businesses closing permanently. I also saw more and more people moving out of the city. And not just that people are saying, oh, the wealthy are just moving because they can, I was seeing two types of people move out of the city.
James Altucher: One were, the three types. One were the well-off. They were leaving the city. So 400,000 people left the city in March. A lot of them just to avoid the virus. They were moving to their Hampton’s homes or whatever. That was not me. I stayed, I don’t have another home. I stayed in my apartment. And so on. Then I was seeing a lot of young people leaving. So all the restaurants and small businesses closed, my comedy club closed. So where did everybody go? They just went home.
James Altucher: They went home to their mom in Maine or they went to Nashville and stayed with friends or whatever. There was no reason for them to be in New York. There was no jobs and they didn’t have money. So a lot of young people left, and a third group of people that left is… There were a lot of businesses that basically said, listen, we’re remote now and we’re probably going to be remote for a long time for a variety of reasons.
James Altucher: One is, nobody understands the liability issues. If you bring employees back and they get sick from the coronavirus while they’re at work, who is liable. And then it turned out, everybody was enjoying doing meetings on Zoom. Now I’ve heard expressions like, oh no, we’re getting Zoom fatigue, people want to get together, but in business and surveys of tens of thousands of workers now in the past few months done by different companies, and the consensus is a little more than half the people enjoy working at home and never go into the office.
James Altucher: And then the other half, some people like the office and some people like a hybrid, like, oh, I only go to the office some of the time. And so that’s on the worker side, on the company side, they realized, oh my gosh, we’re so much more productive with everybody working at home and we don’t need to rent nine expensive floors in the Time-Life building in the middle of New York City, let’s just rent one floor and make everyone go remote.
James Altucher: So what happened is there’s this third category of people. They literally moved out of New York City and rented or even bought apartments or houses in second tier cities, like anything from Phoenix to Denver, to Austin, to Miami, to Nashville, to Charlotte.
James Altucher: So people started moving and those moves are permanent. And I can explain a little more why in a second. So I started noticing all these problems. Homeless was going up, trash was going up, the trash on the streets, far more restaurants in source than I expected were shutting down. And I could see people moving out. And this struck me as a very dangerous situation financially for the city.
James Altucher: The city is already billions and billions of dollars in the hole. They can’t just randomly borrow money. They can’t print money like the U.S government can. They can’t raise money on, on short notice. And if everybody left, businesses and employees, that’s going to further hurt New York City, right when New York City needs the money. And we haven’t even felt the full effect of that. We won’t feel that until next year.
James Altucher: So I was noticing all these things and I kept bringing it up to people and everyone was in denial. I would say, oh, well, what’s going to happen to commercial real estate if all these restaurants shut down. You can’t feel the commercial real estate. People will go out of business. And what happens to them, one in four New York City, people have not paid the rent since March because of the eviction whatsoever. What’s going to happen when they have to pay 10 months’ rent?
James Altucher: They’re not going to be able to. So what’s going to happen to all the landlords. And people said, oh the landlord can handle it. No, they can’t a lot of landlords for residential are just mom and pop landlords. They owned an apartment. They make their retirement living renting it out. And these people will go out of business.
James Altucher: So I started seeing more and more problems than I would mention, like, oh, what’s going to happen with all the restaurants? And people would say, oh, new restaurants will come in and because there’s less competition. But I kept thinking that doesn’t make sense. Nobody would wake up and say, boy, finally, I get my chance to start my very own pizza restaurant in New York City, because all the restaurants went out of business.
James Altucher: You wouldn’t want to put your restaurant in a place where everybody was potentially going out of business. What if there’s a third wave?. Or if there’s another pandemic? It just took them a month or two for so many restaurants to go out of business. I don’t think there’s going to be that much competition. And so I don’t see where the new restaurants are going to come from.
And meanwhile, you have to fill those spaces with restaurants. They’re built to put restaurants in them. So all these problems I kept seeing that didn’t have solutions. So this made me want to write the article because I felt like everybody was in denial. Everyone was saying, oh, New York City always bounces back, look at the ’70s or they would say worst cases it’ll become… Rents will go down, artists will move in and they’ll be great like the ’70s.
James Altucher: And I would remind people, the’70s were a shit show in New York City. Excuse my language. It was violent, there were murders, it was garbage everywhere, rents weren’t really that cheap for artists, yeah, maybe there could be some sort of artists utopia, but it’s also not the case that rents go down tomorrow. It’ll take years for rents to really be significantly down.
James Altucher: And there’re economic reasons for that. And so anyway, so I was getting all this denial, no one was really addressing all the problems. And so I wrote this article and I think it was the first article that really, really combined all the problems I was seeing. Plus I added something new, which is that there’s a big difference between now in 2008, which is that bandwidth, it’s 10 to 20 times faster.
James Altucher: So in 2008 your upload speed from your computer was about two and a half megabits per second. Now it’s about 40 megabits per second on average. And that’s good enough for us to do Zoom meetings, whereas two and a half megabits per second isn’t. So suddenly now, we can do meetings all day long and they’re fine. They’re great. And you never were able to do that before. So that’s this increase in corporate productivity.
James Altucher: So I write this article and I’m thinking, okay, it’ll be interesting, hopefully people will notice that there are problems in New York City and we can start to solve them or it will make people aware of them. And I clearly state that I hope I’m wrong about New York City’s chances. I clearly state how much I love New York. And I described my whole history with New York and how New York has saved me and so on.
James Altucher: And then, I don’t know. I think because I wrote about a huge positive bias, people who live in New York and have committed to, to stay there or who have to stay there because their whole family is there, their jobs there, whatever. People who own property there and depend on the property going up or people who are out to sell their apartment but they can’t because of the times we’re in, I think there’s this huge cognitive bias based on people’s lifestyles and money and everything were just without even reading my article it’s for many people it’s figured this enormous anger and fear and hatred and there’s a reason why the phrase, shoot the messenger is a cliche, it is because true. People shoot the messenger which is what I was.
James Altucher: And from there it just went insane. Then you had another group of people which love the article, but you can’t choose your readers and I’m happy a lot of people read it. Rush Limbaugh, read the article word for word on his radio show to, I don’t know, 20 or 30 million people. Glenn back, read it word for word. I’m a huge fan of The Joe Rogan podcast. Joe mentioned it several times on his podcast.
James Altucher: So everybody was reading about it and hearing about it. And for the first 10 days, there was nonstop anger from New Yorkers towards me. And I had to just shut my computer down, and not only that everybody who ever knew me in the past 30 years started writing articles just trashing me. Not even addressing the article but just trashing me. This is the guy who thinks New York City is dead, I used to know him, blah, blah, blah. And they would just tell these random stories about me or whatever.
James Altucher: And then finally, 10 days later, 10 days after I wrote the article, I’m thinking it’s going to quiet down. I wake up and I’m getting all these texts from people calling me a putz, and I’m like, what? Why is everyone calling me like this depression era insults? I’ve never even heard anyone call anyone a putz. And it turns out of course, Seinfeld, who has never written an article in his entire life, decided to write an article for the New York Times, just trashing me and still not addressing the issues in my articles. Still, just saying, oh, New York’s got grit, New York has always pulled out of it because they have grit.
James Altucher: This guy is no real New Yorker… And I’m giving a long answer again, but this in a nutshell, I think it went viral because the huge cognitive bias around the issue for many New Yorkers, millions of New Yorkers around the issue of whether or not New York City is dead, even outside of New York, I think there’s a little bit of kind of gleefulness when they take it too far, thinking that New York City is dead. And then it got picked up by all these huge outlets. And then of course on top of this cognitive bias, Seinfeld got infected with the bias and hasn’t a trash me so that gave it a 2nd wind and even a 3rd wind when he was later on 60 minutes. And I don’t know, it was just crazy. I had never seen anything like it.
Frank Curzio: Let me ask this James, I mean, I get Seinfeld’s response to someone who’s a die-hard New Yorker, but I don’t know if I recall, you’re friends with him, but he performed at your comedy clubs stand up New York, right? One of the many famous comedians that perform in your club, I’m pretty sure I read that-
James Altucher: Yeah.
Frank Curzio: … were you surprised about the personal insults or do you view this as, hey this is someone who is just passionate and hoping like all New Yorkers, and even you said yourself that you’re going to be wrong about this?
James Altucher: I was surprised because A) just in general, when we’re arguing and the science of persuasion, and so on, the second you resort to personal attacks, you’ve basically lost the argument. I mean, why have a personal attack? There’s no real reason he doesn’t address the issues, so then what I think happened is that he does more harm than good, because if he just says, oh, this guy’s a putz New York City people, so he discredits me even though he doesn’t address the actual facts at all, which is the important part.
James Altucher: And he says, oh, New York City has that grit they can survive anything. And the problem with that view is that if you’re not addressing the issues, then who’s going to solve them? If someone as credible as Seinfeld and he is a very credible person. If someone as credible as Seinfeld is refusing to address these issues, how are these issues ever going to get solved? They’re only going to get worse. And in fact, since his article came out, which was 10 days after my article, the situation has become far worse.
James Altucher: The violence has skyrocketed, apartment vacancies are at an even higher all-time high, the office buildings are just as empty as they were which underlines my point about what’s going to happen. More restaurants are predicted to go out of business than I had previously thought. I previously thought maybe 3000 restaurants would go out of business but now they’re saying something like 12,000 restaurants might already be out of business. 12,000, that’s hundreds of thousands of jobs. Broadway might not open up for another year still, and Seinfeld mentions, oh, too bad this guy can’t get to go to his Broadway shows. I hate Broadway, I hate Broadway shows. I will never go to a Broadway show in my life.
James Altucher: But what I’m concerned about is the million people who either work on Broadway or work in the restaurants that serve the Broadway community or work in the hotels that serve the Broadway community, thousands of restaurants and hotels. So that’s a severe economic hit on the city. And also in the past few weeks, the MTA announced they just that one group, the Transit Authority, they need a $12 billion bailout. De Blasio admitted he’s $9 billion. The City of South $9 billion in the hole, he’s already fired 9,000 city workers because it’s just can’t doesn’t have the money to pay for them.
James Altucher: So things have gotten significantly worse since my initial article came out, which is why I’m surprised again, he was on 60 Minutes, Seinfeld was on 60 Minutes a few days ago, and they’ll just repeat the same thing and doesn’t acknowledge, maybe he doesn’t see, or maybe he doesn’t know that people are really hurting. This is people are hungry, people are unemployed. Business owners are… Built businesses for 30 or 40 years, they’re out of business. Garbage collectors are being fired, police are getting fired, teachers are getting fired, EMT workers are getting fired, MTA workers are being fired. This is the entire infrastructure of the city. Who’s going to move to a city where there’s higher crime, garbage everywhere, no businesses, Broadway closed, no teachers or fewer teachers. It’s a scary situation.
Frank Curzio: It is scary. What I really loved about your article too, is like you said, it’s an opinion piece, I said this earlier, but you talk about the important facts of why someone would want to move to New York City, which we know we live there. It’s business opportunities to culture, food, colleges. People invest in commercial real estate and you’re right, right now none of this exists, right? So for me, I was very surprised at that response where I could see people who are diehard New Yorkers and even myself say, “Man, I hope you’re wrong about this.”
Frank Curzio: But what I’m seeing right now is this is a structural difference. I mean, you’re seeing the politics are supporting something that… and again, I don’t want to get into the political part of this, but it is New York and it’s close to my heart. How do you think this will change? I mean, how can you be wrong on this theory? I mean, does it have to change from the top where it’s got to be different. Again, when Dinkins was in there, we had Giuliani and everything. I mean, he had arrested so many police officers, corrupt police officers. I hear it was no joke. I mean, people hated him for what the things that he did, but do we need this like a big reset here? I mean, how can New York really get itself back on his feet?
James Altucher: Well, it’s a great question because it also begs the question of what do the leaders of a city or a country do? And we’re in an election year, this is a really important question. I actually, in my initial article, I didn’t even mention de Blasio because the problems are so… He might’ve caused some problems and he might’ve made some… He certainly made some problems worse, particularly since the article came out. And I have to say, when Seinfeld’s article came out, de Blasio held a press conference, literally de Blasio held a press conference about my article and trashed it. And then Cuomo sent out an email about my article and trashed it.
James Altucher: But I never said anything about them in my initial article, because these problems are so big now it’s beyond who is the leader of New York. These problems are financial, it’s something like $50 billion worth of problems is my back of the envelope math. And again, I went through, part of the goal of any article, part of what you should do as a writer is answer all objections and you and I have both known that for years of writing about finance. And I did that in my article.
James Altucher: So it’s really hard to argue with my article, unless you use these ambiguous terms like grit and New York always bounces back and all this other stuff. But there’s no easy solutions and that’s the other thing that happened with this article. I never hit publish unless I’m afraid of what people will think of me. And so with a lot of articles, I’m very self-deprecating. I tell stories about myself that are very revealing and I’m often afraid, “Gosh, if I publish this, what are people going to think of me?”
James Altucher: The thing that I was afraid about here, was that this was one of the few articles I’ve ever written, where I didn’t really have a solution, because particularly initially I tried really hard. I could not think of solutions to the problems I was raising. And when I hit publish, I was really afraid of what people would think of me because usually I’m very…. usually I have some hope at the end of an article, I have some reason to be optimistic.
James Altucher: And here my main optimism was the fact that, “Hey, with all these people leaving New York for second tier cities, the second tier cities will benefit from an increase in capital, skills companies” and so on. So that there’s optimism for the country in this. But I couldn’t really think of any solutions for New York, at least initially. And so then, after my article, I had on people like Eric Adams on my podcast, he’s the Brooklyn Borough President, he’s running for mayor, was in the NYPD for 22 years. He was a New York State Senator. So he was someone who knows New York City very well. In fact, wants to run New York City and he is the front runner.
James Altucher: I also had on Federal Reserve officials talk about what happens, how New York City can be bailed out. It’s a fed bail it out. I’ve had on congressmen, I’ve had on presidential candidates. And honestly, no one had any short term answers. There are no short term answers. So then I started thinking, okay, I’ll write an article with some answers.
James Altucher: Again, it was really hard to think of any, but I thought of a few, we don’t have to get into the now. And that article did okay, but not as… what didn’t go viral or anything, just everybody was just committed to their belief that I was simply wrong, and they were not going to think about it any further and I must be a jerk for saying this, and I’m not a real New Yorker somehow.
James Altucher: And that was the… I shouldn’t have let it get to me, but honestly, that was the frustrating part to me is that I loved the city just as much as anyone and lived there all my life and really benefited from the city. And I don’t want these problems to happen, which is why I wrote the article. I don’t just… I’m not a pessimistic guy. Some people write because they’re pessimistic, I’m not like that.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, I know and James, when I just look at this whole scenario too, and I know you’re familiar with what I’m going to say here, because you are amazing when it comes to investments and finding trends, we’ll get to that in a second. But what scares me the most is when I write about something or a stock pick, and there’s so many people that come out negative on it, it usually means you’re right. I think, does that scare you at all? Because again, it is something that you want to be wrong about, I think.
James Altucher: Yeah. I mean, that does scare me. I really think again, people are going to just stay in denial. And what’s going to happen is bit by bit. I mean, we’re already seeing, it’s nothing that I have said in the article. I mean, everything that I’ve said in the article is sort of already coming true. It’s not like this is a fake thing. This is happening in real time as we’re watching it. And I think people are going to stay in denial. And I think there aren’t going to be easy solutions, and I’m afraid how people will react to that, ultimately. It’s not going to be pleasant. And you’re right. It’s a good point about finance that often, if you write about a stock and everybody goes crazy, if you write negatively about a stock and everyone goes crazy, she has, is are those people going crazy or about to lose a lot of money. That’s a rule of thumb that you’re essentially referring to.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, I know. And let’s continue on this and switch gears a little bit because one thing I love about you is you’re always learning something new, which helps you get into trends and learn about the wellhead most investors, even institutions. Let’s talk about a little bit, well, maybe what you’re doing with your money these days and just change the tune a little bit, but a good example of this is Wrap Technologies, by the way. People would know this. A lot of my followers own this stock, I own it to personally. You were the person that introduced me to Scot Cohen and Wrap very early on. But what are some of the trends that you see you’re personally investing or maybe looking to invest in?
James Altucher: Yeah, great question. Well, first off, Wrap Technologies, that was a company… This is an amazing story of entrepreneurship. So Scot, I don’t know if you know this, Scot Cohen and I, we were living together. So this was right in the beginning, where I throw out all my belongings. I wasn’t renting an apartment, I wasn’t owning apartment. I called up my friend, Scot, told him what I was doing. And I was probably just going to Airbnb around for forever, as far as I knew. And he said, “Why don’t you just stay here for a little bit?” So I go over his house, and I’m staying there a couple of weeks. And we started talking about all the… This is in 2016, we started talking to all this police brutality and law enforcement, shooting victims inappropriately and we started wondering, is there a solution?
James Altucher: And so we were just going back and forth, back and forth. We talked to an inventor that Scot had once worked with and he had made a previous company that revolved around this idea of a Sonic gun. You send a Sonic glass, that’s very honed. So it hits a person and the person next to that person doesn’t hear it. Anyway, he couldn’t do it on a small distance, but then he came up with the idea, how about we do it as a wrap gun? We’ll send out this steel cable that at the speed of sound, that wraps around someone who’s resisting arrest so it doesn’t hurt them. And it detains them without the police officer having to get close. So just from that, that just from that conversation, Scot really did everything. He made calls, he got the inventor working on it and he raised money.
James Altucher: He got police officers involved in law enforcement agencies. And now it’s like every… I don’t know, I’m not involved really, but every law enforcement agency or many of them, hundreds of them are looking at the device, testing it, using it in the field. Every day we get phone calls, “Oh, you guys saved another life or save two more lives.” It’s great just to be involved in something that is saving people’s lives and solving such a huge societal problem.
James Altucher: I mean, people get into entrepreneurship for money, but you can’t succeed as an entrepreneur unless you’re really solving a major problem. It will just be all like you’re solving a major problem, you’re going to make money and have a successful business. And that’s why I’m so proud of Rapids. It literally is saving lives. It’s growing, it’s doing well. Again, I don’t know any secrets or inside information. It’s just something that I’m really proud of. And so what I tend to do is what I did do for the past 15 years is I focused a lot on private investing. And invest in opportunities that I built up through my network, or I have to randomly come across, like Scot and I have been working together since 2004.
James Altucher: This was a chance for us to co-invest in something, which was Wrap. But I have other friends that I’ve been working with over the years that they show me things I co-invest. My strategy tends to be, if someone is in the deal who is smarter than me, then I just invest automatically. Whether I know anything about the company or not. So I’m in a lot of different private investments. The problem with private investing is that they take a long time to play out. The bad companies, go out of business right away, the good companies, they might grow for 10, eight to 15 years. You might not exit for a long time.
James Altucher: So currently at the very moment, I’m actually getting a little bit more interested in entrepreneurship while I’m waiting for, I have a dozen or so private investments that are working out, but now I’m getting for the first time, in like 15 years, I’m getting excited about being an entrepreneur. And I have some things that I’m working on. I never work on any just one thing. I always like to have four or five irons in the fire. And so right now, I have about four or five different entrepreneurial activities that are spinning around. That’s the main thing I do with my money. I like mostly cash and then private investing and then entrepreneurial and then invest in myself.
Frank Curzio: Now that’s fantastic advice investing in yourself absolutely not. And we’ll finish off with this, James, because I appreciate your time here. What’s next for you? I mean, you plan on keeping your comedy club in New York City opening one in Florida. I know you love to write, right? You said. What about your podcasts? I mean, your podcast is incredible. You have incredible guests on, but what are some of your plans in terms of yes, entrepreneurship, but I think people want more James Altucher. I really believe that even despite people going in and shit and saying bad things with this article, I thought it’s crazy.
James Altucher: Yeah, by the way, on the bad things, I would say it’s funny because let’s say 30 million people read the article. And again, that sounds like unbelievably huge number, but it’s totally based on the shares that I’ve seen, the views that I’ve seen and so on. So I would say only 5% hated it. And 95% either liked it or were okay with it. Now those, that 95% there, they are normal, same people and they move on with their lives. But the 5%, the tiny, small 5% who violently hated it, they all reached out to me and threw insults at me and harassed me. I mean, my club, my stand-up comedy club was vandalized. My kids were harassed. People working for me were stopped in the street and harassed. I’ve gotten tons of hate mail and whatever, but oh, how could it be so much? It’s only 5%.
James Altucher: Well, 5% of 30 million, it’s a million and a half people. And I think I basically heard from, or was aware of a million and a half people making comments about my article. One of those really didn’t have being Seinfeld and the New York Times and so on. But yeah, I’m basically doubling down on all of the above. So I’ve been doing more podcasts than ever. And I’ve been playing around with format too. I always did an interview podcast for years and years, but now I’m doing more podcasts where it’s just me talking or telling a story or I’m playing around with different formats. I have a format every Friday called Side Hustle Fridays where I described another potential multimillion dollar side hustle. And I’m proud of that series. I have a book coming out in February called “Skip the Line.”
James Altucher: And it’s about how particularly important for this time. You could change your passions, your loves, your interests anytime in your life. And everyone will tell you, you can’t do that. And I described the techniques, how I’ve done it over and over and how to quickly skip the lines so you could be in the top 1% of your passion, so you could start to monetize it. So I go from finding passion to learning it, to being in the top 1%, to monetizing it. And that’s coming out in February. I just had a TV series come out, a production company, working on a TV series called Choose Yourself. It’s on Amazon, Amazon released it. And it’s eight episode series about the concepts I write about and Choose Yourself. So I still do stand-up comedy. I just did a bunch of shows in Tampa, Florida.
James Altucher: So I’m still staying active in lots of things. There’s other books that I’m working on and writing, and I’ve been helping people out write their own books. I issued a bunch of what I call a 30 day book challenges and I show people how they could write a book in 30 days. And that’s been exciting to see people finish those books. And then I don’t know. I’m always, I think I feel though I’m always a little unsatisfied. I always feel like I should be… You feel that, you always feel like you should be doing more?
Frank Curzio: I always feel like I should be doing more right now. One of the most powerful things. And I have to say this that I read from you is the power of no. And now that Cursory Research is growing a lot, we are doing well. We have about 20 people in total working for us. And I have a security token coming out that we’re just going to launch and make our company public. But as you get into more of these things, and I just thought it was funny that you mentioned about 10 things that you’re doing, and you said it’s not enough. “The Power of No,” where it’s just your time is such a valuable commodity now. And just learning that was saying, “Hey, I can’t,” with so many people will ask you for things all the time. That was one of the powerful message that I learned from you.
James Altucher: Yeah, and I need… It’s one of those… Whenever I write a book, I don’t write the book necessarily because I’m an expert. I’ve never really been an expert at saying no. I write the book because it’s been really hard for me. And so I had to learn the hard way, how to say no more often. So for instance, you want to buy a book about date, how to pick up girls from Brad Pitt because Brad Pitt has to walk over to them and say, “Hey, let’s go on a date.” So any advice Brad Pitt would have is useless on dating. But that was like, me writing “The Power of No,” is that this was writing the book became the way I got good at it, but I always have to remind myself of how to get even better at it.
James Altucher: And lately I’ve been… I think it’s unfortunate, but lately I’ve been interested in all this political stuff going on. But I really don’t like writing about it because it’s not the thing that’s the most important to me. But clearly it’s very important and I’m not quite sure what to do, how to cope with my interest in it and deal with the fact that so many people hate it, hate politics.
Frank Curzio: And they have strong opinions about it too. I mean, yeah. We have to talk about politics on this podcast because it deals with your investments and different things that you’re going to do, but it’s always tough. You go, everyone’s going to have their bias, but that is something where, when you think you get negative email from that article, we really write about politics because all the hate comes out, everyone. I mean, if you say anything positive these days, they want to come after you, it’s pretty crazy. It’s crazy world out there.
James Altucher: Yeah, no, I’ve already seen it. I’ve written about voting, I’ve written about the candidates and it’s insane what happens. I cannot even believe it. But it’s interesting that’s the whole feeling of when is it too much? When are you doing too much? When should you say no? I don’t really have like a good, solid answer to that because I just say yes to lots of things now, because I suddenly had all, like everybody, I had all this free time when the pandemic began, I was doing comedy 30 hours a week. So I reclaimed 30 hours a week of my time. And then I immediately got over committed. I started doing five podcasts a week instead of two, I was finishing a book.
James Altucher: I started writing another book. I’m helping Charlemagne the God, who was a big radio host in New York. He has a show called The Breakfast Club was about 5 million listeners, helping him put out a book about systemic racism. And I’m still involved in all my private investments and I’m starting a company I’m excited about. So there’s always so much, and I’m still trying to think now of solutions for New York City. But then here’s another problem. Let me ask you this. Once you write an article like that, that gets so much attention, I don’t really know what to write next. It’s almost like you get this weird writer’s block because you try to up the ante on what you’ve been writing and I don’t even want to write about New York City right now. I only want to write about this stuff. I usually write, which is more, this choose yourself style or my personal stories or whatever.
Frank Curzio: I mean, James would be like you said, the articles that you published about it. If you come out and give here, this is what New York has to do a perfect game plan of what they have to do. Nobody wants to read that.
James Altucher: Yeah, no, I wrote it. Nobody wanted to read it. I said this, the newspapers that were publishing me, they were like, “Ah, no, thanks.”
Frank Curzio: It’s pretty crazy psychology behind something going viral. I remember we both worked for Agora and they were like, “We want to try to make this go back.” You can’t try to make… You don’t know what’s going to go viral, but I still don’t understand the psychology of things that do go viral compared to things that don’t. I try, I think I get it and I’m like, “How is this viral?” And I’m watching it like 10 times, because I’m so interested in it. And I’m like, I don’t know why I’m interested in it. It’s just, it’s pretty crazy.
James Altucher: Well, I think hitting someone’s cognitive bias we’ll do it. If you hit… Again, if I say something like, “Oh, never go to college or never buy a home.” Well, those are some of the biggest decisions people make in life. So they have huge cognitive biases about it. That will always trigger some vitality. If you write an article, “Never vote.”
Frank Curzio: I was just going to say that, because you’ve written that-
James Altucher: Yeah, I know, I’ve written it, by the way I wrote it yesterday and of course a lot of people were upset and again, I don’t try to make people upset. I just want to be able to free to say my opinion, particularly when they’re important. I think there are more important things you can do for your personal life than vote. I mean, if you want to vote, vote, I’m not against it, but I’m saying it’s not the only… People think that’s the end of their civic duty and their service to country is that they vote, totally not true.
James Altucher: You should work on improving yourself, improving your community, improving your family and a rising tide lifts all boats. But something as simple as that is not obvious to people. So they just want to get into the Meijer and argue about fascists and Nazis and racists, and writing and protesting and no matter what side you’re on. So that’s what gives them pleasure.
Frank Curzio: Yeah I know, it’s definitely true. So James, if someone wants to learn more about you, find out more information about you, I mean your podcast, how could they do that?
James Altucher: Well, definitely subscribing to my podcast, the James Altucher Show, which I have a lot of fun with. And I have never pushed a book before, but I am really proud of my next book, “Skip the Line.” You can pre-order it on BarnesandNoble.com or Amazon.com. I think it’s my best book ever. And or you could watch the TV series, Choose Yourself on Amazon, which I’m proud of as well. I didn’t do the series, I’m in it, but I think they did a really good job, Amazon and DNA Films.
Frank Curzio: That’s really great stuff, James. And before you go to, I want to say, we do share one passion and that’s old school rap, which is a lot of people that you’ve interviewed on your podcast, right? What’s your interest in old school? Because me, it’s just so close to my heart. Something I listened to growing up and these people were just so amazing compared to how I hear rap today.
James Altucher: Yeah, I agree. I feel… I mean, the raps skill always improves, some rappers today are incredible. But I always feel like you go back to Naughty by Nature, Wu-Tang Clan, early Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, NWA, Public Enemy, Run-DMC. These people created the genre and different parts of the genre. And it’s just a pleasure to talk to them because then you build up this view of how such an incredible musical genres, originated and built up and so on. And it tells a story, it’s really expressive. Rap and hip hop are also great examples of what I call idea sex. They often meld others on musical genres, throw a beat on top of it and then throw spoken word poetry on top of it, which is the rap.
James Altucher: And it’s amazing and creates works of art. And then I love the dancing around it, the break dancing I think is beautiful and other aspects of rap. I think what people do with their throats and mouth with beatboxing is incredible. I mean, their mouths are like one man orchestras. And I just think the whole genre’s beautiful on the story, it’s beautiful, yeah. So I’ve had to Run-DMC, Russell Simmons, Coolio, Biz Markie, Luke from 2 Live Crew, I’ve had on so many rappers. So it’s been great.
Frank Curzio: That’s great stuff. And I better stop asking questions now because I could have you on for another hour, but I want to say, you said earlier, we know each other for such a long time. I’ve learned so much for you. I’m a big fan of yours. I really appreciate your time. You’ve helped me a lot. You’ve made me smarter, think about things I’ve come to you before for your opinion, and it’s always been amazing. So I just want to say, I really appreciate it and appreciate you taking the time to come to the podcast.
James Altucher: Well, thanks. I appreciate it, too. And again also, I always listen to your stuff. And when you analyze a stock, I pay attention. I remember talking years ago, you were telling me how you loved visiting the companies and doing all the research, doing all the due diligence. And I’m too lazy to do that. I really like how you analyze all these stocks and companies, and I think that’s a valuable service you perform.
Frank Curzio: Thanks, man. I really appreciate it. So listen, now that you’re in Florida, I’m in Florida, let’s definitely get together soon and hang out. You let me know when and I’m hoping to see you soon, buddy.
James Altucher: Absolutely, Frank. Thanks so much. I’ll talk to you soon.
Frank Curzio: Man, great stuff from James. Hey, so many people know him as a hedge fund manager, personal coach, great writer, awesome podcast host, master chess player, great ping pong player, comedian. But I think listening to that, you saw a new side of James that I’ve always knew, that he’s just a really nice guy. He cares. If this is bothering him, I didn’t know that his kids were getting insulted. That they raided his comedy club. Really? That’s what it comes down to? And it was a good article. I read it. I disagree because I need to disagree with that because I’m in New York, it’s New York City. I hope he’s a hundred percent wrong. He hopes he’s wrong, but he provided a lot of evidence why this is different just to see. I understand the response from people, but I don’t understand the insults.
Frank Curzio: I don’t know why they’re insulting him, and especially Seinfeld and stuff. I was surprised. I know he was trying to be funny. But anyway, I’m so happy he came on, and just a quick story is when James decided to get into the newsletter industry, he came to me about it. And then I talked to Stansberry, the company I was with at the time. And I remember, the higher ups were like, “Hey, you know James? What do you know about James?” I said, “I can tell you one thing about James. Most of the time, when he walks into the room, he’s the smartest guy in the room.” And they all looked at me like, just like anyone who runs their own company will look at you. Come on, give me a break. He’s looking and I said, “I’m serious.” And sure enough, I knew he signed a deal with them, and it worked out in his favor and then he moved over to another Agora branch or whatever.
Frank Curzio: But incredibly smart, humble, just a really good guy. I really appreciate him coming on. He’s been a big help for me and my business and someone that has given me great advice in the past. So hopefully you like that. It is strong. It’s opinionated. I love it. I haven’t seen him do a lot of interviews and things like that after this. So it is a good response and I’m glad that James chose our podcast, Wall Street Unplugged, to come on and express himself, which is cool after all this controversy. Now let’s move on here. A lot going on with the markets and I’m going to bring in Daniel Creech, my buddy. What’s going on, Dan? How you doing?
Daniel Creech: What’s happening, Frank? Doing well, doing well.
Frank Curzio: Well, I love this part of this segment because one, you’re right next to me, which is cool. It’s nice to talk to someone face to face, which we’re going to have more people come into the office. And we’re going to be doing this, I want to say almost live. We’re going to try to tape it first, and then I’d like to do live versions, but now they’re going to see, which is a good thing, Dan, because I don’t know if you told everybody, how much weight did you lose?
Daniel Creech: Well, when Frank threatened to move me back here and put me on camera, I had to get on the treadmill and stuff. So I was channeling my Joe Rogan and trying to get motivated. I’m probably down 25-ish pounds over the last year.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, Dan looks good. It’s good. I guess we work out. We help each other out. We try to eat healthy here, but I’m not going to tell Daniel he looks good because I was fat all my life. And when people tell me you look good, it kind of means that you thought I looked like shit all my life.
Daniel Creech: Yeah, thanks a lot. The last year and a half, you looked terrible.
Frank Curzio: So I’m not going to tell you that you look good. You’ve always looked good since I know you, Daniel, since we first interviewed you, whatever, three years, whatever how long it is now. But let’s get to some of this stuff because there’s a lot going on in news. Let’s start with Tuesday. You have Trump coming out, walking out of the White House, walking out of Walter Reed to the White House. And then he decided to send a tweet Tuesday around 2:30 with the market up saying, “Hey, no more negotiations on a new stimulus package.” Basically, both sides couldn’t agree to a $1.6 trillion deal. It’s all or nothing.
Frank Curzio: Not great news for people without jobs. People who need this money have been significantly impacted by COVID. But now he’s dialed it back a little bit. He’s saying, “Okay, we can send out checks right away. When I bailed airlines…” What are your thoughts on this? Because obviously it’s moving the markets. We’ve seen the markets move 5, 600 points over the past less than 24 hours.
Daniel Creech: Yeah, what a difference about 12 hours makes. He knows what he’s doing with Twitter. I’m going to piss a lot of people off here because I know people have strong opinions on whether he should or should not be tweeting, but he’s brilliant with how he uses it. And I think it was a good political chess match move because you get the stock market down, which anybody that doesn’t think Trump’s going to do everything in his power to keep that market up is not paying attention, in my opinion, because he tweets about it all the time. So I think it was a good political move in the sense that now he has to put pressure on other people.
Daniel Creech: And remember, politics is a game between Republicans and Democrats. And we’re coming up to the election, which is exactly why he’s for a stand-alone bill to send everybody $1,200 checks now, right before November. It shouldn’t surprise anyone. This is the game we’re in, but politically I think it was a good move on his part.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, it’s funny because I told you a story from my opening when I was with my mom in the hospital, I watched CNN and I came in, I remember ranting to you about it, I said, “Can you believe this? This is incredible. They’re tearing the guy apart. There’s times to do it and there’s times not to do it.” And they’re tearing him apart for reasons because he got out of the hospital early, because he took his mask off when he was outside on the balcony at the White House, how he’s so… Just killing him. And you said something pretty funny to me. I think everybody would want to hear that.
Daniel Creech: It’s funny because for the listeners out there, the office talk between Frank and I gets heated in a good way often. And I got to interrupt him every once in a while because he gets so passionate. He cares and that’s respectable and that’s awesome. But when it comes to politics, I have to interrupt and say, “Frank, you’re killing me with this, man,” because he keeps giving people the benefit of the doubt and politics and politicians do not deserve the benefit of the doubt, in my opinion.
Daniel Creech: They keep doing things for their own power, their own party. People are chess pieces and that’s the way that world works and operates. I’m not saying I’m completely right, but that’s as easy to see as me, as it is to sit here and look at Frank across the room right now. I had to stop him because he was making great points, but it’s like, “Hey whoa, you care way too much, man. You’re giving him too much power.” Politics is one of them things where you have to pay attention to and if you can’t laugh about it, it’ll drive you insane.
Frank Curzio: You know what? Right now, you can see from my opening it’s the first time I wasn’t laughing about it. I try to be unbiased. It’s very hard to do it. But when you see something that’s not true, and there’s so many ways you can attack Trump and go after him policy-wise and to make up crap… And it’s getting worse as it goes along, where you don’t even care if you get caught or if you lie right now. One of the things that pissed me off is when I saw Pelosi, where here’s a person that she’s blaming Trump because of they didn’t get the stimulus passed, but yet it was on your plate for three months at 1.5 trillion. She just went on The View and she’s like, “Well, it’s all or nothing.”
Frank Curzio: Let me tell you something about her because one, she’s been in office for over 30 years. She’s promised these poor people better lives for 30 years, minorities, Blacks, Spanish, all these people and hasn’t delivered. Try taking your kids for a walk after dinner in a lot of these metropolitan areas right now, New York City, Baltimore, Oakland, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, Milwaukee, I can keep going here. I mean, hundreds. Yeah, are these places really better off today, right now, than they were 10, 20, 30 years ago? Yet when I look at Pelosi, her net wealth is easily over a hundred million dollars, probably more closer to $125 million. What was it? Maybe a million or two when she first came into office 30 years? Again, that’s me using the most conservative estimate.
Frank Curzio: So a person that’s preaching that, “Hey, I care about you so much,” okay, you own real estate. You own partnerships. Blue-chip stocks. You have Apple. Facebook, you own and Apple, which is interesting. Visa, Walt Disney for decades. Own a vineyard in North Carolina wine country, actually North California’s wine country. Commercial real estate. Her portfolio, a house in the Pacific Heights worth over 20 million. For me, when I look at this, where you’re a person, I don’t care if you’re Democrat or Republican, where you’re saying, “Hey, I’m going to help you,” and you had 30 years to do it and you haven’t done it, but your wealth has considerably increased… What do they pay 225, 250, $300,000 to have her position? Where did this wealth come from?
Frank Curzio: To me, it’s something that I have to say that pisses me off. And I’d say it on both sides, but that’s something that ticked me off this week, to see her say, “Oh, well, it’s Trump’s fault.” It’s not Trump. You had a deal on your plate. You just didn’t accept it. You stalled for three months. Maybe it’s just me getting a little crazy here, Daniel, and not to take the stage away from you, but-
Daniel Creech: Isn’t her husband a really good investor? Her husband is a connected fellow.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, he’s a hedge fund guy, but they made a tremendous amount of money together through this whole entire period. It wasn’t like this guy’s worth a hundred million dollars and hey, she should married him. No, it’s not like that. And he is like…
Daniel Creech: Speaking of politics and investing, who was it? Mick Mulvaney? Who’s the guy that recently left the White House and is going to start a hedge fund or be a part of a hedge fund?
Frank Curzio: Yep.
Daniel Creech: So note to investors out there, pay attention to that filing! Let’s see what he’s looking at.
Frank Curzio: The connections that guy has, forget it. Holy cow.
Daniel Creech: It’s like going back to Hillary trading cattle futures.
Frank Curzio: Yeah. I wanted to get into the investing part here because we’ve seen the market move a lot. I’ve been adamant saying, “Guys, you should be buying.” Never thought I’d say this, small-cap cyclicals. Again, I never thought I’d say those two things, but we’re going to have an economy that opens up. All the statistics support it. We’re going to no matter what’s going on politically after November. I’m hoping that this doesn’t last too long. We’ll talk about that in a minute. But, when it opens up, I think it’s going to be a big opportunity to buy a lot of stocks that have been down, a lot of industries that have been down.
Frank Curzio: Some people don’t know that because they just talk about, on the financial media programs, about the stocks that are up 500%. A lot of stocks are still down 30, 40%, banks, travel-related companies, oil-related companies, energy, and there’s a lot of sector infrastructure still down tremendously. And once the economy opens up, these things are going to do pretty well. But one sector that you’ve been looking at, Daniel, is insurance. You actually gave us an insurance pick, not long. It’s done very well on Dollar Stock Club, where we interview people, take a pick and promote it and give it out to people for that subscription, Dollar Stock Club, through a podcast. Talk about the insurance industry because there was some big news on it this week.
Daniel Creech: Yeah, and the pick was Progressive, which is just an excellent run business. They focus more on auto insurance, but the big thing that cracked this week and a few weeks ago when I was on, I was talking about how your big players are property and casualty. And I don’t mean only property and casualty because they have their tentacles in investments in all kinds of types of insurance. But your big dogs like Travelers and Cincinnati Financial, W.R. Berkley, et cetera, a lot of these stocks haven’t participated in the huge rally back since we’ve seen the COVID crash because of business interruption.
Daniel Creech: Long story short, I don’t want to beat this dead horse too much, but a lot of companies, as you can totally understand, have gotten together and taken their insurance companies to court to say, “Hey, our business was interrupted. We were shut down. So therefore we want our insurance. We want to make claim and get some payouts to help us with rent, et cetera.” Of course insurance companies are saying, “Hey, you got to have physical damage to qualify for this.” So just a few days ago, I think Behzinga or somebody reported it, but a panel of judges threw out cases involving business interruption for Cincinnati Financial and it ended up hopping about 5% on the day, still well below their highs.
Daniel Creech: But I know this is a boring industry and sector, but insurance companies, especially property casualty, are some of the best well-run businesses around. And it’s for the simple fact that they take in claims from all of us on a monthly basis. And sometimes they don’t ever have to pay them out because, and I hope nobody has to, but if you don’t have to make a claim on your house or autos or anything like that, then they get to keep all that money and invest it and keep all the proceeds. So the business model is excellent. Those are companies that you want to buy and hold and forget about and leave the day trading and all the fun stuff for the Zooms and everything else in the world.
Frank Curzio: No, definitely. We comment on sectors and stocks all the time. I think I express in this podcast, I’m pretty bullish based on the tailwinds that we have, what more stimulus is going to come. This is all nonsense. It’s got to come eventually. So this is a short term hiccup. I actually said when the market came down yesterday, I tweeted, “Listen, use this as a buying opportunity if you get a chance.” You had the stimulus come in. You have already six and a half trillion into the system already, super low interest rates forever. It promotes an equity rally to continue for a long time.
Frank Curzio: One thing I think that we have to be concerned about though, because you have your Biden die-hards and you have your Trump die-hards, so whatever happens November 3rd, but what happens if this stretches out, in your opinion, where you have a lot of battleground states. We saw in 2000 where the Supreme Court had to decide who was the winner based on Florida’s recount. But we could have five or six different states with recounts that could take well into December. And in fact, this is 55% of Americans are either not too confident or not confident at all, that even when you announce it, if the results of the election will be valid.
Frank Curzio: What are some of your thoughts on this? Because if that’s true, you’re going to see a lot of pissed off people. You might see more protests, more uncertainty, which the markets hate. What are you putting the odds of this happening compared to… It’s interesting how many people actually, again, this survey from NBC, 55% of Americans are either not too confident or not all confident that the results of the election will be valid.
Daniel Creech: Well, if you could bet on chaos, I would mortgage your house because that’s a lot. And it’s unfortunate. I say that with a smile. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way or not that I don’t take it serious. It’s just how you have to deal with some of these things. The big thing I fear is that I don’t think it’s going to be over quickly, in a matter of months, anyway. You could argue that there’s an entire side that hasn’t even accepted the election of 2016. Now, not to get too much off of a rabbit trail, but with all the BS and all the declassified information coming out from high-level people about the whole Russia story and who knew and who, what, and what rules did the FBI break and all this kind of stuff, that’s only going to get a lot worse.
Daniel Creech: Coming back to the volatility side, of course, you’re going to have protests. And you’re going to have both sides that are going to argue until they’re lawyered out. There’s news reports out there that hundreds, if not thousands, when you find hired legal assistants, consultants and I guess poll and volunteers, they’re going to try to tie up the courts as much as they can. And in the meantime, you’re going to have your Facebooks and your Googles and all that start thumbing down on everybody because they’ve already threatened to. Can you imagine how much fun both sides are going to have declaring a victory?
Daniel Creech: Take Florida, for example. How many tweets are going to come out that, “Hey, so-and-so looks like he’s leading,” and “Oh, we’re going to declare Biden” or, “Well, we’re going to call this”? It’s going to go back and forth a ton. It’ll be chaos. It’ll be a ton of volatility, but I still think you could look to buying opportunities in that because when shit hits the fan, a lot of times capital markets are going to be where, as goofy as it sounds, capital markets are where you want to put money at.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, and guys, I’m bringing this up for a reason because I just wrote a free, it’s going to be a free report to everybody. So if you want it you can go to our website. It’s going to be available in about a day or two. It’s just getting all fixed up and nice, which I wish I could write perfect and don’t need editors, but we have to hire great editors. Thank you, Stephanie, I’ll give you a shout. But it’s basically a report on… It’s called A Third Option. So it’s if Biden wins or if Trump wins, I highlight the sectors that are going to do great. Of course, Trump, there is some sectors that are going to do even better, but mostly status quo. But what industries are going to be impacted the most, which are the best, which are the worst?
Frank Curzio: But I also talk about this third option. If this happens and this lasts longer than expected or if we do see this unrest as so many people are expecting because it’s close and it’s going to be called and we do see that in certainty, it’s how to play it and how to really make a lot of money if that happens, that third option. I’m going to put this on our website, Curzio Research. Again, it’s absolutely for free, guys. You just go there, click it, you’re good if you’re interested. But to me, that’s a big topic. These policies are going to impact so many different industries. People say, “The market’s going to do well whether it’s Biden or whether it’s Trump or whatever.” Guys, certain sectors are not going to do well based on who gets elected again and other sectors are going to thrive.
Frank Curzio: Maybe the market as a whole, if you look at the S&P 500, goes up over time, like it’s done in a cyclical trend since the ’50s, since it existed. But overall, you have to pay attention to your allocation. There’s trillions of dollars on the sideline waiting to see what happens here. It’s going to be impacted significantly, but I lay out a whole thing. It’s a really cool detailed analysis. Sectors, I name individual stocks, give a lot away free because just for people out there. Everyone’s been listening to us and Daniel for a while that knows us, trusts us. But for people who don’t, this is something just to show our type of research to get you started. It’s really cool. You’ll find lots of ideas.
Frank Curzio: Now, Daniel, before we go here, let’s talk about, again, the insurance companies that you talked about, did fantastic with. Great call on those. What are some of the things, maybe we’ll end with this, that you’re looking for and that you’re looking at now that interests you or something that maybe makes you a little bit nervous out there? And again, we talk about different stocks and sectors and view the market almost 24/7, both of us. So what are some of the things that scare the hell out of you or something that you’re really excited about?
Daniel Creech: Two quick topics here. Alternative energy covers both of those, both that are intriguing and scary as hell. Because if you look at, take the ETF for solar, Invesco Solar portfolio, ticker is T-A-N, tan, T-A-N, it’s got a big holding, such as SolarEdge, Sunrun, First Solar. But if you pull up charts on these things, they’ve been trending higher and lately they have exploded straight to the upside. Another company is Bloom Energy. They’re not solar. They’re more of a fuel cell and alternative power. When you see these massive moves higher, it can make it harder to pull the trigger and sit on the sidelines. So I got to dig a lot more into that, but I just want to be open. That’s definitely got my attention because I’ve seen some headlines across Briefing, one of the sites we use for information, and it’s on the radar and we’ll do deep dives into that.
Daniel Creech: The other one is, with interest rates lower for longer and the Fed pledging all that, you want to look to the biggest and best asset allocators. And you can look at big hedge funds. Disney is in the news today because Dan Loeb, a respected hedge fund manager… Is it Third Point? Is that who Dan Loeb?
Frank Curzio: Third Point, yep.
Daniel Creech: They took a big stake. They’re saying that they should cut the dividend and focus on streaming and the stock’s up on that news today, like Carl Icahn, his Icahn Enterprises. And you can look at huge corporations with brands like Fox. Fox has no debt to worry about over the next few years, a ton of cash on their balance sheet and they’re a huge, marketable name. They can get into basically anything they want. So in the low interest rate world, you want to look to those players that have access to capital. Blackstone’s another one. You’ve got some of the best investors ever and they’re going to have low-hanging fruit to pick deals when money’s free. So definitely put all that on your radar and look to invest and be ready to pull the trigger.
Frank Curzio: No, it’s really good stuff. He’s saying that they should, because they need to cut the dividend. They can’t afford it. If you’re going to pay for content, and again, this content they’re streaming, they’re hiring the best actors actually, as they demand, some of them, 10 million dollar plus, which Netflix is fine paying. They use their stock as currency and that’s fine and that cashflow, it takes a hit. But Disney is not used to that business model. They took on a ton of debt at the absolute wrong time. Almost every single one of their segments is getting impacted. The fact that they didn’t put out any numbers on Mulan makes it scary. I still haven’t heard anything about that. I thought that would do very well. If it did, they would have put out numbers already.
Frank Curzio: I said earlier, in California Disney Park is still closed. The other one’s operating at 40% capacity, so Broadway musicals, everything across the board, scary times for Disney right now. So I’ll be interested how Loeb thinks they’re going to change the company. And again, I want to read that thoroughly, but he’s right. If they could get into streaming, and they need the cash to get into streaming, they should cut the dividend. No one buys Disney for the dividend anyway, so it’s now a growth company, but it’s a good idea.
Frank Curzio: Anyway, Daniel, thank you so much for coming on. Love sharing your insights. Get lots of positive feedback. Also a few negatives, which are political thoughts.
Daniel Creech: Oh, keep them coming.
Frank Curzio: And what’s your email again?
Daniel Creech: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frank Curzio: That’s perfect. Don’t worry, I got to forward everything to him so keep it coming guys, email@example.com. Thanks again, Dan, for coming on. Last thing here, our CEO token, Curzio Equity Owners coming down now. It’s going to be trading very soon, likely the next 10, 14 days. We have a tentative date of next week. One of the most exciting times in our company’s history. So, I’m going to reach out with everyone for the details. If you should, in person, it’s a security token, how you do, going to be trading on the MERJ Exchange, M-E-R-J. Just really exciting times. And it’s been a lot of work to get to this point. I just wanted to thank you, but I’m getting lots of questions on it and I promise I’ll answer every single one. You’re going to see lots of emails over the next two weeks about this. And the last thing is check out my free report called, “The Third Option.”
Frank Curzio: Again, stock sectors are going to benefit from a Biden win, a Trump reelection. It’s not political. It’s not biased. It is a little political, but it’s not biased. Listen, it’s a report written that here’s how you make money if Trump wins, Biden wins and, more important, that third option, which is chaos and uncertainty. Because of this happens, I’m going to show you in this report how to make an absolute killing. So it’s going to be on our website tomorrow. And it’s absolutely for free because that’s how good of a nice guy I am. But hopefully you guys read it and definitely comment. I love to hear your comments, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frank Curzio: So that’s it for me. Thanks so much for listening. A really long show today, but great interviews. Thanks, Daniel, for coming on. Great interviews from Altucher. Really cool stuff. We want to up the ante here. Because of you, we’re getting more listeners and we’re starting to get more quality guests here. So, really appreciate that, and I promise I’m going to give you everything I have here. Always question these people. Ask them those tough questions that a lot of people are afraid to ask them. But that’s what this podcast is about. We want to learn, want to get better and, of course, make more money and be able to retire early. So that’s it for me. Really appreciate all of your support and I’ll see you guys in seven days. Take care.
Announcer: The information presented on Wall Street Unplugged is the opinion of its hosts and guests. You should not base your investment decisions solely on this broadcast. Remember, it’s your money and your responsibility. Wall Street Unplugged, produced by the Choose Yourself Podcast Network, the leader in podcasts produced to help you choose yourself.
- Guest: James Altucher, venture capitalist and bestselling author [27:56]
- Educational: Trump, stimulus, and sectors to watch [01:20:46]
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