Everything Q&A: How to create a valuable newsletter! Scam industries! | The James Altucher Show

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Key Takeaways

  • The Constitution is entirely fallible
    • It is only as upright and principled as the citizens who uphold it
  • The government says a professional Trace Force to contact trace the spread of coronavirus benefits us, but should we believe them?
    • Every injurious government policy starts with good intentions
  • Scam industries:
    • College, credit scores, pharmaceuticals, therapy, law, scientific research, and fashion
  • Epidemiologists are experts in the analysis of the patterns and distributions of health conditions
    • It doesn’t mean they understand the chemical nature of viruses or the economic effects of lockdowns
  • James believes coronavirus will accelerate economic and societal changes such as the rise of remote work and increasing divorce rates
  • There isn’t a single influential person in history who has a spotless moral record
  • Easy steps to create a successful newsletter business:
    1. Figure out what niche you have a unique perspective
    2. Create a lot of valuable content for free and put it everywhere to improve brand awareness
    3. Run a free newsletter with valuable content and use that to drive people to another premium newsletter with extra insights

Books Mentioned

Intro

  • Hosts: James Altucher (@jaltucher) & Robyn Altucher

Government Overreach

  • The government says a professional Trace Force to contact trace the spread of coronavirus benefits us, but should we believe them?
    • Who’s to say the Trace Force will disappear after the coronavirus epidemic is over?
  • The US government has tried to overextend its powers since the beginning of US history
    • The Alien and Sedition Acts made it illegal to oppose the government in thought and John Adams used it to imprison many political opponents
  • The progression of our society into an information age may require citizens to understand the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, in a modern context to ensure the government doesn’t translate it for us
  • The Constitution is entirely fallible
    •  We can legally turn America into a Nazi state simply by following the constitutional processes outlined within it
    • The Constitution is only as upright and principled as the citizens who uphold it
  • Every injurious government policy starts with good intentions
    • The original intent of the Higher Education Act, which provides federal college loans, was to ensure the populace could get a quality education, but it resulted in a surge of college tuition prices and the student debt crisis

Scam Industries

  • College
    • “Skills and ideas are more important than a certificate you hang on a wall” James Altucher
    • Degrees today function more as gatekeepers of industries than as proof of competence
  • Credit scores 
    • You can pay a company to artificially boost your own credit score
  • Pharmaceuticals
    • Doctors are paid more to prescribe certain drugs resulting in situations like the opioid epidemic
    • The FDA recalls 4,500 approved drugs every year, after they’ve already had time in the market to make a profit
  • Therapy
    • Therapists are incentivized to not solve someone’s problems so they keep coming back and paying high hourly rates
  • Law
    • Companies and institutions can sweep completely unethical actions with disastrous consequences under the rug by simply paying a law firm to take care of it
  • Scientific research
    • A lot of scientific research is for the good of the public, but many researchers and institutions are beholden to provide certain results for their funders
  • Fashion
    • Modern fashion is actually quite ugly and only branded by celebrities and other “high-class” people in order to convince the public it’s worth the exorbitant sums they charge

On Coronavirus

  • The CDC and WHO have released several self-contradictory statements which makes many people question their legitimacy
  • Epidemiologists are experts in the analysis of the patterns and distributions of health conditions
    • It doesn’t mean they understand the chemical nature of viruses or the economic effects of lockdowns
  • People take predictive models at face-value without considering how those models are generated
  • James believes coronavirus will accelerate economic and societal changes such as the rise of remote work and increasing divorce rates
  • “I do think people will become a lot more entrepreneurial; I think there will be a lot more side hustles” – James Altucher
    • “I think the skill you’ve to develop is how to turn side hustles into a business”
      • For example, starting as a virtual assistant then delegating the administrative tasks to a team and running it as an agency 

Respectable Leaders

  • There isn’t a single influential person in history who has a spotless moral record
    • Regardless of how great a person is, they’re still a human being
  • James lost respect for Warren Buffett, despite Warren’s grandfatherly image, after 9/11
    • Warren stated there is a 100% certainty of a nuclear strike on America in the next 50 years and proceeded to sell nuclear insurance after he successfully scared the public
  • Joe Moglia stepped down from being the CEO of TD Ameritrade and basically became an intern for a football team before working his way up to a head coaching position
  • William Wheeler the vice president to Rutherford B. Hayes
    • Opposed congressional pay raises and returned his extra salary every year after Congress voted a raise for themselves
    • Refused to take bribes and perform favors while in public office
      • “There is nothing in the gift of the State of New York which will compensate me for the forfeiture of my self-respect”William Wheeler
    • “He’s the only person I can think of in American politics who’s totally non-corrupt” – James Altucher

How to Start a Successful Online Newsletter

  • There are automated services that will run the technical aspects of a newsletter for you like Substack
  • Easy steps for creating a newsletter business:
    1. Figure out what niche you have a unique perspective
    2. Create a lot of valuable content for free and put it everywhere to improve brand awareness
    3. Run a free newsletter with valuable content and use that to drive people to another premium newsletter with extra insights
  • Advertising:
    • Don’t pitch your premium newsletter in your public ads
      • Drive people to your free newsletter and once they are a captive audience you can pitch your premium newsletter to them
    • Use giveaways to grow your free newsletter using sites like KingSumo
    • Try advertising your newsletter in podcasts related to your newsletter niche
      • Podcast advertisements are also more personable and relatable than traditional ads
  • Put your premium newsletter out once a week and your free newsletter out at least 3 times a week
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Notes By TD

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