What To Do When You Lose Everything

A good friend of mine lost all his money yesterday. Two nights ago he wrote me: ZNGA had bad earnings, it’s down 40% after hours. If it opens up here in the morning then my account will be shut down, I will lose all my money, I will owe the bank money, and I will probably have to declare bankruptcy, I’ll have to move in with my parents,  and I’ll never get credit again.

(a character in Zynga poker)

He was very upset.

I asked him, are you going to be able to sleep tonight?

He said, not a wink.

I said, are you sure you are thinking about this correctly?

He said, yes, I will probably immediately have to file for bankruptcy and I will never get any credit again.

I asked, how old are you?

He wrote, 24.

I said, what good is credit for you right now? Are you buying a house tomorrow?

No, but maybe I will need a loan.

Well, I said, no bank was going to give you a loan anyway and if you borrow from family are they going to do a credit check on you?

Probably not, he said.

But, he said (continuing his “story”) I will have none of the money I have saved up. It’s all gone now. I’ll have to file for bankruptcy!

I said, how do you know that? Have you actually consulted a bankruptcy lawyer? There’s a lot of space between “here” and “there” where “there” is bankruptcy. And what’s so bad about bankruptcy anyway at the age of 24? I don’t think anyone’s ever done a credit check on me ever.

I remember when I was 24. Not that everyone has to be the same as me. We are all different. But I was in graduate school making a massive $11,000 a year and had no money to my name

Try to get some sleep, I told him. You’ll need your full mental capacities when you wake up.

The next day:

Everything was worse than he thought. ZNGA opened up lower than he thought it would. But then it closed a tiny bit higher than it opened. I didn’t have a chance to touch base with him until the end of the day.

Did you sleep, I asked?

Not a wink.

How are you doing, I said.


I ended up coding all night, he said. I’m very excited about my project. I programmed for eight straight hours on it and it’s doing great.

The bank didn’t close me out like I thought it would. And ZNGA closed at the exact spot I needed to not owe the bank money.

I’m done trading stocks, though. I feel like a great weight has lifted off my shoulders.

If I have to move back in with my parents it  means I will be able to code more on my project and get to hang out with my parents a little more than I have been lately.

When are you declaring bankruptcy, I asked.

Haha, he said. I guess that was overreacting.

So, he had a great evening. He spent eight straight hours working on something he was passionate about. He didn’t have to file bankruptcy, which was ridiculous to begin with. He’s going to get to spend more time with his family. He doesn’t owe the bank money. And he’s giving up a negative addiction (trading stocks) that is now causing him to feel a huge surge of relief, as if a great weight has been lifted off his shoulders. In addition to all this, he has 20/20 vision. Better than me.

We should all be so lucky at the age of 24.

People’s minds tend to think very fast: it goes like this:

Hmmm, losing some money, which means I’m losing all my money, filing for bankruptcy, homeless, never get a job again, my work is useless without money, I’ll never own a home, no girls will like me, all my friends will think I’m a loser,  my life is over.

BAM! Sometimes that thought process happens in the space of a second when something goes wrong.

Here’s another one:

The love of my life is cheating on me. I’ll never like anyone like I like her. She’s betraying me. Everyone will betray me. I’m the type of person people betray. I’m worthless. I’ll never be happy again. I’m going to kill myself.


SLOW DOWN. Your brain wants to run from a predator. That is what it has evolved to do. But there are no elephants rampaging. There’s no need for the brain to react so fast.

Let’s summarize all the ways to think about a bad situation RIGHT WHEN you are experiencing it.

–          This feels bad RIGHT NOW but won’t feel this bad forever. Think of all the other times you felt this bad. In every case, there was some point afterwards when you felt better. I am sure of this.

–          Think: Ultimately this is something I will need and things will work out better than I expect. My brain always tries to make things worse than they are because the brain is a pretty shitty human organ anyway. And it has basically evolved from a bunch of cavemen who were running from elephants all the time.

–          There’s 7  billion people on the planet. Probably at least 100 million of those people (1.5%) are feeling worse than me right now. That’s a lot of people.

–          There’s at least five good things that can come out of this bad situation (no matter what the situation is: even the death of a loved one, even a critical diagnosis of illness, even bankruptcy, even jail).  List the five good things. You will find them even if it’s hard. Be grateful you get to experience these five things. (there’s actually probably 100 good things that will come out of any bad event but that’s too many to think about).

–          The Earth is a very tiny planet when viewed from Saturn. Here it is. And I’m a very tiny part of that but grateful to be part of this vast universe.

(what the Earth looks like from Saturn)

–          I’m going to do James’s alien technique: picture as if I just died and now an alien from outer space has taken over my body and this situation. He is not told anything about me: he just has to start from scratch and make the best of it. A clean slate. He has 48 hours. Visualize being that alien. Does he really see things as that bad for me? Versus all the other bodies he’s been in? What should the alien do right now? Imagine the alien is now in a young, healthy, 24 year old body with infinite opportunity in front of it, as an example. I bet the alien could work well with that.

–          I’m doing to do the daily practice. Things feel bad this second. But they can feel better tomorrow. I’m going to pick one physical goal (do 20 pushups, don’t eat junk food). I’m going to pick one emotional goal (forgive someone in your life), pick one mental goal (write down 10 ideas for new businesses), and one spiritual goal (be grateful you were once a fetus). Then I’m going to write an X on the calendar once I accomplish all those goals. Then I’m going to do it again the next day. I know my life will be completely different in six months if I do this. If the goals seem too big, then make them smaller. But do all four.

–          I don’t care what people think of me. My situation is bad enough. I don’t need to be a slave to everyone else’s approval. Slavery is illegal.

–          People write their “story” every day. Realize that most of the time, that story is pure fiction, usually a horror story.

–          I don’t care that I once had X and now I have Y, which seems less than X. That’s just time traveling. Now is the only moment worth thinking about, the rest is misery, whether I had more or less. And at least 90% of my predictions of the future fail to come true, no matter how “smart” I am. So I’m not going to think about the future either. That’s also time traveling. No time traveling!

–          When you are time traveling, you are not “here”. Being here is better than being “there”.

–          I don’t care that he has more than me, or less than me, or a girlfriend, or a house. Look around! I am abundant. I am alive.

–          Depression, anger, and fear are all mirrors. They are also the best teachers.

–          My thoughts need to slow down. Bad brain!

I don’t recommend these ideas out of any hubris. I recommend them only because I’ve experimented many times and know they work for me.

I once had more than I have right now. Many times I have felt the world was over for me, that life was over for me. The boy I describe above could’ve been me on 1000 different occasions. But now I have everything I could possibly want. And then some. And when I am finally allowed to return home to the mother ship I will be proud that I accomplished my mission.

Read More: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Investing All of Your Money



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  • namenamed

    Best – the picture of the planet earth from far far away, thanks.

  • Zach

    Putting all your money in an internet stock?? Well, if nothing else he got a valuable education, namely that financial market investing/trading isn’t for amateurs or casual participants. It takes a lot of people many years and losses to figure that out, so he’s already ahead of the game!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Putting all your money in one stock, putting all faith in one belief, all love in one woman, all hopes in one goal, all dreams in one fantasy == all the same thing. We all do it. We all have suffered from it. Err…at least I have.

  • Annelies

    Great to read this when things don’t go so well financially. And definitely my experience that things change and it will be better soon because many new things will pop up that I can’t even think of when I’m in this mode. So I let things be, turn around and put my mind on something else. Making that move is already creating space for a new perspective. Hope my bank account will show me soon enough it works again. Thanks for the right story at the right time.

  • Franklin

    And the sad thing is that he won’t ever learn from this and never play the stock market cause he got burned. And here, ladies and gentleman is the crux of the problem with other kids my age. They are just stupid. Do your homework. If you put it all on zygna, might as well put it all on black. You deserved to lose your money.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Its not the idea of putting it all in one stock. Everyone screws up one way or the other like that. Its just that – everyone screws up. How to bounce back.

      • jadoube


        You don’t get it.

        He doesn’t have a stock market addiction.

        he has a gambling addiction.

        He learned nothing, and he’ll transfer his gambling addiction to another venue.

        Today, your friend needs kind words and an ear.

        Tomorrow, he needs help.

        • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

          Maybe. But we’re all addicts of something.

        • Prat

          As a person who went through something similar, the gambling addiction analogy is not a given at all.

  • mikeyhell

    Yikes, he’s lucky he had your shoulder to cry on, James. Without some clear-headed advice he could have sustained some major brain damage .

  • chimera

    one of my good friends always said ‘whatever happens, happens for good’ even if the situation is bad. I try to learn from every failure that way. But it is human to feel pain,regret etc at the occurrence of the bad event. What is important is how we rise and shine after that and not wallow in it forever.

    • Katherine Levine

      The Buddhist say “It is all all right.” Repeating that to myself helps me remember what matters.

  • http://twitter.com/runningdmc Dawn Casey-Rowe

    Slowing down and rediscovering passion works.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zak.klemmer Zak Arthur Klemmer

    Damn! James, you are so inspirational! I love your blog!

  • Amy

    Great Post! It’s hard to see clearly when you are in the middle of a storm. Love the part about not being a slave to other’s approval. One of these days I will break the chains. Enjoyed seeing you on Stossel!

  • Adam

    Great, as always.

    On of my favorite quotes comes from Carl Sagan, on that distant photo of our planet:
    Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
    The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
    Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
    The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
    It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
    (Source: http://www.inspiredspeeches.com/education/carl-sagan-pale-blue-dot)

  • TB at BlueCollarWorkman.com

    THe problem of course is taking a moment to THINK. It’s really hard to do when you’re suddenly in a situation like that! I have anger problems sometimes and have that same problem of my mind suddenly jumping way further ahead than it should be. It’s hard to stop for a moment and just breath and think about the reality of things and be realistic.
    P.S. The earth from saturn picture is crazy. CRAZY. If that doesn’t put things in perspective, I don’t know what does.

    • Katherine Levine

      Stopping to think about what matters is the heart of emotional intelligence or what I call emotional fitness.

  • http://twitter.com/PatriseArt Patrise Henkel

    Great perspective, really seeing the big picture. As I’ve lost “the” job, nearly lost “the” house, I’ve learned to reinvent and redefine what happy really is.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Reinvention is a wonderful thing. Think how so few the opportunities are for it during this lifetime we have.

  • Patrick

    Brilliant….I once heard an analogy that worrying about something that might happen is like paying interest on money you might borrow (Certainly not a wise use of resources.) Often when we experience tough times, our mind races to think of the one million possible outcomes and, after all is said and done, the way things play out is usually that 1,000,001 scenario we failed to think of…..For the vast majority of us, this previously unconsidered outcome is vastly better than the million we feared.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Reminds me of a quote (maybe someone wrote it in these comments, i forget): “resentment is like being angry at someone and then swallowing the poison you intended for them”

      • Black Bart

        Close on the quote…. resentment is drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. “

  • http://twitter.com/voyicks Paul Sokol

    Really, this post is talking about your attitude towards your life situation, which is the only thing we truly have 100% control over. I had literally lost everything too, and were I not intentionally focused on staying positive in my own head, I don’t know where I would be today. Thanks for elucidating this concept with some great examples!

  • Katherine Levine

    Pinned you on my Emotional Fitness Exercise Board as Something to think about. You never bore and you always give me something to think about. Here’s the Pin;

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Thanks Katherine!

  • Ben

    I like your thought of: “This feels bad right now, but it won’t forever.”

    What works for me is saying/thinking “Stick with first impressions” which I stole from Marcus Aurelius, which basically means don’t extrapolate from the given information and if you do decide to extrapolate you have to do so from multiple angles not just the worst.

    An example Marcus used was: “my son might be ill tonight but not that he might die from this illness, just that he’s ill.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1296301372 Wil Stahl

    I enjoy these topics in particular James. I’m hustling to rebuild my life as well – sure wish I was doing this at 24 and not 45. Youth, health and freedom… sounds like he’s got everything to me.

    Talk about appreciation, I wonder if people realize what it took for our species to but a camera around another planet 800 million miles away. Got a rover landing on Mars in few days as well. Love space space exploration.

    BTW, enjoyed Michael Ellsberg’s book.

  • http://twitter.com/DSettembrini Nietzsche’sPortfolio

    At what price did he buy ZNGA ? why did he buy ZNGA? 100% ZNGA? James,
    why didn’t he talk to you first? I recall u saying MSFT at $25. Or use
    Grahams equation: here’s the low down on MetLife vs Facebook: -MET is
    sqrt(22.5 x 55.30 x 5.48) = 82.5741485 Met Life (MET) that’s $82
    currently $30. FB is sqrt(22.5 x 3.45 x 0.65) = 7.1032563 that’s $7.10
    now $23. No thanks.

    So he made a mistake in a stock. Big Deal. But Mongo sez: “I don’t do stocks no more. stock market bad. Me go find mama.” NO! He could have instead bought JNJ or CL when he bought ZNGA and where would he be today? http://www.amazon.com/The-Intelligent-Investor-Definitive-Investing/dp/0060555661

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Its not really the stock or even stocks in general that is the issue here.

      • http://twitter.com/runningdmc Dawn Casey-Rowe

        True…it’s the emotion–slowing down, taking a breath, reassessing, reevaluating… things are never as bad as they seem, and learning to avoid the initial waves of panic and the fight/flight is the biggest game changer of them all. It’s a life changer:)

      • mlk12

        Some people just keep on thinking too fast to understand or see the whole picture or the meaning of something. They just can’t “get it”. Not yet anyway, maybe someday.

    • jquick99

      I agree with you…why is he putting all his money into one stock, and then ZNGA at that? And then wants to run home and live with Mommy. Bring back the stigma of living at home and/or filing for bankruptcy.

      • http://444express.blogspot.com/ the444

        “why is he putting all his money into one stock”
        Because he’s 24. There are people 42 and 62 who think that way, but it’s a “mental age of 24” thing to do. He’ll learn – painfully.

        • multi-leveraged

          I’m over 40, yet earlier this year my idea of diversification was different amounts of leverage on Apple stock, totalling most of my net worth. It was bliss: the market had totally misinterpreted Apple’s recent sales figures before the new iPhone, so I reached for a bucket and in a few weeks I parlayed about a quarter million dollars into more than two. Then I lost about 2/3 of that amount in a few steps. It’s easy to intellectualise how much better I’m off now than before, and how the risk was commensurate with the hyper-aggressive strategy, with a fundamental incompatibility between reaching that amount and cautiously taking all my profits off the table at the right time. But it still hurts to know that at any of many days I could have just cashed out at a level that I will never be able to reach again by the proceeds of normal work.

          • http://444express.blogspot.com/ the444

            Ah, the phantom of “What I Could Have Had.” Don’t be controlled by that monster. It’s my personal demon and I’m trying to learn to work around it, now that you bring it up. I’m giving you advice I should give myself.

          • multi-leveraged

            Thanks, but I already know a thing or two about anchoring and loss aversion from Daniel Kahneman, whose excellent book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” I was reading at the time (and can heartily recommend). I may well get through mourning before the year is over, but my compounded “loss” extrapolated over the rest of my useful lifetime is nothing to sneeze at, let alone the missed opportunity of eating my cake right now and having it, too (instead of needing to preserve capital in the hope of a repeated growth spurt). Now, sadly, my brightest prospect is next week’s $200M lottery jackpot (free of tax!). :-)

  • http://twitter.com/DSettembrini Nietzsche’sPortfolio

    Well, the conclusion was-Stock Market no good-I do stocks no more. Wrong. What should be learned is: I didn’t know WTF I was doing -I made a mistake -what did I do wrong?-how could I have done better? Of course, he doesn’t HAVE to be in stocks again. But every time we fail in something should we say ‘i never do that again’? I never fall in love again because i was hurt’ ” I never pet a cat again because mean cat bit me?

    This child/man u speak of is blessed to have a mommy and daddy to go to–some of us don’t have a mommy to bail us out and take us in. Therefore, when we ‘invest’ in something we have to first weigh the possible outcomes before we do. Of course that means taking the time to educate ourselves in the thing we are about to embark on. Who the F— goes bankrupt investing in 1 speculative stock? Answer: someone that can always go back to mama.

    Yesterday, I didn’t stretch before exercise-I pull hamstring- i never will exercise again.

  • UmDayo

    I needed to read exactly this exactly this moment. Thank you James for perhaps saving my life.

  • Mark from Boise

    Good article. I was laid off from my high paying job after 14.5 years. The HR person gave me a “packet” and one of the items was a page describing the feelings that a displaced worker might have. The recommendations were to NOT sell everything. To NOT make any financial decisions for at least a week. To NOT payoff (or run up) credit cards. I was freaked at losing my job but glad to have the “packet” to focus on.

    Eventually I started a business and then a year and a half later was hired back at the high paying job. Glad I stayed cool and didn’t do anything rash. Enjoyed this article.

  • IRON100

    You may have lost your honey; you may be filled with strife; you may have lost your money, but you still hang onto life. You kept the right thing….

  • http://danmar.posterous.com/ jmdanmar

    Great post. I wish I had learned this kind of lesson at 24! :)

  • jquick99

    He’s acting like a Drama Queen. What’s he doing putting all his money
    into ZNGA anyways? Sounds like he may have had a margin account, why
    else would the bank close his account down? A fool and his money…

  • Alecto

    I like to read this guy, he makes me laugh at my typical day:

    It’s 4:30am and I have to get up and my coffee maker didn’t work. Argh.
    Where’s that contractor who is supposed to be fixing my leaking barn roof?
    Oh, God no, is that the neighbor’s dog chasing my sheep out there? Why didn’t I plant corn or wheat or something that stays put, like a normal person?
    [Panic] OMG, I’ll have a heart attack and die on this barn floor and these sheep are soooo dumb they’ll just walk over me and probably shit on me, too! Three months from now when they come to repossess the farm, a foreclosure agent will find my body covered in three feet of sheep dip! Oh, Jesus Christ, is that a raccoon up there? Where’s that number for animal control? Better yet, where’s my shot gun?

    What’s for dinner? It ain’t beef! :)

  • http://736hundred.tumblr.com/ 736hundred

    No matter what day it is, someone is out there suffering from the grip of fear and they need understanding, clarity and kindness.

    I am happy you were there for him.
    And to the snide remarks of “running home to mommy.” I ran home to my Mommy last year and I am grateful for her generosity. If my children ever need to come home they are always welcome, no matter what.

    Oh wait, one is coming home tomorrow.

  • http://444express.blogspot.com/ the444

    I used to invest in stocks. It took me years to learn not to do that. Now I day-trade options instead – see my blog. It’s the only way I can make money in “the market.” And I need to make some money, so that’s what I’m doing. I don’t trust ANY company farther than I can throw them – not for a minute – these days. (That’s not to say I don’t have a few stock holdings, but they go my way or they go the highway, no exceptions.) I can’t make money any way except riding the wave. Sorry if I said anything twice but it’s time for my one alcohol per week – I think I earned it today.

  • http://twitter.com/RealDividendLab DividendLab

    Level headed feedback for a friend. Great articles James.

  • Lauren

    Every time I read your posts, I think “this is my favorite post” and today was no exception. Thank you. And I didn’t at all think this post was about the stock market. Or being 24. Keep bleeding!

  • Zardoz123

    You are right James…I agree…If one observes and reflects…good does come out of many lousy experiences…

  • http://twitter.com/JoePritchard JoePritchard

    With due respect, this chap has had a bad time but he’s young, has a brain and needs to ‘Man Up’ and get on with earning some money. ‘Losing everything’ is different things to different people but it’s hellishly worse when you’re twice his age, have a family, have been employed in a dying industry and despite your best efforts are staring mortgage foreclosure and Bankruptcy in the face.

    I’ve met 4 out of 5 of those (I’m not in a dying industry) and it sucks – but whining will not help. Getting back on your feet and doing what’s needed to meet mortgage, meet your debts, even if that means you eat beans and dry bread for a month – is what you do if you want to get up again and play with the big boys.

  • multi-leveraged

    So… we really don’t know how much the friend lost. How many years’ worth were originally invested, how many were paper gains only? It’s impossible to say anything useful without that. If he can recover his original investment in a few years, as I’m guessing from his not owning a house yet, he should definitely just “suck it in” and write it down as a learning experience (been there, done that, wasn’t even 24 any more).

    The arguments for coping are often lame or even objectionable (are you ever entitled to feel bad about anything unless you’re literally starving to death in the Sahel?). How the earth looks from Saturn doesn’t mean anything either, since the nearest intelligent life other than Earth’s may not even be able to resolve our entire Milky Way with the naked eye, nor we theirs. It’s better to gain perspective by actually having a perspective comprised of broad knowledge and “wisdom”. But if you do need a crutch to reset your value system, who am I to say not to use one?

    Maybe James was really talking about his own situation, or anything really serious, with other people affected as well? It’s a blog, so you have to reach into your bag of tricks to get people’s attention somehow, as James has disclosed before. He’s got me hooked. ;-)

  • John

    Thanks for this, James.

    I’ve only been reading you a few weeks now, yet I’d be embarrassed to admit how much your writing already means to me.

    Reading you makes me feel sane and centered…that I’m in the presence of a wise, kind, loving & gentle intelligence.

    I think you’re the kind of friend many people have always wished for (and now have through your writing.)

  • http://twitter.com/Adam_8020 Adam

    ‘People write their “story” every day. Realize that most of the time,that story is pure fiction,usually a horror story.’

    Almost gratuitous to say – but yet another wonderful post. Thank you again James.

  • Kevin Redick

    And few years ago went through a nasty divorce and lost everything. Lost seeing my children, lost the home, repossession, lost money. I’m still here!

    • joe

      kevin, thanks for that…..i have recently gone through the same thing….it is tough to see 20+ years of work go down the drain through a divorce……….i made a ton of mistakes and i am paying the price….starting over again at 45 but as you say still here…

      james>>>thanks for the super blog. your posts have helped out many times during very dark days

      • ping

        People like you are the true super heroes. So I am glad you are still here :-)

  • http://www.chrisisgrowing.com/ Chris Han

    Like you said, usually 95% of all the worrying we do never ends up happening in the future. So what’s the point? Enjoy life.

  • pjcpjc

    There ought to be “techie specialist psychotherapy” for people like your friend.

    Basically, therapists who specialize in helping with this up-and-down career path.

    James did a good job here helping his young friend … but there are advantages to specialization, focus, and (yes, overrated but still) professional training.

  • Eric

    Oh Boo Hoo… please. His idea of being poor is my idea of being rich.

  • http://www.pointsandfigures.com pointsnfigures

    had a friend lose everything in the flash crash. he covered his longs at the bottom. killed himself. my wife wouldn’t let me go to the wake or funeral. I was depressed. best thing she ever did for me.

  • http://twitter.com/ajaxjones ajax jones

    I’ve always had this sort of alien thing going on. I see myself as 3 people. 1 in the past, 1 now, and 1 in the future. Whatever shit happens today , thats just me now, I know I can look back and see this as another persons problems. I think there is a saying like everything will pass.

  • Alainvandam

    lost like $200,000 in the last 6 months and I thought 2011 was the worst year ever (still alive thow)

  • Tim

    The guy is 24 – he has everything – eery millionaire over the age of 60 would give all their money away, and any future money that they may earn, just to be 24 again. He has everything

    I lost it all at 51 – everything apart from my children – my card was rejected at the local super market when trying to purchase the week’s groceries.

    I thought ‘to hell with this’ and started a business with a loan. I am now 60, have just sold the business for £1.2 m – I never thought it would happen to me. I’m not a particularly good business man but had the three main ingredients : HARDWORK, TIMING AND LUCK

    So, I can’t say I have too much sympathy for the 24 year old ZNGA guy

    • eddie dowling

      I agree that he is too young to understand the consequences of his actions yet, but the last thing I’d want is to be 24 again.

  • Gyps

    I lost my marriage (his infidelity), which led to us losing our house. Moved back in with my parents briefly to regroup in a place where I knew I was safe and loved. This was over a year ago. My credit is still shot to hell, but I don’t care. I’m happy, loved, building a business of my own. Life is good.

    This is a great article. Sometimes it’s hard to step back and get some perspective. But in times of crisis, it’s crucial.

  • ManhattanMango

    I love you and I love this. I don’t even know how I stumbled upon this article here while I was having a conversation with my brain, but I’m going to see what you’re all about and read the shit out of everything that seems like it could be helpful to me on this website. Thank you, Mr. Altucher.

  • Laurel Dominica

    Well. I’m 40. And my thoughts aren’t racing, nor am I really thinking much. I’m doing the thing where after losing everything, I’m just plain depressed, n can’t regain enthusiasm. Your advice wasn’t helpful.

  • Grimcrotch

    hes 24 ffs, needs to toughen up. try starting a construction business after years of saving and finally crawling out of assistance, only to have a vindictive woman steal your equipment and torch every single possession you ever had, including heirlooms, in a huge bonfire only to find she gave a so called ‘friend’ an opportunity to go thru your things and take what he wanted before they burned, you get busted for drunk driving out of that depression and family wont bail you out…6mos later you get out, its winter and only clothes you own in the world are from summer – shorts, t shirt n flipflops, you move from the area only to get a warrant for skipping out. and 1yr after that you nearly die from your heart valve deciding it cant take any more. i wish i had your problems, kid.

    remember those fuzzy black n white pics of grizzled old men from the depression? ya, i feel for those families. if you stub your toe i might feel for you and bring you a bucket to catch those tears. maybe. probably not.