I Heart Altucher

by F.

Writing in today’s FT, James Altucher reviews three books, all of which, he says, suck:

The books? Trade Like a Hedge Fund, Trade Like Warren Buffett and SuperCash.

So far, so ordinary. But now comes the twist:

All books written by me and I plan to thoroughly skewer them. I’m out of town, in a hotel room, my books spread out in front of me and the contents of the mini-bar of the hotel room littered all over the floor (meaning: I’ve gone through two canisters of Pringles and a packet of Oreos).

I’m going to work my way backwards. First off, I’m embarrassed and distraught over SuperCash. My tome published in 2006 about alternative strategies for hedge fund managers who wanted to break out of the traditional equity long/short hedge fund model. What was my recommendation? Well, the first chapter, which was a plagiarised rewriting of an article I wrote for the Financial Times in 2004, was a recommendation that people should look at the idea of “hedge funds as the new banks”. In other words, hedge funds were the only ones out there willing to lend into the sub-subprime areas of hard money lending, trade factoring, complicated collateralised debt obligations and collateralised loan obligations, etc. Brilliant. Tell that to Harvard, Bear Stearns and the other institutions and individuals who have now lost billions in the asset-backed lending arena. Two years ago every fund of funds manager was dying to learn more about asset-backed lending. Now it’s a smoked-out, war-torn ruin, filled with broken dreams. (Yes, overly dramatic. That’s why I’m trashing my books.)

It must be some sort of golden age of honesty or something. The whole piece is worth reading, especially if you’re a writer and have ever had something published that you later thought sucked.