Writer and podcaster James Altucher doesn't want people to call him an "advice guru" — but he does give advice, for a living, based on his failures and successes as an entrepreneur.
On the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka, Altucher warned that "society hypnotizes you" into making decisions that are against your best interests. He learned this lesson the hard way: After selling his first company for $15 million, Altucher gambled all that money away on bad investments during the dot-com bubble.
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He said this hypnosis extends to more common financial circumstances, too. People will automatically "spend millions on a house, or $200,000 each on a college education for their five kids," he said, even though there are alternatives to both of those decisions.
Last year, Altucher gave up his apartments in New York and has been couch-surfing and Airbnb-ing when he's not traveling. And although he went to college (he holds a B.A. from Cornell University and brags that he was thrown out of grad school at Carnegie Mellon), he said today's prospective students should instead consider getting their education online.