ChooseYourselfFinancial.com is a very peculiar type of self-betterment service, focused exclusively on the financial aspects of life. It essentially peddles subscriptions to various newsletters, some of which offer advice on crypto investments, while others take aim at the stock market. The author of these newsletters is well-known self-betterment guru James Altucher, also known as the “Oprah of the internet” by some.
Who is James Altucher?
As said above, Altucher is a known and (mostly) respected internet personality, who has authored 16 books, among them an Amazon best-seller, called “Choose Yourself.” He is definitely not some obscure newcomer looking to hook gullible folks on scammy deals, yet with Choose Yourself Financial, his pitch comes across as extremely scammy indeed.
Altucher’s entire life story is available online, and in several ways, it seems to contradict his ChooseYourselfFinancial angle. For one thing, he is said to have made it his goal “to have no ambition.” Given that, he seems pretty set on making money through stocks and cryptocurrencies. That brings us to yet another contradiction: an ex hedge fund manager, Altucher has been known to preach that the stock market is a racket. In fact, one of his most appreciated posts was titled “10 Reasons Why You Should Never Own Stocks Again.”
According to his nytimes profile, one of his financial meltdowns can be traced back to ambitious investments in stocks, “zero of which” worked out. Still, here that’s exactly what he peddles…
Question Marks on Altucher
Though – as said above – Altucher is considered something of a cult figure in the self-help community, many actual users of the programs peddled through ChooseYourselfFinancial.com, call him a scammer. There’s a massive Reddit thread dedicated to this offer, and in it, words aren’t minced. Apparently, while the promised newsletters are indeed delivered, all they amount to is entertainment and nothing more. According to a subscriber, Altucher’s advice on crypto-currency investments is completely useless and it can be summed up thusly: “research and choose for yourself.” There is obviously nothing wrong with such advice, but when someone pays thousands of dollars for it, he/she will inevitably end up feeling scammed.
Others say there is nothing contained in Altucher’s newsletters that one can’t discover/research online, on his/her own.
Another poster calls the program “garbage,” and says that everyone in the know thinks Altucher is a joke. Yet another user of the ChooseYourselfFinancial newsletter deal says that the only thing he re-learned, having read the posts and watched the videos, was that there is indeed a sucker born every minute.
The said thread contains overwhelmingly negative feedback on the ChooseYourselfFinancial products.
What Exactly does ChooseYourselfFinancial Offer?
The site peddles some 6 different newsletter-based get-rich-quick-oriented programs, which claim to provide readers with all the information they’ll need to essentially get rich quick, without much of an effort.
The Top 1% Microcap program for instance, is focused on the smaller stocks angle. Apparently, there are opportunities in these stocks that Wall Street has missed and that small timers can turn to their advantage. A one year subscription to the program costs $3,000, so it is not cheap at all. One can also take advantage of a 3-month trial period, for “only” $800.
The Top 1% Advisory is a sort of investment guide, which Altucher has apparently built up over the years, by picking the minds of some of the greats of the financial industry. A one year subscription to this resource costs $2,000. Those interested can also go for a 3-month trial period, for $550.
The Crypto Trader pitch is a rather secretive one. It touts cryptocurrencies as “the future of money” and it extols the opportunities these currencies present to traders. Apparently, Altucher also promises to recommend cryptos with the biggest upside for new investors.
The Secret Income sounds really scammy. It is apparently about the finding and selling of special “mispriced” Puts, and it is indeed every bit as unconvincing as it sounds right out of the gates. The cost of this service is also $2,000 per year and $550 for 3 months.
Priced at $4.95 a month, the James Altucher Report is the most accessible of all the above depicted services. At that price, it is actually worth buying into, just to take an inside glimpse into what this person has to offer.
The Altucher Alliance package is essentially a collection of all the above described services, offered at a special price.
Should I Trust ChooseYourselfFinancial?
Having thoroughly investigated it, and having read through pages and pages of user feedback, we’ll have to say the answer to that is no. Here are some further arguments in this regard:
Red Flags and Question Marks
ChooseYourselfFinancial raises plenty of red flags above and beyond the user-feedback related ones detailed above.
The sales pages of the deals described above contain every single hook and marketing twist one would expect from a scam. The word “guaranteed” is thrown around quite a bit. In fact, Altucher seemingly guarantees that those who purchase his newsletters, will learn how to grab 1,000% returns on their monies, before the end of the year. According to the SEC’s definition of financial scams, such guarantees are among the surest signs that the deal offering them is a scam.
Furthermore: although in the About Us section of the site, they say that James Altucher set up the business in 2014, the web domain was created in March 2017. Worse still: the registrant company is none other than Agora Financial LLC, based in Baltimore, MD. While the company does indeed exist, according to its BBB page, its reputation is less than stellar, to say the least. Scores of people have complained through the above linked page, for overbilling and auto renewal on the various programs peddled by the company. There are only a handful of positive reviews on the said page, and 36 negative ones, together with 148 complaints.
Even though the company has apparently attempted to address/solve many of the issues brought up by the complainers, there is obviously something shady about their overall MO.
As said above, most complaints regarding the operation are about overbilling and auto renewals. According to some BBB complaints, the $3,000 and $2,000 one-year program costs are non-refundable. In a word: once you pay these guys, your money is gone. Scores of people in the BBB complaints section call the operation a scam.
Choose Yourself Financial Review Conclusion
The case ChooseYourselfFinancial.com makes, does not look good and the deeper one digs, the shakier it gets. This whole setup fits the SEC’s definition of a scam in several ways. User feedback regarding the service is atrocious too. To wrap things up: what ChooseYourselfFinancial offers is just too good to be true, and you know what they say about such deals…
ChooseYourselfFinancial.com may not be a straight-up scam in the sense that it takes your money and provides nothing in return. What it does provide in return though does not seem to be worth much, according to the overwhelming majority of those who were suckered into paying up.