5 good habits from a former hedge funder that can ‘make you a superhero’

Published: Dec 29, 2016 6:03 p.m. ET



Social-media editor
James Altucher
Slide 1 of 7

Since the question “What are some good habits to follow?” was first posed on Quora, hundreds of people have stepped up with advice. Of course, there’s plenty of good stuff to glean from the flood of responses, but for the most part, we’ve heard it before. Eat your veggies. Get plenty of sleep. Break a sweat. Read a book. Put down the electronics and engage with a real-life human being. Etc.

But James Altucher, a best-selling author and former hedge-fund manager, chimed in to offer some of his own tips that he says can be accomplished in less than five minutes a day. And, like the man himself, many of his recommendations might fall under the “quirky” category.

Read: This guy wants you to ditch your 401(k).

“Don’t fall for all of the ‘habit porn’... keep things simple,” he wrote. “You can’t make a habit in a day. Instead, use the 1% rule. If you try to improve a habit 1% a day, (a small tiny amount) you will improve it 3,800% a year. That makes you a superhero.”

With that in mind, here are five of Altucher’s “good habits to follow”:

Slide 2 of 7

“Watch stand-up comedy five minutes a day. Your mirror neurons will make you funnier and a better speaker and communicator. And laughter is orgasm for the soul.”

Getty Images
Slide 3 of 7

Like people. Social media is not as bad as people keep saying. Schedule some time to do it. ‘Like’ things your friends do. This actually releases oxytocin into your brain and makes you feel happier.”

Slide 4 of 7

“Go to the bank. Order $2 bills. Use $2 bills as tips in cafes. People will remember you and treat you better next time you go there.”

©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection
Slide 5 of 7

“Find an email from five years ago that you didn’t return. Send a response to the email as if no time has passed. Believe me, miracles happen when you do this.”

AFP/Getty Images
Slide 6 of 7

“Play every day. A game, a challenge, a puzzle. Playing takes you away from your negating obsessions.”

AFP/Getty Images
Slide 7 of 7

“Play every day. A game, a challenge, a puzzle. Playing takes you away from your negating obsessions.”

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Mortgage Rates

Powered by

This advertisement is provided by Bankrate, which compiles rate data from more than 4,800 financial institutions. Bankrate is paid by financial institutions whenever users click on display advertisements or on rate table listings enhanced with features like logos, navigation links, and toll free numbers. Dow Jones receives a share of these revenues when users click on a paid placement.

Data Provided By
Today's Interest Rates

Credit Cards
  1. 4.56%
  2. 4.06%
  3. 3.24%
  4. 3.12%
  5. 4.1%
  6. 3.26%
  7. 3.39%
  8. 3.59%
National averages from Bankrate.com
  1. 1.22%
  2. 0.77%
  3. 0.59%
  4. 0.25%
  5. 0.37%
  6. 0.29%
  7. 0.36%
National averages from Bankrate.com
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 12.10% 12.09% 11.98%
Business 13.26% 13.24% 13.12%
Student 13.54% 13.51% 13.42%
Balance Transfer 14.53% 14.51% 14.38%
Airline 15.25% 15.22% 15.08%
Reward 15.36% 15.33% 15.29%
Cash Back 15.43% 15.41% 15.32%
Instant Approval 17.88% 17.88% 18.04%
Bad Credit 22.95% 22.92% 22.56%
Source: CreditCards.com

MarketWatch Partner Center