Doug Casey: 5 Lessons From The Most Interesting Human in The Matrix

Doug Casey - 5 Lessons To Learn From The Most Interesting Human in The Matrix

Episode 188

“I know you’ve made tens of millions of dollars in various areas of life,” I said. “Tell me how you did it.”


He scanned his memory for money.

And landed in 1969. “I put all my possessions in the back of my Mustang and drove to Washington, D.C. I figured if I got $5,000, I could hitchhike my way through South America… but more importantly, Africa.”

There are about 220 countries on the planet. Doug Casey has been to 160.

“I believe in the Latin phrase, ‘Mens sana in corpore sano.’”

“Sound mind, sound body…”

“It means you actually have to go out and do this crap. You have to do it.”


“Because maybe you’ll find out the meaning of life.”

Doug Casey is a renaissance man. He’s a legendary investor, the founder and chairman of Casey Research, and a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His newest book, Speculator, is volume one of the High Ground series. This book is about gold mining. It’s a wealth of information.

The hero starts out with nothing. And makes $200 million dollars, “which is possible,” Doug says, “and I tell you how.”

Here’s 5 lessons from the most interesting human guest on The James Altucher Show:

A) Don’t be a plant

“Unfortunately, most people are born in one place and then live in or near that place for the rest of their lives acting like plants, but I don’t think acting like a plant is a good survival strategy for a human.”

B) Create your own currency

Everybody says the Federal Reserve printed money. And devalued the dollar.

Everybody’s wrong.

I asked Doug, “What do people mean when they say the Federal Reserve printed money? I think there’s a common misconception around this.”

His answer: they buy assets and credit back the banks. They don’t physically print money. And they don’t create value.

Doug goes places, meets people, asks them to do things either with him or for him.

He values the people he’s met, the money he’s made/lost and the lessons he’s learned.

Honor your experiences.

Money isn’t the currency of life. Living is the currency of life.

C) Where do good ideas come from?

They say you need to see/hear something at least seven times to remember it. I don’t know who said that. I wish I could say it was Ogilvy.

I’ve talked about idea sex 100 times. Here’s 101.

Good ideas are like babies. Each one is new to the world. (Unless we’re living in “The Matrix”… skip to [23:00] for this part of the interview… Even Elon Musk has thought about the likelihood of “reality” actually being “base reality.” The chances are “one in billions,” he said.)

But for now, human babies come from human sex. Sex = creation.

And it’s the same for ideas.

Take two ideas. Combine them. Now you have a new idea. Repeat. This is idea sex.

“I wanted to be a paleontologist,” Doug said. “Why? Dinosaurs! Every kid likes dinosaurs, but I took it seriously.”

“So, geology background… Then I got interested in money. Put geology and money together and you’ve got the mining business (which is actually a better way to lose money than to make money) but the good news about the mining business is that they’re the most volatile stocks in the world.”

“And still are…”

D) Read science fiction

“It’s a much better predictor of the future than any of the think tanks.”

E) Try new things

I’m writing a children’s book. Doug’s hobby is nothing I’ve ever heard of before. He tried taking over a country.

“Oh yeah,” he said… as if he forgot. “How did I get started in that? Oh yeah, I know what it was.”

Doug has had 50 lives. He’s dined with presidents, made millions, gone broke, wrote books, traveled to war zones, scuba-dived, practiced martial arts, he owns his own research company. And more.

But the strange part is he seems to string them all along.

Instead of switching from experience to experience, he piles them together. It’s not clean. It’s not organized.

It’s human.

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  • carolina giannini

    Don’t be a plant. Is the most important for me.
    Because you need to move around and learn new languages get to know their local culture and local food. The best thing you can do for yourself is exploring the world because you are never going to end of having new adventures.

  • Renrah

    I would add – do these things when your young and don’t have a lot of “responsibilities” such as children, a mortgage etc; as these things tend to make you risk adverse

  • Jay

    I disagree about not being a plant. Don’t get me wrong, experiences are great and can help your soul immensely. I agree that you don’t want to be stagnant and you should venture out as often as you can. I also agree with Renrah that you need to do it while you are young. But, I’ve found the best rewards in my life have come from my strongest roots – my family. There is no greater joy than being surrounded by the people you love. So given the choice, I would choose to be a plant with a very deep root system and grow as many branches as I could.

  • TestifyTruth

    “What will it profit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his soul?” Nothing.

  • Meg Conway

    I worked around the country for five years, with everything that I owned fitting in my car.

    The work was tough, the travel, freedom, people, and beauty was priceless.

  • Raja Gulati

    Is the podcast module not loading up or am I the only one?

  • JohnnyGoodMo

    love this!

  • Black Bart

    Trailers for sale or rent… rooms to let – 50 cents… I’m a man of means by no means…. king of the road…

  • Bob Lyle

    I know what the meaning of life is!
    This is a Great interview. One of the best of the many great interviews on the Altucher show. Don’t agree with everything Casey says — but it is such a fun listen.

  • Doug has it right. Initiation of force or fraud against your fellow man is always wrong. I don’t care what the ends are if the means use to get there are crap. We have to figure out how to do things without initiation of force and fraud. And rule out any method that requires force or fraud to work. We’re smart people. So let’s be smart moral people, instead of smart assholes.

  • UsedtobeaSuitBoi

    To see an example of a peer-to-peer charity that even Mr Casey might approve of, you might want to take a look at donorsee . com

    The guy that set this up was recently featured on Tom Wood’s podcast; tomwoods . com / podcast/ep-751-help-people-around-the-world-by-going-over-the-heads-of-governments-and-aid-groups/

    @gretglyer, the guy that set DonorSee up, might be an interesting guest to have on your show, Mr Altucher.

    Incidentally, I don’t think us being in the matrix or not would have any bearing on the meaning of life, it either does for you or it doesn’t.

  • zatara wood

    I respect you James so can’t understand why you’d invite this sleaze ball bullshit artist onto your show? the guy is a snake oil salesman. He fancies himself as an international man of mystery, the reality is he is a gamma who scams people with tall stories to sell a wacky financial newsletter. SCAMMER.