James Altucher makes a rather incredible claim: All you need in life are 15 things, give or take, the New York Times reports. What’s on his list? All that he can fit in a black shoulder bag, namely a laptop, a few pairs of khakis, some T-shirts, and cash stuffed in a plastic bag. What is not on his list? Dishes, books, a college degree, or a home to call your own. Homeownership, he claims, is a “total scam.” Altucher, ranked the No. 4 "Influencer" on LinkedIn, shed all of those things (except the degree, he went to Cornell) a few months ago when he gave up his apartment. Now he rents from Airbnb or crashes with friends. The floppy haired 48-year-old is a hugely popular author of 16 books whose podcast draws millions of listeners, and he tells the Times his ambition is “to have no ambition.”
It wasn’t always that way. As a young tech whiz, Altucher made a fortune in the 1990s, then lost it all making bad investments. He clawed his way back in the unlikely role of financial pundit. After losing it all again in 2008, he began blogging about his misfortune —and found his audience. “The No. 1 search phrase on Google that takes people to my blog is ‘I want to die,’” he said. Altucher, whose wisdom spreads to other matters such as not eating after 5pm, isn’t the first to grab headlines with his minimalist ways. Here's another guy who says all you need are 15 things, via Grist.