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Updated from 11:57 a.m.EDT

Let's take a step back and respect history for a second.


(AIG) - Get Free Report

, a $200 billion insurance behemoth, was started right after World War I by scrappy and persistent Cornelius Vander Starr as he went from boat to boat selling insurance at the ports of Shanghai with $1,000 in his pocket.

Lehman Brothers

was started 158 years ago by three cotton sellers from Montgomery, Ala., who, like so many others after them, decided to get into the trading game and began trading their cotton.

These were great companies, started by creative entrepreneurs who looked for every opportunity to make a dollar and resisted the temptation to quit when things were difficult. It's a shame that because of FASB 157, combined with a run on the banks, these companies are now out of business. But that was a risk the management of the companies took, and they lost their dangerous bet. Time to move on.

To find out how, please click here.

At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

James Altucher is president of


LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of and part of its network of Web properties, and a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs a fund of hedge funds. He is also a weekly columnist for the

Financial Times

and the author of

Trade Like a Hedge Fund


Trade Like Warren Buffett



. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback;

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