This is an excerpt from James Altucher's just-released book, The Forever Portfolio. For the first excerpt, please click here.
Things are simpler than they appear. I'll give you an example. Let's say you want to beat everyone in your family at Scrabble. You have two choices. You can read every book you can find, build an enormous vocabulary, look up the definitions of words you don't know (that will help you remember them better) and use your advanced knowledge, painstakingly constructed over years, to defeat all opponents. Or you can remember the following five words: "xi," "xu," "za," "qi," and "qat." "Ka" and "ki" are not so bad either. And every now and then "aa," "ae," and "ai" can prove incredibly useful. These are all legal words in the last edition of the official Scrabble dictionary. What do they mean? I have no idea. You don't need to know. Somehow, though, za is slang for pizza. I've never heard that before, nor will I ever use the word za in place of pizza. Apparently it's used on the West Coast, but I've never heard anyone from there use the word "za". Apparently, people from Trenton, N.J., use the phrase "tomato pies" instead of pizza, but I grew up 20 minutes from there and never heard anyone use that phrase either. Some things are mysteries. Once you are OK with the fact that "xu" is a legal word, then that means you can essentially slap that "X" down on a triple-letter score with much greater ease than any of your opponents really thought possible. While they are all stuck with their Qs and Zs, you're racking up 50-point two-letter words and winning the game. The same goes for poker.