1. Trade Options
No doubt you have heard all about how easy it is for people to lose their life savings trading securities in the stock market. But there is actually a much faster way – options. I’m not going to get into the nuts and bolts of trading options (actually, most people who lose money with options don’t understand how they work anyway) but I will give you a quick definition and then show how efficient these instruments-of-wealth-destruction really are.
There are two types of options – calls and puts. If you buy a call option, you are purchasing the right to but the underlying stock at a specified price. So, you might pay $3,000 dollars for the right to buy 100 shares Microsoft stock at $200 per share. Then, if the stock goes up to $300 you can either buy 100 shares at $200, or you can sell the option to some other idiot and they can use it to buy the shares. But, as you might imagine, that options contract is worth a lot more than $3,000 now, and you can sell it for a premium. This is how leverage works to make money. But we’re concerned about how to use leverage to lose money.
The nice thing about options is that there isn’t just one way to lose money. No, you can lose money in many different ways – far more than I can write on this page. But, if you’re looking to lose money don’t bother to read up on the different ways to trade options. Just go for it, and I’m certain you will lose everything. I’ll give you a few real-life examples of how I’ve lost money in options. First, buy options that are about ready to expire. In the previous example, if you bought the Microsoft options for $3,000, but the stock went to $195 instead of $300, you could lose all your money. Another easy way to lose money with options is to buy contracts that are way out of the money (OTM). This simply means you might buy Microsoft options that give you the right to buy stock at $200 – except this time, the stock is at $150 per share. If you do this, you won’t find anyone willing to buy the option contract back from you (after all, why would someone pay for the right to buy stock at $200 if it’s already at $150). And if you can’t find anyone to buy the contract from you it will expire worthless and you’ll lose all your money. Another favorite is not cutting your losses. If your contract is losing money (this often happens if you think the stock is going to go up but it goes down) and you want to lose more money, just hold it and don’t sell. Options decay with time so the longer you hold it the more likely it is that you will lose all your money. So, simply hold your position when it starts to go south and you’ll lose way more money.
Pro tip – Make sure to buy a bunch of contracts (say 10 of them) so you lose $30,000 instead of $3,000.
I could go on but I think you get the point. I have personally lost thousands of dollars using these methods and would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a fast way to lose it all. I’d recommend you try losing a small amount in stocks first to get your feet wet – then dive into options. If you’re anxious to give it a go, use this link to start trading with Cash App
and you’ll get free money to lose right away.
The only options trader who doesn’t lose money is the one who never starts.
- Andrew Tye
2. Write a Book
You might think writing a book is a great way to make a bunch of cash – and you’d be wrong. In spite of the many books that will tell you how to make money writing a book, I’m here to let you in on a secret –writing a book is actually a fantastic way to lose money. I’ve written four short books and they have literally grossed hundreds of dollars. Now – hearing that I’ve sold some books might make you think you should write one also. But it’s a trap – you will spend hundreds of hours writing a book and then make hundreds of dollars in return. Not sure about you, but if I’m working for $1/hour I’m losing money fast. My latest book probably has more pages than it has copies sold – take a look here
if you want a quick reference on how to get a job.
3. Teach Online Courses
Aw, I love this one. You can help other people learn a skill and lose your money at the same time. Win-lose. Some folks think they can make a great online course and it will make them a nice living or side income. Most of those nice people are wrong. News flash – more people lose money creating online courses than make money from them. The good news for you is that there really aren’t many barriers to entry here. Get yourself a cheap mic (who needs quality audio anyway) and an inexpensive webcam. And go to town without bothering to make an outline. I’ve found a couple approaches that both work well. Option A - read the script from a piece of paper. Option B – don’t plan at all and just wing the recording.
This is a strategy that I’ve already proven out for you. I created a few classes online and over the past 5 years they have actually generated thousands of dollars. But net returns are certainly negative because for those thousands of dollars I spent hundreds of hours creating content, answering questions, and buying likes. If you’d like a good idea of what to expect, I have over 40,000 students taking my online courses and they have generated a few thousand in gross revenues.
Pro tip – make your courses free from the start – you will recoup less of your investment this way, and end up losing quite a bit more overall.
4. Get a Degree
Most socially acceptable
This tactic is harder to lose money with, but when you lose you lose big. Books and courses are more consistent losers, but they don’t add up as fast as big tuition debt combined with time off work. As mentioned, you do have to be careful with this one because it is possible to get a degree and actually make money. But here is what you do to ensure loss. First, choose a degree that you aren’t passionate about, or that doesn’t have high paying jobs, or that doesn’t really have any jobs (research here
). Second, don’t get a side job during school and take all of the student loans you can get your hands on. Third, be very picky about which of the few jobs you take and only take ones that are in fact low paying (high cost of living is also preferred when choosing location).
Pro tip – fail a few classes to extend your time to graduation – that way you can take on more debt.
One thing to watch out for is accidentally choosing a degree that can actually make you money. Like engineering or computer science. But even this caution is less important now than when I went to college because places like Lambda School are making four year university degrees more certain losers. I’ve been on both sides of this one. I spent two years studying software development and about 4 years studying engineering. Both of those degrees were inexpensive, I worked part-time while studying, and have made money with both of them. But, thankfully I learned my lesson and managed to lose a lot of money by the time I got an MBA. I could have started a company with the money, or just worked my way up in an engineering role. But by taking on a bunch of debt and forgoing a salary for a couple years I was able to lose way more money than if I’d simply started a company. I think I actually lost more by going to business school than if I’d started a company and lost all of the investors’ money!
5. Become an Inventor
Okay people, this has to be one of the most enjoyable ways to lose money! I have drummed up all sorts of new inventions. Of course, they don’t make any money but that’s sort of the point right! Most of my awesome inventions failed make money because someone else took them to market before me. Other times it was because they were so stupid nobody wanted to buy them (or even look at them actually).
I’ve invented lots of awesome products that lost money, but here is one of my favorite no-hits:
Barking Bulb: Scare away intruders with a bark
Don’t want a dog in your backyard? Fine, get a bulb that barks when intruders are detected. Light, motion sensing and sound in one bulb. I thought this was so brilliant. Safe as having a guard dog, but you don’t have to clean up after it. Literally the best of both worlds. Coming soon to a Home Depot near you!
Pro tip: Go straight for all of the full, non-provisional patents you can before you know if anyone wants the idea. Don’t wait to see if it’s manufacturable. Don’t do market research to see if competitive products exist. Just talk to an attorney and get the patents drawn up. This shortcut will let you lose $20,000 to $40,000 upfront before you even start doing hardcore R&D or go to production.
6. Do Internet Advertising
Another interesting way to lose money is with online advertising. What I like most about this one is you can lose money consistently and sound smart to your friends at the same time. Where do you spend your money they ask? Oh, I have a website with ads. Wow. That is so cool. What you do is setup a website with some content (e.g. a blog about how to lose money) and you put some ads (from Google AdSense or affiliates) on it that will generate money for you. Then, to get more people to your blog you also buy ads from Google Ads or Facebook. If you do it just right there is arbitrage here – for every dollar you spend buying ads to get traffic to your site you can get 70 cents of income from the ads on your blog. You can consistently lose $0.30 for every $1.00 you spend. The downside is nearly unlimited as long as you pick a topic that has significant search traffic.
This one is somewhat controversial because a lot of people think that putting ads on your site and then buying other ads to get more traffic is actually a good way to make money. I’ve proven that it’s much easier to lose money with this method than it is to make money. So you can ignore the doubters.
7. Stop finishing Projects
I have completely mastered this one. It has a sweet combination of money lost from working for free until you quit + lost opportunity cost from what might have been. In fact, you could say I’ve lost billions on this one by not seeing my projects through. Thankfully some of my biggest ideas were cut short at the napkin stage! Otherwise they would doubtless have gone on to become unicorns and I wouldn’t even be qualified to write this HTLM guide.
Another benefit of this method is that you can tell your friends you had the idea for X before X did. This has happened to me a lot and it makes me feel super smart. Here is one of my billion dollar ideas that this YC company
is now doing. I had the genius idea, they are the suckers actually out there executing and making money. Here is another one – about ten years ago I wanted to build a last mile taxi and delivery service where drivers would use their own cars and the app would tell them whether to pick someone up or deliver a pizza or transfer some parts. Less than two years later Lyft started and Uber pivoted. But look at all the trouble they’ve had! I am the fortunate one here, and you can be as well. Just make sure to quit at the idea stage.
8. Buy $GME Swag (Bonus Method)
Buy some $GME swag from me right now
to lose money instantly. No need to delay gratification. And as a side benefit it will help me make ends meet since I’ve lost so much money but still need to pay bills and such.
If you liked this, please share it with your friends. And thanks for reading!