Are Flashy Influencers Desperately Poor? What I’ve Learned from Uber Investor James Richman

 Empty wagons make the most noise. Still waters run deep.

This almost tells it all when I look at flashy influencers and when I compare them with James Richman, the Latvian-born finance who made his fortune in investing, most notably in Uber.

The advent of social media has enabled any individual to make a name for himself or herself by making the most noise and attracting the most attention. Although the content of their posts may seem legitimate to the eyes of a normal viewer, looking at them from a more scrutinizing perspective will expose the shallowness of the content they are publishing.

James has been making waves in the financial industry without the use of social media. He has intentionally chosen to relieve himself of social media platforms knowing that it will only divide his precious attention. He believes that the best way to catch attention in the financial world is to let the profits you yield speaks for itself and the best way to catch the attention of the rest of the world is by truly enriching the world for everyone

Social media has undoubtedly fulfilled its desire to connect people. The problem is this connection may not be as deep as it seems, but rather a very shallow one. The marketing side of social media is greatly exploited by upstart brands and people who try to build credibility in a specific industry. This gives a bright ray of hope for up and comers who try to make a living, but holistically it tends to make individuals walking megaphones.

New-age credibility

Credibility used to be built from the achievements of a certain individual. These achievements would be noticed by a sector and spread on through the given media available. Nowadays, credibility seems to be directly relational to the number of followers an individual has in one’s social media account.

This can be a dangerous phenomenon since these influencers deal with real people who invest in real resources. Their seeming expertise may result in the catastrophic demise of unknowing followers. This is especially true in the realm of finance and investments wherein one may lose a lifetime’s worth of money by merely listening and heeding the superficial expertise of a financial adviser borne online.

A solid track record

When it comes to credibility, nothing beats a solid track record. James Richman, the reclusive billionaire born in post-Soviet country called Latvia boasts of a stunning financial performance and track record. He started his private investment fund, JJ Richman, during very perilous times in the financial market.

Img source:

In fact, 2009 marked the most recent financial crisis and this resulted in a bearish market all throughout. However, James Richman was able to employ the most ingenious investment strategy that allowed his private investment fund to flourish. This had turned the heads of Wall Street veterans as well as the media.

He refused to be blinded by the spotlight and continued to tread the silent route while earning tremendous profits and enriching the world through many socially impactful global investments.

Several anonymous sources have speculated that  the private investment fund to has been continuously growing funds for more than a decade.. His achievements are well worth of broadcast and media coverage, yet James Richman chooses not to. He knows fully well that media engagement is not his core competency and he would rather be doing what he is outstanding at – enriching the world.

Simple but effective

Living simply is a quality that stands out in James Richman. He was born in a small town Smarde from the Tukums region in Latvia, a post-Soviet country. In Smarde, a couple (Richman’s parents) with a background in psychology and technology was able to produce a would be financial wunderkind. His childhood was marred with a lot of discrimination because of his impaired ability to communicate.

This was probably caused by his condition called Asperger’s syndrome. This condition impairs the verbal and non-verbal communication skills of a person. Although it triggers special abilities, such as rapid ability to learn, James  only felt the negative effects of Asperger’s syndrome during his childhood. This led to James being an introvert and usually spent most of his time by his lonesome.

Img source:

To this date, James Richman keeps clear of media engagements and social media usage with very rare exceptions and only to talk about his work not his personal life. This has allowed him to concentrate on his outstanding skill of recognizing patterns in the global economy and financial landscape.

He had already manifested this skill as a child, however, it was chastised instead of developed. It was only when he ventured into the world of finance that he was able to put his unique ability into good use. James Richman is said to abide by the mantra that “the fewer choices one has to make, the more time he has in making important decisions”. We cannot argue with the results of this philosophy as James Richman has completely dominated his chosen field.

Genuine philanthropy

What’s unique about James and what sets him apart from other known billionaires and philanthropists is his decision to keep himself anonymous. This quiet gesture speaks volumes. He is not tied up with the criticism that billionaires only engage in philanthropy to cover up foul issues related to their sources of income. It also keeps him away with the argument that billionaires use their brightened image to influence policymakers into deals that favor their vested interests.

James Richman has had to deal with devastating issues including the loss of his daughter due to faulty health care systems, failure of his first marriage and the time he once ended up homeless living on the streets. This and the many other struggles he had to endure in his journey to success serve as his motivation to bring resources closer to those who are in need of it. He was quoted in a rare occasion saying, “there is enough money for everyone, it’s just a matter of making it available to the people”.

In today’s world, it is difficult to discern legitimate experts and geniuses. It is just comforting to know that ever so often, they truly exist. People like James Richman provide inspiration even to the world outside of finance and investment by keeping true to himself and excelling in his chosen craft.