Plunge Pontificates

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Plunge Meets Daniel Reed Smith and Kathryn Merritt of the Smith & Merritt Institute

Yes folks, I know I'm going off subject a lot lately, first global warming, and now personal finance. These are just some of the things outside of Asia that interest me and so I'm letting you in on it a bit.

This one today is pretty awesome! I was able to actually meet and spend some time with Dan Smith and Kathryn Merritt.

(Found a photo of them when I found their website!)

Now your next question, I know, is who are they and why should I care? I'll tell you why. In Kathryn and Dan I think you have two of the nimblest minds in the financial world. Not only that, they are going to change the world of anyone who listens to them. How? Not with some get rich quick scheme or other scam, but with sound financial advice that when you hear it you just wonder why you have never heard it before.

Just this past January, Dan and Kathryn began a company known as the Smith & Merritt Institute. Yeah, not the most original name in the world, but it fits with what they are teaching, again, simple, direct financial advice. The kind of advice that I wish I had been able to learn from my parents. If not from them, then at least at school. Heck, I would have taken a course in college if it had been offered, but it wasn't. Instead, I was able to sit and have lunch with them. A good friend of mine set it up knowing my interest. Both Dan and Kathryn and have spent their lives in the financial world having worked with some of the largest names in the business. Through that, they gained a wealth of knowledge which, along with their own knowledge and insight, led to this amazing partnership.

So, here I am, at lunch with my buddy, Dan and Kathryn. They were as personable as could be and made me feel like I was the most important thing to them. We quickly began to talk about personal finance and what it takes to be wealthy, something I've got a great interest in. ha!

Kathryn began by talking about attitude. I can tell how important it is to her. She told me that if I want to be rich, it is all about how I act and how I believe. She calls it the "Law of Abundance." You have to understand this before you can move on. You need to understand that money is like energy, flowing. Money needs to be spent! You need to enjoy spending money, something I LOVE to do. Damn, with the way I LOVE to spend money, I should be a Billionaire by now!

Next, and I felt this was very important, you have to believe that being rich is GOOD. It is proper. There is NOTHING wrong with being rich! I loved hearing that! Too many times, people deride the rich. I've always been one of those that felt it was the rich that have the ability to change the world. Look at the amazing things being done by the Bill Gates Foundation! She made the statement that you can never be poor enough to help another poor person, but a wealthy person has a variety of options and ways to help that person. FINALLY!

Dan was in total agreement. It was fun to watch them as they can almost finish each other's sentences. They seemed to feed off of each other intellectually.

As the lunch progressed, we got into the meat of the subject. While discussing how I need to think and be was good, I wanted to hear some specifics. Again, it was refreshing as they espoused an ideal that I have believed for a longtime. They believe in getting COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY OUT OF DEBT. You get out of debt before you ever think of investing. Now, here is the best part, they include your home in this. Yes, you get out of debt, including your home, before you do any investing. Wow!

We talked for a while longer, then lunch was over, way too soon. Evidently they are writing a book and I hope to get one of the first copies. The title, I hope it is okay to let it out, fits perfectly.
Abundance - Spending Your Way to Wealth

Anyway, this might not be of interest to any of you and again, I know it is way off my normal subjects, but it was important to me and I wanted to share.

To everyone, get out of debt! Live life abundantly!

UPDATE: Found their website and a photo which I posted above.

UPDATE II: Kathryn and Dan have now started their own blog. Please see their blog for information and for comments. Due to my recent health difficulties, I will no longer be maintaining this blog. Any further comments will be automatically deleted.