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Mixed Martial Finance

 February 1, 2014
Posted by Eric Simonds

I am a financial guy always have been and probably always will be.  I love talking about finance and I see financial lessons and demonstrations throughout the course of my day.

I drew such a parallel recently when I visited my friend Shaun Durfee at a gym he works at in Westbrook.  Shaun and I are old friends and we have been talking for quite a while about combining our passions and creating a physical fitness and financial fitness program.  While we were talking, I watched out of the corner of my eye as a man lie lifeless under another man on the expansive mats in the main workout area.  The man on the bottom had given up… maybe for a quick breath, maybe for the night or maybe they were going to need to start having his mail forwarded to the pocket on his Gi…

Shaun and several of the others training yelled,

“Keep moving…”

“Don’t you dare quit now” and most profound…

“He does not have you… yet…”


A lack of movement equals defeat, everyone in the gym knew it, they see it in the context of the mat and I see it daily in personal finance.  In training, this response made the trainee no better!  In competition, such a reaction results in many long van rides home and in the world those who lay lifeless are the ones hoping someone dies and leaves them some money (what a vague and sad wish…) or for payroll to accidentally put an extra zero on their paycheck.

Those in that gym who yelled the loudest, work the hardest.  They are not hoping that something that has six balls and eats dollar bills grants their lazy wishes.  They show up at that gym when it is raining, snowing and are waiting before it opens.  Somehow those who knew the solution to the current manifestation of that guy’s problems were in the gym that night because they are in the gym EVERY NIGHT.  Coincidentally, those who succeed do not just have a current membership, they show up and they actually use it.

Any movement prevents the immediate loss, bold movement gets you to the next round and the right movement lets you bring home the trophy.

In a variety of social media venues I have watched people solicit advice on shoes, clothing and what TV show they should watch.  I watch those same people never make one movement in an effort to prevent their financial ruin.  I know people who know every character of a television show, but don’t know if they will be able to retire.  Hours and Hours spent on planning a vacation and no time spent planning on financial success.

I have heard what I call the cry of the loser…  People post on Facebook “I had NO other choice”… When someone asked my networking group how to get a certain job I gave them a blueprint and they said without a second thought “That wouldn’t work for me” and the saddest of them all, defeat… After they have traded immediate gratification for potential long term success they whine “Why can’t you just be happy for me…”

Imagine that guy laying on the mat and saying, “just be happy for me…”

Jim Rohn, one of the great motivation speakers of our time (of all time), described this situation time and time again… he revealed the answer to this and many issues, time and time again.

In one such instance, Jim, was asked, by a multinational oil company who wanted to profit from his insight,

“What will the next ten years be like?”

He answered that it will be identical to the last 10 years AND the last 10,000… his answer was simply “opportunity mixed with challenge”


Those who have been and will in the future be “successful” will recognize and take advantage of “opportunity mixed with challenge”

The key word is to take advantage of… not exploit for evil, but take (not be given) advantage (the ability to identify AND use an opportunity) of the (current) situation.  On the mats of that and every gym in the world they use the word “advantage”.


Weight Advantage

Skill Advantage

Endurance Advantage


Durfee2I turned my head in disgust as I heard the man on the mat say, “I am doing my best…”


Shaun and I returned to our discussion of how we will help our clients in new ways with our possible partnership…




Eric Simonds MsFP, is the owner of Saltwater Harbor Financial, LLC.  He is an efficient market theorist and feels that in the day and age of instant media there is no advantage offered by actively managed funds.  This and other founding principles of Saltwater Harbor Financial can be found Here 


Eric Simonds has a passion for helping others. Over the past 12 years, Eric has gained his skills and credentials through both private and public sector careers in policy and compliance. This experience, in addition to his Masters of Financial Planning from Golden Gate University, allows him to provide quality financial planning to all Maine families through Saltwater Harbor. Eric takes great pride in operating his own financial planning practice, knowing he makes a difference in the lives of his clients. His motivation for success is fueled by his clients’ accomplishments and ability to achieve their financial dreams with his guidance.

Eric is both a 2011 National Huguenot Scholarship recipient and the sole 2012 National Association Professional Financial Advisors Merit Scholar. In addition to his Masters in Financial Planning, Eric also holds Bachelor degrees from both the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine. Highly involved in his local community and family, he resides in Brunswick with his wonderful wife, Kate, their two amazing sons, two naughty dogs and a cat.