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You Are a Product of Who You Surround Yourself With…

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It’s really is not about how much money your have or how much you’d like to invest. We have a slew of celebrities and athletes that give many examples of this.  My own testimony of earning a collective salary of over $250k while serving tens years in the military, leaving broke and bankrupt is well told on my show.

Your surroundings is the FIRST step in building true, lasting wealth.  It’s not where you’re at, it’s where you’re headed.

One of my first mentors in my first financial brokerage firm told me as I was newly discharged from active-duty service in the U.S. Marines said this, “Matthew, you ARE who you surround yourself with, the people you listen to, the books you read and the events you attend.”  I had to make a paradigm shift in my mind as most Marines, after work, would love to kick-back and have a few beers while talking crap to each other all night.  Ok, let me get spiritual now…

Proverbs 13:20 states, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” And 1 Corinthians 15:33 echoes this universal principle as Paul writes, “Do not be misled – ‘Bad company corrupts good character’.”

Looking back over the last 90 days of our radio show with my production team, we were blown away at the quality people our show has been attracting.  When I came to Chicago’s AM 850, the managers Sally and Mark, that my vision to hosting Money Smart Radio was to “help transform the way people think, feel and manage their personal finances.  I want to accomplish this by providing the actionable steps to lead, educate and implement modern methods built upon time-tested, biblical truths.”

We’re not where we would like to be yet but, boy, are we headed in the right direction!

Below are the great people I have had the pleasure interviewing in “The Expert’s Corner” a daily segment which is a compilation of financial, business and leadership experts including certain celebrities, giving our listeners advice and true-to-life tips on getting ahead.

Financial Experts featured have included:

Dr. Lawrence Barton, CEO of the American College (weekly, each Wednesday)

Gene Amromin, PhD and Financial Economist of the Fed Reserve Bank of Chicago, co-author of the academic report The Tradeoff Between Mortgage Prepayments and Tax-Deferred Retirement Savings

Byron Udell, founder and CEO of AccuQuote

Peter Marino. Sr. Mortgage Professional, Sterling National Mortgage on Long Island, NY

Douglas Andrew, financial strategist and author of NY Times best-selling book The Last Chance Millionaire

Barry Kaye, one of America’s leading authorities on wealth creation and accumulation, life insurance expert and author of best- selling books Investment Alternative and Live Rich

Pamela Yellen, author of Bank on Yourself!

Manisha Thakor, CFA, co-author of Get Financially Naked

Dick Weber, CLU, MBA – Life insurance expert and author of Life Insurance as an Asset Class

Phil Liberatore, CPA, founder of IRS Problem Solvers

Rick Law, Elder Law Attorney specializing in Illinois Medicaid and VA Benefits

Dr. Walter Gaman, MD of Executive Medicine of Texas & co-author of Executive Medicine: Optimizing Your Chances for a Longer Life and an upcoming book Stay Young: Beat the Odds in a Busy World

Candi Sparks, financial advisor and author of Can I Have Come Money Series

Geanine Thompson, MBA, known as “The College Guru”

Earl Dowling is the Director of Scholarships and Financial Services at Harper College in Palatine, IL.

Mitch Reiner, investment advisor as well as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Investment Officer for Capital Investment Advisors

Tim Higgins, CFP and author of Pay for College without Sacrificing Your Retirement

Edward M. Gardner CPA & CFP – past Accountant Advocate of the Year to the SBA and awarded the VITA award from the IRS for his Small Business Workshop.  He is author of “How to Start your Financial Future – You’ve Got to Have the Why before the How”.

Matthew Tuttle, CFP(r), MBA – President, Tuttle Wealth Management, LLC. & Author of How Harvard & Yale Beat the Market and Financial Secrets of my Wealthy Grandparents

Scott Laue, financial advisor with Savant Capital Management, a fee-only wealth management firm headquartered in Rockford.

Pete West, ChFC

Carol Thompson, JD and founder of MyLegalEdge.com

James Barath, CMPS and founder of Benchmark Mortgage

Paul Haarman, financial and mortgage professional of the Renaissance Companies

Arnel Castillo, mortgage professional formerly of Wachovia and now working with Century Mortgage

Dave Muti, JD, mortgage expert and author of Mortgages: What You Need to Know

Dan Charlier, financial professional and Senior Executive Vice Chairman of World Financial Group

Stephanie Hancock, CFP(r) Certified Financial Planner Practitioner of College Aid Consulting of Beverly Hills, CA

Attorney Maritess Bott of Bott Estate Planning (she did my will/trust work!)

Robb Beltran, financial professional of Belstar Financial

Stacy Francis, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, president of Francis Financial, Inc & Founder of Savvy Ladies

Elizabeth Cox, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst,  CFP and principal of Divorce Financial Services, LLC

Sanyika Calloway Boyce – “The Financial Fitness Coach” and author of Crack Da Code

Mark Havlic, Allstate Agent in Vernon Hills, IL

Todd Dean, Author of More Money Than Month: Stop Stressing Over Your Finances and Take Control of Your Life & Founder of Dean Global Group.

Professor Edward E. Graves, associate professor of insurance and the holder of the Charles J. Zimmerman Chair in Life Insurance at The American College

Patricia Thompson, a member of the AICPA’s Tax Executive Committee & CPA at Piccerelli, Gilstein and Co. in Providence, RI

Thomas L. McLeary, CLU- President of Endow, Inc

Craig Hyldahl, CFP, CDFA, of R.I.C.H. Planning Group, LLC

Ed Gjertsen II, CFP and Chairman of the Financial Planning Association of Illinois

Ryan Pinney, CSFP -Chartered Senior Financial Planner

Dennis E. Johnson, former college instructor and practicing CPA for more than 25 years. Author of DO THIS: Simple Actions to Eliminate Debt and Create Wealth, which was awarded 1st place in the CIPA 2008 book competition

Business and Leadership Gurus:

Dr. Michael K. Clifford, education entrepreneur of Chancellor University (offered a BA and MBA scholarship to a one lucky listener, in the name of Money Smart Radio!)

Herb Kay, financial, business strategist and author of the best-selling book How to Get Filthy, Stinking Rich and Still Have Time for Great Sex: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Wealth and Happiness

Donald J. Hendler, President and CEO of The Leviton Manufacturing Company Inc.

Jennifer Connor, founder of the Mustard Girl

Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid and the Think Big Manifesto

Michael Michalowicz, author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur

Monika Labbe  – photographer and founder of the Midweek Connection

Zondra Hughes, editor of N’Digo and author of The Mood Lounge and Ritz Harper Goes to Hollywood

Gina Parris founder of Built to Win Coaching

Lior Arussy, founder of The Strativity Group

Lynn Scheurell, founder of the Creative Catalyst

Ruddy Ortiz, founder of Info Profit Strategies

Jessica Marie, founder of Chicago’s CHEW

Amy Leffel, founder of Chicago’s fitness, health and wellness company TeamiFit

“Doc” Rob Streisfeld, founder of Personal Health Design, Inc.

Elizabeth Gardner , key player who leads Chicago’s WBDC’s (Women’s Business Development Center) Child Care Business Program and Retail/Franchise Initiative while serving as the Fund Administrator for the CCBP’s microloan fund.

Bill Crosby, real estate investor and Social Media Evangelist

William Fowler, currently the CEO of Brain Balanceâ„¢ Centers

Victoria Knox founder of VJS Enterprises, Inc and host of the Recession Proof Your Business Expo

Lutonya Lang, radio show host and founder of IndustryBuzzz

Alicia Dunams – author of Goal Digger and founder of Authorprenuer, Inc’s “How to Make a Book a Business” series


Deborah Gregory, author-creator-producer of The Cheetah Girls phenomenon

Than Merrill, former NFL player, Star of A&E’s Flip This House and Real Estate Investor

Wes Moss, CFP & former contestant on Donald Trump’s The Apprentice

Coleman Luck, is a Hollywood writer and executive producer known for such television series as The Equalizer and Gabriel’s Fire

Bernie Wolfe, a former Washington Caps goalie back in the 70s and currently a Financial Planner

Demond Wilson, who played Lamont Sanford on Sanford & Son

Wayne Rogers, known to most as Trapper John on the hit series MASH and now financial expert and business manager of celebrities

Leonard Marshall, who played for the Giants during their Super Bowl years; now an extremely successful businessman in Florida

Jeff Sanders – former #1 draft pick of the Chicago Bulls

Joe Gannascoli, played Vito Spatafore on The Sopranos

Whew! In the words of Sir Isaac Newton who discovered gravity, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

My sincere HOPE is that you, the listener, are able to tune in and listen to the ideas, tips and concepts we have been sharing on Money Smart Radio and seek the advice of a financial or business professional that can help guide you through this economic storm.  Don’t be fooled that our economy is back to being ok…change has just begun and NEVER happens overnight!

The world is ready for YOU to be a LEADER!!

Remember, it’s wise to learn from your mistakes, but WISER to learn from the mistakes of others!  Be mindful of who you are listening to and building your knowledge from.

Lastly, a huge THANK YOU to these expert guests, we’ll be calling you back…we’ve got more work to do!

To your success,

Your Money Smart Guy – Matthew Sapaula

If you would like to connect with a financial professional in our national network to discuss your finances confidentially, send an email to [email protected]

If you’d like to feature your product, service, book or story, contact our producer, [email protected]

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