Rich Smith

Rich Smith spent most of the mid-to-late '90s in Moscow, advising U.S. and European companies eager to get in on the action of Russia's emerging market. Segueing into Ukrainian law, he then did the same thing for Westerners investing in Kiev. At some point, he decided that instead of telling these companies how to make money for themselves, he'd prefer to own a piece of the companies (and their profits) -- and began investing. Retiring to rural Indiana to continue this project, he continues to invest for his own account, and to advise other investors on how to maximize their profits, and minimize their risks, by writing directly for The Motley Fool as a contributor, and on special assignment for Yahoo! Finance and AOL DailyFinance. He undertakes assignments for other media outlets -- online, print, radio, and television, upon request.

General Information

Rich Smith
Fool Since:
January 25 2000
dittyesq (12/21/2005)
Where I Live:
Variously Moscow, Kiev, D.C. and now, Indy

Investing Basics

Types of Investments:
Companies with easy-to-understand business models, copious free cash flow, moderate to strong growth prospects, and minimal debt.
Stocks I Own:

Investing Favorites

Marty Whitman's "Value Investing"; SunTzu's "The Art of War"

Investing Expertise

My Area of Expertise:
"You don't have any investing expertise." <-- Guilty as charged.

Education And Work Information

School(s) Attended
College of William & Mary; University of Baltimore
Job Title
Fool Contributor
Former Jobs
Lawn mower, landscaper, corporate lawyer


Personal Quote:
"We were hoping for the best, but it turned out the way it always does." -- Victor Stepanovich Chernomyrdin, former Prime Minister of Russia
My Interests:
Napping. Investing. Investing in companies that allow me to nap soundly.
Favorite Vacation Spots:
Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt; Chincoteague, Va.
Favorite Sports or Teams:
Baltimore Ravens / Spartak Moskva
Favorite Music or Musicians:
DDT, Chaif, Vysotsky, Cash, Dead, Pixies, Pogues, Pumpkins, Ramones, Sinatra
Great Books Read Recently:
For Us, the Living -- R.A.H. (his first novel, published posthumously)

An Interview with TMFDitty

Last updated: 3/2/2013
The Fool:
How do you define success?
S-U-C-C-E-S-S. That was easy! Wait. Did you say "define?"
The Fool:
What technology do you wish the world had but doesn't yet?
Take your pick: Anti-grav cars. Cold fusion. Teleporters. Light sabers.
The Fool:
What was your first educational exposure to investing?
I was never, at any educational institution, exposed to the concept of investing.
[Read the full Interview]

My Story

Rich Smith isn't either. He isn't rich, but like the ant in the old ditty, he has high hopes. And he isn't a smith, but a woodworker. He spends his free time working axe, drawknife, and auger to turn felled oaks into rustic furniture. Born in Virginia, raised in rural Maryland, and educated back in Virginia again, Rich has spent most of his life circling the event horizon of Washington, D.C., but vows never to let it suck him in. The reason? Rich is deathly afraid of high-density traffic. Also spiders, heights, and companies with too-large enterprise value-to-free cash flow ratios. Rich claims to have never taken a business course in his life, and Fools who argue accounting standards with him are quick to confirm that fact. But he still knows a bargain when he sees one.

Contact Information