Author Archives: ronda larue

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The Art of the Vessel

Synergy in Collaboration:  the action of working with 2 or more people to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts…


MATT:  Ronda and I just completed this collaborative clay vessel pictured here.  We love projects. We love work. And we work well together.

“Concepts and Details Baby!” That’s my motto when it comes to working with my wife in life, business, and art.

As Ronda says: “We’re a master work in progress” (Or was that: “you’re a real piece of work”  …I forget…)

Truthfully, I’d forgotten all about this clay pot I’d thrown on the potter’s wheel in our art studio several months ago. It had been left sitting on a shelf  – set aside as nothing unique or special.

But when this unique finished piece suddenly showed up at our dining table this Easter Morning looking all resurrected and new, I was again astonished (and then again not!) by the interplay and outcome of two people when heart-fully engaging life and creative focus.

I will let Ronda take over from here, because  – well – she’s the “creative Concepts” to my “Poindexter”  (her word) “Details” in this marriage…. And writing may seem like a detail to you, but for me, it definitely falls into the category, concepts.  Take it, Ronda.

RONDA:  I asked to write this post today.  Not only because I’m charmed by how this little clay vessel turned out, but primarily here because (as I look at this ceramic vessel) so many metaphors come to me about the unique way that Matt has evolved his company and his relationship with his investor/client/friends.  I see metaphor and I learn something more about my life, about what is real and what truly matters in relationship to all things – including how my money supports my life.

A very short detour: I remember when Matt was going to “quit his business”. It was shortly after he and I had met in our 40’s.  He was dismayed by the generic ways most financial investment managers and companies worked.

He was frustrated and disturbed to see people come to him with a portfolio from one of the common investment choices utilized by most people today and to find that these individuals all had the same cookie-cutter portfolios (almost to the dotting of the i and crossing of the t) regardless of each person’s very different needs, circumstances and values.

What is significant and to the point for me here,  is this:

I have seen first hand, what has evolved in Matt’s business life over the past decade: going from “ready to discard it” dismay over an unremarkable generic industry approach that has continued to under-served the people for whom their money is being managed… to completely revamping and creating this gem of a new business model  – one that now shines (much like this one-of-a-kind vessel) with a uniquely personalized luster that only a deeply engaged collaborative synergy between client and advisor can produce.  That is just so damn cool.

financial plan sitting on a shelfLike the “plain generic clay pot” which sat on our shelf: incomplete, unattended, unused  – a pot that was solid technically but one having not yet been given any personality, luster, finish:  It seems to me that an apropos analogy can be drawn to standard offerings of most money management firms today… They tend to remain similarly generic with plans left on a shelf – under-attended. Utilitarian perhaps, but not directly tied to the beauty of each individual, nor ignited to meaningfully reflect and support that life.

Am I stretching it here?  I don’t think so.  When I look at this finished clay pot made with human hands from the ingredients available: elements of earth, water, and minerals turned by the fire into a lasting legacy of stone and glass, I find myself drawn to many parallels.

spiritual financial money management for personalized investment from RIA Matt Clements Ventura County Ojai California

Collaborative art work: Ronda and Matt Clements 2017

For example, I am drawn to the gold dots that trail the vessel in a seeming random way. And I can’t help but to reflect on the unique pathways for managing money that Matt has developed over the past several years after being ready to “chuck it all” because the utilitarian model of financial investment was not good enough – did not serve what people really genuinely need and deserve as a direct reflection of their lives.

From the fiery frustration with what he saw as insufficient and seriously lacking in the industry today, he has created an integrated, individualized life-specific model for working with people, their lives, and their money. I can see that Matt has brought out the life and luster of his business offering.  He is offering synergy and collaboration so that his clients can experience, first hand, what a real relationship with one’s own money must be and can do to rightly serve and reflect their lives.

…I see the gold dots that play across the rim in an unpredictable way, and I think of our life trail together with it’s movement and sense of direction, but also with it’s many surprises and unanticipated points along the way.  And that makes me appreciate and smile that this is what Matt too designed into his new business model by offering his clients a “financial GPS system” of collaboration together.  He’s not looking to be some expert removed from the changing realities of his client’s lives. He’s making a specific invitation to join forces and create a new financial sum with your currencies – one that goes well beyond the parts alone…

Matt P Clements RIA unique personalized independent registered investment management Ventura County Ojai Caifornia

Ronda and Matt Clements

Well well: I honestly did not know (until just now) why I wanted to write today about this collaborative art work.  I’m proud yes. But more than that: I wanted to write about this clay pot today because (as often is the case in our married life together) Matt created the vessel and solid structure as the ground (and canvass) from which he helped support and facilitate my art and personality coming to life.  And because too: I share Matt’s passion for helping people find, follow, and express their unique beauty and path of purpose.   What a fun surprise to share it here in this way too.

Thank you Matt. Awesome “working” with you!

Post by Ronda LaRue Clements



matt clements RIA financial investment advisor firm in Ventura California specializing in retirement planning and significant life transitions

Geology and Investing in Your Legacy

Reflections From a Geologist at Heart

Geology (dgeology and the art of true wealth inspirational writingef. Geology involves studying the materials that make up the earth, the features and structures found on Earth as well as the processes that act upon them. Geology also deals with the study of the history of all life that’s ever lived on or is living on the earth now.

Now how am I going to relate geology to financial planning, wealth building and living our life to the fullest?   Well now, let’s just see…

matt clements RIA financial investment advisor firm in Ventura California specializing in retirement planning and significant life transitionsWhen I started in college I began as a geology major… And the rock hound bug has never left.  At night I am known to leisure read old and new geology text books – for fun. My wife Ronda, shakes her head and smiles (well kind of smirks) with that glazed-over, eyes rolling, kind of look when I start talking geology. She calls me (I”m sure it’s affectionately) “Poindexter” because I have that kind of mind that remembers technical things.

So I turn to you, my dear readers, to say here what I am fond of pointing out whenever out walking in nature or driving in the country as my wife steals a glance in my direction when I start “talking techie”  and catches my eyes roaming with sparkle to the earth’s layered crust. (Busted!)

But truly: Indulge the intrigue here if you will. I promise to keep it short; maybe even spark a little sparkle of awe in your eyes as well!

registered investment management firm in Ventura California specializing in retirement planningFirst of all: Did you know that the Earth is over 4.5 billion years old?  Did you also know that the continents move (and are in fact moving) and have joined together to create supercontinents? 

And how about this one:

QU: If  you stretch your arms out at full length and let that length represent the 4.5 billion years of the earth’s life, what portion of your full arm span (from  one fingertip to the other fingertip) does human life itself first show up on our planet?

Take a guess:

  • Is it midway across your chest?…
  • Is it merely that portion from your elbow to that same fingertip?…
  • Is it only one hand span that measures the full human existence in the total life of the earth?…

Here, in this photo above, you can see yours truly standing just this last week at the same place I stood 10 years ago (thanks to Photoshop and an impish wife).  Pretty big change in 10 years time! A lot of life happens in a decade of living, doesn’t it?  (And yes, I know:  I’m leaving you to ponder the open question above a while longer yet…)

Ocean reflections on wealth and well being by registered financial advisor Ventura CaliforniaSo why the fascination with geology?  Why do I put down my Starbucks coffee at the beach to stare at a rock when I could be gazing at the sea and the gulls (or at my beautiful wife)?  (Her edit:)

Here’s what geology shares and gifts me in my life:

Geology gives me a much bigger perspective on life’s timeline, resilience, and evolution. Geology reminds me that life is always moving and changing.  In the rocks we can see the impact of many thousands – and indeed millions of years of changing conditions. We can see the impact of life over time. We can read the rock and interpret it’s language and know something of what it went through and what was happening to the world at those moments. Rocks tell the story of life and change.

This visual language in the rock helps remind me too that things in my own life are changing, growing, adapting – even when I may not yet realize the change or the impact.

Geology reflects how each experience in a lifetime is recorded in ogeology of true wealth meditation inspirational quoteur being.  Just like a rock, we are the composite of all that we experience and carry in our cellular memory.  We are so much more than any one immediate moment of experience… Or as popular cliche puts it “this too shall pass”… Everything in time shall pass.

The language of rocks teaches me patience, an appreciative sense of steadiness, and a deep respect for things occurring in their own good time.

Geology makes me pause. It speaks to me of awareness and awe: It simultaneously helps me to remain aware and engaged in each moment, while at the same time holding a perception of awe for the ineffable grandeur of the seasons and cycles of our lives.

finding the diamond in your retirement planning roughSo when I go about working with my clients as an independent registered investment advisor, this may sound weird, but I see my client/friends as beautiful rocks and gems – each individual with his and her own unique composite and imprint of life experiences; each with a unique path to take and an essential story to tell.

When a financial plan and investment strategy is developed from this level of attention to a person’s absolute uniqueness and story, the impact on his or her wealth and well-being is quite simply very apparent.

As I write this, I realize that I’ve not left my first love of geology – The story of Geology is embedded in my awareness and in my awe for each person’s unique path of purpose and ability to experience life to the fullest.  Each life is a living legacy in the making.

stone stack ventura beach california

OH! You may still want “THE ANSWER” to the question at the beginning of this article: The question about where on the span of one’s arm length is reflected the whole of our human existence on planet earth.

Do you have your guess?  Are you ready to know the answer? (I see you’ve read this entire article, and so you deserve the answer.)

OK here you go:

A: If  you stretch your arms out at full length and let that length represent the 4.5 billion years of the earths existence, ONE SWEEP of a nail file across the very tip of one fingernail on one finger represents the entire time human existence has been on this planet relative to earths full lifespan!

(Take that question and visual description to your next cocktail party, and you too can be looked at askance and called “Poindexter” by your adoring wife…)


Mattawe P. Clements, RIA, is owner and CEO of Clements Investment Management Inc. – Specializing in designing your personal financial “GPS” for living a sustaining quality of life and clarity of vision throughout your lifetime.




how to plan for retirement future

Self-Wealth: The 4 “Big Life” Questions

Walking into the Sunset Financial DreamsWelcome to the journey of a lifetime and the the art of true wealth!

Let me dive right in! Or, rather, invite you to dive right in, by presenting  you with what I call The 4 “Big Life Questions”.  

These 4 questions are crucial to building and experiencing a life of rich meaning.

I hope you will deeply engage yourself in these first set of 4 questions. I invite you to really spend some time on them. If you do, I know  you will be rewarded with a deeper sense of true self confidence, clarity of direction, and meaningful life purpose. That is the path to success and the art of true wealth in our book.

So, here they are:  4 very powerful starter questions for clarifying and crafting a life of true success in all that matters most to you!



how to plan for retirement future

  • What is a life well lived? – i.e., what, in the end, truly matters in life?
  • What do you feel is your greatest gift or ability? (Think in particular about areas where you have struggled and so gained a living experience of wisdom gained.)
  • Describe your ideal day and what it would look (and feel like) – i.e., describe in detail your day, from waking up, to going to bed. Cover the entire day, and dream “outside of the box” for this one… Go for it!
  • And: If we were sitting together 3 years from now, what would have needed to happen in your life to feel successful? – For this one, answer the question in each of these dimensions:  What would have needed to have happened (or changed) in your life: PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY, EMOTIONALLY, SITUATIONALLY (i.e. pragmatically), FINANCIALLY, and SPIRITUALLY.

If we fail to ask ourselves these kinds of Big Life questions, how can we ever expect to live and experience our own real wealth and fullest truth?  … We can’t!

If you are looking and wondering at all toward retirement and if or when you’ll have enough to live… or if you have (or may soon have) significant financial assets, then I suggest to you that a living and integrated financial navigation system must be comprehensively designed, structured, and routinely reviewed to assure your success and to place your current spending/savings into proper alignment with your short term needs and long range financial income cash flow requirements.

An integrated investment strategy is one designed to sustain, protect and nourish your desired lifestyle, deepest core values, dreams, and vision for a life well lived.

If you do not currently have such concern about retirement planning or assets coming into your life, you may not need our life-aligned strategic investment management services, but you can most definitely get yourself started on building a successful financial course with some of the materials presented on our website – and especially the free resources and readings suggested which are holistic and life-affirming.  Don’t miss our recommended resources such as the book; Getting Wise to Your Advisor (see Resources on our web site).

And if these 4 questions captivate and inspire and make you wonder and wrestle with them a bit – as they do me – I invite you to actually share your personal reflections and responses with me by way of taking a next step toward a well-reviewed and consciously-designed financial vision and managed portfolio.

Independent Registered Financial Adviser Company in OjaiI look forward to hearing from you now, today  ….or just as soon as the time is right for you to consciously take charge of charting your financial-life course and preparing to set sail!

It’s a wonderful journey and an honor to join in partnership.

Mattawe Clements, CEO Clements Investment Management, Inc.

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” – Henry David Thoreau


Mattawe P. Clements, is a Registered Financial Advisor and CEO /Founder of Clements Investment Management, Inc.,  offering 3 decades of professional experience. Today he serves a select group of clients and professional partners in the design of his proprietary “Financial Navigation System” (think of the app: “WAZE” GPS) – a protocol he has developed for applying the best practices of financial investment technologies with self-knowledge and inspired tools for conscious living into a real-life on the move personal plan for moving toward your dreams and life vision in every day real life with it’s every day changing circumstances.

In particular, Clements Investment Management is dedicated to highly personalized counsel and professional advisory to those at a significant life crossroad or transition (e.g., divorce, retirement, inheritance and second half of life legacy building).

Investing In Your True Self

…If Not Now, When?

By Ronda LaRue-Clements, M.S.

I wonder what would happen in your life if one day you said:

“Enough! It’s time for me!  I am going to take time out to go in. I am going to make time to find and reconnect with myself and with what really matters!”

i need time for myself spaWhat would happen if — when the “nay saying voice of reason” came in and filled your head with all the justifiable reasons you cannot possibly take the time, spend the money, or leave your family obligations for 3-4 days to retreat from the world and to reconnect with you — if you consciously overrode that seeming logic, and took the “Illogical leap of faith” to invest in yourself, in your spirit, in listening for life’s deepest meaning and purpose?

I mean really:  WHAT WOULD HAPPEN?….

finding time for meWhat would happen do you think if you realized that by taking time out to go in, you were (in truth) making the greatest life investment you could ever make: for your self, your loved ones and our world, would you pass it by?

And what are we (actually) turning away from in our lives by not taking this time for self-renewal?

If you’re like me, you  may have a very hard time taking high quality “me time”.  And by high quality I mean something other than simple distraction-entertainment: something that really gives you time to be with yourself and that brings new clarity and a deeper sense of who you really are.

What might your authentic self look like, feel like, do yet in this world?

finding my life purpose retreat… Here’s a probing question:  Can you (or I) really afford to turn away from our own truth and beauty? And at what price?…

Having gone through my own loss of soul and studied the paths of psychology, mysticism, world sacred texts, shamanism, health and medical research – all in hopes of finding my way back to an inspired life, I now have the honor of working with hundreds of women and men who come from all over the world to work with me as I help them too discover their path of purpose and spiritual self-connection. And I can now say unequivocally this:

The places where we have each most struggled in life; the places we have the most self-doubt or heart ache or questions, are invitations to “Remembering Who You Really Are” (as the title of my first book suggests).

images-3These life struggles that bring us to our knees – and eventually (if we allow it) to letting go into a new way of seeing, offer us the bridge to breaking through our stuck-ness with old patterns and subconscious attitudes we didn’t even consciously choose in the first place!

What most people don’t realize is that feelings of being stuck, over-burdened by life’s obligations, disconnected from a sense of self, suffering a loss of deep meaning or purpose: these are universal feelings and life experiences that offer truly amazing and often very surprising dividends!  …if one has the courage and the commitment to create the time and space to learn the secrets of soulful re-discovery, conscious self-healing,  and a life on purpose.

All of the various struggles in life can be realized as growing pains asking us to look again – to look deeper – and to find the joy of becoming whole and true to one’s unique genius.

It can be so difficult to justify taking the time – and spending the money – on oneself!  It took me till I was in my 50’s to actually spend the money on a real retreat for me …so many competing costs that are seemingly more necessary.  I was wrong. And I’m always really inspired and proud of the women and men who come work with me, because I know what they had to overcome to have the courage and commitment to do it! Not easy.  Pain is often a great teacher…

The truth I’ve come to see over and over again without exception, is this:

investing in ones selfOur times of deepest despair and confusion in life are seeds sprinkled on the ground of life waiting for each of us to say:  “There must be something more!! I am going to invest this life in finding out what it means to awaken to life’s richest meaning!”

Here is the daily truth we so easily forget:  We are only ever alive within each moment, here and now. Now is where your life is played, nowhere else!

FAMILY-articleLargeIt is good to reflect upon how we spend each moment and what values these actions and attitudes are endowing upon our life.




Look at it this way:

Each momenCoinst, another coin of your lifeline is being spent.

  • In what are you investing with the coins of your life? 
  • Will you invest in finding your true self?


  • Will you invest in following your life’s very own unique genius?


For the next week, every night write down all the places you invested your time and resources during the day. (Don’t forget TV, alcohol, social engagements, time spent worrying on some future “what if”; on beauty, shopping etc.).  Don’t excuse or rationalize your choices, just remain curious and look. Simply get acquainted with where you are implicitly placing your life’s values by ways you spend your time spent. Don’t judge as good/bad, right/wrong. Simply LOOK and SEE…  

Then sit down for 15 minutes or so in a comforting place, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and ask your mind to go to the background for just a bit so that you can hear from your soul  (that inner quiet place). Then simply ask your heart and soul what qualities long to be truly lived in your life.  You aren’t seeking an objective answer. You only need to go inwardly quiet and sense into these qualities that long to be more fully expressed in your life. The simple process of seeing and sensing from your soul is enough to sprout a seedling on your path of growing wisdom.   Now that’s a wise investment!

…If not now, when?


ronda larue spiritual finanancial retreats with Matt Clements RIA

Ronda LaRue-Clements is an internationally sought author, teacher, life coach, and founder of SoulArts Retreats.  And she is Matt Clements wife and creative partner.

Ronda has over 30 years experience as a corporate consultant and owned her own market research firm for many years. After publishing her first book: Remembering Who You Really Are, in 2003, people began contacting Ronda for guidance; thus becoming her evolving vocation as teacher and guide in the art of self-healing and realization of one’s authentic life path.

Today, people travel from all over the world to work with Ronda privately as individuals and couples, and small groups. Ronda and husband Matt Clements, live and work side-by-side at their artisan home in charming Ojai, California. Please see Financial Clarity Mapping Retreats as well as other SoulArts Events, Apprenticeships and Retreat opportunities with Ronda here.