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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.

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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…

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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



Financial Industry Old Paradigm Must Change

The Big Short – Time to Change?

The entire financial industry has it wrong!

Last night, Ronda and I watched academy award winning movie:  The Big Short – And yes, heads should have rolled! But more importantly to our present day: we, as a financial industry, are still focusing on the wrong things!BigshortLet me ask you something: What’s your true currency?

I love to ask this question when I meet with a new client (or even when out to dinner with friends). You see, when I ask that question, I get one of two answers: “What do you mean?”  …Or “[X] million dollars”

The real answer to this question in my book is this:

It’s your time, your energy, your love, your wisdom, your knowledge, your ability to be present in the moment that is your true currency.

These are the values that build your life and what you leave behind as your legacy. Your money should support those core currencies – and the life that they create, not the other way around.

When we focus on the money first – on our “rate of return” over and above a life vision, we inherently constrict to decision-making based on fear of loss while losing the larger significance of money being held in service to our core values and larger life meaning.

Most people believe that having a financial investment portfolio is merely one of setting up a structure – a safe harbor for protecting one’s future – something that is set up “for us” by a financial banker (or a Merrill Lynch-type advisor as depicted here in “The Big Short”) who asks little about your values, vision, or changing circumstances – an official looking professional who takes on a kind of patriarchal role of managing something “far too complicated for you to safely handle or worry about”.

…And most of us are more than happy to relieve ourselves of our own responsibility for making sure that our money is in service to our true life currencies. And that’s a big part of how “The Big Short” was created (and will be created again if we let it).

Our financial industry is outdated. It is no longer working as currently set up. it must change. WE MUST CHANGE.  We, as buyers of financial services, must change our own attitudes and responsibility for self-reflection if we are to avoid more of the same patriarchal misalignment of service and misuse of our financial assets.

When we as financial service buyers still hold financial investment strategies separate and independent from our real life currencies (our time, our talent, our vision, our love) we lose connection, and thereby any integrated sense of control or timely decision making.

With the loss of integrated connection to our own investments as they relate to our daily life decisions, we enter into a lot of “unknowns”… and unknowns create fear:  Fear of market losses; fear of not having enough; fear making new decisions; fear of stretching and growing our lives; fear of spending our money on what truly matters.

Most of us end up putting our heads in the sand, let the “advisor” handle it, and just hope for the best. What’s juFinancial Industry Old Paradigm Must Changest happened here? We’ve just lost power; we’ve just given it away. …Does financial concerns and 2am staring at the ceiling ring a bell?

So why can’t your traditional wire house or these robot-advisors just manage your money and you go about building your good life?

I’ll try and highlight just why this is so important:  It’s because both your life, and your finances, are organic, changing systems. They are both in flux all the time. It’s because the reality of life is that it is ever-moving and changing – and many times in unpredictable or unanticipated ways.

If both your money management and your life circumstances and values are not correctly aligned and “talking to one another” on the go, in real time, they cannot produce an effective fueling of your life. It’s that simple really.

So for example: In a life-affirming responsible approach to your investment management , you MUST know – in real time – how each life event or decision (large and small) along the way influences or will effect your overall liimages-1fe vision, future solvency, and immediate needs …And then, adjust accordingly and correctly in that moment.

This kind of real time financial navigation system* is the critical connector that the old paradigm stock brokers, and that the robot-advisors, are not trained – nor capable – of doing.  And that’s precisely what’s so critically missing in our financial industry today.

When I work with a client, I start with your dreams, wants, and wishes; we find that spark that makes you feel happy and excited deep inside – and then we follow that trail and build a financial plan that supports that path. This is a process of self-discovery that will last a lifetime. Each new doorway will lead to another opening that you could not have conceived of until you got to that particular next bend in the trail.Make your money work for you clements financial Ojai California RIA

Life is ever changing; life is on the move.

A great financial strategy is a very closely attended one that is in a flexible and evolving relationship with that moving expanding life of yours.

What do you want from life? What do you want from your money? Is more always more? Where does peace of mind and the ability to experience your true life currencies all along the way fit in to your financial picture?

If you want to live your true-life currencies and experience your true wealth in life, please:

  • Find someone who will take the time to really understand all aspects of your life; someone who will ask the small questions, who will make suggestions, and celebrate your path.
  • Make sure they have the history and the credentials to manage your investments appropriately,
  • and MOST importantly make them show you their process for connecting your life with your finances – in real time.
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Matt Clements, RIA – Ojai, California

I hope we never see another “Big Short” – or anything like it – played out in this country. But we are all responsible for making the change by what we accept and demand.

My advice (as a Registered Investment Advisor who nearly quit the industry out of dismay for how it was being run, until I took matters by the helm and changed everything about how I approached it) is this:

  • Don’t accept anything less than a real, responsible, aligned and transparent ongoing communication with your advisor. Be an active partner.
  • Find an advisor who has done his/her own inner wisdom work – one who will not only expect and encourage you to find and identify your life legacy, but who will share and demonstrate those core values too.


Ask about Clements Investment Management Inc. Financial Navigation System and Setting Up Your Own Full Retirement Analysis Private Visioning Retreats.

And if you’ve not yet seen The Big Short  (or better yet,  read the original book and NY Times best seller by Michael Lewis) it’s something we should all know so we can all help avoid it happening again…

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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.

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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!



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  • 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).

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Midlife Crossroads & Financial Choices

At a Crossroad in your life?  Which doorway you choose will make all the difference…

mid life crisis and crossroads financial wealth protectionPerhaps you, like most of us at mid-life, find yourself facing some significant and challenging change or threat to life as you’ve known it thus far.

Life crossroads, and how well we meet these times of upheaval are one of the most deadly dangerous — and one of the most potentially prosperous — times along the life long journey.

And  I’ve experienced both: the deadly dangerous – and the powerfully prosperous sides of midlife changes.

I’d like to share some reflections and a calling of choice…


I’ve been a financial adviser for the bulk of my adult career – and I’m hitting 60 next year – which is “impossible” – but true.

Also “impossible but true: I am in better physical shape, more optimistically vital, and more deeply engaged in relationship with friends and clients than at any other earlier time in my life! I want to say something about aging as a doorway to an entirely new conscious affair with one’s body, one’s career, and one’s relationship to money…

At almost 60 I am just hitting my stride as a vision-driven entrepreneur who has discovered the remarkable gift of becoming more relational – that is, more engaged in the lives and dreams of my clients, friends and family.  Maybe it’s “that dreaded man-o-pause” hormone shift thing. Who knows…

What I do know from observing and working on myself; from working with my wife and her private individual and couples spiritual lifework; and serving my own financial clients (many at midlife transition seeking a secure investment plan for retirement) — is this: people hit midlife and tend to go in one of 3 directions…

financial wealth protection investment help doorways

  • One direction is to deny any change and apply as many midlife crisis band-aids as possible to keep up the appearance of life as usual. This is probably the most common first attempt: Trying to keep up a good appearance and hope it will all just go away, and life will continue as before…
  • Another and second path taken when midlife challenges set in, is to collapse into a fear-based “woulda shoulda” analysis paralysis. This doorway is one of falling into despair where there is no hope or idea about how to create a new scenario for growth, vision and vitality. When we stumble into this second doorway and stay there, we grow old before our time and cave into distractions, addictions, and an “it’s too late, I’m over the hill” defeat. Sad…
  • Then there is what I call Doorway #3: those who somehow use the same life challenges and changes toward finding a new path and a new more integrated playing field – one that consolidates all the earlier experiences, failures, and triumphs into a whole new integrated and empowered path of purpose.  .
    • ..I don’t know what percent make this choice, but I do know it’s not common. I also know that this is why I am in the business I am in: To help those who would take this path know how to find and enter it!

Here’s what’s interesting: None of these 3 ways is easy.

key lock financial helpEach of the 3 doorways facing us at a midlife challenge has it’s own specific kinds of pain and confusion when trying to set up a secure life plan for protecting one’s future.

Each of the 3 attitude choices: Status Quo Denial; Fearful Analysis Paralysis; or Breakthrough Self-Mastery, will require facing the difficult questions that call for change.

The key difference is how these similar conditions are faced: And how they are faced creates all the difference…

The Personal and Financial Consequences of Choice:  

Take a look with me. See where you are. See what choices you are making and what better choice you may be called to step into if you are to truly live your life fully:

midlife financial investment help Consequences of Denial & Doorway #1:

While trying to keep the status quo by  “keep on keeping on” may feel nobly-inspired, it can only offer a short-lived value by virtue of the fact that it is a façade.

Eventually the “smoke and mirroring” of this first Doorway choice will crumble and evaporate at the seams.

Eventually, our denial of changing circumstances, is unsustainable… (just like a “comb over” is unsustainable, and why I just went for the bald look…But that’s another story.)


Here’s the thing with doggedly trying to maintain the Status Quo when circumstances have changed:

When we deny or fail to truly meet change as the upheaval that it is, we eventually suffer the consequences: exhaustion in holding onto false appearances; loss of respect (especially our own); and the big loss of finding and owning our maturing true wisdom.

Here’s some common financial attitudes and consequences of Doorway #1:

  • People who take this first tactic of denial, tend to avoid discussing or reviewing their finances – preferring to declare that they are happy where they are.
  • These people tend to over-estimate their financial strength and exude a kind of confidence that is un examined.
  • The result is usually either an under-endowed financial plan or a reckless one that will not sustain their longer range requirements.

analysis fear financial retirement planning and protectionConsequences of Paralysis & Doorway #2

The second doorway often taken when midlife challenges enter our lives is to cave in, give up, live from the past, or just settle into an almost dogmatic resigned acceptance of old age.

I’ve noticed that people who take this path tend to create a second half of life that has a quality of bored, self-absorption at best (often surrounding one’s health concerns) or, a brittle bitterness toward life, at worse.

Please!  I’m truly not suggesting that the many difficult midlife struggles and health concerns are not reaI – They’re often both very real and very really frightening and overwhelming! Been there too.

It’s a challenging trap not to fall into Doorway #2.

What I am suggesting here is this:  How one responds to these very real challenges is the main KEY predicting one’s overall renewal, well-being, and true prosperity.

We all know or see people who at times of radical life change or crisis,  fall into giving up and a kind of despairing self-doubt, confusion, and paralysis. Hell I’ve done it too.

But some stay here and make a new identify out of this state of being. These are the people who take on a kind of early acquittal toward life. They tend to make comments about being old, having senior moments and otherwise winding down.  Nothing wrong with a little senior moment joking around, but when it becomes a way of over-coping with the challenges of midlife change, it can have some really dire consequences — both emotionally and financially…

Here are some common financial behaviors of those who choose Doorway #2:

  • They “grow old too soon” by opting for this second path of analysis paralysis.
  • They tend to be too afraid (or too tired and worn down) to truly look at their long-term financial needs against their current spending styles and needs.
  • They tend to exude a “minimized, stay put existence” and not really take stock in what this second phase of life might be offering nor what the next phase of their life will require.
  • They tend to take a “let my investment adviser just handle my money management – they know best anyway” kind of attitude.  Hands off, eyes closed. Probably an OK investment portfolio. Very likely not a very personally optimized or informed one! Certainly not one that can well navigate daily life shifts.

But here’s the thing:

  • crossroads financial planNo one teaches us about entering midlife challenges – i.e., endings of career, divorces, aging parents, health threats, questions of financial security into retirement etc.
  • No one teaches us about meeting these mid-life challenges and difficult life transitions as a natural developmental process of maturing into a whole new level of conscious authenticity and empowered purpose.
  • I didn’t always know how to navigate these seas of change either.  But over the past decade or so, having deeply studied and practiced the skill-sets of conscious self-growth and honest introspection offers a tremendous ability I am now endowed to offer my clients. In fact, I dare say that this level of conscious financial investing makes all the difference in the world to my clients.

how do I know when I can retire? midlfe financial planningToday when I meet with my financial clients – many, if not most of whom, are high net worth individuals suddenly facing one or more very difficult and confusing midlife periods in life as marked by significant health concerns, relationship endings and losses, retirement concerns, questions of meaning, etc., — I am excited as Hell!  In fact sometimes, the more confused, worried or paralyzed my new prospective client, the more excited I become…


because I know for certain that life at these times of difficult transitions are calling cards inviting that person into the next playing field of self-mastery.

Life Crossroads are invitations to finding and deciding to go through Doorway #3 –  the discovery of one’s own next level of mature wisdom and empowered purpose and passion… This is real wealth.

This third path requires stepping out of the Doorway of denial or the the odd comfort zone of closing down and giving up in Doorway 2.

This third Doorway: i.e., seeking a new way of seeing things during times of change, challenge and discomfort – is a GAME-CHANGER par exellance!

Selecting to go through Doorway #3 in wealth management advisory connsultant ventura county Southern CA California at times of significant (often deeply threatening life challenges) takes inner work and inner courage in the face of many budding unknowns and potential losses. It is a path of renewal from the cinders of what is being lost or let go.  Not easy.

That’s why denial or giving in and growing old before our time are the two more likely and unconscious default reactions …unless we have assistance for choosing “the road less followed” where we can uncover renewal and a whole new meaning in the second half of our life.

Consequences of Renewal & Choosing Doorway #3:

  • People who elect to take Doorway #3 will be willing to really look at their financial life – their spending patterns, and their unconscious beliefs around money.
  • They are willing to get a true picture of what they will need for retirement and how they can integrate this with their current life desires and lifestyle sense of daily enrichment.
  • In short: they are able to become poised and re-positioned for entering into a financial investment and money management process that is engaged with their everyday living.
  • They “feel the fear and do it anyway” because they are committed to the art of using and redirecting fear and change into the service of a higher self-mastery and vision for a life well lived  – be it a gentle and unassuming life of peace, or a whole new second half of life visionary legacy.

financial wealth planning and protection growthThis third path requires an entirely new emergent leap of perception and realization of self. It is scary because it flies in the face of current threats and dares us to trust a next level of becoming…

The payoff for having the courage to choose Doorway #3 is HUGE!

It is this doorway to which my life work as a financial adviser is dedicated and in service to those clients who are often called by crisis and change to enter into a whole new level of life-renewal and self-mastery.  It’s a very inspiring (and inspired) team approach to money management.

Doorway #3 requires a special and unique level of financial investment and money management – one where adviser and client work in a personally-engaged relationship; one where dreams are shared, vision is discussed, and both small and large financial choices are considered within the framework of a “big picture/eyes wide open” financial investment management GPS protocol.

Relationship with a financial adviser on this high end level of self-mastery,  is not harder to do – it’s simply more engaging, more holistic, more integrated, and more flexibly aligned to living in the present while charting a visionary future. It’s an awesome and powerful wealth-building partnership.

I would like to offer to meet you here at the gates of midlife change. It’s not an easy time of life. It is my challenge to you to enter Doorway #3: The path of consciously protecting, charting, and directly experiencing your living legacy and true financial well being in every day real life…

spiritual investment services and financial planning________________________

Mattawe P. Clements, RIA is founder/CEO of Clements Investment Management, Inc., – a seasoned assets management firm that specializes in clients during life transitions who seek a fully engaged process of financial empowerment and vision.

Financial Freedom and the Art of Bonsai

Confusing the Container for the Life-Force…

My wife is an author. She says she loves trying to find words for the things that really can’t be put into words very readily: Our commonalities like our hopes, dreams, losses, fears, cherished passions and hoped for futures. Writing, Ronda says, will always fall short of the real life meaning, just like marketing will always fall shy of the real substance of any true business. “But it’s a great challenge!” she says, “to try and capture in words that elicit a commonality of understanding about the things that truly matter but cannot ever be completely spoken.

I’m not a writer. I’m not a marketer. I don’t like either one. But I do like the work that I do (most of the time). And I truly love knowing that I have made a big (sometimes huge) life-changing difference in my client’s financial quality of life. In fact that’s what keeps me going; what gets me to sit down and write this short blog post.

In my world, I tend toward the understated. For example, I prefer a morning spent trimming my bonsai trees, shaping them delicately and carefully in my sun-dappled garden and watching them evolve – some over decades now – into magnificent green works of art. And  I prefer the weekend relaxation of fixing a set of brakes on our little vintage trailer over a night out with friends. Just how I tick. Ronda would probably say here “yes Matt’s the strong steady type.”


And it strikes me just now, that this has been my acumen for founding and growing and refining my financial investment advisory business of almost 3 decades now.

She’s right: I don’t give a whit about posting, twittering, networking. What I DO care about is what I can do to bring you closer to the art of tending your own financial garden.

What I AM committed to is the awareness of remaining present with myself and with my client in the expression of my and your daily wealth (i.e., our time, our resources, our loves) while cultivating our daily living into a true master work of art and realizing one’s own financial vision in life. That is “my kind of party!”

When I first meet with a new prospective client and we are reviewing their current portfolio, I always shake my head as we begin the self-awareness process ...and they tell me that they’ve never been asked these questions by their current of former financial person!

how to plan for future quality of life financial investment advisor in Ventura County CaliforniaWait a minute: They’ve never had the one person who most directly takes charge of managing their financial life ask them one single question about who they are as a person?

Questions like: “what dreams, hopes, loves, losses, fears have shaped your life; what beliefs and attitudes seem to repeat themselves and block you from living your life fully; what, for you is a successful life – a life well-lived?”

…Questions like: “what is something you dream of doing now at this stage of life, and don’t know if or how it might be possible while at the same time protecting your future?”

And I ask you this: How can you or I ever experience our life dreams; how can you or I ever reach beyond the status quo of the statistical average; how will you or I ever reach what is a life well lived in our book …if we don’t ask these life-cultivating, soil enhancing questions…and be darned sure that our answers are weaved into — and an integral part of — every aspect of our life decisions and choices – and especially our financial ones?!

…The short answer is, we can’t. These ARE the primary foundational questions that must be amended into the soil of our financial gardens, if we are to move beyond status quo and live this one life we are called to live.

To continue a moment with my bonsai analogy:

Quality of life and retirement planning securityWe have many very good containers in the financial industry today for holding your assets and growing your financial tree. If you’ve ever looked at bonsai containers they all have fairly basic and similar shape and functionality (as do the common tools of the trade used by any one of us in the financial investment business.) We all have access to pretty much the same financial products, fee structures, etc. The container is only that: the container.

What makes the tree grow and flourish is everything else – everything by and large ignored by mainstream financial assets management: the quality of the soil and what goes into it; the setting where any particular tree best thrives (i.e., what area of the garden makes this particular tree most alive, most happy); the timing and care on a daily basis in which your tree is tended, trimmed, supported.

The former container-focused approach to investment services is the common financial portfolio management. The latter organic gardening approach to investment services is financial management as an applied science and art in the mastery of self!

Financial Investment Advisor and the Art of BonsaiI have at home, a large collection of bonsai containers. They’re elegantly functional and structurally solid. Essential. I appreciate them very much. These containers hold my bonsai. But I don’t confuse the container with the life force.

Tending to the life-force is where I am most passionate in my own life and where I have come to see that I, as a Registered Financial Advisor, can make the very most of each good container (i.e.,  investment holdings) for the sake of each unique tree (i.e, each unique client).

Working with Clements Investment Management, Inc. I can promise that you will be asked about what makes your life soar (…and you’ll probably have to hear a bit about the steady conscious art and science of growing a flourishing bonsai tree from time to time as well…)



Mattawe P. Clements, RIA is founder/CEO of Clements Investment Management, Inc., – a seasoned assets management firm that specializes in clients during life transitions who seek a fully engaged process of financial empowerment and vision.