Having money doesn’t make people happy. It’s what we do with it that matters, and yet the wealth-generating industry of investing and financial planning, focuses almost exclusively on using wealth to create more wealth.
Well, welcome back to the Author Hour Podcast. I’m your host, Hussein Al-Baiaty and my next guest is Todd Rustman, who is here with me to talk about his new book, Memory Royalties. Let’s flip through it.
Welcome back to the show everyone. Today, I am joined by my friend, Todd Rustman, who just launched a book called Memory Royalties: The Missing Link in Your Wealth Management. I’m really excited to have you here on the show, Todd, to talk about not only your book, but really, your journey but thanks for coming on the show.
Todd Rustman: Well, thank you for having me, I really appreciate it.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, absolutely. So you know, I always like to give our audience sort of a behind-the-scenes if you will, a peek into perhaps your childhood, where you grew up, your personal background. Maybe share a little bit about your parents or the people that influenced you to the path that you are on today and then we can get into the book a little bit more, what do you say?
Todd Rustman: Yeah, that sounds good, sounds good. Grew up in the Midwest in Missouri. Kind of moved around a lot. My dad was an entrepreneur. So we would move around a little bit around, St. Louis County, St. Louis, Missouri and at the time, I’m pretty much, most of my family have been teachers or principles and still a lot of my family who are back in Midwest, those that remain because the weather is a little difficult sometimes, are still in teaching, are principals at schools and stuff like that and my dad didn’t venture too far.
He actually went into school buses, buying and selling and doing service, actually providing drivers for a bit before he sold his business in my teenage years. I work for my dad since I was 10, hot, humid summers, you know, dollar an hour maybe, got around school buses a lot but I just knew, growing up in Missouri or Saint Louis, it just…the people are so awesome, Midwest values and such, but it’s also the weather, you know?
I also wanted to do something more impactful. I remember my dad asking you know, “Would you like to take over the business some day?” and I said, “You know, I’d like to make you proud some other way” I’m just not, after about eight years made 10 to 18 with the final summer was right after my freshman year in college at Pepperdine, Malibu, which got me out of state of Missouri.
You know, I shoveled rock all summer and I was like, “I’m done, I’m not going back” that’s 110 degree heat, humidity. I mean, it’s great to know what I don’t want to do the rest of my life and went back to Pepperdine, you know, Malibu and just kind of stayed out here on the west coast with you know, got my MBA at Thunderbird, which is in Arizona, actually and then I moved to Japan for a brief stint and it came back to Southern California 1994, I’ve been here ever since.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Very cool, that’s interesting man. I came to America at 1994. So that’s…I think that’s always for me, my life utterly changed but for you, what would you say, in that timeframe would be something that you picked up that you learned, you know, again, from your father or perhaps your trip to Japan or you know, maybe it was at school, who is someone that really, you know, drove home a lesson that you picked up and you know, you still carry with you today?
Learning from People Around You
Todd Rustman: Well, that’s kind of part of the book, right? I feel like it’s an openness to learn from everybody. I believe there is no teaching, only learning. So I have definitely learned a lot from my dad on the hard work ethic, grit. When you sign your name, something that your autograph and you know, reputation, the hardest thing to build, quickest thing to take away. Be accountable, be of service. I mean, that’s also my upbringing.
I went to a catholic grade school, a Jesuit high school, all boy and then, I went to Church of Christ College, which is Pepperdine and then nondenominational at Thunderbird but a lot of works of service, a lot of serving others and I still think we do that today in our business. You know, the wealth management industry, financial advisor, financial planning, it’s always about you know, helping and you know selfishly, I think it’s sometimes people forget.
But we learn so much from our clients and their families and that’s what really help inspire the book too is that I’ve just been in a unique situation where I could learn a lot from my families and help them make new mistakes hopefully and also get to apply those principles as you know, to my life and to my family and the things I’m trying to do in my business and kind of stand on the shoulders of giants and only reading about it but getting to be in the journey with them.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: So powerful, what an important lesson, the idea of staying on that path of learning and grasping and experiencing, which again, is a pretty huge part of your book but why did you decide to write this book and who were you trying to reach with your message?
Todd Rustman: Not to be dramatic but I don’t do a lot in my life that I don’t kind of reverse-engineer from goal setting and plotting and stuff but this book is more of two things. One is, I wanted something to leave behind for my kids to know kind of where dad was, what he did, why he did what he did. It is a true passion and I worked with a lot of coaches and I go, “If you have more free time, what would you do?” I’m like, “More of what I’m doing.”
I mean, notwithstanding this year has been a, you know, 2022 is a difficult year, 2023 might be better but I would say, the first reason is, something to leave behind, like a legacy for my kids maybe they’ll read it someday and know where I was for more than 40 hours a week usually and the second reason, just see if I could do it.
I read so much that I always thought, “Yeah, it would be nice to be on the other side, kind of, where life is not a spectator sport and sometimes, I like to know if I could get on the court and so, fortunately, I was able to get through it all, and it was definitely a process of over a year but I’m just super amazed that I was able to get through a book and all that and you know, if anyone, you know, without having an attachments.
So I mean, hopefully, some people will gleam some insights for their life and I love the conversation communication over the people will write back to me or call me and tell me things that I might have missed or more ways for me to keep learning because I’m only here for a short amount of time, no matter what you need, the whole history of the world. So yeah.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, yeah. Man, it’s so powerful and you bring up time quite a bit in your book and I want to get into that here in a little bit but I want to just jump right into this and you know, talk about how you perceive you know, where wealth management is right now and talk about how it needs fixing.
Can you share a little bit about that and sort of, how you came to that, you know, conclusion that, “Hey look, there’s this process in place, there’s all these elements but it needs a little bit of refinement” I like that approach, can you share a little bit about that?
Todd Rustman: You know, we’re, uh, fiduciaries and not, you know, there’s a lot of different segments within wealth advisory, advanced planning and stuff but we are fiduciaries and we’re fee-based. So we’d like to grow our client’s assets and grow with them obviously in the journey and partner up with them and when we have tough years, we’re down to it and we eat our own cooking.
So the important thing with the wealth management, though is you know, we’re fee for assets under management. So a very typical conversation could be with a family, “You know, how much are you going to invade your portfolio?” it’s almost, I’m going to merge this but there’s a thing that Charlie Munger used to say. It’s like, you know, look at the incentive. It’s not exactly what he said but you know, you’re looking at how people get compensated and we are, again, I think it’s better than a transactional basis.
We are in it for the long haul with our clients and gosh, you know, so grateful for all of them and the things we’ve learned over the years and everything else but one of the things you know, whenever they go off for these trips or anything that’s kind of expenses, you know, we even use a term like, “How much are you going to invade your portfolio for?” and I kind of came to a conclusion that we’re trying to take care of the whole person, right?
The whole family, we’re human beings and you know, I sat through and as we get older, I’m 53 as we talk today, we go to funerals and they’re not a celebration of John Smith’s money, they’re a celebration of John Smith’s life or you know, Judy Smith’s life. So try and put more life in our client’s years and as we work with clients, you know, every asset generally becomes a liability as we get older.
That extra home, the extra plane, the extra car, things happen, you know? Your kids get older, they get married, they have kids, they can’t come visit you in Hawaii anymore and then you still have the asset but you’re like, “I feel guilty because I haven’t been there in a year and you know, it’s probably all the greater I rent it out” and then someone else doesn’t take care of it like you would take care of it because you’ve got those memories.
And so the memories has a thing and an asset that doesn’t, you know, become a liability over time. So I think it’s very important to help our clients develop, you know, a perspective of, “This is not really an expense.” this is actually you know, when you’re doing different memories of your family, you’re getting to you know, put more life in your years and more life with them and then, it compounds, right?
Because as you do things with the kids, they might say, they all go off and get married or you and other people reading about what you do, they’ll say, “Oh, yeah, that’s something that John and Joe Smith, you know, they used to do to, they used to always go on a family trip every Christmas” and like the Kennedy’s used to play football going down you know, the ski slopes in Aspen, which had kind of a bad ending on one of it.
But regardless, I mean, there’s just different things and not all memories are good and not all memories are bad but you got to try, right? So sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, I love that approach too because, I mean, you say in your book too, like, “So what if you have all the wealth? Like, what are you actually doing with the money” right? Like of course it doesn’t necessarily “buy you the happiness” but what you can do with money, create impact. You know, create these memories, create things that are useful to your days, your life, right? Your life is bound by this time.
I love that notion and focusing on this idea of memory royalties, which you go deeply into, in the book again, why your book is called that but can you share a little bit about sort of this idea of focusing on those memory royalties. Why do you feel that that’s important, what caused that? I want to know like where did that sensibility came from? Because it’s an important thing to bring to wealth management of course.
We all hear about the people who are completely depressed but have like billings, right? And you’re just…and when, you know, look man, I came from a refugee camp, bro. I tell people this all the time, like I’ve eaten more tuna from the age of six to like seven and a half, eight, than probably a lot of people can consume. I know what that world is like, I know poverty, I lived in the middle of the desert, literally, in prison.
But I have seen what it’s like to grow up in America, to have access to knowledge, have access to mentorship, have access to opportunities and man, we were on welfare, you name it, all that stuff and I was able to learn English and you know, do all the things but the thing for me that really, that every time I think back to my childhood, I think about my mom and dad and I think about my siblings and how they endure those times because I was really young, right?
But they were a little bit older and they had to like, emotionally process all these things and I think about the lessons that my father was trying to teach me. I think about the memories and the laughter. Like, we were in a refugee tent and my dad is sitting there, you know, telling jokes, telling poet like just trying to entertain us, right? And having that will to do that.
Every time I think about where I am today in life and how grateful and blessed I am, I also think about just the pure opportunities that have come from just feeling that way because it’s very humbling, right? It’s very like, you know, you don’t need a lot but if you do have a lot, what can you do with it and I love that about your book because you really go there. I want you to talk a little bit about those memories and why they are royalties?
Todd Rustman: Thank you for that because that’s what’s super important. I mean, there’s a couple of ways to happiness and a lot of ways, even with you know, a lot of our families have a lot of wealth and one of the perspectives is, you know, as money is a, you know, tokenized time, you know? If you have more savings, you have more choices, you’ve stored up “money” or wealth but also, tokenized time to have the ability to go look at that.
You’re not working typically, you know, 80 hours a week, three different jobs or even more aptly put maybe like running from a dinosaur. You know, you ‘re going to get some time to reflect and as you just aptly pointed out too, you’re able to go back. Those assets, those things, those memories that you have make you grateful and appreciative, also helping and the book I wrote a couple of different stories about this.
But just like you know, you start appreciating, you know, everything in being grateful, it makes that journey so much more smoother and you can share those like you just did and we’re on this podcast, share those with other people and it becomes inspiring. Things can always be worse, they obviously could always be better and I focused a little bit on not destinations but ING-ing things, you know?
Changing things into verbs, like you’re always balancing. You’re definitely sometimes out of balance in whatever you know, it’s almost another word that’s very subjective like fair or unfair but life is what it is and your dad was making the best of it and you know and you remember that fondly and so when things go really bad, you can instantaneously go access that memory, that memory royalty and basically, have a smoother ride to your day.
You can share that with your wife, your kids, you know, your significant other and so on and so forth that further builds with other people that you know, we’re all connected. I mean, we’re just so few chromosomes, different between any of us and there’s so much interesting genetic material we have in our system that we don’t even know what it’s for that also puts us close to a lot of animals.
So we’re all very connected and sometimes we forget and you know, dream about other things and kind of focus on lack. I think I talk about it on the book too with lack of things, when there’s so much to be grateful for and so many opportunities and not being fearful of even doing as I mentioned, you know, building your portfolio of memories. Sometimes those trips won’t be the best.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, you learn that and then you do a different trip or you do a different learning experience and one of our greatest superpowers is you know, we talk to clients a lot too is that you know, investing in yourself is better than investing with us. I mean, it’s something that reaps tremendous rewards, it makes you hopefully a better human and gives you more skills for a very, you know, rapidly changing world.
COVID did a lot to you know, speed in or pick up the speed on all these rapid change, disruptive technologies, being able to work from anywhere at any time and instantaneous news, social media, there’s good and bad with al of it but the memory royalties are something you go back to that’s not a liability. It’s not something you have to really take care of, you can just pull it up and then basically, replicate that, you know?
So when you have a family and you go through tough times, which there will be, right? In the future and you’ll be able to go back and pull them and like, “Hey, that’s what my dad did it, you know?” or you read it somewhere too. It doesn’t have to always be a direct family member but I just find it a very good way to look at things on the fact that it puts the focus off trying to beat the market or beat Joe Smith down the street.
You know, keeping up with the Jones’s I guess would be the right way to say that and instead, you’re running your own race and we want to meet our clients where they are and say, “You know, hey.” One of our other clients, we’re confidential so we don’t get client’s names. In fact, the stories in the books I mixed up too because I know my clients will read this. I don’t want them to you know, be exposed or something like that.
But so in general, you know, we just say to our clients, “Hey, you know, so and so, one of our clients tried this and it worked out and it didn’t” and sometimes you learn more, you know, when you pay tuition when something didn’t work out versus having successful trips or successful memories that you created. You know, giving the kind’s money while you’re still alive.
To stay in the music to build a business, buy a first home, have that wedding day dreamed of and you can be there versus just having that big pot of money at the time of your expiration and you miss out on a lot of stuff and you know, it’s just that… It’s just trying to be very intent-full, especially when you’re blessed enough to have some tokenized time/wealth built up.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: I love that man. Just the intention behind your wealth, right? Like what do you intend for this wealth to produce and it’s if you can produce as many as you can try, right? As many exciting moments, challenging moments, moments that are going to create value for you, your children, your spouse, your travels. Again, being intentional, you know, you said this in the book too, it’s like, wealth management and wealth building shouldn’t be just about growing money, right?
It should be growing a beautiful life and it’s just that makes so much sense to me because I felt like these are the values that my father, you know, and mother, really try to instill in me with like, “You know, look, you can go out there, get all the skills you want, get all the money you want, all these things but you’ll always be determined by how you treat others.”
So like, these things, they’re great, they’re great tools but like a hammer, you can destroy something or you can build something and all that stuff, again, stuck with me and again, this is why I love this memory royalties because I feel like these are the royalties that I’m sort of cashing in sometimes is that investment in me.
Like my father may not have had all the money but what they did download or give me were, artistic abilities, confidence, you know, he positioned me in places where I was constantly, you know, seeing people so I would have to talk to them and learn about them, and be interested, which is literally what led me to what I do now, right?
It is so profound and because when you teach that, when you get that perspective on somebody’s radar, then they can start to evaluate who they want to become, how they’ve been treating their wealth, very powerful man, but you also talk about this idea of tokenized time and time blocking.
Obviously for one, to truly understand value and self, I think one really has to sit and understand the value of time and I think you know, my father, man, like I mean, you know we grew up Muslim. So his prayer rug was everything, right? So like for him, it was just like his connection with the most high was like what he looked forward to. He believed that was work, right? Just as much as you like to work and paint and do whatever.
Like that is also a part of your work is to be grateful and that constant reminder but he allotted time for that and he allotted time to do fasting and allotted time, you know, other things. So like I just again, back into the memory idea and what I pull from it today is how much he value time because he knew at some point we all leap, we all depart and he always just say, you know everything is temporary, you are just here on a visit.
What are you going to do on your visit, you know? Again, very powerful things but how do you see time blocking and this idea of you know, how we cherish our time and what we put time into, you know? I really appreciate that you brought that up especially in wealth management because I feel like we don’t hear it enough.
Todd Rustman: By blocking your time and being intentional about how you spend your days, it helps you get more in flow, which is another kind of buzz word lately but for the last couple of years where things kind of move effortlessly for you, you could be concentrating on the task at hand, intentional with your time because it’s the one thing we never get back and there’s been tons of quotes and narratives based on, you know, that there’s only so many.
I know that people like they do one marble on a big jar for whatever you are estimate a life expectancy is and that every time you pass a Saturday you take a marble out and you start seeing that jar of marbles keep going down and down, which is still a very big guess. You might not live all the way to your chosen life expectancy, the future is very unwritten, which if it was set it and forget it, life was like super easy and you know exactly what to do and your portfolio will never need to be tweaked.
I mean, even in a diversified portfolio, by its very nature there is going to be things in there that zig when other things zag and they all going to go up at the same time and so there’s things you don’t like and that is also an ingredient of life and narrative but not everything that goes through any, even the greatest year of your life, whatever year that might be, there’s still been speed bumps and different things that have happened.
So it makes life worth living and not super boring is that it’s not a set it and forget it but with time blocking, you could take some control over your day and you could change it up. One of the things I read about too is that you know, there is some research done on neural pathways where time does seem to speed up if you do the same thing every single day. I almost call it the Mountain Dew of like been there, done that, you know?
Your time is moving way faster than you’d wanted to as far as how you feel. I mean, time moves in the same existence and I think with time blocks, you’re taking a chosen interest in your own time. It is right up there with, you know, protecting your health. I’ve had you know, from my other days in other firms before I started this company. I mean, I remember a guy I met in Scottsdale, Arizona actually and he was a multibillionaire.
He said clearly to me, he’s like, “You know, I am [inaudible 0:21:36.0] I need a new kidney. I will give you half a billion dollars if you could find one that matches me.” He goes at the same time, “I worked hard on my father’s business out of Michigan in the automotive industry, my brother, you know, unfortunately my brother got hooked on drugs and then my sister’s never want to be involved in the business.”
“She has been married a couple of times” but they’re super – well, I won’t say super healthy necessarily. It wasn’t something we dove into but they’re not having his issue and he’s like, “I just forgot that you know, my future isn’t written in stone and I just made a lot of assumptions.” It was at his own house in that country club but I mean, you know, full-time staff to attend to his needs while they try to find him a kidney and it was just not working for him.
I know that he actually passed away about six months later. So it just and that’s like 35 years ago, it’s a memory royalty that I grew up upon right now today that’s never been a liability to me. It’s only been an asset and I got to share it dividend royalty with you.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah man, that’s so powerful and it’s those stories that impact our experiences that then you know, go on to help us just make just that one little bit of a better decision, right? One little bit to get to the gym or stay healthy or drink more water. You know, like the simplest things I feel like, right? I mean, just the act of drinking water man, you know I always tell people this.
I am like, “Do you realize that when you go to a faucet and turn it on that that is like magic to people?” like around the world, there are still people who like I lived in a desert. Do you understand that water was holy? You could have put a mountain of cash next to a bottle of water and I had been like, “Man, what’s up with that water?” because you know and again, it’s all about perspective but appreciating.
Just those small things that lead up to a beautiful life I think is the essence and you really captured it with that story and I am sorry to hear about your friend and you know I think, again, like you said, those memories serve us so well in how we see the potential for our self and what we want to leave behind. What we don’t want to leave on the table is very powerful but you also talk about this idea of detaching from attachments.
Oh man, let me tell you how much that resonates with me. That is so powerful, I think for me that was like the zooming in your book. I really appreciate it but can you talk to us a little bit about what you mean by detaching from attachments?
Detaching from Attachments
Todd Rustman: It’s interesting too because right again, focus on where the incentive is for us and that Charlie Munger that I paraphrase wrongly I’m sure as a quote but generally, you know, we’re wealth managers. We’re helping you accumulate wealth, keep your wealth, protect it from predators, risk management comes into play, all those stuff. You could get very attached to those assets and actually have them somewhat define you where it might not be enough.
I think that by including memory royalties and getting more life in your years so to speak, it really balances out a lot more than those things that do become liabilities as you get older but even so much as being attached to a certain outcome. Again, wanting to beat the market every year at 1231 on the private client side, I mean, those kind of self-imposed deadlines don’t usually make a lot of sense.
I mean, more importantly, you are trying to reverse engineer different portfolios of wealth including some money set aside for kids or charity or again, new skillsets to learn, trips for the family of something in a replicatable fashion but being attached to even doing those memory royalties and assuming that all of them are going to be great. Everyone is going to enjoy doing a cruise somewhere.
You know, I am going to pay for all and we’re going to do a six-month cruise. You can have invariably have some people depending on how many people are involved as part of that but regardless, some people might get seasick or a terrible disease but still, you are doing it all together and your story too really resonated with me too because I remember when I was in Panama with another business group and we were looking at people having – they don’t have floors.
It is just dirt, so when it rains a lot in Panama, stuff moves away and they didn’t even have electricity or running water and you know, plumbing and they’re super grateful each day to spend time with their loved ones and their family unit was super tight and again, they didn’t have a lot of assets but they had a lot of memories. A lot of connectivity, a lot of tissue between all the family members and just trying to take care of one another and enjoying each and every day.
You know, probably reading books more so than any kind of Internet or all these other things that have now invaded our lives but I think there is good and bad in all of that too. I think it is about not being attached. Like I think I started the book too with the gentleman from the World War II and he is not attached to how you take a speech. It’s just his story and he’s going to leave and he hopes it’s useful for you.
I mean, that truly is a hope but you know, take it, use it. I obviously used it, I borrowed it, I plagiarized it, I use it on my book but he doesn’t care about that. He just wants to be helpful, a good human, help other people out with his story and hopefully, you take from it what you need and leave what you don’t.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah man, you know, when I was reading through that chapter, what resonated with me was how much this idea—my mom really like really used to hone in on this very well and she used to say things like you know, everything is borrowed. Like everything is temporary but everything is borrowed. It is not yours, it all belongs to this universe, right? Whether even if it is your idea like even if it’s—you’re just, you know the universe is just taking a bet on you for now to see if you have the courage.
The willingness, the responsibility to take on the idea, right? But even then if you’re not, it will go on and then that’s why you see like on TV, you’re like, “Man, I thought about that 10 years ago” you know, whatever it was, right? It’s like that thing moved on because it is just energy and so technically this idea of detaching is really who you are but our culture and the way things are today, like you said life, we tend to think about possessions as actually being ours forever and that’s not the reality.
The reality is, it’s all temporary and in a way, it’s like it is yours for now but later it won’t be and so what do you do with it and that kind of brings us back to the whole feedback loop over your whole book but you know again, very powerful segues from one thing to another around wealth management and I’ve just had a great conversation with you today but I want to know a little bit about what was the hardest part of writing this book and why?
Todd Rustman: Engrained in me to just be helpful. I mean, it’s part of what we tell the team culturally here. It’s like we definitely want you to go out and get into, you know, different charity groups or mission related entities but don’t talk about what you do for a living. Just be a good person, take your position of authority. Be a servant leader and eventually people will ask, you know? Because you show up and you do what you say you’re going to do.
So when I am writing a book like this or any book, you know it is a reflection. It is me, you know? It is hard not to be protective of, which is similar to an attachment of how people view me. You know, I struggled with just how to thank people that have been so helpful over my life and I am not done yet. So I’ll be thankful for more people in the future and just trying to make sure that I covered all the bases.
When I feel like I didn’t give proper justice to who they are or how they helped me and I did kind of doing more broad strokes but it was a struggle for me of you know, just hoping people don’t I guess, think I am crazy or many number of things that you kind of sit in the back of your mind of like yeah, people might just think you’re kind of, you know, a jerk or something and I hope not because I am just sharing a different experiences and there are better ways to do things.
I don’t have the answers to everything for sure, not even close. Not even close, more questions but this book hopefully opens up a perspective, almost like an exploratory look of how you are doing your journey and again, like we love to meet our clients where they are in the journey and try to reduce the bumps and wiggles but some of that is there for us to learn. So some of it needs to happen and again, I wrote about it too.
It’s like if you were always happy, you wouldn’t know what happiness was. You need some of those peaks and valleys to do to determine and you wouldn’t know what a good friend was if you didn’t have a couple of bad friends. Dating is the process of finding out what you don’t want to be with the rest of your life in a lot of cases. So you have some bad days but you also have good ones and you have some missteps.
They are all learning experiences and then I think writing the book was just trying to be very conscientious of the fact that I am really putting myself out there versus just being in you know, Southern California and all the other places we have our offices and stuff but I just wanted to be authentic and I guess trying to be authentic probably makes you not authentic but I just kept trying to embrace and release different aspects of any fear I would have that someone would reject my concepts but they could still reject on me. It is not a reflection of me, it’s just what I have experienced.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, it’s very powerful man. I am glad that you kind of tapped that out because I feel like with many authors, you know, we all struggle with this idea of putting ourselves out there. You know, being really just taking about our own experiences and how that’s helped us or other people or our clients or whatever it may be but I think the beautiful thing about writing a book is that remembering that your wisdom is just as valid as anyone else’s because your wisdom comes from a lived experience.
Again, like you said, the dichotomy of things that worked out and things that didn’t work out, the overall thing is here’s the transformation, here’s the bridge. The bridge is what I learned, right? It is really powerful because as people who are reading or the readers, we or people who are seeking knowledge of any kind, we’re seeking those experiences like, “How did you do this or how can I put that into frame?” you know?
I think that’s the power of words because that imagination starts to really cultivate when we dive deep into someone’s life or personal experiences. Again, I know I was like really tapped in, man, when your book just, you know, you talk about that person from World War II and you talk about a story and how it made you emotional and just kind of doing that trip gave you an experience and I just really appreciated that.
I am going to get to my last question here man, because Todd, this has been a great conversation. I feel like I could talk to you forever, man, this is great.
Todd Rustman: Thank you. I thank you so much.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: So what would you say if a reader picked up your book and begins to read through it and then puts it down after several hours, what do you hope they feel after putting it down?
Todd Rustman: I hope they feel some sense of peace. I like to always consider myself a little bit of a peaceful warrior. My father and my grandmother are two people I talk about in the book. My father has been always like, you know, “Hey, with your kind of bone structure, I am more stocky and muscular” and he’s like, “You are not going to run from a fight, you need to stand and fight” and you know, kind of grit, passion go at it.
My grandmother was usually more and you know, she has passed away a number of years ago but super influential on the kindness side of basically, “Hey, you know this puzzles don’t work out for you.” I love puzzles, I love all kinds of brain teaser things and she’s like, “Let just take a break and we’ll come back and look at it with fresh eyes.” So step away from the book, which is just I am not attached to this.
But I would just hope that people would go, “Okay, wait a minute. You know, I am not as worried” or you know, “God, I think I was really worried about isn’t so important in the greater scheme of things because there was a lesson I needed to learn there” or “I still got the present and the future to make a change.” You know, the past is unchangeable but it’s there and that’s what why we read about other people so that we know things are possible.
You know, things are impossible too but they are just challenges in life and you know again, I think also I read about you know, regrets are more for the dead than the living. So really wanting you to because you don’t know exactly what happens when we expire, you know? When it is – I mean, there is definitely some religious beliefs and non-religious but I think anyone really knows for sure definitively.
But while we’re here, we should enjoy, you know, even the tough times because they are hopefully will be, you know, another good time on the other side of that and by reading the book, hopefully, it makes their journey a little easier and maybe inspires them to do more with their time, which I think would be great because I see a troubled world where you know, there’s disruption, right?
But you know, one of the greatest superhero traits we can do in this kind of rapidly moving environment that we see in this global landscape today is to be willing to learn a new skill, to learn something new because a lot of things are going to be displaced with self-driving cars and real estate will be maybe even less important because you can work from anywhere. There is a lot of challenges that are coming out that will displace a lot of occupations and roles like we’ve had in the past with you know, buggy whip thing.
They are horses, we’re the only mode of transportation. So I am sure there is a lot more saddle makers back then. Anyways, a whole bunch of things that as we go forward in time, if you don’t feel like the world owes you something, it might be really helpful to say, “Okay, wait a minute, you know things have changed but I can change with it. I am powerful enough to make that choice” and I hope the book helps them with that.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Todd, I learned so much today seriously, thank you so much for sharing your stories and your experiences with me and the audience. The book is called, Memory Royalties: The Missing Link in Your Wealth Management. I am so grateful to have had you on the show but besides checking out the book, where can people find you?
Todd Rustman: Gosh, you know, Google is a thing I guess but you can Google me but the cofounder of the winery called Levendi Winery. I am the founder of my firm, which is claritycapitalllc.com and I am fortunate to have a great team that works with me and we’re growing and great families we work with too. I mean, it’s amazing and then also the book will be available in Amazon and probably a number of different places in both hard copies and the paperback as well as the Kindle version.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Well Todd, thanks again for coming on the show man. I really appreciate your perspective today.
Todd Rustman: Well, thank you. I have enjoyed it immensely and thanks for taking the time. I appreciate it.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Absolutely.