Reaching for Financial Freedom – ep.110

 Building Intentional Ecosystems – ep.109
October 4, 2023
Breaking Inequality Barriers in Sports – ep.111
October 19, 2023

Executive vice chairman of Ascension Leadership Leland Rubin and Chuck Lockard share advice for beginning the steps towards generating legacy wealth management through workshops designed for financial literacy and achieving financial freedom. They also discuss solutions to bridge the racial wealth gap and strategies to utilize debt and build wealth.

Melyssa Barrett:  Welcome to the Jali Podcast. I’m your host, Melyssa Barrett. This podcast is for those who are interested in the conversation around equity, diversity, and inclusion. Each week I’ll be interviewing a guest who has something special to share or is actively part of building solutions in the space. Let’s get started.

All right. So this week, and I say this every week because it’s so true, everybody I meet in the instance of doing podcasts, new people that I meet, I might never have met before. It’s a true pleasure to have Leland Rubin and Chuck Lockard with me this week. And I’m excited to talk to you all, not only about yourselves because you all are our champions, but also about financial literacy, which is a passionate, passionate place for me. So I’m excited. We’re going to talk about financial education and all of that. But before we jump in, I would love to have, maybe we’ll start with Leland and have you talk a little bit about how you became the man you are today, and provide us a little perspective on what you’re doing and how you got here.

Leland Rubin:  All right, well, thank you so much, Melyssa. First of all, thank you for having me on here today and appreciate you honoring us to be able to be on here. So my name is Leland Rubin. I’m actually an executive vice chairman in financial services. I’ve been in finance for over 18 years now. So my journey is one that has been a little bit different as far as going from corporate America and then become a successful entrepreneur. Back when I think about my story, I started out wanting to do something big with my life when I was a kid. And so when I was young, my parents were from Louisiana. I’m the youngest of 11 kids, and so when I was a little tiny boy, my brother got drafted into the NBA and I wanted to play sports, and so I wanted to be like him, wanted to play basketball. So I did that very hard. I became all American in high school, went to college, played in Europe, did all that, didn’t make it to the NBA.

Came back and somebody gave me a great idea one day they said I needed to get a job. And so I started working different jobs and worked at the sheriff’s department. I worked in the probation department for a little while with juveniles, still quite wasn’t satisfied, and so kept asking them how can I move up and how can I move up? And they gave me another great idea. They said, go get more education and that way you’ll move up, get more money. So I enrolled in Golden Gate Law and first thought I would go into criminal justice, but fell in love with finance while I was here. When I got my MBA in finance before we graduated, someone one night when we were having a group study, said, “Hey y’all, do you know that our loans are going to be way bigger than the jobs we’re ever going to get?”

And that rung a bell and resonated with me, scared me and made me really open up my eyes, not like, what are you talking about with these master’s degrees we should be able to do? And they’re like, “No, according to the stats, that’s not how it works.” And so when I found this information out, I immediately put a suit and tie on and started going up and down San Francisco and started applying for a lot of different companies. Going to business meetups and trying to get into Charles Schwab, Lehman Brothers, and Deloitte, Morgan Stanley. And a lot of those companies told me, “Hey, you don’t have any experience.” And so I was relentless on my search and kept going. And one night I was blessed to meet somebody that was the CEO of a company is a good friend of mine. He was a CEO of a company called Granite Solutions Group. And he gave me my first shot in finance.

And when I started in finance, I was excited, I was very motivated, I was very driven, just like I’ll have been raised by my mother and father to always try to be the best version of yourself. And so I started off as an account director. 13 years later, I was the vice president of the company. So when I became the VP of the company, you would think that, okay, I’m set right? I have my corner office, I have my salary. I had all those things together, but I still didn’t master the part of knowing how to protect my finances. So in 2015, our company switched from a company called Fidelity over to Morgan Stanley with our stock options and with all our retirement plans. And sadly enough, they lost about 93% of our retirement plan. So I went from being a VP, having a retirement plan that I thought was set up to having $11,000 left in my account.

So I always tell this story because that happened for me, it didn’t happen to me because it made me open up my eyes and understand that there was still things I needed to learn and things I needed to know. Why do the wealthy stay wealthy? Why do the poor stay poor? Well, there’s a reason and that’s kind of what we’ll talk about here today. So I actually switched over in 2015 and started doing this work part time and our business absolutely exploded. My first year of business, I probably ended up with a little over 400 clients. And after that, we started spreading the message to churches and nonprofits and different community places and companies like Hewlett Packard and AT&T, all these different places.

And guess what I found out, Melissa? Everybody was just like me. They had no idea how tyranny works, how this stuff worked. And so I was able to walk away from my employment full time. I fired my boss in 2015. I became an entrepreneur. And since then, we’ve now been able to help people in all 50 states. I have over 5,000 clients and over 500 licensed agents that work in my organization. So that’s just a little bit about how I got started doing this work.

Melyssa Barrett:  That’s fantastic. I love it. I love it. And so we are going to get into more, but Chuck, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Chuck Lockard:  Well, my beginnings are, as they say, humble. I was an athlete, played ball, high school, college, decided I wanted to be a mascon major. I loved being in front of the camera, I loved interviewing and creating my own shows. And I was very fascinated by that. Had an knee injury, I had two. And I said, oh, life is changing, basketball is not promised. Came home and continued my education and found a job at the probation department and fell in love with it. And the work of working with individuals and creating a difference in their life became a passion for me. I used to have a saying that I used to say when I worked in probation was that I was kind of like the doctor. You break your arm or you have an injury or you’re sick and you go to the doctor, they give you some medicine or you break your arm, they set your arm or they repair things.

So I used to call myself the doctor of the community because the clientele that I had, most people were afraid of them and they did not know how to work with those particular kids. They did not understand them. And I used to call myself the doctor because I used to get them, talk to them, fix them, put things in them, and send them back home better than what they were before. I started at the lowest level and rose up to be a shift commander, master trainer, developed policies. I was actually a part in building, the very integral part in building the new building for the probation department in San Leandro. And then I retired. Did independent consultant work, worked at nonprofit. And while I was doing my independent consulting work, I had a situation that occurred and I was like, hmm, interesting.

So I met a gentleman whose name was Donald Bonds at my mother’s house, and we had a very nice conversation and he said, you know what? You kind of smart. I was like, oh, okay. He said, “Nah, you speak well. You’re very well versed.” I was like, okay. He said, “I got somebody I want to introduce you to.” I was like, okay. The person that he introduced me to was Leland. Leland and I had a conversation. I was very intrigued by the work that he was doing, and next thing I knew I was a part of the business. I’ve been in the business now just a little under three months. I have about 11 agents, 14 agents underneath me right now. My business is growing, but I got into the business just for the literature and the knowledge alone. When I spoke to Leland, it tickled my passion to be able to go and be a part of a movement to teach people about things they don’t know.

So as I began to read the information, I began to ask people questions. A lot of my fraternity brothers, because I’m a member of cap office outside Fraternity Incorporated, and also a member of Prince Hall Masons, nobody knew what I was talking about. So I began to start talking to some of my fraternity brothers who are CEOs. None of them knew the information that I was talking about. So it continued to intrigue me, and the more I learned and the more it intrigued me, the bigger my passion got. So I’m making this part of my daily walk to help, assist, teach, and lead this movement to close the wealth gap, not just for our people, but for our people. As this is a mission that I feel is very, very powerful and going to be very prominent because it’s a movement that has never happened before.

Dr. King led a movement. He changed the world. Malcolm X led a movement, he changed the world. Marcus Garvey led a movement, he made an imprint on people’s lives. And I believe that this particular movement that has never happened, we’ll do the same thing and beyond and actually go down in history. So I’m very passionate about the work that we’re doing. So I enjoy working with Leland and I have actually taken Leland on as my mentor and I just excited about what we’re doing and the sky’s the limit. The sky’s the limit

Melyssa Barrett:  Fantastic. And I know Leland had a quote, if I remember it correctly, you can correct me Leland if I say it wrong, but it said something like, “A leader doesn’t create followers, they create other leaders.” And I love that quote because I said, I mean, especially in social media, everybody’s looking for a follower, but I love the fact that you’re doing this work. So tell us a little bit about the way you said it was, why do poor people stay poor? But I’d love for you to talk a little bit about, because I think it’s probably a pretty significant reality that most people, even if they have a 401K at their job, they don’t necessarily know how it’s doing, what it’s doing. They may or may not be monitoring it. So tell us a little bit about what you’re doing now with Ascension.

Leland Rubin:  All right, great. Thank you. With Ascension Leadership, what we’re doing is we’re educating people on all of the concepts that the wealthy have been using for the last 100 years. So since 1913, the United States government had allowed back then wealthy individuals because a lot of people didn’t have money to utilize certain tax codes and IRS codes to be able to grow their money and get the interest rates on their money tax free. Unfortunately, that information has been passed down to businesses, banks, wealthy people, but not the middle class and lower class. And so what ends up happening, it’s available for everybody. It is 31 books written on it. So it’s not something that people have to feel like they’re being sold or something like they’re being, they just got lost because in 1981 when Ronald Reagan was the president and Reaganomics came out, they sold the 401K as a solution.

So the 401K is not a retirement plan. So I say that with confidence because it’s really not. It’s a tax code that’s attached to the stock market that allows corporations to get a 30% business tax cut off of their employees being the side of it. So when companies offer 401Ks, they’re not saying that’s a solution. They’re saying that’s what we offer and you took it. So since you took what we offered, you got to deal with the consequences. So basically what ends up happening when someone has a 401K, they’re paying taxes three times. They’re paying taxes federal state off their paycheck, then they’re putting their money into their 401K. They know they’re going to have to use that money at some point for their kid to go to college or to buy a home or whatever. They charged him taxes again. But then the government’s smart, they come back and charge you income tax. So people end up paying taxes how many times? Three.

Whereas the wealthy, they basically pay their taxes upfront and then they either buy assets or they put their money on their umbrella of insurable products, which insurance can’t be taxed. So that means that if that can’t be taxed, people go by the names of products, not the mechanics. And that’s where the trick is at. Most people are like, oh, annuity, life insurance, all these different types of terms. But you have to understand how it would work for Legacy. And so the Rockefellers, Dale Carnegie, JP Morgan, now better known as JP Morgan Chase, they had these rules passed for them. And now today, we’re helping people understand that you can use the same thing and keep all your money. If I’ll do a quick stat, the average person in America has to save $3.8 million inside their 401K to retire from 65 to 85 and live off $50,000 a year. Now, how many people do you know that’s going to save $3.8 million? I don’t know that many to have a job.

However, if a person saves $564,000 at just 7% compounding interest, they’ll go home with 2.3 million. So we’re showing them and helping them and saying, hey, look at this information. Get educated. Look it up, we didn’t make it up. And we’re sitting down with them and we don’t charge them for this. This is free. They can be advised for free because we have contracts with the companies where we don’t charge our clients, we just charge the companies for helping the client. So that’s our main focus is to leave legacy wealth, no family left behind and to make sure that people understand even if they don’t have any money, so for everybody who sees this show, we don’t care if you have a lot of money or you have a little money. The bottom line is that you have to get started at some point and you have to understand where you’re at and start getting that education.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes, education is key. So then let’s talk a little bit about elevating black wealth, because I know you all are doing a lot and obviously there is a wealth gap and you talked a lot about what companies are doing. So I want to come back to CEOs and some of the conversations you’re having from a company standpoint, but let’s just talk about elevating black wealth.

Leland Rubin:  Okay? Yes, that is a great topic. Chuck, you want to hit on anything on that before I get going?

Chuck Lockard:  Yeah, I will. One of the things that has to happen is we hear a lot in the news, it’s almost like it’s popular, sort of like a popular song. Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter, we got to close the wealth gap. We have to do this, we have to do that. And you hear, I call it misogynistic rhetoric because it’s over and over and over and over until people begin to converse about it, where it just causes conversation, sort of like blowing hot air with nothing behind it. There’s no action. There’s no plan, there’s no action. But people talk about it every day. And I believe that that is a systematic way of keeping people focused in one area so they don’t focus on a solution. The only way to raise and close the wealth gap is to have the knowledge of the products. You have to have the knowledge of where do I put my money? What is a 401K? How does it work? What is the difference between a private plan, which is under 7022 of the IRS code, what allows you to have a tax-free retirement?

What is this thing I’m in? It’s almost like people have now been, it’s like herding cattle. It’s normal. These are norms. These are things that we do every day. We don’t even think about it. It’s like breathing. One of the things that I have learned, and one of the things that we do as we say that I’m passionate about is that when I see people’s eyes light up, the light comes on, oh, I didn’t know this. What do you mean there’s another way? What do you mean when you talk about a verio? Because there are three types of plans. When you talk about the rule of 72, Albert Einstein said, that is the greatest eighth wonder of the world. Compound interest changes lives. You cannot have wealth without compound interest. That means your money is always working. When I’m working, my money is working. When I’m playing, my money is working. When I’m sleep, my money is working.

Instead of everybody being in a laborious position where we get our money, our money goes in the bank, we get 1%, which would take 72 years for it to turn over. Whereas if you’re at seven to nine, 12, 16%, your money’s turning every five to six years. It’s totally different. And the only way to close this wealth gap is through insured products. These rules and these particular products have been around since 1913. So if you start getting the message out to people, how do you protect yourself? How do you insure yourself? How do you use these products? Each particular family that is involved in these products where you’re learning about the products, now you have the information. Now you have not only the information, but now you have a systematic way of execution to execute what it is that you’re doing to leave a generation of wealth. That’s why instead of GoFundMe, they talk about the gun laws. This is a big thing that really resonated with me. You talk about the gun laws and right now, black lives, they don’t matter because there’s no monetary attached to it.

Well, if you understand that you can get an average policy or a death benefit if you understand that you can get a policy with living benefits if all these particular people start having policies attached to them, these large corporations now when they start paying out the tax free dividends, oh, now there’s a monetary attached to these lives, then you’ll start seeing some of the rules change. Some of the lives of individuals who have been changed from people who have experienced great loss, now instead of them experiencing losses, now they’ll be experiencing gains, which changes the life where people are now ahead instead of being at a deficit.

And that’s the only solution that’s available for us to catch up. Over the short time that I have been in this business, it’s just a constant, every day is a day about study. Every day is a day about growth. And to have the information and to be able to pass the information is the greatest gift of all because it allows me and others to make an imprint on an individual. Not just telling an individual, but guiding and teaching and then assisting them in putting them in a position where now they understand and then they begin to go out sort of spreading the good news or the good gospel. Once you get a taste of it, you can’t get enough. You just got to keep coming.

Leland Rubin:  Wow, that was amazing, Chuck. And yeah, I think that he hit a lot of things on the head really quickly about those compounding things and being able to bridge the gap. And I’m also doing a lot of research and doing shows right now on business ownership and letting people understand that through a job nowadays, it’s not like the old days anymore where you had a good job and they had good retirement and they had those things available, that doesn’t exist anymore. And so whereas people understanding the Robert Kiyosaki four quadrants and learning how they can become, go from employers, develop employees, and then become business owners and then now becoming investors, I think that will be one way that we could start teaching our youth and teaching other people that are in this race right now and how they have to index their income and their life as they get older.

One big misnomer that’s out there is that you don’t need a lot of money when you’re old. I totally disagree with that. You actually need more money when you’re old. You ain’t got no job. And also help is off the Richter. So everybody don’t got the kids set up that way that’s going to take care of them when they’re older. So I think that if we can also bridge that gap from a business ownership, from understanding the real definitions of how to index our incomes. I’ll throw out a stat for you, Melyssa, is that right now African-Americans only make $45,000 combined income. So I’m doing a show this Thursday that we’re addressing all that. What’s the solution to that. We’re at the highest poverty rate we’ve ever been at. We have 1.7 million people in prison. So we have all these different facets but when it comes to economics, one thing that Chuck mentioned was about compounding.

Well, compounding comes in a lot of different facets. You can compound your money, you can compound a product, you can compound your life, but most of all, you better compound your income. So if you compound your income every year and you’re paying attention to outpacing inflation, whereas you’re not just taking, because we talked about the 401K earlier, it’s only giving out 3.5%. Well, inflation is 7%, y’all know about gas. So that would be something that I would say on how we could bridge the gap as well as to start having people start understanding how they need different types of opportunities and different types of income streams to be able to help themselves. And just so I can say this while we’re on the show, not every income stream is Uber and Lyft. So there are other income streams that we can actually do that can help us and be able to make more money.

Melyssa Barrett:  I love that. And what’s interesting to me is we do talk about wealth and being able to, I mean, obviously most people would want to generate enough wealth so that they can leave a legacy. And I think there’s so much when we talk about infrastructure and digital infrastructure, lack of capital access, there’s all these things that are going on that essentially depress the opportunities, especially for people of color. I love the fact that you’re talking about entrepreneurship because obviously we have lots of self-employed, CEOs, people that are even like you and I have come from corporate and transitioned into our own company. So now you are the CEO and you have to understand how you are impacting your own employees. Ideally you have employees.

Can you talk a little bit about just infrastructure? I know you’re going to do a workshop on Thursday, and you probably do these types of workshops all the time. So whatever Thursday it is, whenever this comes out, I know if people are interested in learning more about what you do and what workshops you have, they can absolutely reach out. So we will give you more information. But really wanted to see if you could spend a little time just talking about small business because obviously every small business owner wants financial freedom.

Leland Rubin:  That’s really, really good. So there’s some things that people that are small and small business owners and people that are out there that want to start small businesses are missing in my opinion, and I’ll just give you my opinion. There’s some elements that people think about. Number one, people think about the risk. They’re saying, what’s the risk of me starting a business? And that kind of really becomes a mountain for them. Number two is the startup, and then number three is the money. Then number four is the need. And then number five is how do I get into market penetration? So they kind of think about those things. However, what I’ve discovered is that a lot of those things are available to them if they just actually have a thing called a business plan. So if they go into a business without a business plan or you’re desiring to have a business and you haven’t figured out those things I just spoke about, then it becomes very difficult for you to become a successful business person.

The other thing is that when people are in business for themselves, for all my small business owners, I’m out there, I’m on your side. I started out that way, is your money growing for you as you are being in business? Most people have it backwards. Melyssa, watch this. They think that an accountant grows their money. Accountants don’t grow your money. Accountants basically tell you how to pay your taxes, and they’re very necessary and we need them. However, they’re not telling you every year of how much a percentage of how you’re going to grow your business, get those tax write-offs and get the things that you need. And I can prove it to you. Guys like myself and that are in business now meet 10 years later, we didn’t even hardly pay taxes because we know how to make our assets and write them off. But when I first started, I didn’t know any of that. So what did I do? I wanted to ask someone who was successful in my industry on what steps should I take?

And so once again, it’s going back to that compounding effect. Am I willing to basically say, I’m going to go get mentorship. Like you’re somebody successful like yourself. I can tell you’re successful. I’m going to get mentorship from you. I’m going to find out what you know, and I have a saying, I always say about this, “I know what I know. I know what I don’t know. I know who knows what I don’t know, and that’s all I need to know.” So if I basically figure out who knows what I don’t know and I attach to that, now I can duplicate a process or a system. I understand that people’s passion are driving them, but right now we’re in an economic situation to where we have to be a little bit more realistic about how we’re growing ourselves as we are in business.

And so I mentor a lot of barbers. My barber right now went from one shop to now having, he has 13 barbers that work for him. So how do we scale his business? Very simple, right? I said, hey, let’s go talk to the top barbers, let show you how to run up a business plan and basically how you can grow from chair to chair to chair. He was able to do it. So I just think that that infrastructure has to be done and there are a lot of successful people who are open and they do have arenas and think tanks and all these different things that are available for people who want to be successful in business.

Melyssa Barrett:  Fantastic. I love it. So then in terms of, I think I was coming back to talk to you a little bit about CEOs, and I think both of you now have connections with companies, and I know you have lots of clients that are focused on their business and maybe it’s not so small anymore, which is a great thing. And now you have all these opportunities for retirement, what you’re offering to your employees. Any thoughts for the CEOs that are looking to create opportunities for their own employees?

Leland Rubin:  Yes. Yeah, that’s a really big one. One thing that CEOs can do for their employees to retain and also reward people that are in their positions is give them an opportunity to have products that they can actually have real numbers on or real retirements that they can know where they’re going to end up. Biggest thing I’ll say here today is if you’re out there listening, you need to know where you’re going to be at in 20 years. You need to know that where you’re going to be at in 10 years. If you don’t know that and you’re hoping, I just went to church today, that’s a church strategy, not a business strategy. So you can’t always have hope in your financial situation. So at CEO, if they start to allow to offer people products where people can annuitize their money, they can get their money from post-tax instead of pre-tax. When they can have what Charles said about these compounding interest rates and things of that nature, now they can actually help that employee.

And another thing, it helps the business and the company so much because why? People change jobs every two to three years because they’re always looking for a new opportunity because they’re not making enough what? Money, they’re not catching up with inflation. So people keep a job for two seconds and then they hop. Well, the reason why they hop is they don’t see anything that’s happening for them. So if you’re a CEO, you can look into that. You can actually stop third partying out to brokers and basically start working directly with source companies like big insurers or financial firms and things of that nature, who will give you those products in a group situation, give you group rates and discounts and things of that nature to help those employees.

It’s my belief that most employees that are working today, they don’t feel like they’re getting paid what they’re worth. And so when it comes to retirement, especially when they get older, they get worried, which probably drops their performance. That kind of makes them want to start trying to look around. And they’re probably tired because they’re working three jobs anyway. I think there’s a stat out that says the average person in California now works minimum two jobs that has a job today. So yeah, if they offer them interest rates instead of having them pay interest rates, then they’ll be able to do better.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. Well, and I think I live in California obviously as both of you, and I think everybody has to have a side hustle at the very least. Now, Chuck, I know you also worked with the probation department for a long time and then you retired and have transitioned into a company that offers so much more. And it sounds like just listening to you, and I know you personally, it’s like having your eyes opened to so many things that maybe you wish you had learned years ago. So what would you tell those kids that you were mentoring way back when, who are just starting out? What should they be looking at?

Chuck Lockard:  When you talk about people, there are certain things that deal with the makeup of people and the science of how they think and their emotional stability. One of the things, there was an individual whose name was Maslow, and he talked about their hierarchy of needs. There are certain things that an individual must have in order for him to be comfortable, in order for him to be satisfied. The first thing is what are the basic needs? He needs something to eat, he needs some shelter, he needs a place to live, and he needs to be trained. What are just the basic essential needs? Well, most people live by the concept that I learned, which is called WITFM, what’s in it for me. When you talk about why, you’ll hear people say, what is your why? Why do you do the things you do? that takes you back to WITFM, What’s in it for me?

There has to be a reason why somebody gets up and goes to work every day. There has to be a reason why somebody puts up with some of the things that they put up with when they’re tired, when they’re sick, when they push themselves. Well, as Leland was saying, an individual that feels valued when you go to work every day, the first thing you’re going to be feel valued is of course how people respect you and how people work with you. But when you know that you’re gaining momentum, when you know that you’re gaining ground. If I’d have went to work for the probation department, don’t get me wrong, I was one of the blessed 1% probably of the country to have a safety retirement, but even my safety retirement is nowhere near what I’ve learned. I would tell those kids, and I’m actually still telling kids now what I’ve learned. I pull them to the side, I say, “Hey, let me educate you for a minute. Let me tell you what the bank is.”

And I always start with a very simple question, can you tell me what FDIC means? Little thing, the little bitty sticker on the bank. What is the FDIC? And they’re like, what is that? You mean Federal Department of Insurance Commission? That means the banks have their money in insured products. This is how the bank is moving your money. So why are they giving you 1%. When you talk about your 401K, I began to talk to them about you’re in a very open position, can you tell me what that is? And they’re like, what do you mean? I said, well, what does the word unstable mean? Something that changes constantly. Okay. I said, well, that’s what it is. It goes up and down and up and down and up and down, and tell me what’s the difference between fixed.

And I always use the example of if you buy a house a 30 year fixed, is it better to be in a balloon, a variable or a 30 year fixed? And they’ll often tell me, oh, a fixed, a 20 year, 30 year. I said, okay, so why would you not want to have your money in that? Why wouldn’t you want to be in a position where your money is growing and you’re receiving everything that you’re supposed to have so you can provide? And then it changes and the light comes on. So the younger we start teaching people this information in elementary school, reinforced in high school, advanced in college, the better our people will be. Then when people start going to work as they’re working for a corporation, if I was a CEO, I don’t have to tell you, you’re valued. I’m showing you you’re valued because just as much time, you got to admit…

When I worked in probation department, there was not one week I did not do 60 hours minimum of work. I was always at work. Holidays, Christmas, New Years, I was away, I was working. I felt that I was providing. But when you feel that your operation is investing in you, and this is how I’m investing in you, and this is why I am investing in your future, and I can show you specifically from the day you start to the time your last day and even after you’re done, beyond how this investment, how I’m investing in your future, it changes the relationship with the way an employee sees his employer. Because now he feels valued and he begins to take ownership of what he’s doing and why he’s doing it, which will definitely cut down on the recidivism of people leaving jobs, job hopping, job flipping, disgruntled employees because now they have a reason and a why. So if I was in that position, or as we said, if I was training CEOs, that would be the first thing that I would train them.

As Leland said, as a leader, you have to teach leaders. But as an operation, I have to embrace that individual so that individual can perform. When you talk about structuring guidelines in a 360 degree management system, okay, what does that encompass? That one component has to be, I’m teaching you, I’m showing you, I’m embracing you, I’m guiding you, I’m directing you, and then I’m going to teach you and teach you how to teach others. So the lineage continues not just in the operation, but also in your homes because it’s a total encompassing, it’s a total embracing.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah, well said. So then we’ve talked a lot about building wealth. I mean, obviously if you start early and you kind of focus on compound interest and all of those things are wonderful, we have not talked about debt at all and consumption. I mean, obviously nobody wants to create debt per se, but I’m sure people come to you with lots of debt, but yet they want to be a millionaire. What do you talk to those folks about?

Leland Rubin:  All right, that’s a really good question. The first thing I talk about is balance. There’s no such thing about it in finance. So you can’t get balanced until you get stable. You can’t get the things that you desire until you get free. So if you think about, well, it’s two steps, right? First, you want to get to financial stability and then you want to get to financial freedom. But if you’re in debt, debt can be used as good and bad. Now, if you have bad debt, that just means that you have debt that you’re not addressing. So you’re in denial. It’s there, it’s growing. But if you have other debt and you’re using it and you’re actually paying it off and you’re getting it down to those percentage rates or you’re consolidating it, then you can address that, put it in a corner, and still grow yourself.

So there’s thing that misnomer, sorry, misnomer, that’s really known when people are like, oh, I’m debt free. Well, I don’t know that many rich people that are, because they usually use their debt as power to be able to assume and get more things. So as we look at debt, we want to categorize it and say, is it good or bad? If it’s bad, then let’s go ahead and consolidate it. Let’s get you in the game. Let’s basically start addressing it. You got to start paying the piper. If it’s good and you basically can get it down to 30%, well then now we can grow you because your credit score only grows if you have what? Debt. So as more people are looking at it, I paid my credit cards all the way up. I’m like, no, don’t do that part. Just pay them down to a percentage rate to where you can start growing yourself.

So once again, I think if people understand that debt, how they can utilize it. So when people come to me, we address those two ways. The consumption thing that we’re doing now with spending money where we’re actually, I said this statement the other to a bunch of young men, I said, how much did your tattoos cost? Those look awesome. He’s like $5,000. I said, “Do you have the same amount in the bank that you have on your body.” And he said, no. I said, “Okay, next time we’re going to think about that.” Because we need to start thinking about what are we consuming? Are we just spending our money on all the things that are going to be a fad? So we need to teach our communities and our African-American people how to not only circulate a dollar, but how to turn $1 into a three and how to turn it into six and how to turn it into nine.

So if our consumption goes into good consumption where it’s more about buying things that are going to actually get us more money, then we can consume those things. But that’s not being addressed now. We’re just spending money on name brands. And I remember when I first got into business for myself and one of my mentors taught me this really funny, Melissa, I had a Kobe Bryant jersey on. Rest in peace, Kobe, he’s one of my favorite basketball players. And my mentor asked me, he said, “You’re going to be wealthy?” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Well, you have to learn how to wear your own jersey.” When you start learning how to wear your jersey and start running your team, then you’re basically going to be a somebody. So when we started having those types of mindsets that, Hey, I can go from A to B, I can grow myself. I have 1000 now. I got 5,000. A lot of people that are wealthy didn’t start out wealthy. They just understood and were blessed along the way to do things.

And so I just really feel that if we utilize that the correct way, if we learn how to take our dollars and circulate our dollars a certain way where we consume things to where our money can grow, then I think that it’ll be a lot easier and much better on our communities. And I want to say this before I be quiet. One of my biggest fights right now is that we need to bring up the economical piece for our people. I think we are fighting for justice. We understand the inequalities, we understand the things that are against us, the Obstacles, but we’re still not addressing that piece of how do we get more money? It doesn’t always come from writing a grant. It doesn’t always come from some of the way. Those are ways that you can get some, but there are other ways that you can actually create streams for us where we can put that back. And then when we go to the conversation to the table, we’re coming to the table where we’ve already made moves now to put dollars back into our people.

Melyssa Barrett:  Well, and I have to follow that up by letting people know they need to be paying attention to their legislators and for who they vote for, because that’s how you make those decisions. So if you’re not registered to vote, get out and register. And if you are registered, make sure you vote because it makes a difference. So I just had to drop that nugget.

Chuck Lockard:  Drop that bomb, Melyssa, drop that bomb.

Melyssa Barrett:  What can I say? So one last question because I think one of the things that probably, I know it was a concern for me when I was retiring from my corporate position. We have so many people that are focused on healthcare and how it impacts our economic wealth. So kind of as a last question, are there strategies that you talk about that focus on health and healthcare? Because I think right now, even if you feel like you’ve done well and you’re maybe the CEO and the business is going pretty well, healthcare becomes that big elephant in the room, especially when you’re talking about major expenses or something that’s happened all of a sudden unexpectedly. Any strategies you all want to talk about?

Leland Rubin:  Yeah. I want to say this and I’ll pass it to you, Chuck. There’s three things we talk about all the time. We talk about long-term care. The number one killer of all finances is what? Health. We talk a lot about living benefits. These are benefits that you can receive if you have a heart attack, stroke. Every 34 seconds somebody has a heart attack, every 30 seconds in the country, somebody has a stroke. And to have those coverages. And then the other thing, if you’re a business owner, and you hear this today, there are plans and programs where you don’t have to pay as much as what you think. So you got to do your research. When I first started out was a business guy, I got five kids, my healthcare is still only $400 a month and now $300 a month because now some of them turn 18. So ultimately-

Melyssa Barrett:  You’re on your own.

Leland Rubin:  Right. Right. So there’s a thing called health share. So if you get into a health share, then you actually can reduce your cost. You can still get 90% coverage. Just like anything you add your job. That’s a number of fallacy that a lot of people told me, oh my God, you quit your job. You’re not going to be in able to afford your healthcare. And then I noticed that my taxes were 25% lower and my healthcare was the same cost it was when I was an employee. So if you get into those things, that is something you could really help you with. Long-term care, living benefits, making sure you have both. They’re very inexpensive if you attach them to insurance products. They’re very expensive if you don’t.

That’s one thing I want to make sure people know is they always ask me standalone long-term care. Yeah, that costs like 20 to 25,000 a year, but long-term care is very inexpensive, 25, 30 bucks if you attach it to a cash life insurance policy. Living benefits are usually added on for free in that. And then health shares are things that if people want to become business owners that they can be become part of. And there’s a lot of them. You can be part of groups like my good friend Charles here. You could be in church, you can be a Christian, you can be a Muslim, and they have all health shares.

Melyssa Barrett:  I love it. Wow. If you got nothing else, that’s a golden nugget right there. So I know we’re running out of time and I want to be respectful of your time because I’m always happy to have you back because I think we could probably go on and on and on, but any last thoughts, comments that you would like to say? Because I also want to make sure that you tell people how to get ahold of you and if they want information about Ascension and what you’re doing and how you’re addressing so many different things in the world to create wealth and financial freedom for people. It’s fantastic.

Chuck Lockard:  I think for me, of course I can be reached. I’ll give you my number. It’s 209 456 1973. I was having an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who was also in the business, and one of the things we talked about was that we’re teaching individuals as we empower individuals to empower themselves to build franchises. And when you teach each individual and you empower each individual how to become his own franchise, empower others, that is a game changer. And the next piece is open a book. Start reading. I think as a whole, I learned something when I was in college as I was a mass communication major. We talked about agenda settings. Agenda setting is put in place for the common individual that does not read, and he sits in front what we used to call, not the television, but detail live vision, where it just comes at you like this and images and it stimulates all your senses. You’re hearing, your sight which goes directly to the brain, which attacks your emotions. And it causes an individual to think a certain way, to vote a certain way.

I don’t like this particular song. Now all of a sudden I’m driving, because I hear it so much, it’s like, hey, you know what? I kind of like that song. We have to start dummying down and start turning on. And the way you start turning on is through information where we begin to change. If you look at the internet and you look how things are going for our people, they’re constantly flooding us with a presumed image of what’s deemed success. That individual is either a rapper or an athlete. You don’t see common individuals such as yourself, such as Leland, such as myself, who are successful. To demonstrate this is how you can be successful as well, to give the tools and the information where they can find the knowledge and information that they’re needing to give them the keys to open up the doors.

I think that’s kind of the first thing that has to change. But each one has to teach one. Each one has the empowerment. And to me, that is how you change the face of a nation. That’s how I started with civil rights. It started from an event. It was always there, but it started from an event that caused the spark. The spark got energy, it got action. You got to have action, you got to have productivity. And then it takes off. Well, it’s the same thing we’re doing now. We’re past the spark now. Now we’re trying to put some muscle behind the information that we’re giving, which is going to produce some productivity in the changing the lives of others and empowering others to empower themselves. And then that’s when it catches like fire. And then we’ll see the difference.

Leland Rubin:  Thank you, Melyssa. I’ll just give out my phone number. (925) 286-6292, that’s my business line. You can reach me on Facebook. It’s under Leland Ruben. You could hit me up on IG, it’s theLelandRuben. You can look up our website, If you ever send me any dms, there’s calendly all connected to it. I have a show that comes out every single month called Black Finances Matter where we actually address a lot of the issues that are going on right now with our people. As you can see that on September 28th, I have the great Paul Hart, who’s the number one African-American speaker in our company. Out of 100,000 licensed agents, he’s beamed as the number one speaker and he’s African-American. And so he’ll be speaking this Thursday at six o’clock, and now you can find that on Facebook, IG, LinkedIn. It’s all over the place. Look up my name, Leland Rubin and everything will pop up.

Melyssa Barrett:  Awesome. Awesome. And Rubin, by the way, is spelled R-U-B-I-N. So just so that everybody’s aware, I know I spell my name a little different. Awesome. Well, thank you both for being here, for coming and having this conversation. I hope it’s the first of many because I know I am certainly passionate about financial education and love when we can talk about it from so many different perspectives, whether you’re the CEO, whether you’re an employee, whether you’re retired, whatever state you are in life, financial health has to be one of the areas that you’re focused on for the rest of your life. Because without it, you don’t have financial freedom.

So I just want to thank the both of you for all that you do in the community and for educating so many. And I am hopeful that people will pick this up and really take so many of the nuggets that you shared. So feel free to reach out to Leland Rubin or to Chuck Lockard and let them know if you have questions. If you want to get involved, connected with them, please, please do so. I can’t wait to hear more about black wealth and black finances matter. So we definitely want to make sure that that’s out there. So thank you so much.

Leland Rubin:  Thank you so much for having us.

Chuck Lockard:  Thanks, Melyssa.

Melyssa Barrett:  It’s my pleasure. Thanks for joining me on the Jali Podcast. Please subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. See you next week.