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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Autumn Ruch

Autumn Ruch, Paraplanner at WD Wealth


WD Wealth is fortunate to have several Paraplanner Associates undergirding and servicing our Wealth Strategists. Autumn Ruch, our newest paraplanner, brought her vast experience to our firm after establishing herself in the insurance industry in California. “My role as a paraplanner revolves around implementing plans, gathering information, and brainstorming with the other paraplanners. What we do as a team contributes to the overall betterment of the Wealth Strategists’ discussions with clients. Pulling all my past experiences together from theater, the service industries, psychology, and even nursing have all prepared me well to work behind the scenes to enhance the overall narrative of the company. My expertise in Property and Casualty Insurance naturally dovetails with WD Wealth’s new offering of those pivotal services to our clients.”


Autumn, please share some details about where you grew up.

Actually, I grew up in Parker, Colorado. Not far from the Lone Tree office. I attended Ponderosa High School. I was a theater kid and a tennis player, while simultaneously working so that I could afford to go see live music at Red Rocks. I was and still am a drama geek at heart though. The theater department there always seemed to do very edgy productions. So the performances, the art, the costumes were never what was quite expected.


When I lived in Parker, I always thought it was a boring town, but now I am much more appreciative of what my experience was. My school district was excellent and I made some life-long friends who I cherish. 


I was born in Los Angeles and lived the first year of my life there. My mother was intent on us moving to a more rural place to pursue that lifestyle. That's how we ended up in Colorado. And now I am back in LA again, so life has literally gone full circle for me.


And, as you went to college, how was it you came to pursue your current path?

After completing high school, I enrolled at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs with the initial intention of pursuing a career in nursing. Like many others, I underwent a change of heart regarding my profession. I briefly worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and soon realized that, despite my enjoyment of caring for people, the work environment was not suitable for me. Also I discovered that I have an aversion to blood, so there’s that. 


I redirected my focus and began studying Psychology in Denver. I love psychology, I love studying the human mind. Soon after enrolling in that department, I got to be a co-facilitator for an after-school group with at-risk teens. While I appreciated the aspect of being a sounding board for kids who were going through a difficult time, the clinical environment did not resonate well with me.


At some later point, I moved to LA to pursue art. It’s also close to where my father lives and where I have lots of relatives. My father owns a mortgage and real estate company. Interestingly, he commented to me one day that I should investigate a career in insurance. It was during the beginning of the pandemic and I had some time on my hands, so I began studying. The more I learned, the more I saw that all my previous experiences and education were foundational to not just having a viable career, but one where I could provide a necessary service to others. 


Initially, I got my medical life insurance license and Medicare certification to help my grandmother navigate those waters. Almost immediately, I was struck by how much satisfaction I got from helping people out in that way. And that is the aspect of insurance that has stayed with me. As one thing led to another, I pursued my life insurance license, to be followed by a license in property and casualty. While enjoying this new career I carved for myself in insurance, I had the opportunity to interface with Will Duffy. He was able to broaden my knowledge base about how I was building out a practice and he was a resource for questions I had about the industry. Serendipitously, a paraplanner position became available at WD Wealth. Connecting the dots, I realized how very useful all my experiences have been and how they each have contributed to my career in the financial industry.


I have learned about an exciting creative endeavor you are pursuing. Kindly share with us more details about your documentary.

It delves into my family's story, ignited by a 1969 backyard barbeque that birthed the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation and the fire safety phrase 'Stop, Drop, and Roll.' But it's more than a safety tale; it's about enduring grief across generations. My goal is to guide the audience through my family's journey, as well as unravel the scientific side of generational grief - a study known as epigenetics. I hope to incorporate animation and the tropes of old-hollywood, as the story is centered around my grandmother who is still alive and has a passion for old cinema. It will be a rollercoaster of emotions, inviting you to reflect on yours and your family's own personal journey.

 

So how do you feel about living in Los Angeles?

I like the creative aspect of LA. That’s why I came here in the first place. I like being by the ocean. And the food! I love the food. Los Angeles is a melting pot of a lot of different cultures. Here I can get any kind of food I want at any hour of the day. It is highly likely to be authentic and to be really, really good. Truly, at 10pm I can have a craving for Peruvian food and find a place that is open. How many places can you do that? 


So, please amplify the details about what you do at WD Wealth Strategies.

So my role as a paraplanner at WD Wealth revolves around implementing plans, gathering information, and brainstorming with the other paraplanners. What we do as a team contributes to the overall betterment of the Wealth Strategists’ discussions with clients. Pulling all my past experiences together has prepared me to work well behind the scenes to enhance the overall narrative of the company.


Please share with us an impacting movie or show that has captured your attention. 

Severance is a TV show centered around a biotech company called Lumen. The main idea is that Lumen employees undergo a medical procedure that erases their work-related memories, creating a clear separation between their professional and personal lives. It’s really fascinating.


Do you have an interesting or favorite quote you’d like to share?

I love collecting quotes! Here is one by Ralph Waldo Emerson that continues to resonate with me: ‘Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.


What about recommended reading?

My all-time favorite book is East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I always seem to come back to it. The characters are so well thought out and it’s a story that has so many life lessons. As time goes on, I have noticed that reading fiction gets me out of my head and actually does become almost like its own self-help book, in that you are escaping to someone else’s journey, someone else’s story.

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