Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
My name is Monica Meng and I'm the co-founder of Good Capital Investment Group. Good Capital is a financial advisory firm empowering you to plan and invest in your future while supporting your values. We offer high quality and customized investment management and financial planning services customized to fit your specific needs. We take pride in cultivating close relationships with our clients and being there for you throughout life’s ups and downs. We believe in doing well by doing good. Through socially responsible investing, positive financial returns can be coupled with positive social progress.
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
As an entrepreneur, I am focused on growing my business and pushing myself professionally. I am looking forward to connecting with and learning from all the inspiring Ellevate members.
How would you define your professional mission?
We launched Good Capital with the belief that positive financial returns should be coupled with positive social progress. We're on a mission to align your money with your values. Many people may not realize that if their money is invested, they most likely are supporting companies that they otherwise wouldn't support. Companies in industries such as gun manufacturing, coal, and tobacco. That's where socially responsible investing comes in. With Good Capital, you can make a positive impact with your money by investing in companies that are good for you, good for the environment, and good for society, all without sacrificing returns.
We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?
I have always been passionate about doing something good for the world and contributing to society. When I was younger I thought that meant going to work in the peace corps after college, but when it came to senior year I faced the difficult decision of trying to balance what I wanted with what my parents wanted for me. As a child of immigrant parents, I’m sure other people can relate, our parents give us everything in our lives and sacrifice so much for us, but all this comes with a certain expectation. That you’ll become a doctor or a lawyer, or if your parents are a little less traditional like mine are, then working in finance or tech are also acceptable options.
I caved under the immense pressure to please my parents and joined an analyst program at Citigroup in NYC. It was a really fun and eye-opening learning experience to be surrounded by a large group of peers, navigating adulthood together. I always had this nagging itch that it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. I stayed at Citigroup for four years which doesn’t sound so long now, but when you’re in your early twenties it feels a lot like “how did I let so many years pass by being miserable.”
When I finally gathered the courage to think about what it was that I wanted for myself and my career, I left finance to teach pre-kindergarten at St. Brigid School in the East Village. Being a teacher was incredibly fulfilling, but I ultimately wanted to create change on a broader scale and practically speaking living in NYC, I couldn’t survive on a salary of $14k a year. So I transitioned into ed tech and worked on business development and marketing for a small startup called Nomster Chef, where we created digital recipes for kids. This brought me back to school in the Technology, Innovation, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Grad school was a transformative experience for me. I learned so much about education and technology and also about myself. I started a VR language learning startup with a few friends and we were incubated at the Harvard Innovation Lab. It was an intense, but good learning experience in many different ways. Our venture ultimately fell apart due to disagreements and strong personality clashes among our four founders.
After graduate school, I worked as a contractor for Google as a UX researcher. When my three month stint was coming to a close, I thought a lot about what my next move would be. I wanted to go back to finance and pursue impact investing, with a focus on investing in education and ed tech. This got my partner and me talking about what we wanted for our future together and one day while on a run, we came up with the fantastic idea of starting our own sustainable investing firm! We wanted to make a difference and do something meaningful with our careers so this was perfect. My partner had been working in wealth management for the past 8 years at the time and we had been wanting to move our money into more sustainable options so we thought why not use our skills to help others do the same. And that’s how Good Capital was born. It was born out of the idea that sustainable investing should be more accessible and available. We ultimately wanted to help people align their money with their values.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is hearing from clients that they now feel confident about their finances, that they no longer stress about their financial situation, and feel good about their money making a positive impact through sustainable investing.
What is your morning ritual?
Up by 7am, out the door for a run with my partner and our golden-doodle Schnitzel at 7:30am. We run along the water by the West Side Highway and stop at the dog park on the way home so Schnitzel can mingle and play. Back at our apartment around 8:30am. Sometimes I'm able to sneak in a quick Melissa Wood Health workout. I swear by her quick, but effective videos. Then showered and at my desk by 9am with my favorite breakfast of gluten free toast with plant-based scallion cream cheese, avocado, tomato, and sea salt.
What does success look like to you?
To me, success looks like leading an intentional, fulfilling, and balanced life.
Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Work-life balance is very tricky for me. It's especially difficult to maintain work-life boundaries when your business partner also happens to be your life partner. Good Capital is on our minds 24/7 and is too often the topic of our conversations. One tactic I use to create balance is to set aside time on the weekends for purely leisure activities and make sure that we're allocating enough time to just hanging out with friends and family.
What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?
Be your own advocate. Stand up for yourself and ask for what you need.
What is the best career advice you ever received?
The best advice I have ever received is to be intentional whether it's in your career or personal life. Although no one can predict the future, we can be intentional and thoughtful about the decisions we make, the actions we take, and how we choose to spend our time, in order to set ourselves up to achieve our goals.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Co-founder, Director of Business Development
Good Capital Investment Group
I co-founded Good Capital in 2018 with the goal of empowering you to plan and invest in your future while supporting your values. As a forward thinking, socially responsible financial advisory firm, we believe in doing well by doing good. We strive to promote financial equality and as Gloria Steinem said "We will never solve the feminization of power until we solve the masculinity of wealth." I'm very excited to be a part of the Ellevate... Continue Reading
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