April 26, 2014

Who’s Across the Table

Hi, I’m Pamela Capalad and this is my deal:

I’m a Certified Financial Planner™ and I’ve been in the financial services industry since 2008 (perfect time to join, I know), and spent a lot of those years at wealth management firms (if you’re really curious where, check out my linkedin). I’m based in Brooklyn, NY and serve clients virtually in the New York City area and across the country.

I wanted to find a way to help the average person with their finances. I also realized it’s a pretty scary thing for people to face, even though its something we have to deal with every day.

One day, I was sitting around a fire pit with a friend who said she really needed help with her money, but was afraid to talk about it. I said we should do it over brunch.

Immediately her shoulders untensed and her eyes lit up. “Yes! Let’s do, like, a brunch and budget!” And the rest is history.


A MANIFESTO 

(in other words, why this financial planning thing is my life’s work):

ManifestoA few years ago, I had a very long, difficult conversation with a friend that will go down as another sad story about someone else who was fleeced by a financial adviser.

It reminded me why I do what I do.

Financial literacy education isn’t about investing in the stock market, or starting a business, or budgeting, or credit cards. It’s not about making sure you’re with the right bank or having the best interest rate or making the right investment choices.

It’s about empowering people who are normally made to feel vulnerable or weak or helpless, it’s about empowering you to take control and recognize that you have the knowledge and confidence to find true freedom and happiness. It’s about educating you enough to know who to trust not just with your money, but with your livelihoods.

I’ve devoted my life to financial literacy. I devoted my life to it because I don’t expect you to do the same. I expect you to devote your life to what you’re talented at, passionate about, find purpose in.

I devoted my life to financial literacy to help you get to that place in your life. You know that place. That place where you close your eyes and feel perfectly at peace and energized all at the same time. That place where you know you’re at your best, that you were somehow built for this, this thing you’re doing that you can’t believe you get to spend your life doing.

Life isn’t about cringing every time you run your credit card through a cash register or dodging calls from bill collectors. It’s not about the next paycheck, next rent check, next job, next in line.

Life is about finding your why.

So here’s the deal – you have the why, I have the how.

How do you find the bank that won’t charge you $12 a month for keeping your money? How do you start to pay off your student loans? How do you start saving up for your dream apartment? How do you plan for the next six months of inconsistent income? How do you set your life up so you travel 3 months out of the year?

You tell me your why, I’ll tell you how.

This is my why.


Here’s the long, convoluted story about how I ended up in financial planning:

While I was studying Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara, (and had NO idea what I was going to do with that), I stumbled upon a summer job at a place called Creative Wealth Intl (though at the time I signed on, it was called The Money Camp).

I ended up leading summer camps for kids, and eventually adults, and eventually teacher trainings for other people to bring these camps to their communities. I also ended up developing and co-authoring curriculum and material for the camps.

In other words, I was really into it (I was even in the Wall Street Journal for being really into it!).

Which of course meant that I had to take my Literature degree and find myself a job in finance. Which I did in 2008. In New York City. Somehow.

Luckily, I only hated it for about a year. Then I kind of started to like it. Then I really started to like it. In between hating it and kind of liking it, I got this crazy idea to write a financial literacy curriculum of our own that could be taught in schools, youth organizations, or one-on-one with parents and kids. You know, reach as many people as possible. Luckily, a former Money Camp counselor got the same idea and we started a company called Pockets Change.

Then I had this other crazy idea that all this stuff I was learning at this wealth management firm could also be information lots of adults needed, but were maybe too afraid to think about or thought they couldn’t afford.

And also that everyone likes brunch. And that I really like alliteration. Hence, Brunch & Budget.

Also, I totally have the Certified Financial Plannerdesignation (which means I’d been in the business for at least 3 years, studied like crazy for two years and then took a really hard 2-day, 10-hour test to prove that I really do know what I’m talking about here).

Email me at pam@brunchandbudget.com if you have some questions before you commit to a whole meal.