Michelle Gordon is the Founder and CEO of Investably LLC, one of the few Latina-owned independent registered investment advisory (RIA) firms in the industry. She is driven by the mission of helping people make sound financial and investment decisions that helps them to build wealth over time and feel financially secure in experiencing their personal life goals and retirement.
With Investably LLC, based in Bethesda, Maryland, she is helping Latinas to see the ‘big picture’ to better align their money through financial planning and investments for a better financial future or retirement. Additionally, she is advising Latinas entrepreneurs on creating retirement plans and financial wellness for their employees.
Her modern and largely remote advisory practice specializes in helping women and minorities by combining holistic financial planning strategies with aligned investments to create a compelling financial future and generational wealth. She also supports Latina entrepreneurs with small business advisory on retirement solutions and financial wellness for their employees.
Most recently, she just launched an 8-week cohort-based program aimed at helping to empower Latina who may not engage in her private client or small business advisory services but want to obtain a general level of knowledge and take actionable steps in building their own financial roadmap to go from feeling financial insecurity to financial confidence.
“As my Abuela always says, ‘Haz bien, no mires a quien.’ [translation: ‘Do good, don’t look at who]. This has been my guiding principle in life and professionally as well. I believe financial planning and investing is for everyone. I have a philosophy that the value of our life is more than our net worth and our balance sheet but rather the memories we create, the experience we share with loved ones, and the impact may create for others,” says Michelle.
As the daughter of Dominican immigrants, Michelle grew up understanding firsthand what it meant to not have the benefits of advice on financial planning and investments, of lacking ‘generational wealth’, as well as the impact that a lack of workplace retirement solutions may have for many families.
“This experience created in me a passion for developing a deep understanding of wealth creation engines, but also for sharing my expertise to help people, particularly women, minorities, and first-generation professionals to create generational wealth for their families and to support small businesses in establishing retirement solutions that may support their employees’ financial well-being.”
Michelle is a STEVIE Award-Winning financial professional with 15+ years on the inside of the industry’s leading asset management and brokerage firms with wide-ranging knowledge and experiences from 20,000+ client consults, an expert in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and a proud graduate of New York University.
“For years, the entrepreneurial yearn kept tugging on me but I hit a reflection point during the pandemic as many other working moms have. I was not feeling like I was living my life’s purpose and I was missing the things that I valued most,” she says.
“In [launching Investably LLC], I reconnected with my purpose and came full circle with the reason that I had joined the financial industry over 15 years ago which was to use my knowledge to help hardworking entrepreneurs and professionals like my parents get ahead and create generational wealth for their children.”
Over the past 15+ years, Michelle has witnessed how the lack of holistic and independent financial advice may result in irreparable and costly mistakes. One memory of an encounter has stayed with her and driven her mission to help others.
“This person was not sent to me for a consultation but rather to lend an empathetic ear. This person was a single mom who was investing to pay for her children’s college and based on recommendations she received via social media, she placed all of her children’s college funds into a single fund which happened to be very volatile instead of being well diversified. As it turns out, in one of the most volatile trading days experienced in history, she lost most of her children’s college funds,” Michelle shares.
“I am a mother as well so I could imagine the pain and despair she was feeling. After I helped her understand what had occurred in the markets despite the complexity involved, I remember crying afterward and thinking to myself there is something wrong when people feel their best place for advice are unknown strangers on a social media chatroom and have no understanding of their financial situation. So, it is these stories of suffering and struggles that push me forward.”
While she knows she can’t help everyone, Michelle hopes to make a difference in someone’s life by helping them avoid situations like the one described by providing an option they can turn to for independent, holistic, and personalized advice that is tailored to them.
Additionally, Michelle hopes her firm can nurture other Latinas interested in financial services and in making a positive impact in people’s lives by working within a more inclusive environment.
4 Key pieces of advice for new entrepreneurs
Michelle felt the yearning to start her own business for years but didn’t act on that feeling until the pandemic hit. While entrepreneurship may not be for everyone, Michelle says if you have that yearn tugging at you, then do it!
“I strongly believe that you only get one life so don’t wait to make it a great one. ¡No dejes para mañana lo que puedes hacer hoy!”
To other aspiring and new entrepreneurs Michelle offers 4 key pieces of advice:
- Be strategic financially by making sure you have the financial resources you’ll need both for the business and your personal living expenses. By far the biggest struggle starting my business has been not having access to capital that can support hiring and expanding marketing to reach desired audiences. Earlier in the year, Wired.com reported that data from a recent study on VC funding indicated … “that US startups with a Latino founder received just 2.1 percent of venture capital funding in 2021.” Therefore, like most women and minority entrepreneurs, I have bootstrapped my firm. So, when I’m working with Latina entrepreneurs on creating their holistic financial plan and investment strategy, I can empathize from first-hand experience with the journey many have taken to succeed and the importance of making their money work for them.
- Don’t give in to imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is something that many of us suffer from, so tell that voice in your head saying ‘I’m not good enough’ to take a back seat on the bus because you got places to go and things to do. It will help you to not wait for things to be perfect and move forward with good enough because you want to be nimble and adapt as you get feedback from your initial clients. Notice how many versions of iPhones are now out there? Imagine if they waited for the iPhone to be perfect to launch. We should have a mindset of always looking to improve on our service, our product, and our experience, so if that’s the case, it will never be perfect. In my opinion, it’s all about the clients, otherwise, you have no business.
- Lean on your ‘support circle’ when needed. Most of all, being an entrepreneur and a working Mom has high and low moments and you will need your ‘support circle’ more than ever. In my personal situation, my husband has been an incredible source of strength and support. My mother, who has always been my model of fearless and dynamic leadership, has been my source of inspiration. My close family, friends, and mentors have been a well of encouragement and guidance. So, make sure you are connecting with the people most important to you, carve out time to recharge, and ‘put your mask on first’ as they say.
- Remember to stay true to your values and be grounded in your ‘WHY’. The work that I’m doing is very holistic, big picture, in nature where I’m providing advice that encompasses key areas in life that affect my client’s financial picture and helping them tie it all together. In doing so, I’ve been providing education so they can feel confident in their choices and serving as a key partner that allows them to focus on their businesses, their professions, and, most importantly, their lives. It fills me with joy and a deep level of happiness to know that I may have helped someone retire comfortably, helped create a better path forward for their children, helped fund a big dream they had, or helped them keep more money and redirect toward something more meaningful to them such as providing for children or elderly parents. Always stay true to your values and your ‘why’. For me, I always think about what advice or how I would have liked my parents to be treated.
Advisory services are offered through Investably LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Maryland. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients in Maryland or in any state where exemptions may apply.
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