A letter from Helen Ngo, CFP®


From college students starting their first “real” paying job, to single moms, to multi-millionaire business owners, I’ve heard and seen it all. The common thread with each client story I hear is that deep down, they’re all trying to make something of themselves.

But how do you get that feeling of achievement that “you’ve made it?”

When I started out in my career as a Financial Planner, I thought it was just about educating my clients on how much they need to retire and what investments were best for their portfolio.

I deal with clients on a very personal level, sitting down face-to-face with each individual and help them identify what they really want out of their lives. It’s helping them answer the hard question: What does it mean to have made it in life?

Across all income levels, each of us needs to answer that honestly and face the truth about ourselves. What do you want out of yourself?

Most people don’t know how to use their money or resources wisely because they don’t even know what they want. I’ve realized that when you have a bad relationship with yourself on any level, it tends to manifest itself in bad habits.

That’s the real problem.

You would think that as a financial planner I have all my ducks in a row financially. I’ve made bad business investments and lost thousands of dollars. But does that mean that I am a bad financial advisor? On the contrary, those setbacks have actually made me a stronger financial planner because I can relate to my clients, who also are imperfect with their money. I understand. I get it.

I want you to know that you do not have a money problem. You do not need another “money guru” to tell you what to do with your money. “Making it” is not about how little or how much you earn. It’s about changing your attitude toward financial success and defining in your own terms what it means to make it in life.

To make it, you need to hear from others, including myself. The personal battles, wounds, triumphs, and how the definition of “making it” is different for each of us.

If you could hear the stories I hear from my clients, friends, colleagues, and community, and how raw and real their stories are, wouldn’t you feel better about where you stand? If you knew that everyone is just trying to make it too, wouldn’t it change and inspire how you view yourself? Better yet, wouldn’t it empower you?

Instead of safe keeping these stories all to myself, I’m breaking the glass ceiling and opening up the stage. I’m building a community with and for you with these stories as the centerpiece. And I’m going to invite YOU to come share your story.

I’m writing this to tell you, that after a year of development, I am unveiling my new project: Made.

It’s not another medium for more financial advice. Capital Benchmark Partners, LLC will still be here for that, and I will still be deeply involved there. Made™ is a social movement to create an economically empowered community of women through a bold and emboldening platform of live and online education, conversation, and collaboration. Because I believe that when women rise, they lift the world up with them.

To kick it off, I started the Live and Earn podcast where you’ll hear stories from week to week of real women from all financial walks of life sharing their personal stories of financial adversity and triumphs. This is an opportunity for us to rebuild our culture and outlook about ourselves, our relationship with money, and defining what we truly want.

I am ecstatic to hand the mic over to you and can’t wait to share your stories with the world. Let’s make it together. It’s time.

Because real success stories aren’t born -

 We’re made.

--Helen Ngo

March 2018