Cheryl Campos is passionate about the intersection of finance, technology, and social impact. She is the cofounder of LaFamilia Foundation, a 501c3 closing the capital gap for Latine founders and funders through its divisions VCFamilia & FounderFamilia. Through VCFamilia, the largest global community of Latine VCs, she has facilitated over $10M of LP funding and also helped pioneer the first operational capital grant program for Latine emerging fund managers. Through FounderFamilia with 500+ Latine venture backed founders, she has funneled more than $1M to promising startups with a renowned national pitch competition and partnerships such as Google Latino Founders Fund. LFF is backed by leading corporations like Comcast, Gunderson, AWS, and more. Previously, she was the Head of Venture Growth and Partnerships at Republic, an investment platform for founders to raise capital from both accredited and non-accredited investors. She joined as employee #10 in 2018 and was instrumental in its growth to unicorn status ($1BN valuation). In other direct investing roles, she is a scout for Lightspeed and an investment partner at The Community Fund, writing checks to 20+ companies in community centric startups, particularly healthcare.
Previously she worked as an analyst in a Connecticut-based private debt & equity firm with an emphasis on minority and women entrepreneurs. She started her career in Investment Banking at Barclays, working in the Financial Institutions Group and Structured Finance. She holds a BA in Economics with honors from Harvard University and is a MBA candidate at Stanford Graduate School of Business Class of 2024.Please tell us about the origins of your wealth journey.
I come from a background where my single mother, in the heart of New York City, instilled in me the importance of education as our path to a better life. Despite limited resources and a limited network, she never wavered in her commitment to securing the best education for me. It was our ticket out of our precarious financial situation and a means to realize our full potential.
I was fortunate to earn a full scholarship to Harvard, but the reality of living expenses weighed heavily on me. To make ends meet, I juggled three jobs all the way through graduation. It was during this time that I came to understand the value of making money work for you. This realization led me to pursue a career in Investment Banking, not only to provide for my family but also to build a foundation for long-term financial security.
Throughout my journey in the financial world, I've learned that ownership is paramount. Whether it's through investments in stocks, equity in startups, or other opportunities, the key is to capitalize on these ownership avenues. Taking a long-term view and making your money work for you is the ultimate path to financial success.Describe the main milestones, opportunities, and challenges
A main milestone for me was starting my career in investment banking. I found myself earning more annually than my parents had collectively earned in their lives. While this might have tempted some to indulge in a lavish lifestyle, I used my earnings to purchase our first home. The responsibility of managing that mortgage debt forced me to develop a strong sense of financial discipline.
As I diligently paid off the mortgage and experienced the joys and challenges of homeownership, I began to explore other investment opportunities. This exploration led me to consider more high-risk ventures such as venture capital and crypto. I realized the importance of diversifying my portfolio, but I also recognized that these riskier asset classes required a different approach. I allocate discretionary income specifically earmarked for higher-risk investments, understanding that it's money I can afford to lose if the need arises.
In essence, it's all about finding the right risk profile that aligns with your financial goals and creating a well-balanced investment portfolio that reflects that profile.Share Tools and Tips to help you create wealth
Before delving into investments, it's essential to begin by getting your personal finances in order. Are you diligently tracking your finances using tools like Rocket Money or Mint? Are you paying down your debts?
Once you've established a solid financial foundation, consider exploring traditional investment platforms such as Robinhood for individual stock selection or platforms like Fidelity and Charles Schwab, which offer a wide array of investment options, including mutual funds, index funds, and retirement accounts.
Speaking of retirement accounts, it's crucial to prioritize maximizing your contributions to your 401(k) or IRA every year. This approach helps lay the groundwork for long-term wealth accumulation.
Stay informed about financial trends and developments by regularly reading news articles from reputable sources like The Wall Street Journal or subscribing to newsletters such as MorningBrew Finance.
Additionally, I strongly advocate for seeking raises whenever possible. Increasing your income is a critical component of maximizing the benefits of compounding. It's essential to ensure you're being compensated fairly for your work, especially considering the statistics that suggest that we as Latinx often receive lower pay than our white male counterparts.What or Who did you wish you had known earlier?
Make money work for you. Through strategic investments across various asset classes and by maintaining a long-term perspective, you can unlock the benefits of generational wealth creation.How would you like your wealth legacy to be remembered?
I hope to leave a legacy of generosity, where my wealth was used not only to secure the future of my family but also to support causes I care about. Throughout my career, I've maintained a strong emphasis on building communities. My belief is that, together, we can provide mutual support, impart valuable knowledge, and collectively achieve greater heights. This legacy isn't solely about financial wealth; it's also about empowering communities and leaving a lasting impact that spans generations.