Meet the Money Coach: Megan Lathrop

Megan Lathrop, a San Francisco-based Money Coach, combines her traditional finance background with a unique holistic approach. While managing millions in client assets at major banks as a Certified Financial Planner, Megan realized she was also managing their fears and negative beliefs around money—and that conversation was the one she wanted to continue having.

Now a certified Money Coach with the Capital One Money Coaching program (which is free and open to the public at select Capital One Cafes), Megan helps people form a more authentic connection to their money (that is, when she’s not plugged into her headphones and "walk-dancing" through Golden Gate Park).

We spoke with Megan about her passion for money coaching—and the unique perspective she brings to sessions.

What inspired you to become a money coach?
I was a financial advisor for about 10 years and was doing more traditional financial advising. The focus was on portfolios and investment selections, but what I learned is that people’s decision making comes from our psychological biases and emotional fears, so we’re not necessarily making decisions in our best interest. I got certified as a life coach, and then became a money coach, to really understand people’s lives and what is important to them, to uncover their beliefs and passions and then help them live that life authentically.

How is money coaching addressing today’s needs?
I have a classical background in finance, but we are moving into a new paradigm. I feel like money coaching is a bridge—I understand the foundational pieces of investing, and Capital One does offer traditional financial advising, but we’re also part of an innovative school of thought that is also incorporating the psychological and emotional layers. People want to listen to their own voice rather than just the advice of an advisor. It’s about empathy and compassion.

How do your own life experiences influence the way you coach customers?
I entered money coaching after facing my own biggest financial fear. Previously, I was working for a company and had built up a financial structure that was reliable. I knew my hours; I had a salary where I could live in San Francisco. But I realized that the work wasn’t feeding my soul. Leaving the safety net I had built to follow my personal dream to coach other people was a scary thing. I worked with my own coach and we had weekly check-ins. She helped me believe I could have it all—make an income I could live off of, do work I enjoy, have work-life balance and be my authentic self—and still be part of the financial industry. It ended up working out wonderfully.

Has money coaching had an impact on your own beliefs?
I now see money as a tool—it’s a means to an end, rather than the end in and of itself. Previously I had goals that were very financially oriented, based on external information. I now feel there is a connection between how I earn, spend and invest my money that is truly aligned with my values and what’s important to me.

What are people talking about right now in San Francisco?
In San Francisco, the word impact comes up a lot—how people have an impact on others and in the industries in which they work. If I know that is one of a person’s values, I help them to articulate what impact means to them. Someone might say, ‘it reminds me of my grandmother and her impact on me.’ Now, that person is in the tech industry and is creating an app—let’s call it ‘Breathe.’ It’s because their grandmother encouraged them to breathe and pause in life. When we connect to those deeper layers, so much richness and energy comes through and creates possibility.

Can you summarize Capital One’s Money Coaching program in one word?
Receptivity is the word that comes to mind. People have a need for a human connection, and Capital One is receptive to that. They know that there is more to banking than meets the eye. I had a dream that this service would be offered within a bank and be accessible to everyone. The fact that this is happening now through Capital One has me so excited. Our mission is to help people feel confident and empowered.

Tell us your favorite thing about money coaching.
It’s seeing myself in every customer I meet. They come in and you might think they are going to be different from you. But when they share their stories with me, I see an aspect of myself in them.

For more information on Capital One’s Money Coaching program, visit capitalone.com/local/moneycoaching.

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