New York

Labber Stories: Chenjiazi “Jiazi” Zhong

Chenjiazi 'Jiazi' Zhong 30 August 2022
financial services marketing agency

The desired lifestyle for a new mom!

I was an investment-fund portfolio manager responsible for asset allocation, portfolio structuring and optimization. I managed portfolios for US institutional investors in New York City (NYC) and ultra-high-net-worth investors at a top investment bank headquartered in Switzerland. I sat in my office Monday through Friday, working nine hours a day.

Outside my full-time role, I was a new mom. Being a mom is the equivalent of two and a half full-time jobs, according to a 2018 study by Welch’s. With only 24 hours in the day, how could I work full time, raise a newborn, maintain our home, and still find room for personal time and growth? The secret to working full time while being a new mom was “there was no such thing as balance.”

As a Copylab freelancer, I have the flexibility to set my schedule. In some cases, I can decide how much I want to work. I work before my son wakes up, during his nap time, and after he falls asleep. I also have the freedom to select where I would like to do my investment writing. I can work on the client assignments in my backyard while enjoying the sunshine, and sometimes, I can even work at my favorite brunch place. Although it is impossible to achieve a perfect work-life balance, I can advocate for myself and build a better schedule that works for my family overall. Importantly, being a Copylab freelancer suits the way my brain works and my desired lifestyle at this stage of my life and career.

From an amateur investment writer to a professional investment writer

Before joining Copylab, I was an amateur investment writer in addition to my full-time role as a fund portfolio manager. I published “Strategies That Chinese Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Use to Attract Venture Capital” in 2018 and the book “Alternatives Thinker: Endowment Investment Philosophy to Active Portfolio Management” in 2013. Serving as a guest writer, my weekly column, “Market Recap with Jiazi”, sponsored by a financial services company headquartered in NYC, was published on Sundays. I also maintained a website, where I wanted to help my readers understand the evolution of portfolio construction techniques, investment vehicles, and research evolution in behavioral finance, as well as keep them up to date with what was going on in the global markets. However, as an amateur investment writer, I tended to write primarily for self-expression. That said, someone who blogged solely for self-expression was unlikely to attract many followers.

Since joining Copylab as an investment writer, and through the project opportunities assigned by Copylab, I have learned that professional investment writers should move beyond the “amateur” approaches. Professional investment writers more successfully engage their audience. It is partly a question of skill, but more often a matter of goals. To engage the audience, I must mix my own “agenda” with the needs and interests of my target audience.

Unlike most freelance or independent positions, the Copylab team has made me feel that I am not alone in my assignments. Copylab’s Director of Strategic Operations has checked in from time to time and provided me with clients’ feedback on a regular basis.

The North America Managing Director has scheduled catch-up sessions with me to make sure I have all the relevant information to carry out the assigned projects. The administrative and operations staff have also done a fantastic job in detailing instructions and ensuring a smooth process for everyone. Their professionalism and dedication have been a great encouragement to me. Copylab’s great corporate culture has improved my work experience and inspired me.