By Ed Lopez, Head of ETF Product, VanEck Global
Is financial planning for millennials really any different than other generations? This is what I wanted to know when I sought out a discussion with Doug Boneparth, Financial Advisor and President of Bonefide Wealth. Doug, a millennial himself, has built a business specifically catering to millennials. However, his experiences provide insights useful to more than just millennials.
He shared his thoughts on how to approach planning for volatile markets, financial independence and an appropriate cash buffer. We also discussed tips and ideas for financial advisors looking to build and grow their book of business while ensuring their practice continues to be relevant for future generations.
Are millennials different?
At a certain point in one’s life, everyone’s financial considerations kind of look similar – managing cash flow and expenses, navigating a career, raising children, insurance planning, investments, etc. The basic tenets and considerations that go into a financial plan are essentially the same for millennials as they are any other demographic.
What is different is the set of particular shared experiences. Many millennials launched their career in the midst of the 2008/09 Financial Crisis and now face the COVID-19 inspired market swoon just as they are entering their peak earning years. Many continue to be burdened by student loan debt while trying to start a family and afford a house in an increasingly expensive housing market. These are experiences to which Doug can relate. His relatability is the underpinning of his business and we discuss how his generation’s experiences have shaped his approach to planning for his clients.
Building a brand
Doug has held a securities license since he was 19 years old and worked in his father’s financial planning practice in Florida. While he had financial planning experience, he started fresh when he moved to New York City. As he describes it, he stepped off the plane in New York as Lehman collapsed in 2008.
I was intrigued by his ability to build a business in New York City targeting, at the time, a demographic of people still in the early part of their careers and not yet at their peak earning potential nor peak investable assets. Typically, if you are building your business as a financial advisor, you go where the investable assets are; older people, decades into their career and money to invest. Doug has embraced a PR/media-focused strategy for building his brand and his practice in a digital world. He’s been prolific and we discussed his approach and tips any financial advisor seeking to set themselves apart as a thought leader in their community may find helpful.
If you look Doug up on the internet, you’ll see many media references and article mentions as well as pictures of a dapper man with an awesome salt-and-pepper quaff. Visit his firm’s website, bonefideweatlh.com and you’ll note that quaff’s prominence in the firm’s logo. A logo that was the result of taking a selfie – how much more millennial can you get than that?
Trend or Fad?
Listen for Doug’s take on bitcoin, buttered coffee, ESG and fashion socks for men.
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