Douglas Boneparth on how to conquer student loan debt | MoneyStrands

Personal finance is just that: personal.

Which is why Douglas Boneparth, President of Bone Fide Wealth, recommends taking an honest, non-judgmental look at your financial situation.

Whether you’re among the 40% of Millennials that are trying to pay down student debt, or your priority is starting our own businesses, Douglas has your back.

“I think that every Millennial should be thinking about what they want their life to look like, and what it will take to achieve that lifestyle,” he says. “Most of the time achieving these goals involves increasing income by negotiating salary, which is why we stress this topic on our blog.”

In addition, Douglas advocates that there’s no way you will be able to reach your goals without having any idea how much you owe in terms of loans.

We recently caught up with him to learn more about his company, and get his thoughts on what else Millennials should be doing with their money.


1. What sets Bone Fide Wealth apart from other financial advising firms?


Our firm’s tagline is #InvestInYou, which has two meanings:

The first is that we believe the best investment you can make is in yourself.

The second, is that our firm is willing to invest in you before you’d ever consider working with us. Other than our focus on Millennials, young professionals and entrepreneurs, I think this is what really sets us apart.

We don’t care about account balances and we never put investments first. We only care about your potential and willingness to achieve your goals.

If you’re not ready to work with a financial advisor but need help, we have a trove of content created to help you get to that point in time that it makes sense to work with a professional.

I wanted to create a firm that thinks long-term because we’re not going anywhere and we’re going to need some help.


2. What sorts of questions should Millennials ask when looking for a financial advisor?


The main things I want to know is if they are a Certified Financial Planner (CFP® Professional). These marks are the industry’s gold standard and demonstrated rigorous education, examination, experience, and ethics requirements.

The next thing would be their compliance record. If they’ve wronged anyone or make a mistake, I want to know about it.

Lastly, I want to know that they are a fee-based or fee-only advisors. Generally, someone earning commissions on investments, does not have your best interests in mind.


3. What are the most common mistakes you help them correct?


The number one mistake is I see Millennials make is not having a system for setting and pursuing their financial goals.

To help with this, we’ve created an infographic called the Financial Planning Launchpad, which you can get on our downloads page.

It’s a great way to figure out what your goals are, quantify them by time and value and understand which are most important to you.

Having a solid financial foundation is one of the most important things anyone can have.


4. What’s your favorite piece of money-saving, money-making or budgeting advice?


Be honest with yourself.

Try to figure out a lifestyle that makes sense but also put you in the best position to grow personally and professionally.

Going to extremes on either end of the spending/savings spectrum is typically a bad way to approach things.


5. How can young adults build a plan to pay off their debt?


Know what you owe and your options.

Gather your statements and make a spreadsheet. Know who you have to pay money to, when it needs to be paid, what the interest rate is and how much is outstanding. By understanding your obligations, you can take ownership of your debt.

With federal student loans, you may have repayment options. Research the standard, graduated and extended options for your loans. There are also income-driven repayment plans that can be used to reduce your monthly payments. There are some options in this area as well but all calculate the monthly payment based on your income. These plans may free up cash flow but may take longer to pay off debt and you may end up paying more interest in the long run.

You may also be able to refinance or consolidate your loans in order to get a lower interest rate. By paying less interest, you may be able to start funding other goals sooner.


This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the states of AZ, CA, CT, FL, GA, MD, NJ, NY, PA. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside these states due to various state regulations and registration requirements regarding investment products and services. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed Insurance products and services offered through CES Insurance Agency.


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