How does this IAR help Americans to afford college and use student loans properly?
This article features an interview with Douglas A. Boneparth, CFP, AIF, MBA, an investment advisor representative with Bone Fide Wealth based in New York City that is affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network. With his firm, Douglas provides comprehensive financial planning to a wide range of retail and corporate clients and provides many different types of services to them including estate planning, legacy planning, workplace benefit servicing, business financial planning and cash flow management. As someone that became one of the youngest CFP professionals, this experience as an advisor combined with providing financial literacy to the public as a CFP Board Ambassador taught him about the gap in financial literacy and advice among his peers of Millennials. Building upon this experience, he became the co-author of The Millennial Money Fix as a means to help Millennials to learn what they need to know about budgeting, taking control of their student loan debt and finding financial freedom. Last but not least, Douglas received his BS in Public Relations from the University of Florida and MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. You can learn more about Douglas and Bone Fide Wealth at the website of http://bonefidewealth.com/. Last but not least, thank you Douglas for your time, insight and support in working with me on the article and for the signed copy of the book. Please read the question and answers to learn about his perspective on college financial planning, and hope that the article provides you with an opportunity to learn more from your peers.
Question 1 (Paul Curley, Editor of the 529 Dash): Student loan debt has been rising on a year-over-year basis. How does this book align with this new college financial planning reality for students and graduates?
Answer 1 (Douglas A. Boneparth, CFP, AIF, MBA, Author of “The Millennial Money Fix”): The Millennial Money Fix thoroughly examines the current cost paradigm for college. We discovered why costs are soaring and how that’s contributing to the need to borrow to pay for school. There’s a dangerous system at play. Essentially, if you make the money available, people are going to borrow it. When you pair that with the notion that college is your right and not a privilege, you got yourself one very large student loan problem to deal with. So, to help people overcome this challenge, the book gives readers a simple guide as to how they should think about affording college. We equip you with the tools to make an informed decision and manage these costs. We are able to get you to focus on how a student can get a return on their investment and not become just another “Millennial Problem”.
Question 2: Conceptually, the book seemed to cover financial literacy as a means to help others to achieve financial independence and freedom to achieve their goals. What has been the response and impact to date?
Answer 2: Well, as of right now, we’re still pre-publication date! However, some distributors have released the book early and we’re hearing great things. It’s really resonating with our peers who find themselves dealing with the same challenge we’ve been dealing with. It’s providing not just a financial education but hope to those who need to know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, that there’s a way to get out from under student loan debt and to put yourself on a path to financial independence. We’re so excited to hear what others have to say as the book is sold through the country.
Question 3: Based on the Millennial experience of carrying so much student loan debt, do you think that the next generation will place a higher value on financial literacy, financial freedom and financial advisers?
Answer 3: Yes! I think we see financial literacy becoming more and more popular each day. Heck, we even have a hashtag for it “#FinLit”. That’s a good start, I’d say. But what I think is really driving the movement is what many of us say from the Great Recession. Just like our grandparents with the Great Depression, what we saw shaped our attitudes towards money. It scared a lot of us. For us older Millennials we learned firsthand the perils of making uninformed financial decisions. The book tells Heather’s story of taking out over $200K in student loan debt to go to law school. People can take this as a cautionary tale and make sure they don’t have to face the same financial challenges we still face each day.
Question 4: How can product providers and states better support you?
Answer 4: That’s a great question and I think it’s a difficult one to answer. I find myself thinking about that more and more each day. Creating objective and meaningful content is a great place to start. We want things that we can share with our clients that have impact and get them thinking about how we can best help them make good financial decisions. Providers have their work cut out for them as the investment space becomes increasingly commoditized and as information becomes more and more readily available.
Editor’s Final Note: Thank you Douglas Boneparth for your time and insight in the article and for the signed copy of the book, and much appreciated. Also, I would like to provide a special thank you to the readers of the article for learning from your peers, for your support and your engagement.