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Douglas Boneparth

Industry Spotlight > Advisors

How Douglas Boneparth Hires, Grows His Practice on Twitter

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Because the economic challenges we are facing are new, the way we approach them needs to be new sometimes also, Douglas Boneparth, president of New York-based RIA Bone Fide Wealth, points out at his firm’s website.

Bone Fide Wealth “equips our clients with the tool they need to approach today’s reality and succeed,” the RIA says, asking clients and prospective clients to not confuse the firm with “glorified brokers interested only in managing your assets and what products we can sell you.”

Boneparth was a broker for Ameriprise from 2004-2012 and then Commonwealth Financial Network from 2012-2019, before focusing on his own RIA.

Via email, we asked him a series of questions that touched on how he is helping his clients to overcome market volatility and inflation challenges, as well as his experiences with clients and hiring, and why he chose the client niche he did.

THINKADVISOR: How are you helping clients with market volatility in 2022?

DOUGLAS BONEPARTH: The best part about leading client relationships with financial planning is that it helps to control their expectations regardless of market conditions. They know there are going to be times when things get wild and that the good times don’t last forever.

Also, a strong client service model ensures that we are staying connected on a regular basis. It’s helpful to be a constant in their financial lives. It builds a strong investment discipline.

How are you helping retired clients with inflation and financial planning in 2022?

We’ve been doing a good job addressing which investments are being used in the fixed income portion of client portfolios.

It’s important to see what kind of protection we can provide, like examining the average duration/maturity of their bonds. Inflation is here and rates are going up, so there’s little need to stand on the tracks when a train could be coming at you.

How did you meet your biggest or most influential client or best client? Who is this person?

I met one of my biggest clients as the relative of a childhood friend during the holidays more than a decade ago.

What makes this client so special? 

They gave me an opportunity to prove what I was capable of at the early stages of my career and that’s certainty something I am forever grateful for.

What lessons have you learned from working with this client? 

It’s not what I learned from working with them. It’s more like what didn’t I learn.

Their financial situation was the most dynamic that I had ever encountered at that point in my career, so I continue to work extra hard to ensure that I am delivering advice and service that’s above and beyond what’s required.

I learned that your best relationships are not just about solid financial plans and sound investment portfolios. You have to put yourself in their shoes, understand their interpersonal relationships and what makes them happy.

How are you able to replicate the way you met them and/or the way you work with them?

That’s a good question because sometimes I feel like it’s so special how can it happen again? But, if it did, I would have to pin it on surrounding yourself with not just the right people, but good people.

How did you meet your most recent client associate or business partner? 

I met my newest associate on Twitter.

I was hiring and needed to get the word out, so I leveraged my large following on social media to find someone.

I figured this was easier and cheaper than using some service. I received 40 resumes that day, and Cliff was one of them.

What makes the new hire such a good fit at your firm? 

Self-starters are amazing people. They are just built different. They get it and motivate themselves to perform. I am lucky to work with someone that possesses this characteristic.

He’s also the oldest of four brothers, so he knows what it’s like to have a lot of responsibility. In fact, I think he thrives in those environments.

What lessons have you learned from working with this colleague? 

I thought I would need to go a lot slower with a new associate, but I am being proven quite wrong about that each week.

How are you able to replicate the way you met them and/or the way you work with them now?

I’d hire from Twitter all over again and now having successfully hired someone from the internet, I know even more about what I am looking for and how to look for them.

Could you share some advice with other advisors based on this hiring experience?

I am not saying you need to be on social media to hire someone. I am saying that you need to be on social media, because I can’t see a world in which you’re going to run a successful practice unless you are taking advantage of it in some fashion.

There’s a way that works for you, but you’ve got to be willing to find it.

How did you find your client niche and what is your niche?

I work primarily with high-achieving, high-income millennials.

I started working with my peers years ago when no one would touch us. It bothered me that the profession would ignore individuals who not just needed help today, but were going to be very productive clients to work with in the future.

Can you provide details on what makes this niche best for your practice? 

It was a natural fit because I was going through all the things they were going through. I was able to take my early start in personal finance and provide relatable advice to people who knew I understood them, from tackling student loan debt to advancing in our careers.

 What lessons did you learn from working within this niche? 

I learned that playing long games and investing in others before they invest in you produces the greatest returns. That lesson can be applied to everything from the markets to life itself.

How are you able to replicate the way you work in this niche in other niches? 

Figure out what you’re passionate about and go after that. I was deeply passionate about helping my friends succeed and achieve their goals, so I went all in on doing that when no one else would.


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