Financial planning is not a quick fix


I hear it from my friends, family and clients all the time. For many of us, our financial worlds came crashing down at the very start of our adult lives. My generation was faced with the brutal realization that our expensive educations wouldn’t be the financial cure-all we were believed they would be. In reality, we found ourselves holding the proverbial bag, standing financially naked in a labor environment we weren’t prepared for. However, through times of adversity, great stories are made. And if there’s anything I know about my generation, it’s how creative (and resilient) we are.

I did not write this column to be an all-out assault on personal finance bloggers, content creators and self-described financial experts.

I do appreciate and respect how helpful their efforts can be when applied correctly and comprehensively. In a society that’s devoid of financial education, it’s promising to see both professionals and non-professionals contribute to the growing trend of financial literacy. Without a doubt, we need financial education more than ever.

However, I can’t help but urge caution with how financial content is being created and consumed. There’s always a danger that comes from painting complicated financial solutions with too broad of a brush, especially when dealing with the more complex areas of personal finance, such as investments, taxes and estate planning.

In fact, regulators, such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission, exist to protect the public by ensuring that the content professionals create follow the “rules.” Therefore, no matter how captivating the financial content may be, I ask that you not to mistake it with the advice of a qualified financial professional.

— By Douglas A. Boneparth, president of Bone Fide Wealth and co-author of The Millennial Money Fix

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