How Financial Planners Think About Bitcoin, With Justin Castelli and Douglas Boneparth

Independent investment adviser Tyrone Ross speaks with certified financial planners (CFP) Justin Castelli and Douglas Boneparth about how they're looking at bitcoin and what they're hearing from clients.

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Independent investment adviser Tyrone Ross speaks with Certified Financial Planners (CFP) Justin Castelli and Douglas Boneparth about how they're looking at bitcoin and what they're hearing from clients.

Financial planner perspectives

"My biggest concern is that things move too slowly," said Douglas Boneparth, "The horse is out of the barn. You now have advisers getting flak from their clients on 'why am I not here? You've been telling me you mined bitcoin in 2014 and you ... are generally positive about it. You've also been telling me you can't advise about it. ... And I don't want to hear about the SEC and regulations or other things. You're my adviser, should I have been advised on it?’ There's a tolerance here that other clients are going to have. If you tell them ‘no’ too many times, they're going to tell you ‘no’ by firing you. Right now that seems a little extreme, but if you pan out five or 10 years, you have time on your side to see something like bitcoin or crypto rise..."

"I don't have a lot of inbound demand," said financial planner Justin Castelli, "But I have a weekly email that I've refined and sent to clients. I'm going to start putting some information in there because I don't know how many of my clients realize i've spent a lot of time researching it, that I know about it, that I personally do some investing in it on my own. I want them to feel comfortable coming to me, knowing that I know about it."

"But Interestingly enough," he continued, "Yesterday I was doing a review with a 58- and 59-year-old couple. They have a lot of cash, wondering, 'what can we do?', and they saw my StockTwits bitcoin, litecoin, ripple on [the wall of my office], and the wife said she'd heard about bitcoin and asked [me] about it. She was actually very interested in learning more because they have more than enough in equities. They're at a point now where they could afford to do this if they understand it. She's like, 'I really like the sound of this, I want to learn more.' Whether or not she actually does it, I don't know, but it was very interesting because you'd think it'd be my younger clients who get more excited about it but yesterday it was a retiree, a former teacher at that, who was interested in it."

Advisors learn for free:

The goal of Bitcoin for Advisors is to equip investment advisors with tools to better understand bitcoin, talk to their clients about bitcoin and to work bitcoin into their businesses. We’re working closely with professional advisors to build out a program that is timely, valuable and actionable for the financial advisor community, and presented in a manner that is targeted and relevant to their interests.

Through a series of keynotes, panels and interactive roundtable sessions, we will discuss investment theses for bitcoin, why younger demographics are turning to this asset and how it fits into the current global macroeconomic picture. We will also walk through the practicalities: how to answer client questions about bitcoin, how to talk to your compliance department about bitcoin and how bitcoin can help grow your book. Advisors will walk away from this virtual event with a grasp of how bitcoin fits into the world and their businesses.