Hi and welcome!
If you are new to Bona Fide Finance and are interested in learning more about its founding along with some biographical information on its founder, be sure to check out this video where Ben gives a brief introduction.
Welcome to Bona Fide Finance! Thanks for stopping by and taking some time to look around. Since you’re reading this, you are wanting to learn a little about me and Bona Fide Finance.
My name is Ben Martinek and I am the founder of BFF. I established the firm a little over a year ago with the intent of offering a better way of providing financial planning than is often currently found within the marketplace. BFF is a fee-only firm that receives all of its revenue directly from clients. We are not compensated in any other fashion. BFF is also an independent firm. I am not beholden to any institution. The “buck” begins and ends with me. All the advice that is offered is done because it is what I ultimately I would do if I were in your situation. I place the interests of the client ahead of my own and encourage you to do what I would do based on what I know if I were placed in your situation. I strongly believe that this is the best manner in which financial advice ought to be given and that is why my business is based in this fashion.
A little about my background.
Early in life (just after my first year of college), I entered a Catholic religious community in Kentucky. I felt strongly called at the time to give me life away in service, service to God, service to the Church, service to the country. I had a really positive time at the religious community, but over the course of the 4 years spent there, I decided that God was moving me in another direction. While at the community, I was studying to be a Catholic priest and so my undergraduate studies were liberal arts with a concentration in philosophy and classical languages. Since I really enjoyed my studies, I decided to attend graduate school at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio pursuing a Master’s in philosophy.
After learning about the job market in academia however, I decided that another career choice made more sense. Since I was married by this time, my wife and I became OTR truck drivers so that we could pay down our student loan debt and travel the country. It was a great time, something we both fondly recall. While on the road, I became acquainted with Dave Ramsey’s radio show and we started listening avidly. Dave really became something of a personal financial coach for us and I became increasingly interested in finance and investing. By the end of our time on the road, I decided to join an insurance company that offered “comprehensive financial planning.”
I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say that I was disheartened to learn that “financial planners” did not make a living quite the way I thought they would and struggled to decide if financial planning was the best career for me. As I began to learn more about the industry, I came across a few advisors who were affiliated with NAPFA and who ran a fee-only practice. Their approach seemed so much better and so I decided to terminate my relationship with the insurance company after 18 months of service.
Since there were no fee-only advisors in the local market at the time, and since my capital for starting my own business was tight, I returned to truck driving and set out to start my own practice and become a CFP.After 15 months of self-study and savings, I sat and passed the CFP exam in July 2015 and then began to put the pieces together for my fee-only practice. (I also decided to study and sit for the three exams to become an Enrolled Agent with the IRS).
Due to my lack of work experience, I currently am not able to call myself a CFP. I hope for that to be remedied soon in about another year. I am currently an Enrolled Agent, which basically means I have a concentration in tax related issues when it comes to financial planning. I am currently working with a CPA and his advisory business as a way to deepen my knowledge.
There are a few things I hope you see about me. I am studious, hard-working, practical and simple. Finding my life-long career has taken some time, but I really enjoy financial planning and find it deeply rewarding to assist clients in advancing their financial situation, whether that is at the beginning stages or further along. I am committed to becoming an outstanding financial professional that provides objective advice at fees that are reasonable for the client’s situation and affordable.
Please take some time to watch some other videos and reach out to me when you are ready to receive my assistance.