Philosophy Behind the Name
The name “Bona Fide Finance,” Latin for “in good faith,” is no accident. We do not know the future. Though many have tried mightily to penetrate this veil, all of us are limited in this regard. The best any of us can do, then, is be adequately prepared for the myriad options that may take place, keeping in mind at all times that as domesticated as our current living is, it still retains the element of “being wild.”
“The real trouble with this world of ours is not that it is an unreasonable world, nor even that it is a reasonable one. The commonest kind of trouble is that it is nearly reasonable, but not quite. Life is not an illogicality; yet it is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more mathematical and regular than it is; its exactitude is obvious, but its inexactitude is hidden; its wildness lies in wait.”
G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, pp 149-150
Thus, we seek to act in good faith, hoping for the best, but recognizing that we too are left alongside the client awaiting the unknown. At Bona Fide Finance, we accept that we cannot predict the future, but we also make the promise in good faith that each client will be best suited for what may come according to the standards of good finance and good sense.
About Ben Martinek, CFP®, CSLP®, EA, RICP®
The fourth of nine children, Ben grew up in rural Indiana. Early in life, he felt strongly moved to serve others and thus attended seminary, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and classical languages. Having once considered an academic career, he continued his philosophy studies and obtained a master’s degree. Upon realizing the challenges with the job market in academia, he sought other career paths, some of which included construction and truck driving–in fact, Ben and his wife Deb spent the first few years of their marriage as team over-the-road truck drivers, logging over 600,000 miles in the “lower 48,” visiting every metropolitan area and traveling over 90% of the Interstate in the US!—before deciding that financial planning should be the focus of his talents and career efforts. You can read more about their trucking adventures here.
Ben works hard, but he also relishes in the fruit of his labor. In addition to his studies pertaining to finance and philosophy, he also likes to garden, hike, make home improvements, and woodwork. He and his wife live in Bismarck, ND, are involved in their local Catholic parish and have two darling daughters, Edith and Virginia. Ben relaxes by grilling, smoking a pipe, canoeing the Missouri River, and sailing Lake Sakakawea.
Deb Martinek: Intake Specialist
Deb has been with Bona Fide Finance since its inception in 2015 and long before that with her support of Ben studying for the CFP designation and the dream of starting the business of helping individuals and families meet their financial goals. More recently, however, she fully came on board as a team member filling the Intake Specialist role – she is typically the first encounter our new clients have as she walks them through our service offerings and introduces them to the map of financial literacy. Deb has a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University and a master’s degree from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. She lives in Bismarck with Ben and their two young daughters, is a card-carrying member of the CDL club (read more about those adventures here) and is happiest either reading an epic novel or working in her kitchen where she can serve love to the people in her life through quality food.
Leann Binde: Operations Manager
Leann Binde joined the Bona Fide Finance team as the operations manager in January 2020. She is a lifelong educator, serving both as a teacher and as a principal in school administration. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Science, and master’s degrees in both School Leadership and Administration. Leann has devoted her career to attending to the needs of others, which she does seamlessly behind the scenes for the Bona Fide Finance team. She manages our projects and workflows, analyzes and adjusts firm efficiencies, oversees software, and strategizes the future of Bona Fide Finance. With her husband, Kye, she enjoys traveling, golfing, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.
Andrew Bencivenga, CFP®: Associate Advisor
Andrew joined the Bona Fide Finance team in May of 2020. Originally from Yorktown Heights, NY, he is currently based out of Busan, South Korea, and has lived abroad since 2007. His career began as an English teacher before joining the Galmegi Brewing Company as a partner and manager of their flagship location in Busan. Andrew’s natural affinity for planning and interest in building a strong foundation for his own young family led him to financial planning. Drawing on his past experience in education, business, and the unique perspective of living as a long-term ex-pat, Andrew is an asset in helping Bona Fide’s clients achieve their own financial goals and dreams. In his free time, Andrew enjoys listening to music (especially jazz from the ‘50s and ‘60s), cooking for his family, brewing beer, and traveling. At his side is his wife EunYoung and son, Thomas.
Bonnie Martinek: Administrative Assistant
Bonnie (Ben’s mom!) is a mother of 9 and a grandmother of 17. She has lived in rural Indiana her whole life and has a master’s degree in Special Education. In her own words, she’s done a little bit of everything but is a master of none (teaching, construction, manager of a corn maze, CNA, farm work, cashier, auto bodywork, and the list goes on!). Widowed in 2019, she is reinventing herself through her work in the day-to-day operations of Bona Fide Finance and client relations. Bonnie loves getting to know our clients and is happy to serve them well!
A void exists in our education system on how to manage money. Bona Fide Finance exists to fill that void by providing independent, objective financial advice.