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Advisors poke fun at industry with T-shirt side hustle

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As an advisor, you might have suggested to clients that finding a way to pick up some extra cash on the side is a great way to supplement their income.

From public service to operating a craft brewery, planners are keeping busy outside the office.
January 2

But have you ever thought of doing that yourself?

Lest you think that holistic planning and diversifying portfolios won’t leave you with enough time, take a page from the advisors who found a moment to turn a random idea into a business.

Doug Boneparth of Bone Fide Wealth in New York City — who has been featured in Financial Planning — and FP columnist Dave Grant of Retirement Matters in Cary, Illinois, teamed up a few months ago to launch an advisor-focused novelty T-shirt business. (Yes, T-shirts).

The idea first occurred to Boneparth when he was contemplating the fee-only versus fee-based issue advisors often debate, he says.

“Somewhere out of that came [the idea of] why not poke some fun at the profession,” he says. “It was just this random, zany thought, I really haven’t seen too many financial advisor-related things ever make it on to clothing.”

Boneparth reached out to his fellow advisors in a Facebook group to get some feedback on the idea and came up with the three shirts — “#Fiduciary AF”, “Come at me broker”, and “I do it for the bps” — currently on sale from FAaf Apparel.

Grant — whom Boneparth had never met in person before — reached out when Boneparth asked his fellow advisors if they’d had any experience in this area.

“Dave comes in and says he did it in college and actually had experience doing this via Drop Ship and could easily set it up,” Boneparth explains. “It was instant, ‘You’re a partner’ [after that].”

The pair was able to turn the business around fairly quickly, launching the website this week after only a few months of planning.

While side businesses are usually designed to pull in some extra income, Boneparth says he doesn’t expect this to be a cash cow and he’s okay with having only sold a “handful” of shirts so far.

“When your expectation is zero, one sale is a big win,” he says.

However, if they do sell enough shirts, Boneparth says he would like to use a portion of the proceeds to fund a CFP exam scholarship.

“I’m not doing this for the money whatsoever,” he says. “I would like it to be just a conversation piece, to further promote the career lab, and do some good.”

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