Investing can seem intimidating or confusing, especially when you are trying to invest in both yourself and your business. Between the stresses of running and growing your business, and the constant onslaught of news and advertisements about different investment options, it can feel impossible to balance both. Getting your finances and financial situation under control, however, forms the foundation of both your personal and business finances, but surely you already know that's true.

The real question is, how to start and keep with it consistently?

With all of the buzz and conversation around investing it can seem difficult to get started, and even more difficult to stay focused with other options in the market, especially with Netflix seeming so appealing. As a CPA with an entrepreneurial streak I'm always happy to drill down to the fundamental issues that impact both entrepreneurs and the finances of the businesses that you run.

A topic and question that I face consistently is how exactly to get started with investing, and growing both your business and personal wealth. You and I both know that these are important, but taking those first steps can seem intimidating for even the most experienced entrepreneurs.

One Millennial expert in this field is Douglas Boneparth, a financial advisor in New York City who, among other awards, has been named an Investment News Top 40 under 40 in 2016, published The Millennial Money Fix in 2017, and has been named to CNBC's Digital Financial Advisor Council in 2018. Boneparth's firm, Bone Fide Wealth, counts over 100 households as clients, manages more than $70 million in client assets, and has had revenue growth of, an average, 25 percent over the last four years.

Boneparth offered 3 questions every entrepreneur and business owner should ask before looking to build up their personal finances:

1. Do you have the financial ability to invest or not?

Drilling down, Boneparth recommends that you design a system to help you understand your finances, both for you and your business. Whatever this plan is, you need to prioritize and quantify your goals and objectives, especially cash flow. This was great advice, and mirrors one of the concepts I emphasize for clients and colleagues -- cash flow is the key to both your business and personal finances. The motto of his firm, mirroring his belief of the importance of personal and business finance, is "#InvestInYou."

2. Have you mastered your personal finances, and finance rules?

Building the bridge between personal finances, financial literacy, and business success is an important topic, but cutting through the noise can difficult. Drilling down, Boneparth agreed that mastering personal finances is the first step toward getting a handle on your business finances. Cash flow is cash flow, after all, and once you understand the rules of the game it's easier to apply them to different areas of your personal and professional life.

These same concepts apply to taxes, income, and other items that connect your personal finances and business finances. Master the rules of the game, and you will be in better financial shape moving forward.

3. Should entrepreneurs and other individuals be investing in Bitcoin, Ripple, or other cryptocurrency options? 

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency options should be treated as speculative assets, at least for now, and while Boneparth perceives Bitcoin and other crypto options as speculative, he is excited about potential applications for blockchain moving forward. Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize business activities and processes across industry lines, and as it becomes more mainstream the benefits will become more apparent.

Risk and reward, whether for investing or business opportunities, have a connection that doesn't change -- improper allocations rarely end well.

Finances and financial literacy have an impact on every aspect of your life, and while they can seem intimidating, can be tackled in a logical manner. Millennial entrepreneur or not, mastering these concepts is something Boneparth and I both agree are critical for business, and financial, success moving forward.

The annual "40 Under 40" project spotlights 40 dynamic honorees, all under age 40, who were selected from a pool of approximately 800 nominees by a panel of reporters, editors, and other representatives of InvestmentNews. Winners were chosen based on their level of accomplishment, contribution to the financial advice industry, leadership, and promise for the future. For more information, visit www.investmentnews.com.

Published on: Jan 18, 2018