The need to engage in continuous learning is a simple reality for anyone in professional services especially in a field like financial planning, which changes so frequently. This said, I try to go to one to two financial conferences per year in order to stay up to date with industry innovations and best practices. While it’s true that I can get a lot of this continuing professional education directly online from my own office, it’s important once in a while to leave the office to immerse myself in the training.
Last month I went to the eMoney conference in Orlando. eMoney is the financial planning software used in my practice. bautisfinancial.com/WealthCenter
Here are some of the highlights from the conference you may find interesting.
The Rise of FlexGen
The theme of this years conference was the importance of being a “FlexGen Advisor”. A FlexGen advisor is one who:
- Embraces change
- Loves learning
- Challenges conventions
- Forward-thinking & nimble
- Easily adapts to change
FlexGen advisors believe in helping their clients achieve their life goals and have more planning conversations than ever. Even before the conference, I’ve continue to strive to take on the traits of a FlexGen advisor, however it was good to hear the importance of it.
The image below was introduced at the conference and shows the importance of improving our client’s lives and not just focusing on managing money or selling products.
At Bautis Financial, we go beyond simply managing your money. We work with our clients to help them realize their ideal lifestyle today, and into the future. You deserve peace of mind and a confident feeling of control when it comes to your finances. A secure future requires a holistic approach to the planning process.
According to a Cerulli Research study, investors who have a financial plan grew their assets 110% more than those without and were 7 1/2 times more happy than those that didn’t have a plan.
eMoney offered dozens of breakout sessions with the goal of improving the financial planning skills in our toolboxes. Some of my favorites that I attended were:
- The Interactive Meeting – How to bring financial plans to life and better engage with clients
- Taxes in eMoney – How eMoney handles taxes, including new features for running compelling simulations around the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
- Estate Planning – How to create powerful estate plans and best ways to model trusts
- Retirement Planning – How to better create a core retirement plan from start to finish
- Monte Carlo – How to stress test the investments in a portfolio
- Aggregation Best Practices – How to create a positive experience around connections
In addition to the breakout sessions there were some great keynote speeches by leaders inside and outside the financial industry.
Ron Carson, CEO of a multi billion dollar financial firm based in Nebraska. His talk about the value of an advisor was based off of a recent research paper by Vanguard. In that paper Vanguard tries to quantify the value of an advisor and show how it is much more than the fee paid.
Daniel Pink, NYT Best Selling Author. I was familiar with some of Pink’s books Drive, To Sell is Human, and A Whole New Mind. His speech at the conference was based around his latest book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Many of us believe timing is an art. But according to Daniel Pink, timing is really a science. After all, would you want an advisor that made decisions based on their feelings rather than data? In his keynote, he argued that an understanding of the science behind timing can lead to more success.
Alison Levine, an adventurer and also NYT Best Seller. She is the author of On The Edge, a book about lessons she learned mountain climbing and how they can be applied to business and life. One quote from her speech that stood out was “If you want to survive a storm, you have to take action based on the situation, not the plan.” Creating a financial plan is not a one time event. It’s important that the plan can be flexible and adapt to all the changes that go in in someone’s life.
I’ve always embraced a continuous learning mindset, not for just the purpose of acquiring knowledge, but to be able to execute on that knowledge to provide a better service. I’ve already started implementing several great takeaways from the conference and have scheduled to execute more on over the next couple of months.