Geek Out With Me at a Financial Planning Conference
Tag along as I attend the 2017 XY Planning Network conference in Dallas.
When I started my financial planning firm, I joined the XY Planning Network - a group of fee-only financial advisors who wanted to serve Gen X and Gen Y clients. Since the clients of most fee-only firms tend to be Boomers, younger folks have historically been under-served. XYPN offers quite a bit of compliance and operational support to its members along with heavily discounted access to many industry leading software platforms.
However, the Network requires its members to be fee-only and provide a monthly retainer option for those clients who don't have assets that need to be managed.
What I love about the fee-only financial planning community is the collegial rapport among most of the advisors. This was no different when I attended the conference. A common theme was advisors helping each other serve clients better and build better businesses. According to Tony Robbins in his recent book, Unshakeable, less than 10% of the 310,000 financial advisors in the U.S. are fiduciaries (legally required to put your interests ahead of their own). So, advisors like those in the Network rarely see each other as competition. Instead, we're focused on educating people on the differences between advisors like us and "brokers in disguise", as Robbins puts it.
The conference was a long two-and-a-half days! There was no wasted time and each session was crammed with great information that was directly applicable to growing my practice. For me, the most valuable takeaway was talking to vendors and other advisors about portfolio performance reporting software. The options were not cheap, but I ended up going with what I believe is the most robust option - even if it was a little more than I had originally budgeted.
I was also able to meet plenty of other like-minded financial planners that I've stayed in touch with. I even joined a study group and a book club! It's nice to know that I'm not alone in building this form and have plenty of resources and support if I need it.
So, I think it was worth the effort to attend. Now the trick will be to actually DO the things I learned when I was there!