As this virtual event got underway, 190 delegates joined in across the UK with a choice of sessions and break out groups. This is the 32nd annual financial planning conference and the fourth under the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) banner following the merger of CISI with the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP) five years ago.
It was good to see that the break-out sessions helped to provide the valuable networking and sharing of ideas that financial planning conferences are so famous for generating. Indeed, I loved seeing so many friendly faces and familiar names and faces from across the financial planning profession. However, I have to confess to having some technology problems in that the system seemed to block me out of the chat sessions for some weird reason (before you ask, yes I did have both my camera and microphone switched on!). Enough of that though.
So what were today’s highlights?
In particular, a couple of sessions took my eye. Kate Holmes is founder and CEO of Innovating Advice and is based in the USA. Her session on how financial planning can serve millennials certainly offered plenty of insight not only into how but also why financial planning businesses need to expand their thinking in this direction. To me, this is a bit of a no brainer and is a topic we’ll be focusing on in forthcoming editions of IFA Magazine. On so many fronts I believe it makes sense for advisers to broaden their service proposition to extend to younger individuals. It’s not that easy in practice of course, but therein lies the nub of the matter that help is needed to be able to consider it as an effective part of your business planning strategy for the future. Many advisers struggle to build effective exit or succession strategies and this can be an excellent way to build not only a new and exciting business channel but to think and plan strategically for the longer term.
On a similar theme, Josh Brown of New York based Ritholtz gave another powerful presentation entitled ‘how to be a fully virtual financial planner’ with practical tips based on his experience of running a virtual advice practice well before COVID came over the horizon. Blogging is key and I was impressed to see that he and his team have already generated circa 50,000 YouTube subscribers and that some of their videos have notched up hundreds of thousands of views. They are clearly reaching the so-called Henrys (high earner not yet rich just in case you need a translation!) using digital channels which are so popular amongst millennials.
There were plenty more sessions on offer covering subjects as diverse as financial abuse and coercion, the client experience, ethics and hiring training and keeping the right people, so overall there was quite enough for delegates to consider.
I’ll be reporting from Day 2 tomorrow so if you’re there I might see you – if not look out for tomorrow’s update on www.ifamagazine.com