Advisors and industry folks are likely still shaking sand out of their shoes, recovering from 4 days at one of the most unique conferences festivals on the calendar. The FutureProof Wealth Festival drew 3000+ this week to the Huntington Beach boardwalk for panels, palm pressing, and parties.
Couldn’t make it to SoCal? The 3xEquity team was on the ground and here are 3 takeaways:
The RIA Space Is Exploding
The show was heavily RIA-focused, with big hitters like David Canter, the recently installed head of BlueSpring, the Kestra-backed RIA aggregator, noting the significant energy and influx into the space. In a main stage presentation, Canter made the case that the RIA model allows the most flexibility to meet clients’ evolving needs. Arguments exist on both sides, but it is clear the energy is in the RIA realm at this moment.
Most of the vendors on the grounds offered services and solutions tailored towards the independent advisor, with some solutions right-sized from the wirehouse world to meet the needs of smaller firms.
Live Oak Bank was on hand too, providing information on financing acquisitions, often viewed as the fastest way to grow in the RIA space.
Every Conference Is A Tech Conference
In our post-Covid world, everything has a tech angle and most of the vendors touted tools for translating complex concepts and tasks into actions for advisors and their clients.
Over half of the agenda was tech-focused, with well-attended sessions digging deep into consumers’ (new) demands and the advisor experience.
A main-stage tech showcase highlighted several up-and-coming solutions, selected by a panel from over 100 entries. Look for more info soon on Venn by Two Sigma, DFD Partners, Onramp, and intelliflo. Skience’s self-service compliance solution drew particular interest from many in the audience, as risk management is one of the biggest concerns when entering (and existing) in the RIA space.
Content Is Everything And Everything Is Content
Advisors are increasingly finding themselves in the role of content developer, whether it is simple lifestyle and branding, or educational, the time freed up by technological advances is increasingly being devoted to honing an online image.
Brian Portnoy of Shaping Wealth presented an SRO workshop on storytelling for advisors, challenging them to think of themselves as ghostwriters for their clients’ hero’s journey. Portnoy, author of The Geometry of Wealth, added advisors need to put in the work of writing and living their own money story before truly being able to serve others, noting “before you can be the guide you must be the hero of your own story.”
The #futureproofac hashtag had a reach of over 4 million according to brandmentions.com, with posts garnering over 4000 likes. Much of what was shared went well-beyond selfies, with advisors posting learnings and changes in their practices they expected to implement moving forward.
BONUS: We are writing the future every day
Not every conference could or should be held on a beach, but it worked for FutureProof and other conferences could learn from the free-form style of the event which kept attendees active and engaged from early morning to late at night. If conferences don’t have to be stuffy to be meaningful, what else can be left in the pre-Covid world that doesn’t serve us?