Earlier this week I had the privilege of attending the 2nd annual XY Planning Network Conference in San Diego. It was a great event to learn from other financial advisors and share ideas to better serve Gen X and Gen Y clients. Here are a few of my takeaways in no particular order:
Income based student loan repayment is here to stay and applies to more and more people. It can be very complicated and will be an integral part of the financial planning service for younger generations. Unfortunately many consumers aren’t even aware of the options available to them and financial professionals often don’t know much more. XY Planning Network offered some great training to dive into the details on this.
Managing investments is an increasingly small part of the value provided by a good financial advisor. Money is a tool and we don’t have enough real conversation about our overall happiness and how money is fitting into that. The conversation in a financial advisor’s office used to start and end on talk of increasing wealth and investments. I think that’s a very shallow look at things and a good financial plan will start on the foundation of happiness and fulfillment and how various financial topics including investments fit into that.
Technology is amazing. Financial technology (FinTech) is really starting to come of age. There are more great tools to help financial professionals and consumers than ever. But it is a challenge for us humans to integrate tech appropriately. The human element of conversation and advice is incredibly valuable but there are plenty of things an algorithm can do better and quicker than me. Merging the human and computer elements of financial advice will be the challenge, opportunity, and advancement of the next decade.
The fee-only financial planning model is the only way a financial professional should operate. The days of financial “advisors” getting paid on sales commissions and giving advice based upon financial product sales needs to end. Consumers want advisors they can trust. Fee transparency and removing conflicts of interest will go a long way in achieving this. I’m proud to have made this step in my own business and be a part of XY Planning Network where all of the other members have done the same.
I love what I do and I love everyone I get to work with. There were over 350 financial advisors at the conference and the excitement to help clients live life to the fullest was palpable. It’s great to see so many people doing so much good.