Must Attend Conferences: A Fall Preview for Advisors

By Bill McGuire, Principal, W.M.McGuire, LLC on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

As the summer winds down, it’s back to school for financial advisors, with the fall / winter conference season getting underway. The importance of attending the right conferences cannot be taken lightly, as they provide an invaluable resource for you and the continued growth of your firm. However, with the amount of industry conferences on the scene, it can seem overwhelming when deciding which conference is the best fit from both an investment of time and money perspective. Just as you help your clients with their planning, it’s important to do your conference research and make selections based on your own individual needs and goals to ensure the best ROI (return on investment).  To help you in this process, here’s a quick preview of what to expect:

Bob Veres’ Insider's Forum| September 9-11 | Dallas, TX

Now in its second year, Insider's Forum is the real-world extension of Bob Veres' Inside Information a master study group, provider of newsletters and articles as well as a general "curator" of information found throughout the financial advisory profession. Intended for experienced fiduciary professionals, the conference is designed to provide essential information for running and growing prosperous practices and better serving clients, as well as valuable opportunities for networking with industry thought leaders.

The conference features a high caliber of established thought-leaders in the industry as well as some trailblazing newcomers, three different conference tracks for different parts of your organization: CEO, CIO and COO, as well as a track for interactive workshops.

The exhibit hall is by-invitation-only to help ensure that the fiduciary culture of the event is carried on throughout the entire conference venue.

FPA – BE | September 20-22 | Seattle, WA

The theme of this year’s FPA (Financial Planning Association) conference is BE , BE Successful, BE Knowledgeable, and BE Connected. The agenda will include solutions to operate your business more efficiently through expanded practice management strategies regardless of your career stage. Attendees should prepare for a hands-on exploration of the latest trends and technique from the best and the brightest minds in the profession.

This year’s event also offers advisors the opportunity for sign up for one-on-one business consulting with the coaches of your choice who will help you gain a better sense of how to improve current business functions in Social Media, Marketing, Technology, Business Planning, Website, and Human Resources.

Attendees also receive full access to recorded sessions (and the CE that often goes with them) at no additional charge.

 NAPFA - EVOLUTION NOW | October 21-24 | Charlotte, NC

With an emphasis on Fee-Only financial advisors, the NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) Fall conference will update you on latest forward thinking solutions for managing your clients' financial wellbeing in 2015 and beyond.

Session topics range from cutting edge tax planning developments, social security optimization, an update on medicare to help you protect your client's retirement, and the latest on risk management, retirement planning, practice management, technology, marketing and more!

And just in case you need a reason to attend, NAPFA provides you with a list of 11 of them.

SCHWAB IMPACT 2014 | November 4-7 | Denver, CO

Certainly one of the largest events focused on the RIA community, Schwab IMPACT attendees can expect four days of collaborative learning on key industry issues and best practices to help you be more equipped to be an even stronger advocate for your clients and the industry.

Keynotes include Dr. Ben Bernanke providing the back-story on the 2008 economic collapse, Charles Best, Founder and CEO of, offering insights on entrepreneurialism and social change, Economist and Author, Dr. Dambisa Moyo discussing emerging economies, and Schwab’s own Chief Investment Strategist, Liz Ann Sonders, renowned for her clear, smart, and plainspoken approach giving meaning to the metrics. The Final Night Event features musical group Train and Matt Nathanson.

The IMPACT website also provides some helpful advice for the first-time attendee and My IMPACT, a secure portal that lets you manage conference activities.

The MarketCounsel Summit | December 8-11| Las Vegas, NV

The MarketCounsel Summit, now in its 7th year, has grown significantly. The event’s focus is assessing the diverse and expanding array of options within the scope of independence in the securities industry, all through the lens of an entrepreneur navigating through a highly-charged regulatory environment.

In true MarketCounsel fashion, the event’s all-star lineup of speakers is designed to challenge, enlighten and inspire the industry’s top entrepreneurs. Headliners include renown entrepreneur and self-made billionaire, Mark Cuban, past head of Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney, Sallie Krawcheck, two of the four former SEC chairmen, Christopher Cox and Harvey Pitt, former New York State Attorney General and Governor, Eliot Spitzer, and the original “anchorman”, Ron Insana.

One of the not-to-miss extracurricular activity highlights is the annual live auction to benefit the MarketCounsel Foundation.

I hope that this blog post has peaked your interest to get started in the process of selecting the conference or conferences that are best you. I also encourage you to do your own research by speaking with your industry colleagues for past experiences and visiting the event websites to learn all that you can about the agenda to determine which best align with your overall goals.

Once you made your conference plans, be sure to check out Making the Most of Your Conference, my blog post from last May.

Have a great conference experience!

Bill McGuire is principal of W.M.McGuire,LLC, an integrated marketing firm serving the independent advisor community. W.M.McGuire’s mission is to help businesses grow by applying common-sense marketing with a keen eye towards your budgets, deadlines and results. For more information visit or email

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