Must Attend Conferences: A Winter Preview for Advisors

By Bill McGuire, Principal, W.M.McGuire, LLC on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

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 range of industry conferences, 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 own conference research and due diligence to make selections based on your 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 this winter season:

2015 Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference | January 19-21 | Las Vegas, NV

The AICPA Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference provides a holistic approach to every life-stage of financial planning to help you successfully adapt and manage these challenges, regardless of the market volatility. The conference is geared towards CPAs and other financial professionals who provide investment, estate, retirement, insurance, tax planning and financial planning services. Session topics include; Sophisticated Estate Planning for Mass Affluent and High-Net-Worth Clients, Life Insurance Diagnostics: Advanced Insurance Analysis, and Increasing Effectiveness in Communicating with Clients.
National LINC 2015 - TD Ameritrade Institutional Conference | January 28-31 | San Diego, CA

TD Ameritrade is back the west coast in sunny San Diego, and with a new name - LINC (Learn, Inspire, Network and Collaborate). The event’s featured keynotes include Leon Panetta, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and, NBA Legend2, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Magic Johnson. Conference themes include; Market and Grow Your Business, Embrace Technology, Manage Your Client’s Wealth, Advocate for the RIA, Engage Your Future Clients, Focus on Retirement Plans, and Manage Risk.

IMCA 2015 New York Consultants Conference | Feb 9-10 | New York, NY

IMCA’s 2015 New York Consultants provides an opportunity to spend time with some of the legends of finance and economics. Among the keynote speakers is Daniel Kahneman, PhD, widely regarded as the world's most influential living psychologist and winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in behavioral economics.  Session and workshop topics include; The Rise of Robo Advisors, View from Capitol Hill and Implications for Investors, Will America Become Energy Independent, and Next-Generation Metrics. Learn more from IMCA’s Executive Director’s 5 Ingredients of Successful Conferences which includes a money back guarantee.

T3 (Tools for Technology) Conference | February 12-14 | Dallas, TX

Hosted by Joel Bruckenstein and David Drucker, T3 provides an opportunity for independent advisors and their staff to learn from leading technology thinkers and to interact with the technology wizards who are creating the solutions they need to build a more profitable practice. You’ll hear from f the leading experts on technology in the independent advisor space , including  Neesha Haithi--senior vice president of Advisor Services Technology Solutions at Charles Schwab and Bill Winterberg-technology consultant and host of the FPPad Bits and Bytes technology broadcasts. Advisors of tomorrow are also well represented with sessions such as, NexGen Planners on Engaging NexGen, lead by thought leader Sophia Bera of Gen Y Planning. 

Morningstar Institutional Conference | March 5-6 | Phoenix, Arizona

The Morningstar® Institutional Conference is Morningstar's premier event for sophisticated and institutional-type investors. At the conference we bring together experts from around the world to present thought-leading ideas that affect our industry. Join us for two days in March, as we shed light on some of the newest research and theories that are reshaping the investment community.

This year’s conference promises to continue our tradition of delivering engaging content and networking opportunities that have defined this must-attend event for over a decade. At the conference we will highlight current investment trends, the latest portfolio strategies, and provide perspectives on the U.S. and global economies.

Keynote speakers include Roger Ibbotson, Ph.D., Professor, Yale School of Management, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Zebra Capital Management, Founder, Ibbotson Associates, Inc.; Kevin Kliesen, Business Economist & Research Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Ben Inker, Co-Head, GMO Asset Allocation Team, GMO, LLC; and Sallie Krawcheck, Chair, Ellevate. Breakout speakers include David Blanchett, Head of Retirement Research, Morningstar Investment Management; Steve Wendel, Ph.D. Principal Scientist, HelloWallet and many others. 

Fi360 INSIGHTS | March 18-20 | Orlando, FL

The annual fi360 Conference is the premier event for investment fiduciaries and financial services professionals to gain insight from industry experts, obtain CE, and build a network of like minded professionals. INSIGHTS 2015 will consist of 35 unique educational sessions, including keynote presentations and an advanced master’s track. The INSIGHTS Xchange gives you the chance to work with product experts, attend workshops, listen to success stories, and more. On the fence and need more info on this one, the event organizers provide a “Why Attend” web page to help make your decision. The agenda is yet to be announced. 

Two added tips – 

Make sure to follow the event on twitter. It’s a great way to connect with fellow attendees, sponsors, and speakers. It will also provide you with up-to-the-minute news, trends, and ideas. Make sure to engage in the conversation by posting your own thoughts and comments. If you need any evidence of this, check out the twitter activity at the recent MarketCounsel Summit – #MSUM14.

Review the event website leading up to conference. To start, be aware of the deadline for early-bird registration, which often offers significant savings. Once you’ve registered, make sure you to keep eye out for agenda updates. This will help to insure that you come back to the office with big ideas, actionable takeaways, and new business relationships.

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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