From Booth and Breakout: Two Observations from the 2011 NAPFA Conference

By Jodi Kling, on Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

I recently traveled to beautiful Salt Lake City, UT for the 2011 NAPFA National Conference. Though there were many interesting observations to be shared and made over the course of the two day event—both at the ByAllAccounts booth and in various break outs—on the plane ride home to Boston, I found myself thinking about only two.  

Observation 1: From the Booth

I couldn’t believe the number of advisors and staff who mentioned that they still enter in held-away account data manually, many of which have over one hundred accounts held-away. My immediate thought was how much time does that take on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly basis? With an automated solution, you could be spending all this time on more important business activities such as providing more value-add to your clients, spending more time with your current clients, and targeting new ones. With such a technology available, it was surprising to see how many advisors had yet to make the switch.

Observation 2: From a Break Out

One of the speakers discussed two significant best practices for an organization or firm, which we all know and hear about, but don’t all adhere to and implement. He focused on the importance of balance within leadership and survival. In terms of balance, who is the dreamer and who is the doer? Where do you fit and who is your balancer? It is crucial to have both, as without the other, it easy to fall into a routine that will never change. This actually segues nicely into the second best practice of be willing to change or be willing to perish. Don’t become complacent, don’t let the “old way” dominate, but be willing step outside of your comfort zone to make change, tap into new opportunities and resources. 

After giving both of these observations considerable thought, I started to wonder, of all the interesting things to take away from the conference, why were these two particular insights the ones to stick in my mind? Then I noticed something interesting. Maybe the reason why so many are still manually entering account data instead of moving to an automated solution (observation 1) is because they still need to find the willingness to change in order to break free  of their comfort zone and daily routine (observation 2). The more I think about this, the less my two standout observations from the NAPFA conference seem like a coincidence.  

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