Last year, I joined the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). It is the country’s leading professional association of fee only financial advisors. It requires substantial continuing education as well as adherence to a Code of Ethics and a yearly attestation to a Fiduciary Oath. It has been a tremendous resource for our entire Firm. When they announced their National Conference was going to be in our backyard (Bellevue), I didn’t think I could pass it up.
The first day was dedicated to investor behavior. We had professors from Kansas state and the University of Georgia run a workshop on how our behavior can get in the way of making good money decisions. It was no surprise to me that they listed money as the number one stressor in America since 2007. Felt good to know that the number one way to cope with that stress is to create a plan and number two is to implement it.
I had a great educational session on College planning and the benefits of deeply integrating tax planning with your investment management. While neither of these topics are new by any means, it is always beneficial to sharpen the mental saw and stay on top of new developments. There was also an excellent session on cyber-security. We are planning on adapting it to a classroom session we intend to offer to clients and post on our website.
My favorite key note speaker was Vivek Wadhwa. His talk centered on how America is re-inventing itself through innovation. He spent time talking about the concept of exponential growth. It is hard to think of things getting twice as good at the same time that they get half as expensive, but the examples are numerous – from computer memory to cell phones. A very exciting look at the future with implications in the investment world as well as the economy in general.
I also like to take these opportunities to deepen my peer group. By sharing ideas, we not only have the ability to have better outcomes for our clients, but we also have the ability to help advance the whole industry. I was certainly not disappointed. It is refreshing to see so many folks committed and truly passionate about offering fiduciary financial advice. People committed to not just disclosing conflicts of interest, but doing everything they can to avoid them. I had some great conversations on different tools and techniques to keep Leonard Rickey Investment Advisors at the forefront of the financial planning community.
For more information about criteria for NAPFA membership, please visit NAPFA.org