On September 28th financial planners from across the nation converged on San Antonio for the 2012 FPA Experience, a national conference hosted by the Financial Planning Association (FPA). Some of the most influential leaders and contributors within the financial planning community were in attendance.
Over a four day period they shared their collective wisdom to over 2000 conference attendees. As a first-time attendee, the conference provided an incredible opportunity to sharpen professional skills and bring back a wealth of knowledge to share with colleagues and clients. Here are a few common themes heard throughout the conference.
Retirement Distribution Planning Remains a Primary Focus
Pioneers in the distribution planning field shared extensive research as well as real world applications. Much discussion centered on initial withdrawal rates and innovative research studies that supplement past distribution studies and assumptions. It's exciting to see new approaches and strategies that begin to challenge traditional retirement income planning options. These complex and sophisticated research studies share a common goal. Help clients plan for a fulfilling retirement and in doing so, not run out of money.
Legislative (Tax) Reform Is Coming
Many discussions revolved around the uncertainties we face in tax reform and political landscape. The Fiscal Cliff remains a concern, however, opinions suggest new legislation will eventually pass and the cliff will be avoided (for now!). However, there are many components wrapped in the so-called fiscal cliff and it's likely they will continue to impact our tax and economic landscape. It's too early to say BUT not too early to plan!
Communication Is King
A variety of communication experts shared techniques ranging from compelling conversations to effective writing to social media. A consistent message heard throughout the Conference was that our ability to improve and evolve our communication skills can directly impact our success in both professional and personal lives. We continually look for ways to best provide efficient and meaningful ways to reach our clients. How? By sharing and listening to the best practices of 2000 of our closest peers. The art of communication is truly a life long journey and I believe is best summed up in a Vince Lombardi quote.
"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
In summary, I hope my thoughts provided a brief glimpse into current and future trends.At the very least, support the "work" involved in attending these education sessions.
Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc. and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.