Okay, surprise, yet another Blog. Ursula felt that another blog was needed for November. She is probably right as usual.
I am getting ready for my first conference in many years with my new Broker Dealer. I usually avoid them like the plague and refuse to attend them. For most of you who don’t know what these conferences consist of, I will enlighten you. First, Broker Dealers get sponsorships from Mutual Fund, Life Insurance and Annuity companies to defray the overall cost. That opens the door for a giant infomercial of these companies setting up booths and blasting you with their products and screaming how they are the best thing since sliced bread. That is just the exhibit hall. Then you have the meeting rooms where the same wholesalers enlighten you on a “never thought of before” sales idea to sell their product.
After getting through that you find what you think will be a quiet place to eat lunch. Then out of nowhere another Advisor sits down next to you. You make the mistake of making eye contact and then he/she starts talking about themselves nonstop. It amazes me how a person can take a bite out of a tuna sandwich have a drink of Red Bull and never pause. As they blabber, I wonder if they ever read the definition of what a conversation is or understand why we have two ears and only one mouth. I have to honestly tell you that 80% of the Advisors that attend is really like that.
I could go on about the downside of going to these conferences, but there is an upside as well. The industry has forced Broker Dealers to change how they do business over the last few years. Some of the smaller ones decided to take the money and the buy out from the bigger broker dealers. Some broker dealers, like Grove Point, decided that staying independent and working with smaller advisors like myself is a better business model. They take the time to get to know me and how I run my practice. They have the ability to empathize. Therefore, I will go to this conference. I want to get some good insights and hopefully learn one or two things that will help me run my business better. Oh yeah, did I mention that the wholesalers give out free pens? They do…