And given the huge scope of the event and knowledge provided, if you’re a financial planner or registered investment advisors (RIA), you need to attend – either in-person or through MutualFunds.com’s coverage of the week-long conference.
Who Attends Schwab IMPACT?
For example, when it comes to assets under management (AUM), IMPACT features a wide range of sizes. According to Charles Schwab’s own data on attendees, the average AUM clocks in between $25 million to more than $5 billion per firm. In fact, only 22% of attendees manage over $3 billion in assets. This makes the conference perfect for any-sized RIA or planning firm. And speaking of those firms, attendees vary in size from sole advisor practices to RIA firms of 25 to 35 employees. The vast bulk of attendees run planning firms with less than ten employees. Moreover, IMPACT continues to see a rise in younger, minority and women attendees among its ranks.
And just as the size and variety of attendees are vast, the reason for visiting IMPACT is vast as well.
Aside from the networking possibilities and chance to hobnob with a variety of other financial planners, Schwab IMPACT offers a variety of ways to gain knowledge, improve investment outcomes and grow a planning business. This includes visiting the exhibitor’s hall dubbed The Exchange to see demos on innovation products, service offerings or fintech software to hitting the various education sessions to gain insight into practice management strategies, compliance and regulatory issues, investment strategies, financial-planning tools and technology solutions. Meanwhile, as the premier event for financial planning, IMPACT attracts a variety of top minds in the industry for keynote speeches and topic panels. This year features such speakers as Schwab’s Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham.
A Sneak Peek Into This Year’s Top Events
For attendees, IMPACT is a wonderful opportunity to grow their business and learn some key techniques in practice management. This includes plenty of information on the state of financial planning today. Industry vet and self-proclaimed planning nerd Michael Kitces will conduct a fireside chat with InvestmentNews’ Fred Gabriel on the state of the financial planning industry and, more importantly, the future. Here, RIA’s can learn some valuable insight into how planning has continued to change in the world of free trades, low-costs and indexation of investments.
There’s plenty of breadth of practice management options at IMPACT. Attendees can learn to make REAL (Rational, Emotional, Authentic and Loyal) connections with clients and leverage listening tools to help maintain focus from the Hartford Funds as well as overcoming behavioral tendencies. IMPACT has a wealth of information sessions on behavioral finance including a Schwab-led panel on how demographic and social influences affect investing choices. By attending this, RIA’s can help mitigate the potentially negative effects of bias and create more constructive client behavior.
Finally, when it comes to Practice Management, IMPACT has a wealth of sessions and events tied to gather the clients of the future. Honing on Millennials, Generation X and various minority subgroups can prove fruitful for RIAs and advisors looking to grow their business over the next few years. At the same time, many of these subgroups come with their own quirks that require a different set of tactics when it comes to planning.
Secondly, it wouldn’t be an investment conference without a hefty dose of strategy and IMPACT has it in spades. From using ETFs to help mitigate taxes to a TRowe Price-led panel on implementing a multi-asset strategy in building a portfolio, IMPACT covers a wide range of ways RIA and planners can change their thinking and build better portfolios/client outcomes. And the information includes plenty of Evergreen content as well as current needs. For example, Guggenheim will host a talk on late-state credit positioning and using bonds in the current environment, while Cannon Financial Institute will go over the changing landscape of trust and estate planning with the Republican Tax Plan and potential hiccups on the horizon.
And the beauty of IMPACT is that the strategy portion doesn’t just stick to stocks and bonds. There’s plenty of sessions associated with alternative and less-liquid assets as well. RIAs have the ability to gain some real knowledge into building modern portfolio for their clients.
Financial Planning Tools & Technology
It’s no secret that technology has continued to influence the world around us. The financial planning industry is no different. Here at IMPACT, advisors have the opportunity to try out some of the latest fintech software, products and models designed to help grow and maintain your clients’ returns for decades to come. And through a variety of information sessions and hands-on workshops, advisors have the ability to try it all out before they make the commitment to using it for their practice. Just some examples include tax planning software sessions, an information session by BlackRock on how its Aladdin risk analytics software can help advisors and their clients, as well as the latest cybersecurity/compliance software to implement.
And if you’re just starting to make the digital plunge, IMPACT has plenty of sessions on getting started with technological solutions in an effective and scalable way.