I am currently sat in Dallas writing this in between sessions at the XYPN Conference. They have called it the “Unconferency conference for financial planners.” Most people at this conference are wearing shorts and a t shirt provided by XYPN which says
“We’re big on the F Word (F is for fiduciary).”
It is quite amazing to think that this is the same profession that I know.
I haven’t been to a lot of financial planning conferences but this one has a different feel. Everyone is enjoying the atmosphere and the diversity of age, gender and race has been great to see. Alan Moore even quoted Steve Jobs this morning to address his audience of mainly XYPN members:
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo.”
Everyone here has an open mind and is keen to learn about success and failure in financial planning.
This morning Co founders Michael Kitces and Alan Moore addressed nearly 500 people and explained the fast success of the XY Planning Network (which has nearly 500 members) in just over 3 years.
They have built an array of services to complement the network members such as an accounting service for Planners, an investment engine (which doesn’t require a wet signature and is very cost effective) and executive business coaching. The list of value adds seemed to go on and on and was really impressive.
Both Alan and Michael explained their 10 year vision of a 3000 members Network* working with 100 clients and a potential reach of XYPN of 300,000 Generation X and Generation Y clients. I don’t doubt them for a second that they will do it.
What has been fascinating during the day has been the openness of people willing to talk about their businesses and what has worked and what hasn’t. This has all been about a community and negativity wasn’t welcome here. They even have a code of conduct where belittling other people’s businesses and proposition could result in you being ejected from the conference and not welcomed back!
I have also been in sessions that have focused on how to pitch a fixed fee financial planning model to clients and the highs and lows of setting up your own financial planning firm. Both sessions were tremendous value and it was refreshing to see honesty on the stage rather than ego.
All participants admitted that their propositions were always evolving and told their story to date. I was really interested to see that many had made a success of the fixed fee model in the US within younger generations.
All in all, a great day. The people have been welcoming, the content has been valuable and I am learning a lot from planners that are challenging the status quo.
Tomorrow I get to meet some of the Technology partners of the XYPN members. I can already see that in the UK we are some way behind these guys when it comes to efficiencies within businesses but I will reveal tomorrow how far behind we are.
I am now off for a burger and a beer in my Cowboy hat.
*Network is a lot different in the US to what we would know as a network in the UK from what I can see. It is more like a business and compliance support network with a huge amount of other services for members as part of the package,