3 takeaways from the TD National LINC conference

March 23, 2018 by Brian Sasaki

about the author:

Brian Sasaki

Account executive

Brian started his career working for a large insurance and investment company located in Milwaukee, WI, where he was one of the top financial representative interns in the country.

In my five years with Advicent I have had the opportunity to attend many industry conferences. Earlier this year, I attended my second TD conference in Orlando, Florida. Here are a few valuable things I learned during my time there.

Location, location, location

First, I would like to express my thanks to the TD Ameritrade planning committee. Advicent was a VEO village sponsor this year, and the location for VEO village was impeccable. The first conference I attended had situated the VEO village a healthy walking distance away, which made it difficult for advisors to navigate to the event.

This year, though, we had a significant amount of foot traffic. The attendees had to walk through the VEO village to get to the sessions. Our team was situated directly across from other FinTech providers, and we found ourselves referring interested advisors to one another in order to best accommodate the users' needs.

Spreadsheet users are still looking for options

I noticed that a number of advisors coming by our kiosk still used spreadsheets for their planning needs. When I asked why they still use spreadsheets, their responses were pretty similar: They can see where the data is coming from, they can manipulate any variable in the plan, and it is cost-effective.

Those are three suitable reasons why someone would use a spreadsheet — and also why these users have difficulty finding a software that fits their needs. In conversations with former spreadsheet users, they told me that NaviPlan was — and continues to be — a suitable replacement for spreadsheets.

NaviPlan® offers scalable functionality, as well as the ability to manipulate variables just like you can when using spreadsheets. It also has a separate area of reporting that allows for advisors to “look under the hood” and see where numbers are coming from.

Small firms are beginning to emphasize cybersecurity

In my role at Advicent, I do not usually work with small and independent advisory firms; these conferences are some of the only chances I get to interact with them. I noticed that none them asked about cybersecurity.

When I work with mid-sized and enterprise firms, we usually set aside an entire meeting dedicated to going through cybersecurity between our two IT teams. I spoke with Brian Edelman, CEO of Financial Computer, and he said it is a trend that is getting more and more popular.

According to Edelman, larger firms have so much to lose that they dedicate a ton of resources to cybersecurity — resources that smaller firms do not necessarily have. He mentioned how a company called CleverDome is looking to shake up that space. CleverDome offers resources smaller firms do not have when it comes to cyber security. Software companies are able to “get under the dome” so firms can trust that personal and confidential data is secure when firms meet this criteria.

To learn how financial planning technology can help empower your firm, click here.

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