Every January I attend the Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference hosted by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). As a finance nerd, it is one of my favorite events of the year and is widely known as the leading technical conference for financial planners.

Two years ago I was asked to give a presentation on how planners can use technology to work with clients remotely. In addition to all the practical considerations and technology recommendations, the overall thesis of my presentation was that the ability to meet virtually enables clients to find the advisor who is best suited for them in terms of expertise, philosophy, and personality rather than simply the “generalist” who lives closest. Additionally, leveraging technology reduces firm overhead and results in cost savings that can be passed onto the client in the form of lower advisory fees. The response from my colleagues exceeded my expectations. Quickly and unexpectedly I found myself engaging with thought leaders in the profession, which resulted in further opportunities to discuss and speak on topics that were of even greater interest to me.

In June of 2015, I participated in a retirement planning roundtable with some of the top CPA financial planners in the country. In September, I spoke at the national conference for the Financial Planning Association (FPA). In November, I spoke to a large group of finance students and alumni at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) on the importance of integrating human elements and life aspirations into the financial planning process. Most recently in January of 2016, I spoke again at the AICPA conference on how to plan for the next generation of affluence, whose goals tend to be deeper than simply retiring at age 65.

The past two years have been a whirlwind of unexpected opportunities to both refine my thought process and share my ideas with other financial planners, all in an effort to improve our profession and provide better advice to clients. I was honored at this year’s AICPA conference when I was presented with the “Standing Ovation Award” given to the top young CPA financial planners in the country. It was a wonderful feeling to be nominated by my peers and recognized by today’s leaders in the profession. Thank you to all of my clients who provide the inspiration to do this work and to my family and friends who have encouraged and supported me along the way.

2016 is already proving to be an exciting year both personally and professionally. I hope to continue exploring better ways to serve clients and continue my professional advocacy as a new member of the AICPA’s Executive Committee in their Personal Financial Planning Section. However, I continue to find the most meaning and biggest rewards serving current and future clients of Laminar Wealth.

Posted: February 2016