Now that we’ve had some time to decompress from the amazing time at the EFA 2023 Advisor Forum on May 1-3, looking back over the three days shows us a really rewarding time. We were thrilled to have so many of our financial professionals in attendance, with travelers joining us from all over New York state, as well as those who made the trek from other states such as Ohio and Tennessee. Getting everyone together in one space, physically, is always a great way to get some good ideas flowing. We saw that from the very first day.
Starting day one, we jumped right in with our State of the Branch, which provided Evolution Financial Advisors updates. We’re always proud to share our growth, which is based in your success. Working together toward our continued progress is one of the key building blocks of our whole firm. Our keynote speaker, Jones Loflin, spoke about this theme in his funny and motivational talk, “What Does Growing Together Look Like?” Day one also gave us a deep dive into SECURE Act 2.0 with Gary Maack-Magnusson, an expert in the field and a master at handling a little tech snafu as well.
After the half day time frame of day one, day two dawned bright and early for our full day of content. It’s a good thing everyone tucked into a hearty breakfast! The morning was packed with a schedule that included a presentation by Courtney Wood from Advisor Group on current trends in Merges and Acquisitions. She was a superstar, meeting with many of our attending FPs for one-on-one talks to get into the nitty gritty of contingency planning. Continuing with the idea of building your practice for the long time, Hannah Provost of Lomanto Provost Financial Advisors presented on “Cultivating the Future of Your Firm.” Many of our FPs had been asking for a Peer Panel, and we don’t think this one disappointed, with several FPs sharing the methods they employ in their own offices to focus on efficiency, client experience, and staffing.
The afternoon was no less full, with our Economist Panel providing a lot of food for thought. Alex Varner (Main Management), Tyler De Haan (Sammons), and Robert Williams (AAMA) played off one another and gave serious insight into some of the most pressing economic questions of the day, with plenty of humor. Following them, Nate Elvers of Dash Capital Advisors shared his presentation that highlighted “Mastering the Art of Consistency,” sharing how he and the other advisors in their firm use their technology deck to maximize client experience while keeping everything moving smoothly in the background. From technology to psychology, our final presenter of the day, Eben Burr of Toews Asset Management, provided a different type of inside look, this time into the minds of investors. Client psychology can be a complicated topic and has been shown to be increasingly important to understand throughout the market upheaval of the past decade.
You know the saying about all work and no play? To avoid that, an EFA-hosted dinner on day two was the best medicine. The food and drinks were great, the company even better, and to encourage everyone to relax and enjoy themselves, we had live music provided by Dave Turner. This local singer-songwriter brought his unique blend of rock, pop, reggae, and R&B to the party, and his music kept the dance floor busy all evening.
The morning of day three brought us to the final day of our Forum. Continuing with some of the concepts that we’d ended day two with, day three was a series of workshop sessions based in Behavioral Finance theory. Understanding the theory and then learning how to apply it for self-knowledge as well as understanding clients was a great follow-up for those of our FPs who already have their BFA certifications, and we were excited by how many of those who didn’t have it are now looking into it for themselves.
As always, it was difficult to say goodbye. The presentations were all fantastic, the panels were insightful, but more than any of it, the networking and connections being made throughout the Forum between various FPs, some who have been with EFA for quite some time and some who are newer, was really the jewel of the whole event. We’re already looking forward to our Forum next year!