Takeaways from the FPA Retreat

April 24, 2015by Jon Dockery0

jon-smallIn a world being introduced to robo-advisors, what are the benefits of a trusted financial team?

To help me answer that question, I just attended the Financial Planning Association’s 2015 retreat at Chateau Elan outside Atlanta, GA. This was a great venue for bringing together nearly 400 of the top financial planning minds from around the world.

We came together to focus on this year’s theme of Advancing the Art and Science of Financial Planning. Kevin and I were impressed with the quality of the speakers and presentations, and we were excited to be able to collaborate with these people to garner new ideas and refine concepts we were already using.

I walked away from this conference understanding that financial planning is both an art and some very complicated science. But the number one thing I walked away with is we are dealing with our client’s financial future, and we need to work together to paint the picture of what they want the future to look like. We then work together to fit the pieces of their financial puzzle together to start creating that picture. Your picture will be unique, so we will need to develop a plan that matches your desired goals.

The conference reinforced my opinion that the so-called “4 percent rule” rule is a poor guide for your future financial needs. When creating your picture, focus on the things you plan to do in the early years of retirement and realize there’s a time when you will slow down, so your spending will not be 4% per year through all stages of retirement.

When you understand how each person’s financial picture is so unique, you quickly realize that a one-size fits all robo-advisor cannot listen and understand your needs in a way that combines the empathy, expertise and creativity of a concerned financial advisor.

I’m excited about all we’ve learned and the great people and resources we were able to connect with during our retreat, and I can’t wait to share and implement these findings in our practice.

Jon Dockery

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