National LINC 2019 preview: Making what’s old new again

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By Haley Rosa, Jimmy Moock and Kelly Briese

Jimmy’s Note: Trade show season is now in full swing. As financial pros head to sunny San Diego for the National LINC 2019 conference this week, they may be wondering why they see so many outsiders, outliers and the occasional misfit at industry events. What does Vanilla Ice have to do with fintech? I’m not sure, but there he was at T3 last week. Do you know what else happened at T3? A ton of news, like the flurry of product updates and integration announcements from our client, Orion Advisor Services, among others.

As for LINC, performance acts like closing party headliner Weezer can demonstrate the difference between an innovative new take on a timeless idea and an uninspiring retread of a tired idea. I mean, how many times have you heard people talk about finding and grooming next-gen advisors? Done right, a new approach to an old theme can draw attention to the compelling news and takeaways people will remember long after the closing ceremonies. Furthermore, an outsider’s perspective is always valuable. Throwback musical acts may have more insights into financial services and marketing than we realize. Read below to learn more from my colleagues Haley Rosa and Kelly Briese about what attendees can expect to encounter at #NationalLINC.

Come for the networking and top-notch educational content. Stay for the nostalgia-fueled rock concert. That’s the tune the TD Ameritrade National LINC 2019 conference organizers are singing ahead of this week’s event in San Diego. TD’s annual conference is one of the bigger “must-attend” events for those who work in or service the RIA community. As a long-time partner of RIA firms looking to grow their businesses, Gregory FCA will once again be right in the middle of it.

Looking at the agenda, there seems to be an overarching theme of speakers and events focused on reinvention. The headline entertainment for the final night, pop-rock band Weezer, is a great place to start. The band first made their mark 25 years ago with breakthrough hits like “Buddy Holly” and “The Sweater Song.” It may be no coincidence that many advisers at the helm of RIA firms today were just breaking into the business around the time of Weezer’s own arrival. Weezer takes the stage as a more pop version of its former self, recently launching an all-covers album after being an alt-rock band for most of its existence. Call it a sign of the times.

The reimagining theme doesn’t stop there. One of the conference keynote speakers will be Julie Rice, co-founder of SoulCycle. Rice and her co-founders dreamed up a way to make the 80s and 90s version of the old, tired exercise bike a highly sought-after boutique fitness destination. Spinning® gives many flashbacks to pedaling a bike and going nowhere but offers an effective high-intensity workout. Today, SoulCycle is a movement, with people paying hundreds of dollars a month to experience the ambience, have themed classes and be inspired by their instructor to feel the ride. Recasting and repositioning Spinning has led the company to huge success, with nearly 90 studios across the U.S. and many other companies following suit.

Likewise, Rent the Runway Co-Founder Jennifer Fleiss started her online fashion rental business to cater to customers who wanted high-end fashion options without the bold price. Fleiss saw an opportunity to play off the gig economy and make stressful event-dress shopping easy and affordable. Rent the Runway brought women’s fashion options up to speed with the tuxedo rental market, reinventing the consumer experience so women no longer needed to buy an expensive new dress they were likely to wear just once.

There will be several important financial industry-focused sessions at LINC 2019 too. Kara Murphy, CIO of our long-time client United Capital, will join a panel on how deploying model portfolios can save valuable time and drive growth. Edward Kummer, United Capital’s CMO, will take part in a panel discussing best practices and how United Capital has continued to thrive and execute on its growth objectives since inception, while reinventing itself as a white-label innovator with financial life management technology.

Hearing both practical business ideas from financial community peers as well as outside-the-box ideas from industry outsiders can help advisers rethink their approach to the business. When you’re stuck on how to reach a new audience or want to come up with a new idea, be like Weezer and think smarter, not harder. It’s about knowing your audience and finding a way to connect or reconnect! To help get in the spirit, check out our Twitter poll and tell us your favorite cover off the new Weezer album.

We look forward to seeing you at #NationalLINC 2019! Be sure to stop by and say hello to Gregory FCA in the affinity provider area at Booth H7, and follow us on Twitter at: @HaleySRosa @JimmyMoock @KBriesePR.

(Note: If you’re looking for some hot spots in San Diego for post-conference fun, we helped our client Asset-Map create the TD LINC Map for Success at the top of this blog post. Asset-Map is a fintech software offering that allows advisors to build a simplistic one-page financial landscape for clients.)