In|Vest 2016: The latest collision of wealth management and technology

Posted by on

We’re just a few days away from In|Vest 2016, SourceMedia’s technology show that promises to reveal the latest in how the Fourth Industrial Revolution is affecting our world of financial services and wealth management. Attendees will have the ability to see and hear the latest from big banks (Citi, Wells Fargo), brokerages (Schwab, eTrade, Fidelity), RIAs (United Capital), and, of course, the robo advisers (Betterment, Personal Capital and Motif Investing). Don’t forget the supporting partners on the periphery too, like venture capitalists, tech vendors and even PR firms like us.

There will certainly be a lot going on, but I am most excited to see the Disrupt|Demos on Thursday as well as the latest showdown between “man versus machines” during the Point | Counterpoint: The Role of Robos presentation on Friday.

Thursday’s demos featuring disruptive technologies and platforms should offer us a peek into the future. In addition to watching for new technologies affecting my client set, I’ll be keeping score as to who is able to deliver the most powerful demo within the confines of 10 minutes. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen execs crumble under the bright lights of center stage, and this presentation could make or break their business’ future. I’m hoping that these folks have worked on their delivery, because soon enough it will be glaringly evident who practiced their presentations and who didn’t.

When I asked Suleman Din, Financial Planning’s Managing Editor, what he is most interested in seeing at his own show, he said he was looking forward to “a frank discussion about the future of wealth management in a digital environment. I’m going to be listening very closely and hope to ask every business leader I can: What is the real value of a financial adviser, and how can that be preserved as the industry moves to a digital-first model?”

JD thumbnail finalThen, Friday morning’s Keynote Panel will feature industry leaders Mitchell Caplan of Jefferson National, Jon Stein of Betterment, Hardeep Walia of Motif Investing and our client, Joe Duran of United Capital. There is no doubt these four CEOs will bring their passion, intelligence and opinions to this debate. More than two years ago, United Capital’s Duran covered this topic in one of his pieces for InvestmentNews titled, “Attack of the robo-advisers: Man versus Machine.” Make no mistake, Duran is betting on the ability of the “bionic adviser” to thrive.

I’m looking to hear how each exec shares their take on the future of advice and the role of technology in investing. With all four, you’ve got progressive leaders at firms that are revolutionizing how people are offered financial advice. But how articulately have they honed in on their messaging points?

On this blog, we recently discussed the importance of knowing your audience, practicing your delivery and under promising while over servicing. I wonder how many presenters got the message. A conference presentation is one of the greatest opportunities to pitch your product and philosophy to thousands of listeners. Make your time on stage count. Nothing screams incompetence like stumbling through mixed and inconsistent messages while giving a speech.

To those attending, I encourage you to pay close attention to the presenters’ stage presence. Do they know their products? Are their messages solidly nailed down and clearly articulated? Those who succeed in these regards will likely be the leaders of our industry in the future.

If you’ll be at the show, I hope I get a chance to meet you at In|Vest 2016. Or, at the very least, I hope to engage with you online as we follow the show’s discussion via @Invest_2016 and #InVest2016. Be sure to follow my colleague Maggie Payne and me on Twitter at @jimmymoock and @margaret_mpayne for our thoughts on the show.