I belong to several different organizations and try to attend a wide variety of conferences. Those who follow me on Twitter (@jasonwattbcc) know that I recently attended two very interesting and very different conferences.
Attending conferences and joining associations can go far toward keeping your knowledge current. Here are some industry organizations which may interest you (of which I am currently a member).
Financial Planning Association of Canada:
FPAC is a home for financial planners who are serious about professionalizing financial planning. I have found a wonderful home here and met many great people. The FPAC forums are second-to-none in terms of the quality of information shared, and worth at least twice the annual membership fee.
As an added benefit, FPAC runs a series of educational events that are always worth attending. Upcoming in November is the Canadian AdvisorTech Expo. Readers of this newsletter can get 20% off registration by using the code BCC2022 at www.advisortechexpo.ca. This is the place to go if you’ve ever asked, “What financial planning software should I be using” or “How can I integrate my CRM with my planning software?”
Canadian Group Insurance Brokers:
I consider CGIB roughly equivalent to FPAC in terms of the quality of learning and information sharing. CGIB is a home for independent group benefits advisors who want to do right by their clients. As with FPAC, there is an amazing discussion forum that, if it were the only thing offered, would be worth twice the price of admission. And CGIB runs a wide range of education events as well, including upcoming sessions in Calgary and Vancouver. I’ll be attending this session in Calgary on October 18th: cgib.ca.
Financial Therapy Association:
I just came back from the FTA Conference and it was probably the most learning I’ve done in 3 days in a very long time. My mind was opened to the future of financial planning. If you’re an advisor who believes that the future of advice is behavioural, you must attend this conference at least once. In addition to a great conference, FTA runs monthly lunch’n’learns and a Thursday coffee chat. Visit their website at financialtherapyassociation.org.
I am a member of the Edmonton Chapter of Advocis, and served on the Board for several years. I find a lot of quality advisors attend Advocis events in Edmonton. The Board puts on a lot of high-quality training each year. One of my volunteer activities is facilitating Update twice per year for the Edmonton Advocis
chapter. Visit their website at myadvocis.ca/chapters/edmonton.
Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting:
CALU puts on the pre-eminent annual conference for insurance advisors and allied professionals. This conference and the Fall Conference, which focuses more on allied professionals, features top-notch technical education. I always learn a lot when I attend CALU, much of it from the side conversations with insurance company lawyers and accountants in attendance.
Edmonton Estate Planning Council:
Most major centres have a chapter of the EPC. Our chapter in Edmonton has a solid group of volunteers. They put on very good live events, mostly with a direct educational focus. There is also a smattering of social activities. EPC is frequented by advisors, but also a good selection of local lawyers and accountants.
What organizations do you belong to? Have you considered how participating in industry associations can further your career and provide formal and informal learning opportunities? What about giving back by volunteering with these organizations? I would love to hear your comments about your favourite memberships and events.