The team visits XYPN conference

Two members of our team, Abby Martin and Katie Turner, recently attended a conference with financial advisors.

Below, they tell us whom they met, what they learned, and where they visited during the conference—plus what they took away from it to put into practice with the my529 Professional Services Team.

What conference did you attend?

Abby: We attended the XYPN 2021 conference. This was my first in-person conference, so my main purpose was to gain more experience of meeting with advisors in that space. I attended a couple of classes when I could leave the booth, and it is inspiring to see a variety of advisors who have been running their businesses for decades as well as advisors who just barely started their practice.

Katie: I attended the XYPN Live conference in November 2021. This was my first in-person conference, post-COVID. I was thrilled to be back in person, and it felt good to have a sense of normalcy back. I love the energy of the advisors who participate in XYPN. They are a diverse group of advisors, and I love their mission in supporting advisors to grow their business and to make financial planning accessible to all, not just high net worth families.

Where was it?

Abby: It was in downtown Denver, Colorado. I had never been to downtown Denver, and it was exciting to walk around and get to see what Denver is all about! Also, I came to Denver the weekend before the conference to see family I hadn’t seen in years. I spent some time with my family hiking to the Red Rock Amphitheater, which was a place that I’ve always wanted to see.

Katie: The conference was located close to 16th street (an entertainment district), which made for a lot of fun options to explore for dinner.

What did you learn to help you better serve financial advisors and their clients?

Abby: I was able to meet financial advisors face to face. Sometimes it is hard talking to someone via Zoom, so it was very beneficial to me to have that in-person experience. The face to face experience helped me understand advisors in terms of finding solutions to their clients’ wants and needs.

Katie: I was really impressed with the education lineup provided at this conference. I sat in on a session dedicated to refining and giving feedback within advisor firms. Whether you’re learning how to strengthen your work teams or working with clients, feedback provides an opportunity for growth.  Being able to give and receive feedback helps strengthen trust. I equated this to how the Professional Services Team is dedicated to supporting advisors. We want to be open to feedback from our advisor relationships, so that we know how we can better serve you and your clients.

What did you observe in discussions with advisors at the conference?

Abby: We met a few advisors who work with military families! That was really fun learning about how they work with these specific clients. Because there are a few advisors that were just starting their practice, I observed that there are many different stories on why individuals become financial advisors: whether they have a military background and want to help those that are currently in the military or have a background in education and want to help families save for higher education.

Katie: I loved learning about the different niche groups that advisors support within the XYPN group. I met a lot of female advisors who are working mothers, like myself. I love seeing the financial industry trending to more female representation. I was impressed that XYPN offered an onsite child care option for traveling parents. I also enjoyed the discussion based around how advisors are talking about 529 options within their own practices.

A number of advisors mentioned that their younger clients who are working professionals with young families value saving for college. It was mentioned that most of these clients are paying off student loan debt of their own, and they want to prevent that for their own children.

Did you do anything fun?

Abby: Yes! Spending some time with my family was one of the many highlights of the trip, but it was also really fun to hang out with Katie! I am a big foodie so it was fun to find places with her. She convinced me, which was not hard, to go to afternoon tea. We also went to dinner at an amazing Italian restaurant across the street from Union Station!

Katie: I have a personal belief that you should blend personal and professional fun whenever you travel.  Abby and I were able to enjoy a lovely afternoon having afternoon tea at Babes Tea Room in Denver. I would highly recommend it the next time you’re in the area.