12.23 Highlights from #SchwabIMPACT

The Echelon Investment Management leadership team attended this year’s Schwab IMPACT Conference in Washington, D.C. It is an annual event that brings together some of the RIA Industry’s most innovative and successful people. More than 1,500 advisors, 300 exhibitors and 250 Schwab employees attended.

IMPACT provides Echelon a chance to learn about the latest technology and investment management strategies and products so that the firm can be at the forefront of development in the rapidly changing investment industry and do the best job possible of taking care of its clients and their investment needs.

The schedule was intensive, a three day event starting with a breakfast around 7:30 each morning, education sessions throughout the day, time to visit with exhibitors in the main hall, highlighted by a great keynote speaker, followed by an evening event and a dinner.

The education sessions were focused towards best practices in running the business, and innovative or timely investment strategies, but are always focused on keeping the interests of the client at the forefront of the advisor’s business.

The exhibitors were mainly technology and investment product providers which are crucial to Echelon’s business, but also included some fun presentations such as the world yo-yo champion and a live demo of one of the hottest new technologies—3D printing. Printers were set up and actually produced 3D printed things right there.

The keynote speakers were great. I most enjoyed Leon Panetta and Olympia Snow’s presentations, but all the speakers were entertaining and insightful. One theme came through loud and clear—the frustration with what congress had been doing (or not doing) to that point. Based on the recent budget deal, maybe Congress got the message.

A conference highlight was the final night event held at the National Air and Space Museum (worth a visit if you are in DC). It was quite impressive to be surrounded by historic aircraft including Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis and the Apollo 11 command module Columbia. The event also included an appearance by Sully Sullenberger, the pilot who safely landed the Airbus A320 on the Hudson River.  Attendees got to listen to the control tower recording and watch a video of the moments prior to landing.

The Echelon team had a great experience at IMPACT—great keynote speakers, collaborative education sessions and networking opportunities with other advisors and industry leaders. We are looking forward to next year’s event in Denver.

James Mathis is a Managing Partner at Echelon. Follow him on Twitter at @echelonimjmathis or connect via email at jmathis@echelonim.com.