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ETF Exchange 2022

It’s been a minute since the ETF Exchange conference ended and I’ve been wanting to share some thoughts from my quick trip to Miami. Better late than never…

First, I want to give a huge shoutout to Matt Middleton, Tom Lydon, Dave Nadig, Matt Hougan, John Swolfs, Tom Hendrickson, and their team for putting on an outstanding conference. This was the first big conference since the world shutdown and everything was top notch–the hotel, the people, the sessions and breakouts, and the vibe.

It was great to get back to seeing people in person–much like you, I’m Zoomed out. I’ve been ready to dab up, shake hands, and hug my friends and finally meet new friends that have lived in the metaverse (yes, we’ve been living in the metaverse for awhile now) in person.

I got to re-establish my annual lunch by the beach with Mike Philbrick and Adam Butler of Resolve Asset Management. This lunch is an important one for me each year as I get a reminder to be comfortable being uncomfortable, that there are strategies developed that thrive in times like now (pumped to see Resolve and their investors finally get to smile), and most importantly Mike and Adam always share their wisdom with me and respectfully challenge my initiatives to force me to think bigger and be better. I missed that lunch over the last two years and I was glad to get to pick that bill up.

I also got to hug my brother Tyrone Ross. I caught up with Ryan Krueger and Jackson Wood—a couple advisors of the best in the business! Keep an eye on them and what they are up to; they’re setting the new standard and advisors aren’t even aware that they’ve stepped the game up. Dasarte Yarnway and Emlen Miles-Mattingly were hard to track down but I got to hear more about Onyx and catch up with them. I got to celebrate Perth Tolle’s ETF crossing $200 million in AUM with a hug and short conversation. I had the opportunity to catch up with Shannon Saccocia, Shana Sissel, and Shawna Ohm. I finally met Anna N’Jie-Konte in person, although not for long enough. The same with Jess Bost and unfortunately I didn’t get to do some deadlifts with her. I had a bunch of short conversations that were capped off with one in the gym with Corey Hoffstein. Talked with Phil Huber but missed his book signing (sorry Phil but I still want to get my copy signed). And saw my fellow Fishers pal Peter Bjelopetrovich rocking some fresh J’s.

I could go on and on with the great people I caught up with but there’s more to share.

Wednesday I was a part of a conversation about building advisory firms for the future. We discussed technology, the softer skills advisors need to have, firm ownership, cryptoassets, and I even managed to work in some PRST related comments. The convo was moderated by the one-and-only Barry Ritholtz. It wasn’t until the plane ride home later that day that it hit me that I was on stage for a conversation led by Barry–he’s interviewed the best and brightest in finance and business so to sit next to him was an honor. I’m slightly biased but I think our session was great and the advisors in attendance left with some ideas to take back to the office.

There certainly was a buzz throughout the Fountainbleau Hotel, which if you didn’t know was Frank Sinatra’s stomping grounds back in the day.

The hot topics feeding the buzz amongst the crowd were inflation and how to combat it within client portfolios, cryptoassets (which was a bit of a surprise since it was an ETF conference), and the overall market’s behavior.

Despite spending the better part of the 28 hours I spent in Miami talking to my peers, I managed to spend some time Wednesday morning walking the beach and soaking up some natural Vitamin D. I even snapped this picture that I think looks pretty cool with the morning light and the depth of the picture–might be one of my best photos as I began to learn more about photography.

Part of me wishes I stayed another day but I’ve decided to limit my days away from home and I packed a lot in a short time.

I’m only hitting the road two more times this year for conferences and next up is the Jolt conference in May that I’m really excited about. A financial advisor conference focused on marketing and branding–I don’t think there’s been a conference like this and I have no doubts that the folks at Snappy Kraken will do it right.

Conference season can get out of hand if you let it…there’s an opportunity to be traveling almost every week between now and the fall. I’d be lying if there wasn’t a little bit of FOMO when conferences are going on and I’m not there but I also realize I don’t HAVE to be everywhere like I used to think I did. I’m being strategic with my conferences, ETF Exchange will always be one of the few I attend, and maximizing my time at home and making a few day trips to see people instead.

I tend to leave conferences more excited about my profession and I left Miami feeling good about the direction we are heading!

Ok, one more pic to take us out…

Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page.