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Financial Planning Conference Attracted Diverse Crowd (Part 3)

Personal Financial Specialist 25th anniversary

The third and final part of this series covering the 2012 AICPA Advanced PFP Conference. Our on the ground bloggers:

Jean-Luc Bourdon, CPA/PFS, Principal, BrightPath Wealth Planning LLC. Jean-Luc is a regular contributor to CPA Insider and currently serves on the AICPA’s PFS Credential Committee.

Theodore Sarenski, CPA/PFS, President/CEO, Blue Ocean Strategic Capital, LLC. Ted is an appointed member of the AICPA Virtual Grassroots Panel, Social Security Task Force and Planner Magazine Editorial Advisory Board. Ted serves as Chair of the AICPA Elder Planning Task Force and is a liaison to the AICPA PFP Executive Committee.

From the beginning, several other attendees posted notable take-aways on Twitter. Take a look at what experts, including Michael Kitces, Mitch Freeman, Bill Winterberg and Carolyn McClanahan, had to say at the bottom of this post.

Tuesday, Jan. 17
Tuesday started out with a keynote from Robert Biswas-Diener, PhD, who offered tremendous insight into the emotional link between money and happiness. Does money buy happiness? Maybe it does to a point since those that have some money can be happier than those who have nothing. More interesting are the studies he cited that proves happiness has more to do with living longer than earning money. The happier a test group was (the test group was nuns) the longer they lived. In a separate study however, the happier people were, the more money they made. Experiences that we buy give us more happiness than obtaining material goods. Biswas-Diener shared a lot of good ideas to speak with your clients about when you are preparing their financial plan.

Breakout sessions were offered the rest of the day and again, we had a difficult time deciding which to attend among the fantastic selection offered. The 2011 AICPA PFP Distinguished Service Award, which is presented each year at the conference, was awarded to Karen Goodfriend, CPA/PFS, in a session at the end of the day. Congratulations to Karen and thank you for all the years of service and dedication in your volunteer role in the PFP section!

This year’s conference stood out by attracting an unusually large number of financial planning practitioners from outside the CPA profession! What do they know about CPAs that makes us so cool? From conversations I’ve had with non-CPAs, they decided to attend after reading in financial planning publications and blogs that the conference was the most helpful in the profession. The conference offers so many take-away gems and pearls of wisdom, maybe jewelers should attend.

New this year was a mobile app which provided conference information (such as schedule, speaker info, hotel floor plan, and so on). Attendees appreciated that convenience and also commented positively on the comfortable setting of the Aria Hotel--which will host the PFP conference again January 21-23, 2013. I guess it's not too early to make plans to attend. We hope to see you there in 2013.


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