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Future Proof unveiled: A new era of business

Tina Powell

October 3, 2023

Asset 11@2x

Stepping outside in the cool morning air, I cradle my phone in my right hand, striking a quick selfie pose.

Today is a day I’ve anticipated for months.

My car waits in the driveway, tank full of gas, brimming with anticipation. A flight from Newark waits for my inaugural Future Proof attendance. Nothing will deter me – not even the fact that it’s 3:30 a.m.

Upon reaching the gate, I discover every seat on the plane is taken.

Among the crowd, I recognize Investopedia’s Editor-in-chief, Caleb Sliver. As I draw nearer, I notice the sleek Vetta Fi longboard under his arm. The plane’s atmosphere buzzes: many passengers, like Kate Healy and Jeffrey Hirsch of Stock Trader’s Almanac, are en route to Future Proof. Coincidentally, Jeffrey occupies the seat right next to mine. This journey feels like a real-life rendition of FinTwit.

Once settled in my hotel, I rush to registration, pausing to warmly embrace Dr. Daniel Crosby and Justin Castelli. I capture another selfie with Daniel and Justin for X, publicly expressing my gratitude for their checking in on me and asking me how I’m feeling.

Proudly wearing my official Future Proof badge – a cherished keepsake, of course – I cross the pedestrian bridge to the conference’s main grounds. Ditching typical conference long-sleeved attire, I’m dressed in a breezy sundress, stylish sunglasses, and sleek Adidas kicks, thinking, “Wait, am I at a wealth management conference? Did I get on the right plane?”

Arriving at my first Future Proof feels like a magical fairy tale. Of the best kind.

Walking down the outdoor stairs, with the sights and smell of the Pacific Ocean on the horizon, I am greeted by colorful sponsor tents, vibrant in hot pink, turquoise, and deep purple.

To my left, a rock-concert-like mainstage adds to the atmosphere. And in the distance, AdvisorEngine®’s tent is packed with jaw-dropping swag, looking more like a boardwalk than a booth. Morningstar boasts a double-deck booth and showcases the coolest Nike sneakers I’ve ever seen. The place is buzzing with industry heavyweights everywhere I look – Barry RitholtzJosh BrownMorgan Housel and Christine Benz, to name several.

To my delight, there’s an imposing “I am Future Proof” outdoor display, inviting attendees to take pictures and make their presence known.

This isn’t the traditional conference scene. It’s the ingenious brainchild of Advisor Circle’s CEO Matt Middleton and Chief Content & Co-Founder John Swolfs. “Disruptive” seems too tame a term for Future Proof – it’s more “envision the unimaginable” and then “make it tangible.” Think Huntington Beach vibes fused with contemporary wealth management, amplified, and then some.

If you suffer from Future Proof FOMO (fear of missing out), I got you. Here are three valuable insights you can take away from Future Proof to apply today.

Networking is evolving

It’s no longer just about chit-chat over coffee. It’s structured, intentional and results-driven. Future Proof introduced a meticulous networking model with their one-to-one meetings program, Breakthru. The sheer volume of 10,000 pre-scheduled 15-minute sessions demonstrates the hunger for genuine, goal-oriented interactions and human-to-human conversations. A testament to its success? An advisor said these tailored meetings held more value for him than the general sessions.

In an era where information is omnipresent, the right kind of information is gold. Future Proof prioritized meaningful exchanges, ensuring that each 15-minute slot was packed with actionable insights and potential collaborations. I personally had 12 Breakthru meetings in one day with amazing people, prospects and partnerships that might not have otherwise happened if left purely to chance. My colleague, John’s Chief Growth Officer had 24 meetings, doing two days back-to-back.

Collaboration over competition

During our panel on succession, expertly led by Marwa Zakharia, CEO of Asset Book, and featuring insights from yours truly, Eric Negron, CEO and Managing Partner of Forefront Wealth Management, as well as Kimberly Papedis, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Fusion Financial Partners, a profound takeaway emerged. Eric captured it succinctly: through collaboration, doors of opportunity swing wide open. This approach not only reveals synergies but also amplifies the resilience and growth potential of a business.

As you contemplate your business’s trajectory, prioritize forging partnerships and creating community. Actively pursue collaborative ventures. By shifting from a competitive mindset to one of collaboration, you gain access to a rich reservoir of collective wisdom and experience, positioning your enterprise for dynamic advancement.

Future proof your business

To stay ahead in today’s ever-changing landscape, it’s crucial to recognize that disruption is inevitable, whether you embrace it or not. This year alone, the rapid adoption of generative AI has already demonstrated this reality. Now is the perfect opportunity to proactively delve into the potential of emerging technologies and unleash their transformative power in your practice.

A shining example of this proactive approach is the recent launch of Advisor Brand Builder, announced at Future Proof, a fintech platform built by Kelly Waltrich, the Co-Founder and CEO of and industry branding veteran Melissa Thomas. Advisor Brand Builder allows breakaway advisors, established advisor firms, and enterprise firms to build a powerful brand identity in minutes, not months.

The interactive platform uses generative AI to create a company brand based on the expertise of financial services brand-building pros for a fraction of the typical cost and time. Before generative AI, this was not possible.

That’s disruption in motion.

To sum it all up, the message from Future Proof is clear: The future isn’t just coming; it’s here. To thrive, businesses must adapt, innovate, and collaborate. The tools and insights are available; the question is, are you ready to seize them?