One month after going to the inaugural Wealth/Stack conference in Phoenix and the 25th-annual Women’s Symposium hosted by Raymond James in Orlando, I attended Commonwealth Financial Network’s 40th-yearly national conference in Denver, along with about 2,000 other individuals.
There was a great pre-event for women advisors at which I spoke with several about their business models. Many work with family members, for instance, and some had moved to Commonwealth over the past year or so.
There are many seasoned veterans, but lots of next-gen advisors, too. I was particularly moved by one advisor who said she decided to go into the business after seeing her hard-working family members struggle with a lack of financial resources.
During the opening general session, Commonwealth founder and Chairman Joe Deitch spoke about “where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going.” He shared lessons learned over the past 40 years, like the need to “find the fantastic [people] and make them want to stay” and “listen, explore [and] arrive at clear consensus.” Overall, he reflected, “It’s not about the money; we trade the money for what’s important.”
Deitch also brought inspirational thinkers to the stage, like Elizabeth Dunn, professor and co-author of “Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending,” who described the satisfaction of giving to others.
There were also talks by Juan Enriquez, a life-sciences entrepreneur and co-author of “Evolving Ourselves: Redesigning the Future of Humanity — One Gene at a Time,” Beau Lotto, head of Acoustigram and the Lab of Misfits, who spoke on the “Power of Awe” and neuroscience in combination with a performance by a member of the Cirque du Soleil troupe; and Baratunde Thurston, a comedian, writer and cultural critic, who urged attendees to reimagine the world, cast aside racism and “change the story.”