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Trepidation Turned Optimism

07/03/2018

Reflections from the Inaugural Raymond James 40 under 40 Conference, and how I was changed by it. in unforeseen ways.

By Kelly McLean Rindock CFP®, CLTC

Recently, I had the privilege to be named one of Raymond James’ Top 40 Under 40 advisors in the inaugural class. This distinction came with a two day whirlwind trip to Chicago on May 18 & 19, 2018 for a conference including my 39 peers, a few select speakers, and home office personnel; most notably the Chief Operating Officer from our Private Client Group, Kim Jenson, was our event emcee.

The conference itself could not have come at a better time. Recently, I, like many, have been struggling to comprehend the turmoil in this country and around the globe. Being immersed in the 24/7 news cycle has not helped. As the mom of two tiny humans, I find myself questioning the united path we are walking on a macro level. Granularly, I am concerned about the recent levels of school violence, low education and high poverty rates in the US, as well as the global rates of hunger, health indicators, and pollution.

My husband and I discuss the future and I wonder, with hope, what may be in store for our children.

What I experienced at the 40 Under 40 event eased my recent misgivings on the future and revived my stance as an optimist. Our location enhanced that feeling. The conference took place in 1871, Chicago’s Center for Technology and Entrepreneurship located in the Merchandise Mart Plaza. If you’ve never heard of it, they provide memberships for trendy shared workspace as a tech start up and entrepreneur hub in the city. It was beautiful and perfectly picked venue to inspire our youthful group.

We were fortunate to have speakers handpicked to discuss innovation, technology, and the future of our industry. While they were not without the reality of challenges ahead, the messages were overwhelmingly positive.

We learned about the people who are working to change the way our youth are educated, specifically addressing how to teach today for the world they will inherit tomorrow.

We learned about the upcoming wave of disruptive innovation that will cause great technological change and advancement which will lead to greater productivity and capabilities- and ways to invest in them:

Think, electric cars becoming cheaper and more cost effective than traditional combustion engines and eventually self-driving cars being the norm, where my children will never obtain a driver’s license and we will potentially avoid 90% of all accidents that are current caused by human error; Think, “cobots” where robots and humans work side by side to increase productivity levels that neither could achieve alone or 3D printing that may allow for a revolution in manufacturing providing lighter, stronger and more efficient parts; Think, advances in CRISPR technology that will allow us to spot and treat disease at the level of a coding error in our genetics and may eventually what changes medicine as we know it. Or that this same technology could provide advances and benefits to crops and nutrition by editing their own genes without the side effects of the inserted genes like GMOs do.

I find the potential of all of this incredibly INSPIRING.

My other biggest realization is the similarity and the differences in the peer group. We work for Raymond James, hailed from across North America, and have varying educational and experiential backgrounds and team situations. This meant that we had a diverse approach to managing our practices, working with our team members, our methods of investing, and our service models to clients. However, one thing that did not change was the level of dedication to our clients; the level of responsibility we take to help others take control of their differences.

I too, find this INSPIRING.

In a world where we hear about the bad apples, I want to acknowledge the good ones.

Raymond James is a leader in not only their diversity policy but also, and more importantly, the execution of it. Our industry as a whole is still behind. A mere 15 percent of financial advisors are women, and in my 40 Under 40 peer group stood 3 women, a low 7.5 percent. We had equally low representation for every other measure of diversity.

I am fortunate to have Jim, my father and a mentor dedicated to helping me navigate a male dominated industry. I am equally privileged to work for a company that values the contributions of women, celebrates the differences they provide us, and is inclusive within highest levels of leadership. I also came home from Chicago with a new mentor, in Kim Jenson.

I hope one day to pay the mentorship I received forward.

CHANGE is inevitable. PAIN is optional.

If you are reading this and unhappy with your current advisor, don’t be afraid to make a leap. You deserve to be heard, you deserve to have your questions answered and done timely, and you deserve to have a financial plan made for you.

If you are asking the question of when you need an advisor, the answer is NOW. It is never too early; and it is never too late to think about your finances. You’ve worked hard for what you’ve saved, you deserve for it work hard for you as well.

DON’T ACCEPT the subpar. I have just spent two days with the EXCEPTIONAL, we are out there.

Views expressed are not necessarily those of Raymond James & Associates and are subject to change without notice. Information contained herein was received from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy is not guaranteed. I There is no assurance these trends will continue or that forecasts mentioned will occur. Investing always involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss. No investment strategy can guarantee success. Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC Raymond James & Associates Top 40 Under 40 recognition is based mainly on assets under management, education, credentials and fiscal year production. Requalification is required annually. The ranking may not be representative of any one client's experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of advisor's future performance. No fee is paid in exchange for this rating.


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