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'Fear of missing out' drives T3 agenda as tech news comes fast and furious

The crash of the conference host Wi-Fi — caused by all the techies — didn't help

Feb 11, 2014 @ 8:47 am

By Joyce Hanson

Monday — Day One of the T3 Technology Tools for Today conference, and instead of scurrying back to my room to write this blog post, I'm sitting in the middle of the swirl here at the Hilton Anaheim because I don't want to miss anything. For the three days that T3 is in swing, I have a feeling I'll be suffering a serious case of FOMO — fear of missing out — as the tech news comes fast and furious and I scramble to be everywhere at once.

Case in point: about half an hour ago, I snuck in to catch up on a conversation between Jason Borgmann, vice president of adviser-facing technology at LPL Financial, and Dryden Pence, chief investment officer of Pence Wealth Management. Their session title was pretty irresistible: “Adopting Complex Trading and Re-balancing: The Best and Most Terrifying Thing I Did in 2013.”

Laptop and smartphone firing on all cylinders, I was all set to take notes on how Mr. Pence finally took the plunge last year to be LPL's beta guinea pig in a new platform launch when I noticed that I couldn't get a working Wi-Fi signal. Oh no! Was it me? Was it my hardware? I rushed from California Ballroom B to Pacific Ballroom A, thinking maybe I could get a working network if I switched rooms. And anyway, Envestnet | Tamarac was on tap to do a presentation in Pacific A on the integrated RIA platform, and that was an obvious can't miss opportunity to find out how critical tech integration has become for bringing profitability to advisory firms.

Wi-Fi was a no-go in Pacific A, too. I felt the edges of a mild panic curling in around my brain as I wondered how I was ever going to tweet about all these exciting new developments in platform launches and integrations if I couldn't get a signal. So I headed over to the T3 registration desk and joined a few other tech geeks looking distraught and tapping hopelessly on their mobile devices.

We were told that T3 conference-goers were such a heavy drain on the hotel's network with all our tweeting and YouTubing and e-mailing and such that we had crashed the system. Somehow, that makes me proud. But the upshot was we could forget Wi-Fi access for a while.

So now here I am, tapping away on my good old-fashioned MacBook Pro, quietly listening to a presentation on SunGard's new CompAct multi-concept planning tool (note to self: look up “multi-concept” and find out if it's a technical term), which helps advisers produce holistic financial plans quickly and interactively, and Plan Track, which lets advisers show how a client's actual account balances are tracking to the expected projections of the financial plan.

But uh oh, wait a second. I just took a peek at the T3 agenda. Oh, no! No! No! I'm missing the Advicent Solutions presentation from Linda Strachan, and I made a special note that I could not miss her session on learning how unprecedented flexibility from NaviPlan and Profiles software drive client engagement and position advisers for success in an evolving market.

Maybe I can catch the last 15 minutes of Ms. Strachan's act. But that means I'm going to miss the HiddenLevers session on portfolio stress testing. Those HiddenLevers guys are on my to-do list, with their high-end software that's on the cutting edge of risk management technology.

But hey, is that Oleg Tishkevich over there? I have to say hello. I'm still trying to figure out his whole “widgetization” trend at Finance Logix, and thanks to the Wi-Fi crisis, I missed his session with Aaron Spradlin of United Planners about how widgets and Finance Logix's open API have played a big role at UP.

Once again, I'm missing out here at T3. Gotta go.

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