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Enlightening, to say the least

31 July 2006 Angelo Coppola

I spent time at the fpi convention last week, and a couple of things struck me. Here they are, in particular order

The changing face of the financial planning environment: It appears that there is a drive to change the colour and sex of the face of the fpi, as is the case with most sectors in South Africa.

While the drive is applauded its effect has been limited, based on what I saw. The fpi remains and aging, balding white male dominated environment and I fit perfectly into that category. Well - that is my impression having attended the conference.

On the other hand it could be that the convention fee might have been a little rich, or the fact that some planners dont have two days to spare to attend the convention. There are several potential answers that could be applied.

Moving on. I attended five of the sessions and found them to be informative. The most interesting from an observers point of view - was the panel discussion around the future of RAs.

This format should be built on. With the right mix of panelists, questions and a chairperson the audience can interact and force issues onto the convention table.

On whether planners can put aside two days to attend is a vexing question and yet simply answered. No - people do not have time to devote two days to a convention. Instead a one day event starting at the crack of dawn, and finishing late in the afternoon would have sufficed.

Bringing in a bit of technology like wireless electronic voting could also add a bit of colour and excitement to the proceedings.

Is there a need for a convention absolutely, but rather make it a roving roadshow, with speakers moving around to the major centres for three or four days. You get more coverage from members swelling the coffers of the fpi and at the same time spreading the message to a wider audience.

I look forward to the 2008 convention.

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