The positive energy in Miami was palpable, and it wasn’t just because of the sunshine. Over 900 live attendees (and over 1,000 virtual) descended on the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry for three days of learning, networking and letting loose at Nitrogen’s Fearless Investing Conference.
Aaron Klein, Nitrogen’s CEO, kicked off his opening remarks with a fun and surprising anecdote about how FTX was supposed to be hosting an event at the same exact time, but we all know what happened there, so Nitrogen swooped in and took over.
After the laughter, it was down to business. Klein pointed out that the vendors in the exhibit hall were specifically hand-picked to ensure that advisors had access to sponsors that were most relevant to their business. A bold tactic, considering most events can’t afford to turn sponsors away—but leaning into a more personalized experience for the attendees paid off.
The conference agenda was hyper-focused on growth, aligning with last May’s dramatic rebrand from Riskalyze to Nitrogen, and calling itself “the world’s first growth platform for wealth management firms.”
“Stocks don’t give advisors easy returns anymore, so they have to go deeper,” Klein said. “The Fearless Summit isn’t to just talk about the future, it’s to shape it.”
And for advisors who embrace it, AI will be the gamechanger helping advisors accelerate growth over the next 5 to 15 years, he said.
Klein made it abundantly clear he thinks advisors “shouldn’t reject the first version of tech that’ll get better over time.” And those that are averse to change should “probably retire.” The AI-theme resonated through the conference’s agenda and hallway discussions. By the conclusion, there was no question that Nitrogen and its users believe AI will revolutionize data for advisors and their decision making.
The first keynote was delivered by New York Times Best Selling Author Donald Miller, who gave the audience a “proven six-step plan” for business growth, drawing a distinction between the inspiration for a business and its execution. “Nobody starts a business because they want to run a business,” he said, urging entrepreneurial RIAs to keep clearly define what they want to accomplish, how they are going to do it and, most importantly, why.
There was no shortage of conversation around communication, marketing and branding or, as the industry affectionately refers to it, “marcomm.” With several main stage and breakout sessions designed to deliver immediate tangible value for financial advisors, the marketing and PR titans of the wealth management industry delivered actionable advice. Some memorable sound bites include:
“Social media is meant to be a conversation between people. it’s in the name!” – Matt Halloran, ProudMouth
“The number one killer of trust is inconsistency.” – Emily Binder, WealthVoice
“The tongue in your mouth and the tongue of your shoes need to be moving in the same direction.” – Stephanie Bogan, Limitless Adviser Coaching
“You can’t grow what you can’t measure. “ – Tricia Rothschild, Nitrogen Board Member
“Everything is on the record. If you don’t want something in print, don’t say it.” – Jason Lahita, StreetCred PR
“Think about your growth goals through this lens: Your goal, plus happiness in pursuit of that goal, minus friction and frustration.” – Shannon Spotswood, RFG Advisory
“Video at scale is the number one way to turn an audience into a conversation.” – Robert Sofia, Snappy Kraken
“Marketing is just like investing. You need a long-term perspective, you need to diversify, and you need to stick with it!” – Susan Theder, FMG
“The relationships that you guys have, it’s not about money. It’s about people.” – Ray Lewis, 2X Super Bowl Champion
Fearless was also a launchpad for new technology, platforms, and integrations. A few highlights include:
- Sora Finance, a wealthtech startup focused on the liability side of a client’s financial plan, launched the Prospective Client Debt Analyzer (PCDA). Siddhartha Oza, founder and Co-CEO of Sora Finance, said the tool is meant to help financial advisors qualify and convert clients and boost AUM by bringing liability planning into the equation.
- Fynancial, created by advisor turned wealthtech founder Tom Fields, demonstrated how it aims to serve the next generation through its Social Financial Platform (SFP), “the world’s first” such tool for the wealth management industry. It combines traditional wealth management tools with a more modern user experience that better relates to a younger client’s expectations from social engagement platforms (aka the scroll). The best way to describe Fynancial? If the current client portal and social media had a baby.
- Three Crown Marketing announced that Nitrogen is the first integration for their all-new custom website packages for advisors. Clients can seamlessly incorporate the Nitrogen Lead Generation Questionnaire (LGQ) into their customized websites, meant to supercharge lead generation.
Beyond the compelling content and exciting announcements, Fearless delivered an experience that both attendees and spouses could enjoy. From daily yoga sessions to a Cuban band at the opening night reception to serving food straight from Little Havana, they captured the essence of Miami. Not to mention, two-time Super Bowl champion and former Miami Hurricane Ray Lewis captivated the crowd with his keynote about leadership and how he maintained high-performance standards and inspired those around him to strive for excellence.
Nitrogen’s Fearless Investing Summit was a clarion call to industry professionals. The growth era is now. As the landscape of wealth management continues to undergo seismic shifts, the Summit underscored the importance of agility, adaptability and innovation to thrive where others might see threats and chaos. The Nitrogen message was clear: those advisors who embrace the change will lead the way into a future of real success.
The 2024 Fearless Investing Summit will take place in Nashville, Tenn., October 23-25.
Shannon Rosic is the director of WeathStack Content & Solutions at Informa Connect, and the host of The WealthStack Podcast.