Highlights from the 2014 FolioDynamix Client ConferenceOctober 2, 2014
Last week we hosted the 10th annual FolioDynamix Client Conference in Napa, CA. Each year the event has grown in size, and this year was no exception. With our largest group yet, we had representatives from most of our client firms and 20 investment management firms as sponsors of our two-day event. Federated, Horizon Investments and Interactive Data served as Platinum Sponsors. The agenda was packed full of valuable content from staff, investment managers and clients. Here is my recap of some highlights from the event.
We began the two days with an overview of our advisory services, allowing clients the opportunity to ask questions and perform a due diligence review. I spoke about the importance of portfolio construction, and demonstrated via example how not paying attention to the underlying attributes and bets of a portfolio can increase volatility and have a negative impact on performance. Sarah Abernathy, CFA, FolioDynamix Director of Consulting Services, provided an overview of our new VisX program. This program consists of a set of mutual fund, ETF and model manager portfolios created through the combination of our consulting and research services. The second half of the first day opened with Joseph Mrak, FolioDynamix CEO, providing an update on FolioDynamix, and what to expect from the pending acquisition of FolioDynamix by Actua Corp. In addition, John Loftus, Managing Director of Actua, spoke about who Actua is and why they acquired FolioDynamix. They both shared how this acquisition will provide the fuel for FolioDynamix to continue its rapid growth, and maintain its position as a leader and an industry innovator. Aaron Schumm, FolioDynamix Chief Customer Officer, provided an overview of the platform and the plans for future developments. Michael Biondo, FolioDynamix VP of Business Development, gave attendees a demonstration of the FDx SingleSight platform, highlighting its many advanced modules for efficiently and effectively providing wealth management services.
Day Two opened with an informative, and yet entertaining presentation, from Brian Wesbury, Chief Economist at First Trust Advisors. He explained why he is bullish on the economy, and why we should not pay attention to all the naysayers. The greater part of day two consisted of user group sessions, where clients were able to provide feedback and suggestions to FolioDynamix, as well as hear from fellow users and exchange ideas. David Chandler, CFA, FolioDynamix Director of Research Services, discussed the impact of rising interest rates on dividend investing. The expectations in the marketplace seem heavily weighted toward rising interest rates, and, given the trend toward dividend focused investing in search of income, the topic was very timely. The result of his analysis indicated that the impact is not as straightforward as many investors believe. I gave a second presentation on tax managing portfolios utilizing the MSCI Barra multi-factor risk model optimizer, which is integrated into the FolioDynamix rebalancing tool. Through an example, I demonstrated the potential impact on the gross and net of tax returns for a tax managed portfolio. The day ended with the final panel session conducted by Bob Mehringer, FolioDynamix Senior VP Advisory Services, where panelists from three separate bank/trust firms discussed the significant impact technology has had on improving their wealth management businesses.
The conference concluded with a client event of wine tasting and dinner at Artesa, where a mentalist performed for everyone to rave reviews. We thank all of our clients and prospects for attending and thank everyone for your continued business. We also thank all the managers that sponsored the conference, allowing us the opportunity to create such a successful event. We look forward to next year and our continued growth.