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Rating:LPL San Diego Day 2: Where Are You in the Innovation Wave? Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

LPL San Diego Day 2: Where Are You in the Innovation Wave?

Reported by Tommy Fernandez

Where are you in the American wave of innovation? If you're not sure, you might want to pay attention to the Tooth Fairy.

These and other fun insights were offered to attendees of the LPL Focus 2014 Conference held here at the San Diego Convention Center from May 10 to May 13.

Managing director Bill Morrissey talked about the challenges of being the sandwich generation and the opportunities this demographic offers advisors. He also discussed LPL's work via its advisor institutional panel, which includes some two dozen advisors who help guide LPL on all its initiatives, from issues related to pricing, technology to such details as how the phones are answered.

Michelle Oroschakoff, managing director and chief risk officer, sat down with four of her colleagues to discuss a number of LPL's governance initiatives, including the branch exam process.

Former two-time Minnesota governor, and current chief executive of the Financial Services Roundtable, then spoke before the audience on current political trends in Washington, including issues related to financial regulation reform. For example, he explained that much legislative gridlock in Washington today can be attributed to the pressures felt by legislators to toe the line with their respective political parties.

He cited research by Nate Silver indicating that some 400 out of the 435 districts are largely dominated by one political parties. Challenges from other parties are largely non-existent, however, challenges from within the same party, during the primary process, can make or break legislative careers. Consequently, legislators keen on continuing their political careers do what they can to follow party platforms.

Consequently, it is unlikely for major changes to be passed in existing reforms such as Dodd-Frank legislation, among others. Pawlenty urged audience members to get active with LPL's PAC in order to demonstrate support for efforts to "tweak" existing regulation.

Chief investment officer Burt White then took the stage during a high tech, epically-musicked pyro technic presentation exploring the future of innovation in the U.S. today. Poking fun at cinematic representations of robots taking over the world, White discussed how technology would continue to change the economy. For example, he cited statistics indicating that roughly 47 percent of U.S. jobs were expected to be taken over by robots or other technology: botsourced.

However, he argued that this was just another example of the waves of innovation that have defined the American economy since its beginning. Earlier waves have included the movement from farming to industrial jobs, and the later move from manufacturing in the U.S.

However, he reassured audience members that this movement tended to produce better paying jobs, and that three characteristic human skill-sets were not being replaced by robots any time soon: dexterity (i.e. the human touch); creativity and originality, and caring for people.

For example, nurses and surgeons aren't going any time soon, while telemarketers and umpires might have to look behind their backs (there were some cheers in response).

The key to maneuvering these waves, he said, is to think like a surfer: knowing when to jump in front of the wave and ride it to prosperity. He also provided a number of unique indicators for gauging the evolution of this wave of innovation economy. For example, White argued, it pays to follow what is known as the "Tooth Fairy Index," a guide on the average amount of money parents pay their children for their lost teeth. This index, interestingly enough, closely follows the path of job growth in the country.  

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