the private dinner parties and the official gala events, the Exhibit Hall at Schwab Impact
remains a huge attraction at the Impact conference. As always, this year's Hall did not disappoint.
It is hard to imagine a larger collection of pens, balls, bags, stuffed animals, candies, Tee shirts and hats assembled in one spot (that is, of course, until you begin thinking about next year's Impact conference).
Nevertheless, it appeared to this observer that, relative to prior impact conferences, this year's giveaway parade featured far fewer so-called "premium" items for the advisor crowd. Case in point: last year, one fund company was giving away fleece sweatshirts to all comers. This year, I spotted only one fleece item among all of the fund companies, and it was being auctioned off to the lucky individual whose business card was drawn from a fishbowl.
In any event, following is a list of this year's best in the tchatchke department:
Best Short Sleeve T-shirt: Berger
, for the colorful logo poking fun at the advisor community: "My financial advisor went to Berger Colorado and all I got was this T-shirt."
Best Socks: Cohen & Steers
-- a rare miss for this Hall of Fame marketing department. However, the extremely nice three-way bag/knapsack that all conference attendees received upon registration was a real winner. Good job by Elizabeth Reagan.
Best What Is It (I'm Glad I Asked): Schwab
Employee Option booth's combo ball point pen, lead pencil and Palm Pilot stylus -- all in one, and gravity activated to boot!
Best Tulip Bulbs: ABN-Amro Bank
, making certain everyone knows it is a Dutch bank.
Best Stretch Hummer: Westcore
Best Clock: Bloomberg
Best Long Sleeve T-shirt: Pioneer Funds
Best Freeze Dried and Compressed T-shirt: Van Wagoner Funds
Best Pen: Mercury Asset Management's
red light nighttime writing ballpoint.
Best Umbrella: Gabelli
Best Tote: Allegheny Funds.
Why? Waterproof, not canvas.
Best Candy: Isabelle Small Cap
, with a giant bowl filled with any trick or treater's delight, including a nice supply of Atomic Fireballs!
Best Beach Towel: Mercury Asset Management
Best Gym Bag: PIMCO
(if you were lucky enough to get one).
Best Ball: Kinetics
for the multi-colored, light up inside superballs.
Best Whistle: FAM Funds
Best Swiss Army Knife: Pioneer funds
Best (Only) Stuffed Dog: Payden & Rygel
for what else? The Dogs of the Dow.
Best Teddy Bear: Federated
, for its multi-colored Olympic ring model.
Best Concept: Delaware Investment's
Convention Survival Kit, which came complete with Band-Aids, antiseptic towelettes, aspirin and, perhaps most important of all, antacid tablets.
Part 1: The Official Conference Agenda
Part 3: An Even Better Experience for Advisors
Richard Bregman, CFA is a New York-based Registered Investment Advisor and president of MJB Asset Management, LLC., currently managing over $45 million in assets. Richard is a former member of the Schwab Institutional Advisory Council.
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