One of the biggest wastes of time and talent that I see in the financial services industry is something you probably take for granted: the conference exhibit hall. 

Consider: we have a whole class of well-trained representatives of mutual funds, software providers, insurance companies, and they travel from city to city like modern nomads, lugging their booths along, for the privilege of standing in the exhibit hall and watch advisors pass by without making eye contact.  Their most important function seems to be to give away fluffy toy bulls or bears, nice pens or golf balls.

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