READER RADAR: What Are the Top 10 Business Development Topics for the 2023 NAPA 401(k)


When we say that the NAPA 401(k) Summit is built by advisors, for advisors, we mean it—and having closed out our third week of voting on potential workshop topics—let’s check out where things stand.

I know—April (2-4) seems a long ways off. And yes, we don’t “normally” start voting on topics this early. But since we already have the location (San Diego) and the dates (April 2-4), and as we’ve (already) begun working through a list of exciting keynote speakers, and, yes—making plans for Summit “After Dark”… 

So, how’s the voting going? Well, after one week—the top topics about business development are:

  1. How to be a great fiduciary (without really trying) 
  2. Compensation trends, compliance and different revenue streams from managed accounts, rolllovers, etc.
  3. Email engagement 
  4. Retirement Income: How To Navigate the Investment Choices & Have Conversations with Plan Sponsors 
  5. Advisor technology—what is needed most for efficiency and margin expansion            
  6. Super Social Security Claiming Strategies
  7. Lessons Learned From Litigation
  8. Advisor Acquisitions—What Are You Missing? 
  9. (Much) More Than 401(K) 
  10. Growing AUM trend with Cash Balance Plans

The voting remains open at

Now, we’ve had a second week of voting on Team Building topics—with some shuffling, and several new candidates in the top 10! The (current) list is:

  1. Optimal Incentive and compensation structures tied to both sales and service success (growing and protecting revenue—everyone has a role!) (brand new to the top 10!)
  2. Establishing A Peer-to-Peer Education/Coaching Network (holding steady at #2)
  3. Diversifying Your Practice—and Your Practices (down from #1 a week ago)
  4. Generations Apart—Together at Work (up from #9)
  5. How to Create an Environment Where Everyone Has a Voice (up from #8)
  6. Gen X—The overlooked workplace demographic, and why they matter (up from #10)
  7. Team Building, Team Binding (down from #6)   
  8. Next generation target date funds that guarantee income for life (new to the top 10, and arguably in the wrong category)        
  9. How to Build—and Keep—a Quality Multifaceted Team (down from #4)
  10. Developing a Culture of Diversity (new to the top 10!)

The voting remains open… at

With regard to the workshops with a product/service focus, there has been some (more) shuffling—and some new additions. The updated ranking is:

  1. Personalization in the QDIA—custom TDFs vs managed accounts (new to the top 10!)
  2. Industry trends—being prepared for what’s next (down from #1 a week ago)
  3. In-Plan Guaranteed Income (new to the top 10!)
  4. Custom Target-Date Options vs. Managed Accounts (down from #2)
  5. Retirement Income Solutions That Actually Work (down from #4)
  6. Why everybody wants—and nobody takes—in-plan retirement income options (down from #5)
  7. Best presentation ideas/suggestions/techniques/do’s & don’ts (down from #3)
  8. Will Technology Make Target Date Funds Obsolete? (down from #7)
  9. Making More With Managed Accounts (up—slightly—from #10)
  10. Managed Accounts—Just an Expensive Target-Date Fund? (down from #6)

Here too—the voting remains open—and, as you can see, the votes can move the ranking.

How it Works

As is our custom, we’ve loaded a starter set of topics—ideas from our steering committee, as well as topics that have been heavy and consistent traffic draws on NAPA Net. Our unique online voting tool will bring up two different session topics. You pick the one of the two that you like best—and then you get to pick between another two—and so on.

Don’t like either one? Say so. Got another idea? Add it. 

Every time you suggest an idea, it’s added to the pool of ideas that others vote on (but note—it won’t show up immediately, and if you add it more than once—well, it will only be added once, no matter how many times you try to add it).

Now, there are still dozens (hundreds in some cases) of potential topics in the voting tool—if you don’t see the one you’re looking for, just keep rotating through them—there’s no limit on how many, or how long, you can vote.

Oh—and you can sign up for Summit updates at


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