A group of financial advisors getting together to talk business, plans, and ideas isn’t unique.
In fact, it’s common practice in the financial services industry. Borderline overdone.
But on December 13th & 14th, a meetup of 11 advisors and educators took place in Austin, TX that was different. It was special.
Here’s what happened:
For those who aren’t familiar, the acronym DAO stands for decentralized autonomous organization. However, most DAOs aren’t actually autonomous and more closely resemble a co-op.
Nonetheless, 11 contributors to PlannerDAO organized a get-together in just a few weeks' time and set out to create a vision and direction for the DAO.
Each day started with members catching up in the hotel lobby for breakfast and lukewarm coffee, then heading to the conference room at 8 am to kick things off.
The ultimate goal for the DAO is to drive the financial planning industry forward and create opportunities for financial advisors to learn about digital assets while providing them with the necessary tools to integrate them into their practice in a compliant, profitable manner.
We’ll provide more detail about the overarching goals and vision in a following post, but in our first meetup, we determined future direction and current action items for Working Groups.
Working Groups are best explained as different divisions of a business - like sales, marketing, operations, customer service, etc. PlannerDAO has 5 core working groups:
Here’s a summary of what was accomplished and talked about regarding each group:
The Education Working Group is responsible for helping manage the Certified Digital Asset Advisor (CDAA) designation and growing the education arm of the DAO.
1. Establish DAO Membership Standards - From the Austin "Genesis Block" meeting, we determined that full PlannerDAO members would be required to be CDAAs.
What does that mean?
To participate in Working Groups, which help drive the organization, members must be CDAA holders or actively taking coursework and working towards passing the exam. Non-CDAA holders can join the DAO network and engage with the community, just not participate in working groups.
We have had 135 people go through the current version of the CDAA course through 2021, and many have joined PlannerDAO as members and are contributing regularly.
2. Education Partners - We have started the process of divorcing the course content from the certification and governance.
What does that mean?
It means that the Education WG will be in charge of determining the Areas of Knowledge and requirements to be a CDAA, but other partners will provide the actual education content. Interaxis will be the first to offer the course as an Education Partner and will go through the process of purchasing and staking PLAN tokens, having the content approved by the EWG, and offering the course content.
We are also working with a major university in the US to offer the course live starting in May, and one of our members is working on a plan to attract additional universities and colleges as well.
3. International - In addition, we are in talks with potential partners in several other countries - Canada, India, South Africa, Australia, and Brazil - to create courses toward a CDAA designation.
4. Exam - We are ready to roll out the third-party exam site, where aspirants will take the final exam once they have completed the approved course from an education partner. The latest cohort will be the first to take the final exam.
5. Website - We are in the process of redesigning and rebuilding the CDAA website to feature “advisor profiles” for CDAA graduates to provide backlinks to advisor sites, and to give investors a place to view fiduciary advisors who are able to manage crypto assets. The Brand & Media working group is creating content to build the CDAA as a trusted brand and resource for consumer crypto education.
The Community Experience Working Group is responsible for.. well, the community experience. From member onboarding to planning events, the Community Experience WG keeps the community engaged and informed.
Current tasks & goals for the CX Working Group are:
1. Update & revamp membership onramps to reflect clearer next steps
2. Plan events for the next 3 months
3. Recruit hosts/stewards/moderators
4. Create a summary of what happened in the DAO in 2021
5. Revamp initial welcome messages
The tagline for the Operations Working Group is “keeping the PDAO trains running on time” and the Operations group is responsible for the logistics of the DAO, such as token distribution and Working Group structure. These are a few of the current tasks and action items for the Operations WG:
1. Creating a Bounty Board - Ops WG approved the establishment of a “Bounty Board” for tasks we need community help with. The initial board will utilize the PDAO community site by using the "bounty" tag.
2. CDAA Exam Checkout - Ops WG will build a checkout page for the CDAA candidates ready to take the final certification exam. This will create structure for coin flow, payments, and data to go through one Working Group.
3. PlannerDAO Site Rebuild - After a makeover of the PlannerDAO.com website, it will be moved to the Brand & Media Working Group for management
“Our mission is to be a thought leader & primary resource for compliance issues relating to digital assets and to provide timely informational notices on material regulatory events impacting digital assets”
The Compliance Working Group is our second newest group and is working to prioritize their backlog and get action items set. Here’s what they’re currently working on:
1. Digital Asset SMA Due Diligence – creating a framework to evaluate digital asset SMA’s. We are taking current (traditional/alternative) SMA due diligence processes and making them relevant to digital assets focusing on: Compliance Custody Trading Billing
2. DeFi Toolkit – Specific tools for advisors - Expect more information after the first of the year. This is still being worked on inside the group.
3. Look to coordinate with advisor resources (software vendors, custodians, etc.) to create a spectrum of ways advisors can currently engage with digital assets for clients, with topical guidance and some samples on Compliance. This would encourage advisors to think about their practice and get more comfortable with digital assets.
“Bringing attention to the DAO through published media, brand, and external communications”
Our newest working group as we continue to grow is the Brand & Media group. We're aiming to grow it out as a full media arm for the DAO and build our brand as a trusted voice and resource in the digital asset space. A few early developments are:
1. Mirror.xyz publication - to provide industry commentary and insights around the intersection of digital assets and financial services
2. Crypto for Planners Podcast - a podcast hosted by members of the DAO talking about all things crypto & financial planning
3. Release of the new, revamped CDAA site - The new Certified Digital Asset Advisor site will feature “advisor profiles” of CDAA graduates and will provide backlinks to advisor sites - the goal is to give investors a place to view fiduciary advisors who are able to manage crypto assets. We’re also developing content for the site to build the CDAA as a trusted brand and resource for approachable consumer crypto education.
If you scrolled all the way to the end, the TL;DR is.. there’s a lot going on.
We’re building a true decentralized organization comprised of international financial professionals that have a passion to leave the industry a better place than when they joined.
Because of our decentralized nature, we approach decisions in a different manner than most financial organizations. Tokenization of the community allows for aligned incentives and natural value creation and because of this, the DAO does not take outside funding. We’re not influenced by investors or forced to take shortcuts to drive profit. Value is driven by members of the DAO and the value created is then owned by those same members. This allows us to build with everyone’s best interests in mind.
If what we’re building resonates with you, we welcome you to join us.
Joining the DAO is free and you get access to 500+ other professionals learning from and engaging with each other as we all try to make sense of this new digital world.