Immersion2025 – join the Transparent Advisor Movement

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The Transparent Advisor Movement is taking Kansas City!

Will you join us?

Immersion2025 will be the second advice-only and flat fee financial advisor conference in our industry’s history.

When: Wednesday, March 12th – Thursday, March 13th, 2025

Where: Four Points by Sheraton Kansas City Airport, 11832 NW Plaza Circle, Kansas City, Missouri, 64153

The people who come to Immersion are those who are called to the mission of furthering the ideals of:

  • Clarity
  • Integrity
  • Humility
  • Fairness
  • Logic, and
  • Advocacy

There is a special focus on Advice OnlyFlat Fee, and Hourly service models. 

If you feel you are called to this mission, join the Immersion.

But….what’s an “Immersion”???

This is not a conference – it’s an “Immersion”.

And so you ask: What’s an “Immersion”?

It’s a radically different experience.

Expect LOTS of this:

    • Peer to peer conversations

    • Opportunities for personal growth

    • Strengthening of group unity and values

    • A group volunteering event

    • Purity of thought

    • Humility

    • Small group interactions such as role playing and tech demos from other advisors not vendors

    • “Ask me anything” sessions with practical insights from actual practitioners

    • Information about “how to do stuff” from people who are actually doing it!

    • Short, engaging presentations – to the point before you fall asleep!

    • Clean, safe accommodations that won’t cost a fortune

And NONE of this nonsense:

    • Sponsorships and exhibition halls

    • Sales pitches from the private REIT salesperson

    • Hidden agendas and conflicts of interest

    • Boring, long presentations

    • High level lectures from “thought leaders”

    • Monogrammed water bottles and other junk

    • Showing off, posturing, and the usual virtue signaling crap

    • Open bar

You’ll be assigned a virtual “Pod” prior to event

Upon registration, you will be interviewed and assigned a “pod” group of 5-6 advisors. Your pod will meet virtually 3-4 times before the conference. You will be grouped according to your intentions. At the conference this will be your base and you will work together on small group activities that develop you personally and professionally.

Deeper, different – and better!

Here are some “Pod” shots from Immersion2024.

Note: This is not going to be a huge event. We are planning for 70 people at most. We are limiting the number of spots intentionally to allow for more peer-to-peer interaction and practical, hands-on learning.

Why should I go to Immersion2025?

Is it really that different?


Why? The people are the event and it’s about connection.

Instead of products, the focus here is on people – flat fee, advice only, and hourly advisors and how to refine their service models to benefit their clients more.

You’re not going to just sit there in your chair.  The energy at Immersion is electrifying as we march together toward a common goal, helping each other along the way.

We’re changing the world, and we’re doing it together.

Here’s what attendees said about Immersion2024

“Immersion was my favorite industry event I’ve been to. The main difference was that nobody tried to sell me anything and nobody was there to brag about how wonderful they are. In an industry where posturing is rampant and connections insincere it was refreshing to meet a group of people who just want to learn, help others, and improve the industry for everyone.” – Hourly planner


“Immersion was a refreshing gathering of like-minded advisors sharing best practices and their vision for the future of transparent financial advice. Wow – what a wonderful opportunity to interact in person with other advisors who run their businesses with a philosophy similar to mine. This was the first and largest in-person gathering of flat fee advisors!  I look forward to more! It’s inspiring to learn from others who grapple with some of the same issues (e.g. pricing, technology, compliance) as they build their transparent advice businesses.” -Flat fee advisor


“It’s a gathering of like-minded advisors who all are on the leading edge of trying to change the financial advice industry for the better, for both clients and advisors alike.

We had some great discussions and thought sharing and are all better for it

While each of us can’t change the industry by ourselves, our collective efforts are definitely moving the needle in the right direction!

Immersion isn’t a conference, in the traditional sense of the word. There is no funding and support (and therefore no sales pitches) from sponsors. It’s all self-funded by the attendees.

Immersion 2025 in Kansas City should be even juicer than this year’s! Will you be going???”


“Highly qualified community with a shared vision for fairness, honesty, and transparency for clients. Helpful business content relevant to advisors who eschew AUM fees in favor of emerging fee based and flat fee structures.” -Flat fee advisor


“Attending Immersion 2024 was absolutely worth the investment of my time and money for the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from likeminded advisors who are also interested in advancing advisor transparency.  This event was less polished and produced than the typical advisor conferences I’ve been to in the past- that was by design, and not at all a negative.  I plan to attend in 2025!”-Advice only planner


“If you’re a Flat Fee or Advice Only advisor, you should absolutely attend the next Immersion. You’ll leave uplifted and challenged in ways that can only come from true peers.” – Flat fee advisor


“I enjoyed the Immersion experience and would call the first one a big success! It was great connecting with like-minded advisors at Immersion 2024. I left the event excited and ready to implement a couple of new ideas in my business.” -Flat fee advisor


“In 13 years as a financial advisor this was the first conference I decided to attend. When I have been around large groups of advisors before, it often seemed everybody wanted to hear themselves talk and not engage too much with the other professionals around them. This was much different. Most attendees seemed very humble, and eager to discuss best practices with their peers.” -Flat fee advisor


“The inaugural Transparent Advisors meeting was a fantastic start with many stimulating ideas not from the speakers but from the interactions with the other members of the group. The meeting exceeded my expectations!” -Flat fee advisor


“The best part was just being around quality advisors/people.” -401k consultant and fee-only advisor


“We were so thrilled to be part of a group of other transparent advisors. It truly was the first time I didn’t feel I needed to explain what we do/how we get paid to an audience of puzzled faces who respond ‘no AUM or commissions? How do you make money?’ Rather, it was a gathering of a group of extremely bright, well-informed, caring people who only want to help clients succeed at a fair price while educating them as to the costs within their financial lives.”- Flat fee advisor


Buy tickets now!

The price of your ticket is $300 plus sales tax. Hotel, airfare, and two evening dinners are not included in this price.

Would you like to join us? Buy your ticket here!

Immersion2025 Agenda

Tuesday, March 11, 2025

5 PM: Informal greeting/dinner (note, the cost of dinner for each participant is not included in the ticket price)

Wednesday, March 12, 2025

8 AM – 9 AM Breakfast, Networking and introductions

9 AM Statement of Mission: Sara Grillo

9:15 AM Nitty Gritty Look into my Flat Fee Practice: Speaker TBD

10:00 AM Small group “Pod” activity

11 AM Nitty Gritty Look into my Advice-Only Practice: Al Faber

12 PM Lunch

1 PM Ask Me Anything about Flat Fees: Speaker TBD

2 PM Small Group “Pod” activity

3 PM Ask me Anything about Advice-Only: Speaker TBD

4 PM Small Group “Pod” activity: Role Play

5 PM Group Volunteering project or dinner – participants choose (note, the cost of dinner for each participant is not included in the ticket price)

Thursday, March 13, 2025

8 AM – 9 AM Breakfast and networking

9:00 AM Nitty Gritty Look into my Flat Fee Practice: Erik Barnes

10:00 AM Ask Me Anything: Speaker TBD

11:00 AM Nitty Gritty Look into my Advice Only Practice: Speaker TBD

12 PM Lunch

1 PM Departure

Booking your Flight and Hotel

Immersion2025 will take place on March 11th to March 13th, 2025 at the Four Points by Sheraton Kansas City Airport hotel in Kansas City, Missouri.

Please note there are two cities in the Midwest located close to each other, both with the words “Kansas City” in them.

  • One of them is in Kansas City, Missouri. This is the place where Immersion2025 will take place. You should book your flight into this city.
  • The other one is Kansas City, Kansas. You should shun and ignore this city. We are not having the event here.

Booking your airfare

There are two airports in Kansas City:

  • Kansas City International Airport – the one you should fly into
  • Kansas City Wheeler Downtown Airport – the one you should ignore and NOT fly into

This is the airport you should fly into: Kansas City International Airport. The code for this airport is MCI.

Let me state it again, even more clearly:

Please do not fly into any other airport than Kansas City International Airport. There is a free shuttle and the hotel where we are having the event, the Sheraton Four Points, is located close to Kansas City International Airport. If you chose to fly into another airport, the free shuttle to the hotel will not be available, and you will be considerably further away from the hotel where we are having the event.

  • The check-in time for the hotel is 3 PM CT, and we are having a welcome event on March 11th, 2025 at 5 PM CT.
  • Immersion2025 will end on March 13th, 2025 at 1 PM CT. The check out time is 11 AM CT.

Booking your hotel room

The name of the hotel where we are having Immersion2025 is the Four Points by Sheraton Kansas City Airport. It is located at 11832 NW Plaza Cir, Kansas City, MO 64153. There is a free shuttle from MCI airport (see above) to this hotel.

In order to book your hotel room, please

  1. Use this link, or;
  2. Call the Four Points by Sheraton hotel at this number: 816-464-2345 and ask for the Reservations Department. Please tell them you are booking in the Transparent Advisor Movement block so you receive the preferred rate.

The rate I negotiated with the hotel is $119 a night, with the addition of state and local taxes, which were 16.48% at the time that I negotiated this contract. There is also a $3 Kansas City Development Fee.


Terms and Conditions


    • You are responsible for your own hotel/transportation arrangements and costs.

    • There are no ticket refunds. If you wish to transfer your ticket to another party, you may do so before March 1, 2025, and you agree to notify Sara Grillo by March 2, 2025 in writing of any changes in ownership.

    • We will be filming and photographing at this event. Sara Grillo retains the rights to these images. By purchasing a ticket, you are consenting to be filmed and photographed. You are also consenting to permit Sara Grillo to use these images for professional use.

    • The conference schedule is subject to change. If it changes, Sara Grillo will notify participants of these changes.

    • Airfare may be subject to delays and cancellations due to weather and other extreme emergencies. You agree to accept all risks related to flight cancellation and delay, and you agree that Sara Grillo bears no responsibility for flight delays or cancellations or the negative consequences associated with them.

    • By purchasing a ticket, you agree to follow our Code of Conduct and Safety Policy (see below)

Code of Conduct and Safety Policy

To ensure an inclusive environment, discrimination or harassment in any form is prohibited at this event, including but not limited to:


    • Sexual harassment

    • Racism

    • Sexism

    • Ageism

    • Homophobia

    • Transphobia

    • Ableism

    • Physical aggression or harm

If you experience any of the aforementioned instances of misconduct, or any others not included on this list, please report it to me, Sara Grillo, in person and via email at

The Code of Conduct applies to all participants, including but not limit to: speakers and attendees, and is without exception. Choosing to join the event evidences your cooperation and agreement with the policy.

Let’s talk about sexual harassment

Sorry for mentioning this, but I really want to get this out in the open.

Sexual harassment is a big problem at events in our industry, and I don’t want it to come into play at Immersion.

Sexual harassment spans the broad range of an inappropriate look, touch, comment, or written messages. There is a “no tolerance policy” at Immersion when it comes to sexual harassment at this event. Everyone attending, men and women alike, is expected to abstain from sexual harassment.

Often times, sexual harassment is unintentional and resulting from miscommunication. The way we avoid sexual harassment is through clarity and communication about boundaries.

I don’t want anyone to feel like you can’t be yourself or enjoy the conference. I want everyone to feel comfortable, relaxed, and safe. Everyone – every man, and every woman.

So to do that, here are some boundaries I suggest we consider:


    • Exercise caution when given the opportunity to hang out in private, one on one, with anyone of the opposite sex. For example, going to someone else’s hotel room for a prolonged amount of time. Instead, I would suggest meeting in the hotel lounge or another public area.

    • Stay sober. You can have fun socially without drinking alcohol or consuming any type of mood-altering substance. I encourage you to abstain from this, as it may lead you to let down your boundaries/impose on other people’s boundaries without full consciousness you are doing so.

    • Be conservative and think twice when commenting on anyone’s appearance. This includes their dress, age, attractiveness, etc. What may be intended as a compliment may be misinterpreted between two people who don’t know each other well.

    • Exercise caution and try to avoid touching anyone else other than a handshake. When people don’t know each other well, touch can be misconstrued.

    • Try to be aware of body language clues other people may be giving you. If somebody seems to want more space, give it to them.

    • We should all, men and women alike, be aware of the signals we are giving with how we dress. Clothing choice affects how people perceive us and what our intentions are.

    • In general, if you aren’t sure if something could be misconstrued, hold back. Better safe than sorry. Remember, you can think about committing this action at a later point, once the signals are clear that it’s okay with the other person. If it’s not completely clear that the person is okay with something, abstain.

These are just a few to get you started thinking.

Let’s be clear about boundaries, and honor them, as they can help us avoid awkward social situations. They aren’t constructed to kill the good vibe or ruin the fun; on the contrary, boundaries help us make sure we all are safe, and that everyone can be free to be themselves without having to worry.

Relax and breathe deep! I want us to have fun – men and women alike, every single one of us – and not feel like we are on guard. That is why I am saying all this.

Does that sound reasonable? If there is something you want to get out in the open, let’s discuss it.

Addendum – Cost Breakout

My goal was to identify the best venue for the lowest possible price. To achieve this, I researched and got proposals from a number of different hotels in different parts of the country. Missouri is centrally located and the amenities were much less expensive than in a larger city. This is a professional event, not a camping trip, and for that reason I chose the hotel that offered the highest professional quality of experience for the price charged.

Despite my efforts to minimize costs, there are contractual and statutory obligations that must be met (Missouri state sales tax, service and taxes on event items such as food, beverage, and AV, ticket processing fees, etc.) I also had to build in a buffer in case incidental expenses were to arise, which I am anticipating is likely. At Immersion2024, a substantial expense arose that was unanticipated and I was glad that I had built in the buffer that I had. Even doing so, there were some costs that I had to absorb for that event.

If the surplus of ticket revenues over event costs is excessive, I will be more than happy to discuss what recourse should be taken in an open way, with all event participants.

The table below breaks out the major costs anticipated at this time which provides transparency as to why the ticket cost was set at what it was.

If you would like to see the back up, the legal documentation that verifies what these costs were contractually agreed upon to be, I’d be happy to provide that to you. Please kindly email me at


Rates may vary as a function of geographic location due to exchange rate differences, fees, surcharges, and other factors. These offers are limited to the services advertised in the promotions contained on this page. Additional services may be provided at an additional cost at rates that are subject to negotiation.

Grillo Investment Management, LLC does not guarantee any specific level of performance, the success of any strategy that Grillo Investment Management, LLC may use, or the success of any program.

Grillo Investment Management, LLC will strive to maintain current information however it may become out of date. Grillo Investment Management, LLC is under no obligation to advise users of subsequent changes to statements or information contained herein. This information is general in nature; for specific advice applicable to your current situation please contact a consultant or advisor.

Any questions? Send 'em in!