A Time For Thanks

The end of one year and the beginning of another is usually an excellent time to step back and take stock of where you‚ve been and where you are going. I have little doubt that many of you are doing exactly that these days.

After a 33-month bear market, it may seem to be a strange time to give thanks. But thanks are in order. After all, if someone had told advisors in early 2000 that we would experience the worst bear market in 60 years, most would have expected the carnage to be far worse for the economy, the country and the advisory profession.

The economy‚s ability to endure the bursting of a bubble of epic proportions with only a mild recession speaks volumes about its underlying strength. The nation‚s ability to recover from the worst foreign attack on its soil and turn tragedy into a renewed sense of purpose reveals a lot about its character. And the profession‚s ability to provide a haven for shell-shocked investors underscores its intrinsic validity.

As we at CFPN enter our fourth year as a company, we also have a great deal for which to be thankful. The response we‚ve received from readers since our inception has been unbelievable.

For me, the most rewarding aspect of creating Financial Advisor was assembling as fine a staff of full-time and freelance editors and writers as I‚ve ever worked with. Our managing editor, Dorothy Hinchcliff, has displayed a degree of competence and skill matched only by her sunny disposition. Ray Fazzi has proved himself to be a senior writer who could learn the advisory business with remarkable speed. Karen Burke, our survey editor, contributed mightily to the magazine‚s evolution this year and is one of the best-organized people I‚ve ever seen.

Our columnists are also second to none. Nick Murray continues to write articles that many advisors like to read again and again in trying times like these. This month‚s article is just one more masterpiece. Hannah Grove and Russ Prince continue conducting research that illuminates the attitudes and preferences of clients and prospects in ways I‚ve never seen anywhere else. I can‚t say I always agree with the frequently bearish outlook of Mike Martin, but then I don‚t have to manage retirees‚ portfolios. Yet I‚m downright envious of his writing abilities and insights, and the fact that his day job is as a financial advisor sometimes piques that envy.

We‚ve also received kudos about others contributors like Bill Bachrach and Leo Pusateri, both of whom understand what goes on in that space between advisors and clients. Dick Wagner continues to break new ground in the area sometimes called, for lack of a better word, life planning, and this month he pens another compelling piece about why advisors need to probe way beyond the numbers. Marketing isn‚t my primary job, but I was elated after convincing one of the nation‚s leading estate planning attorneys, Roy Adams, to write for us. His articles have exceeded my own inflated expectations.

Tracey Longo covers the advisory business with a degree of depth few writers possess; it shouldn‚t be a surprise to readers that she‚s also studying for her CFP license. Marla Brill‚s interviews with portfolio managers is one of our best-read departments, and she‚s also writing about other subjects now.

Financial Advisor has benefitted from contributions by Harold Evensky, Mark Hurley, Deena Katz, Alan Lavine, Gail Liberman and Jeff Schlegel as well. Moreover, I‚d also like to thank the talented staffers in other departments at CFPN who have helped the editorial side of the magazine realize its vision. Our accomplishments are nothing short of a team effort. If there are topics of particular interest to you, please e-mail me.

Evan Simonoff, Editor-in-Chief