A Brand New World

June 7, 2007

If you had spent the last quarter of a century living on a desert island or cruising the ocean seas in a submarine, the gales of change sweeping around the globe justifiably might have escaped your notice. But since you are reading this magazine and are a professional in financial services or an allied discipline, it obviously has not.

Periods of rapid change and progress typically produce dramatic increases in individual wealth, as well as national standards of living, and the era since 1982 certainly has been no exception. The ranks of the ultra-affluent today are far greater than at any time in history. Back in 1982, the United States had fewer than 700,000 millionaires. Today, the number of people in the state of California with investable assets, not net worth, of $1 million or more is just under 1 million.

This magazine, however, is aimed at advisors who serve a far more exclusive audience. Four years ago, Russ Prince, the nation's leading expert on the habits, eccentricities and behavior patterns of the exceptionally affluent and their advisors, began discussing the void in the professional publishing field for a periodical designed for advisors who specialized in this arena and confronted the unique challenges it poses. Our conversations circled back and forth, around and around, until last September when Russ and his gifted partner, Hannah Shaw Grove, had lunch in New York City with Charter Financial Publishing Network's president, Charlie Stroller, and me. We all agreed that the time to do something was now.

Russ and Hannah said they would put together a few ideas and meet with us in a few weeks. When they came to our offices, they unveiled a detailed, comprehensive outline of a compelling publication that virtually mirrored the magazine you are reading. Our group publisher, David Smith, immediately displayed his characteristic enthusiasm, while Charlie and I looked at each other and then at Hannah and Russ as if to say, do you want to edit this? They agreed to do so.

Working with them over the last six months turned out to be an entertaining learning experience for all of us. I've worked with very few people with the talent and intelligence of Hannah and Russ. One of them is our managing editor, Dorothy Hinchcliff, who coordinated the editorial process with two new editors to bring our mutual vision to reality.

What we want to create is a magazine for sophisticated professionals that focus on a particular type of client many advisors cultivate. Virtually all the trade publications take a different path and target what the financial services business calls a distribution channel, such as insurance agents, bank trust officers, stockbrokers, estate planning attorneys or independent financial advisors. Because the exceptionally affluent need to marshal the resources of experts across myriad professions to solve their financial issues, we all feel that a multidisciplinary publication is appropriate for this audience.

Therein lies the genesis of Private Wealth, which is destined to evolve over future issues. Since we only exist as long as we provide you with useful and original content, we invite you to offer your thoughts and insights to either Hannah or me at [email protected] or [email protected].