Keeping The Faith

Dorothy Hinchcliff, Managing Editor

Weary advisors who helped their clients survive the stock market war of the last three years are starting to breathe a sigh of relief. Your efforts no doubt helped clients stay focused on the long term and realize that no war lasts forever. Now that the dust has cleared, it‚s apparent the economy and stock market have regained at least some of their strength and are moving forward.

Advisors now face what should be a less burdensome task: helping clients achieve their goals while the economy is in recovery mode. In Financial Advisor‚s cover story this month, Contributing Editor Eric Reiner does a fine job exploring how advisors can help clients profit from a recovery. It‚s a must-read for advisors interested in what leading money managers are doing to benefit from the brighter environment.

Another article sure to be of interest is Senior Editor Raymond Fazzi‚s annual report on mutual fund performance. Despite scandals and ongoing government investigations, fund investors had reason to cheer at the close of 2003–funds in most sectors were up substantially.

Other pieces on investments in the magazine this month should be helpful as you evaluate your clients‚ portfolios. Editor-in-Chief Evan Simonoff presents a somewhat surprising look at how some advisors are using hedge funds, and Contributing Editor Dave Drucker looks at an "alternative alternative" investment, litigation funding. Also, Contributing Editor Alan Lavine explores the debate over laddered bond portfolios, a popular strategy that some are questioning given the current level of interest rates.

Some of our articles should provide valuable insight on running your practices. In this issue, we are introducing a new column, Profession In Motion, which will feature commentary on changes confronting financial advisors. Dan Sullivan, co-founder of The Strategic Coach Inc., which offers a program to help entrepreneurs reach their full potential, kicks off the column with a piece on the advisory business that‚s sure to generate some controversy. In coming months, we look forward to bringing you thoughts from advisors and others in the financial services industry on how the profession is evolving.

Another interesting article this month that may benefit you and your practice comes from Contributing Editor Gail Liberman. She looks at how to serve foreign-born clients, whose numbers may increase if President Bush‚s proposal to allow undocumented workers to stay legally in this country is enacted.

Meanwhile, Special Section Editor Sydney LeBlanc helps you compare the best separately managed account platforms for advisors. Washington Editor Tracey Longo tells you about a new initiative that should help spread the word among small business owners that good advisors can help with retirement plans.

And of course, don‚t miss the latest installment from our favorite columnist, Nick Murray, in this issue. If you‚ve got any anxiety over how Do-Not-Call rules might affect your ability to land new clients, put it aside. Nick declares you‚re in a once-in-a-career prospecting sweet spot, and he explains why.

As we enter our fifth year of publishing, we will continue to strive to make our publication better than ever. All of us at Financial Advisor wish you the best as this year unfolds, and hope you‚ll contact us with your ideas and thoughts on what you‚d like to see in the magazine.