One of the most difficult problems a financial advisor may confront with clients is how to address excessive spending on adult children. Each relationship between a parent and child is unique, and any good advisor knows it won’t help or be appreciated by the client to just provide simplistic advice like “You need to cut your kid off or you’ll run out of money.” In our cover story this month beginning on page 36, Senior Editor Eric Rasmussen offers a thoughtful look at why more adult children are “failing to launch,” as well as insightful comments from a host of financial advisors who have worked on such problems with clients. It’s a must-read for any advisor who wants to provide the kinds of services that clients will truly value. I hope the article offers some ideas that will help you strengthen your business as we enter the new year.

Another challenge for advisors in 2020 may be portfolio management. Most observers are predicting U.S. equity returns will be significantly lower than the near 13% average annual advance of the S&P 500 over the last decade, reports Editorial Director Evan Simonoff. In a report beginning on page 43, Evan provides a comprehensive overview of the U.S. economic and equity landscape from experts who offer their assessment for the coming year. See if you agree.

A second investment story in this issue comes from Senior Editor Jeff Schlegel, who is our resident expert on exchange-traded funds. Jeff does not write “product-pitch” articles; he is an excellent writer who takes a close look at the particulars of new ideas and whether they are useful to advisors. In his article beginning on page 47, Jeff notes the big players now introducing actively managed semi-transparent ETFs and examines whether advisors and investors benefit from these vehicles.

We offer another standout article from writer Jerilyn Klein Bier, beginning on page 32. She has been one of the lead writers for our online series “How I Solved It,” in which we report on how an advisor helped a particular client with a thorny financial planning problem. The series has been widely read, so we decided to bring an expanded version to our print audience. Please contact us if you are an advisor who has a story that you would like us to consider for this column.

In addition to reading our magazine every month, I hope that you’ll consider attending some of our conferences this year. They are an extension of our editorial content and we work very hard to make them relevant for you. Our biggest event, Invest In Women, comes first, from April 27-29 in Atlanta. Learn more on page 7. We’re also introducing a new conference, Advisor For Life Summit, which you can learn about on page 9. Other events are also in the works, so stay tuned.

Welcome to 2020!

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