To borrow the title of a 1990s movie, it seems the current business climate for financial advisors is almost as good as it gets. That doesn’t mean it is a goldilocks world by any means.

Many clients who have recovered financially from the financial crisis still haven’t recovered psychologically. The cause of their angst may arise from family problems such as adult children or relatives who remain unemployed or underemployed.  Others haven’t even recovered financially. Clients who own businesses may still be struggling or their plans to retire by selling a business may not be materializing.

Others were spooked by the precarious health of the post-crisis financial system and dramatically reduced their equity holdings in 2008 or 2009 and have been forced to subsist on meager fixed-income investments in a world of financial repression while they watched equities rebound far beyond levels anyone expected. Indeed, more than a few advisors have taken cautious investment postures that have cost them some clients.

All that said, many advisors are living in a world that is more perfect than it has been in a long time. Sources report some clients are asking why their portfolios are appreciating only 9% or 10% when the S&P 500 is up 16% or 17%.

But that’s a far cry from the late 1990s when physicians and dentists were quitting their jobs and firing their advisors to devote their full time to day trading. We’re still a long way from that kind of bubble euphoria.

That’s why it seems that the present environment might be too good to be true—or at least too good to last. At 1,700, the S&P 500 is up 155% off its March 2009 bottom.

Even if optimists like BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink are correct as equities appreciate 8% to 10% a year for the remainder of the decade as the economy improves, the easy money has been made. A better economy also might allay many of the concerns about friends and family that persist in client psyches.
Of course, people who are far smarter than me have been way-off wrong. I recently reread some of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s remarks in the 18 months leading up to the financial crisis.

By the time you read this, Syria may have exploded, the U.S. government may be closed or some natural disaster may have occurred. So enjoy things while they last.

Evan Simonoff, Editor-in-Chief
E-mail me at [email protected] with your opinion.