We're officially out of the Great Recession, but tell that to someone who has been unemployed for the last year. Even for those of us who have jobs, it's hard to feel optimistic in what still feels like an unstable economy.

But the cover story in this issue of Financial Advisor should remind us that good things can be born in bad times, and that believing in yourself, committing to something and persevering in the face of uncertainty will very likely mean you'll still be standing-maybe succeeding beyond your dreams-when the clouds lift.

That was the case for Jeff Thomasson, founder of Oxford Financial Group, today one of the largest, most successful independent advisory firms in the country. Just married, out of school and unemployed, Thomasson started Oxford in 1981, during another very painful economy.

FA Editor-In-Chief Evan Simonoff does a masterful job chronicling how Thomasson built his Indianapolis-based firm, which nearly 30 years later has $13 billion in assets, 120 employees and about 500 family and 100 institutional clients. This fascinating report, beginning on page 90, is not to be missed.

A very large percentage of our readers have told us they enjoy columns written by Nick Murray, and he's back with advice on the five things that you must tell retiring clients for them to have any hope of regaining their financial footing. Turn to page 35.

Two other FA editors turned in interesting reports as well. Senior Editor Jeff Schlegel considers compensation plans for advisors in an article on page 61. He interviews Rebecca Pomering from Moss Adams Wealth Advisors, among others, and takes a closer look at the FPA's 2010-

2011 salary survey. Meanwhile, Senior Editor Eric Rasmussen reports on the funny and scary comments Nobel laureate William Sharpe offered advisors at the recent NAPFA conference in San Diego (page 129). In a second article, Eric examines what long-term investors find appealing about China (page 115).

The article written by Ben Mattlin on family caregivers (page 71) provides a comprehensive report on the financial and emotional issues that arise when a family decides to care for a parent or other loved one at home, and offers some strategies that might make such a choice work so that siblings don't want to kill each other.

Of course, in this issue we've brought you many more columns and articles-on practice management, investing, tax planning, retirement, insurance and more-that I hope you will find enjoyable and informative. But we recognize that you are the closest to the issues that matter in thisĀ  profession, so please contact me, or any of our other editors, with your thoughts and ideas on what you'd like to read about in Financial Advisor.

Dorothy Hinchcliff, Managing Editor
E-mail me at [email protected] with your opinion.