From the April 2010 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

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In a economic commentary published March 12, Liz Ann Sonders, senior VP and chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab Corp., and Brad Sorensen, director of market and sector analysis at Charles Schwab, wrote that recent economic data pointed to a recovery in the U.S., pointing to the strong numbers of Institute for Supply Management index for February, its best level since October 2007. They also said nonfarm business productivity remained robust, which is likely to lead to more hiring to meet demand. But a major cause for concern remains the wide gap of optimism between small businesses and larger ones. Since small businesses create most new jobs, their muted confidence can dampen any potential recovery. In an interview March 2, Sonders said that "I'm more optimistic about the economy than the market. We're moving toward a place where a self-sustaining economy is possible."

...In a challenging year that began with the company announcing layoffs, LPL Financial rebounded to end 2009 with a 4.4% increase in net income despite an 11.8% decline in net revenue. For the full year ended December 31, LPL reported in an 8-K filing with the SEC that it had net income of $47.5 million on revenue of $2.7 billion, compared to net income of $45.5 million on net revenue of $3.1 billion in 2008.

...The founder of the Foundation for Fiduciary Studies, and Fiduciary360, Don Trone, has founded a new firm, Strategic Ethos, based in Mystic, Connecticut, which helps organizations define what he calls "a standard of excellence that is based on leadership behaviors, core values, and a defined decision-making process."

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