Fourteen years ago this month I joined the staff of Investment Advisor. I’ve now rejoined the staff (though I was never really away), running this magazine that I’ve come to love (and which I have had some control over since January 1999). It feels good to be back. I feel that way partly because of the kind of content we produce each month, marrying words with pictures, going deeper on subject matter than makes sense online, and also giving space to the voices that I not so humbly believe provide great value for advisors: Mark Tibergien, Angie Herbers, Bob Clark, Tom Giachetti, Olivia Mellan and Dan Skiles, to name but a few. Then there’s the staff, folks like our Washington Bureau Chief Melanie Waddell and Managing Editor Danielle Andrus, Research Editor Liana Roberts and our nonpareil Art Director Chris Nicholls. Great content, great people and in a format appropriate to that content and the output of those people.
I remain a fan of electronic journalism and our website, ThinkAdvisor.com, which has achieved success in the ways that you measure success online and of which I am also proud. Print, however, is a medium that’s best suited for articles like our cover story by Ben Warwick. I’ve heard Ben speak on this topic before, and I’ve appreciated his insights and delivery. In print, however, the whole content package is delivered in a highly digestible—and highly mobile, I’d add—format. I think it’s an important and well-argued topic that is highly educational but also has a clearly expressed point of view. You might just learn something.
In a series of roundtables with advisors last year, I asked them how, and from where, they got their news and analysis. As you might expect, the sources varied, as did the mediums. What didn’t vary was their commitment to, in the words of one noted advisor, “read everything written by Mark [Tibergien] and Angie [Herbers].” In addition to reading the wisdom of specific writers, these advisors—and partners to advisors; you know who you are—also said they were interested in specific topics: marketing and referrals, portfolio construction, practice management, retirement income planning, and so on.
Being so particular is of course easier online than in print. However, I would point out that I find some of my best ideas in places and at times when I’m not looking for those specific ideas. Instead, I rely partly on professionals in various areas—and yes, I’m thinking of editors—who know their beats and will suggest what is important or interesting. At a time when everybody in our country seems to suffer from confirmation bias—only reading or listening to people whose points of view they already agree with—it’s important to be challenged by smart people who might hold ideas that are new to you. That’s what we’ll strive to continue to provide in the months and years ahead in Investment Advisor.