We’re pleased to focus on the phenomenal growth of the RIA business model, as witnessed and cultivated by Pershing Advisor Solutions CEO Mark Tibergien, in this month's cover story; Mark also explains how he is working to improve financial literacy in this month's Formula for Success column. In addition, we’re very glad to share an in-depth look at the best ways RIAs and other advisory groups can use new technology and other tools to drive business growth, written by Matt Lynch of Strategy & Resources and Marty Miller of Clear Path Consulting.
This month's Washington Watch by Melanie Waddell will get you up to date on what FINRA CEO Robert Cook is doing that will affect advisors nationwide, while her Playing Field column highlights all the latest fiduciary-related developments. You can read what some top industry players think about investing retirement savings in cryptocurrencies as reported by Danielle Andrus in Retirement Planning, and get the details on LPL Financial's latest acquisition and Raymond James’ hurricane-related efforts in Broker-Dealer Beat (which I penned).
Speaking of the weather, the San Francisco Bay Area is having a break from the recent heat. It feels like fall. To be blunt, it is not the season I am eager to greet (though I like football season like many of you). After 18 years, my younger son is leaving the nest to attend UCLA. He won't be playing on any sports team, but he’ll work on his martial-art skills a bit while studying statistics, math, economics and all those other practical subjects he seems to have an affinity for.
To give him some perspective on what I found incredibly important to my life and career after finishing college and graduate school, I took him to Asia for two weeks in August. We spent most of our time in Osaka, Japan, where I used to live and work, as well as in Kyoto and Tokyo. As expected, we were overwhelmed by the mix of old and new, artistic and technological, delicate and rugged.
On the Tokyo subway one afternoon on our way to see an incredible origami show, we sat next to a sumo wrestler. Near Kyoto, we walked under many of the red-orange gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine and saw Kurama Temple after a steep hike. Our visits to Kyoto's Golden Temple and Osaka Castle were very memorable, and we also stopped by the Osaka Securities Exchange, which grew out of the world's first futures market — where rice and crops were traded as far back as 1697.
In fact, the Osaka Securities Exchange is where I started my career as a financial journalist in 1991. After getting lost on my way to interview an executive of a global pharmaceuticals firm, I ended up asking some staff members of the exchange for directions. They politely showed me around and patiently explained their daily routines and research. This seemed appealing enough for me to write about, so … .
Exactly 26 years later, I’m still intrigued by the ins and outs of the world's securities markets and those whose work is focused on it. I also remain pleasantly surprised to hear the reaction I often get when I tell people what I do for a living: “That must be so interesting!” (Don't worry — I don't burst their bubble by telling them all about the DOL fiduciary rule.)
Going back to places that, random or not, helped shape our lives is incredibly powerful. You recall why you made some choices and wonder why you didn't make others. You connect with old, dear friends, and you see familiar places with new eyes and with new questions.
Curiosity. It should push my son along during and after college. And it's certainly what keeps me motivated to lead this publication and to interact with — and learn from — readers like you who work in firms of all shapes and sizes in the financial advisory business. As the Japanese say: “Issho ni ganbarimasu!” Translation: “Together, let's do our best!”