The letter arrived via e-mail from a reader unhappy with our February 2002 cover story. Well, not unhappy with the story, exactly, say rather displeased with our choice of “the new faces of planning” in the February magazine. “Why not at least one person of color?” this reader wrote.
A journalist, like many a judge, isn’t happy with his or her work until he’s ticked off both sides in any argument–it’s a sign that the work is close to the truth. After our July 2001 cover story, “Why So White?” we were deluged with letters from readers who expressed their rage over what they perceived as our overwrought political correctness in even bringing up the subject of financial planning’s lily whiteness. We ran some of those missives on our letters to the editor page, just as we ran notes from readers who were outraged that we would stoop to profiling a planner who caters to gay clients.
Sorry, that’s part of our job–to look at the big picture and ask why things are the way they are. It’s not just we who are looking and asking, of course. Many other planners and industry leaders are doing so. Among them is Lou Garday, who is not only sensitive to the “Why So White?” issue but is doing something about it, as Bill Glasgall and Marlene Satter relate in an exclusive interview with Garday on page 20 that touches on his priorities as CEO of the CFP Board of Standards.
But it’s also part of our job to provide news and insights into more mundane matters–like our tax advisor column (this month by Peter Chen on page 79) or Steve Moeller’s marketing tips (page 91) or our planner profiles by Karen Hansen Weese (page 54). We even continue to gather data on the secondary market prices on those limited partnerships of yore. But now, those LP tables exist only on our investmentadvisor.com Web site. That allows us to devote more space in the magazine to issues that appeal to a wider range of readers.