Anniversaries are naturally times to reflect on the past. As we complete our 30th year in print this summer, we inaugurate a new monthly feature of the magazine called “Historical Research,” where we will take a deep look at the people, events and ideas that have brought us to where we are. In this issue we look at Alexander Hamilton (“Founding Father of Finance”), our first Treasury Secretary and founder of the key financial institutions that put our great country on a firm financial footing in its earliest days. We also will run a monthly sidebar (“Thirty Years Ago This Month”) on the events — financial, political and cultural – that swirled around the creation of Research and many of our readers’ formative years three decades ago.
Yet, in looking at our past, it is clear that nothing has been more central to our success than our unrelenting focus on the future — on the products, trends and ideas that financial advisors would need to know about to better serve their clients, win new business and manage their practices. And so, while we have added important historical content, we are rededicating our efforts to bring you forward-looking news and analysis.
For example, the big open question of the day is how the financial services industry will assist the bulging demographic of boomers to support themselves in their retirement. We know how this generation has accumulated assets — through a variety of financial instruments, but most particularly through mutual funds in defined contribution plans.
Yet, it is only this month that the first boomer, Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, receives her first Social Security payment, so the pattern of decumulation is not yet established; as the next 80 million boomers follow her into retirement, we’ll know who the winners and losers in retirement income products will be. (We can probably safely predict that Social Security, or the retirees who rely on it, will not be among the winners).