This year is the 35th anniversary of Investment Advisor. The industry has seen a lot of change in that time, which we’ve tried to stay abreast of in order to provide the most relevant, useful content for our readers. In that spirit, this month’s issue takes a long look ahead.
In the January cover story, Editor-In-Chief Jamie Green explores five trends that are already taking shape that will change the way advisors interact with and work for their clients.
When clients are facing change in their own lives, they’re often overwhelmed and can make bad decisions with long-term implications. Unfortunately, many advisors’ educations leave them ill-equipped to guide their clients through these transitions. Olivia Mellan and Sherry Christie talked to Susan Bradley of the Sudden Money Institute for insight on how to overcome those challenges.
In addition to our standard Asset Allocation survey, where our panelists provide their economic estimates for the next six months, we also asked them to tell us where they thought the economy would be by the end of 2015.
In addition to these feature stories, this month we published the first of a new series, The Bigger Picture, where we talk to people outside the financial services industry about the trends taking shape that could impact clients and, by extension, advisors. Read the first installment by Savita Iyer-Ahrestani here.
Finally, January is also when we publish our annual Career Guide as a supplement to Investment Advisor. Angie Herbers offers tips for young advisors to develop critical skills that they’ll need as they advance their careers, and Megan Bader returns to share her story as she moves from an analyst position to a full-time financial planner.
Independent financial advisors constitute a young profession, but they and their partners over the past 35 years—the years that this magazine has been published—have always helped shape societal trends, technology and regulation. For this profession to thrive in the years ahead, it must harness five major transformative trends already in process.
These trends—mobile, micro, longevity, politics and the generations—have already affected how advisors run their businesses. They are already changing the expectations that end clients have of their advisors. Each trend is intertwined with the others, and the technology that advisors and their clients use underpins the changes that these trends are creating. Editor-in-Chief Jamie Green explains.
Clients who need help managing financial transitions like retirement are becoming more and more common, according to Susan Bradley, founder of the Sudden Money Institute in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. “There isn’t an advisor who doesn’t work with clients grappling with transitions—the loss of a spouse, retirement, inheritance, divorce, sale of a business, marriage, a major career change, a large sports or entertainment contract, a legal settlement, a change in health or an elder transition,” Bradley said. “But we weren’t trained to deal with the human side of any of these issues. We were trained to make the numbers work as best we could, and the client had to deal with all the rest.”
Olivia Mellan and Sherry Christie talk to Bradley how advisors can help their clients stay on track when life throws up obstacles.
Predictions are inherently tricky business. With the many variables in play affecting the markets, from geopolitical events to finicky investors, trying to call the market is often an exercise in being wrong. Still, financial planners being, well, planners, it’s comforting to try to picture where we’ll be in 12 months and plan accordingly.
In addition to their monthly predictions, we asked our esteemed Asset Allocation panelists to provide their best estimates for where the markets will go in 2015. Here are predictions for all of 2015 from Mark Balasa of Balasa Dinverno & Foltz LLC; John Canally of LPL Financial; Gail Dudack of Dudack Research Group; Gary Shilling of A. Gary Shilling & Co.; and Sam Stovall of S&P Capital IQ.
Many owner-advisors still don’t have the time or the inclination to train their successors or simply don’t go about it very effectively. That doesn’t mean that junior advisors at these firms should give up on firm ownership or look for another firm. By actively preparing themselves to be firm owners, and demonstrating their increased business acumen, junior advisors can play a key role in their owner-advisors’ thinking about succession and in creating their firm’s succession plan.
Angie Herbers explains that the key is to learn to think like an owner, rather than an employee.
Four years after finishing graduate school, financial planner Megan Bader has gone from a research assistant to a full-fledged planner assisting clients on an advisory team. She shares her experiences and what she’s learned as she’s begun working with clients.