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Stormy Weather, Messy Markets

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A very regular series of storms is hitting the Pacific Coast this winter. Fortunately, much of the needed rain has come after the nice sunny sail I was treated to on Christmas near San Francisco Bay.

Meanwhile, the stock market is facing strong headwinds in early ‘16, and if you listen to experts like Jeffrey Gundlach of DoubleLine, the next few months could be brutal. In other words, be sure to get out (and put on) the foul weather gear!

FPA’s Bob Rodriguez, who lives in the Lake Tahoe area, put on his winter coast last month to take photos against a backdrop of the snowy Sierra Nevada Mountains for our first issue of 2016. Since the January issue appeared, readers have told us they appreciate the money manager’s views.

Much of what Rodriguez told us he expected is coming to pass, such as hyper-market volatility. Earnings challenges, economic weakness in the industrial sectors of both the U.S. and China and lower commodities prices, which he also discussed, are dominating the financial news in early ‘16.

The energy sector, of course, seems set to have another challenging year. Given the global environment for commodities, we are pleased that our corporate sponsors with midstream master-limited-partnerships and the asset managers that invest in them continue to support our publication.

As Research columnist Alexei Bayer described last month, investor are digesting lots of “tough realities.” He presciently wrote that once they stop focusing on the Federal Reserve “and start paying attention to economics and politics, their optimism may evaporate quickly.” This month, he tackles what’s driving the frenzy in real-estate prices.

Along with the shift in market momentum, there is a new fiduciary standard on the horizon. To keep readers well informed on this front, Research is reaching out to new sources of insights and advice. You’ll find comments on how this expected change will impact annuity sales in Annuity Analytics, for instance, now written by Scott Stolz of Raymond James.

Like last month, our cover story for February features a senior executive at one of the wirehouse firms. This month, we’re fortunate to share the views of Shelley O’Connor, who was recently named a co-head of wealth management with Morgan Stanley (along with Andy Saperstein). Her interview follows one in the January issue with John Thiel of Merrill Lynch.

As Research strives to strengthen our coverage of topics and leaders most interesting to advisors in full-service broker-dealers, we will highlight the views and insights of these important industry figures throughout 2016. Plus, we will find new ways to give you the best, most helpful content on retirement planning, portfolio developments and practice management.

To keep up with trends in ETF investing, I attended the Inside ETFs conference in Hollywood, Florida, in late January. As I packed for the journey (imagining sun, sand and friendly surf), some advisors I speak with regularly warned me about the lousy winter weather now affecting this tropical part of the U.S. Looks like we can’t get a break from turmoil anywhere!


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