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Proper Perspectives

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With the retreat of summer, students have headed back to class. Football season’s returned, and hurricane season is peaking — with disastrous consequences so far in Texas, Florida and beyond.

As we go to press, there’s a weird mood in the markets as stocks continue to rise, Bitcoin’s value weakens and relations with North Korea plummet. Contributor Bob Seawright encourages advisors and investors to recall that equity investing “offers uncertain rewards but certain risks.” He also reminds us to avoid complacency and stick to discipline.

In our Wealth Watch feature, advisor Christopher S. Smith of Edward Jones shares how he got started in the business and learned to put clients first. Advisor Daniel C. Jones gives us a glimpse of his charitable activities in our Giving Back feature. The contributions made by Smith and Jones are impressive and heartwarming. They point to how advisors can make a difference in their clients’ financial lives and communities.

The way they balance their personal and professional lives also speaks to the importance of having the right perspective about our jobs and seeking out the most powerful ways to succeed. This is the view Michael Finke, dean of The American College of Financial Services, takes in the cover story on technology, noting that people want to interact with those who understand their accounts and their emotions.

The former head of Citigroup, Vikram Pandit, recently said that developments in technology may lead to a 30% drop in banking jobs. While this shift may make “processes easier,” especially in the back office, it also certainly means large number of folks will lose employment and that we’ll spend more time interacting with automated machines and less with people.

I’m hopeful that financial advisors will continue to emphasize the human side of the financial-services equation in their work, so clients can feel they’re more than just a number in an increasingly digital world. This approach has enabled the industry to grow year after year and should continue to do so.


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