Volunteers and their community partners, which are featured in this month’s cover story. (Photo collage: Chris Nicholls)

As advisors, you do so much for your clients and your communities. In this issue, the focus of our five-part cover story — “Giving Back and Getting Back” — showcases the variety of ways advisors positively affect their towns, cities, nation and the world.

I was privileged to see one advisor receive recognition for his volunteer efforts during Commonwealth Financial’s recent national conference in Austin, Texas. Jeff Scales clearly gives his time and talents to the causes he values, and his firm proudly supports him in these endeavors.

Likewise, Lon Dolber of American Portfolios sees his business and community work as intertwined, and he strives to both set an example and act as a cheerleader for advisors seeking to do the same, as do executives at other broker-dealers.

For those seeking new ways to approach their professional and personal lives in 2019, Commonwealth Chairman Joe Deitch explains the lessons he’s brought together and presents in his recently published book, “Elevate: An Essential Guide to Life.” I summarize some of his perspectives and life lessons in this month’s Broker-Dealer Beat section.

Tech Coach contributor Dan Skiles urges advisors to get ready for next year by completing a year-end action list. It may not sound as much fun as holiday decorating or socializing, but it will keep your systems and your clients happy.

Speaking of lists, Compliance Coach Tom Giachetti goes through the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Risk Alert and highlights the most common compliance issues cited in advisor examinations in this month’s column. He also shares expert advice on steps to take to address these issues.

Other helpful advice is provided by Mark Tibergien, whose Formulas for Success column this month delves into how to get a fair price for your services. “If you are reducing your fees, you may be negotiating against yourself,” he points out.

The Fast Track columnist Angie Herbers outlines the best ways that second-generation CEOs can position themselves in light of their fiduciary duties and role in driving both the advisory firm’s vision and results. Some of her tips might surprise you, but they emphasize a client-driven approach.

A second-gen advisory firm owner is profiled by Jamie Green in his Ahead of the Curve column, which also describes the owner’s “three-wins” approach to mergers and acquisitions. While working with family members can be challenging at times, Ryan Kelly has found a way to succeed.

Digging into the details of what regulatory changes are coming next year, Melanie Waddell explains SEC Chairman Jay Clayton’s latest thinking on the Regulation Best Interest in this month’s The Playing Field column. She also breaks down the findings of a RAND report on the proposed Form CRS Relationship Summary.

Also this month, consultant Tim Welsh gives us an insider’s view of the recent T3 conference, which brings together industry leaders for talk on innovation and what it means for advisors in the years ahead. For instance, one executive explained, “There will be a lot more M&A in investment management, so you need to prepare and design for scale,” while another said holograms could be the next “big thing” in advisor-client communications.

In closing, I would like to give thanks to all the columnists and writers who generously contribute to this publication. Like you, they have busy schedules and full lives, yet they carve out time each month to focus their thoughts on industry trends and work with us to bring these valuable insights to your mailboxes and inboxes.

Also, it’s worth repeating how inspirational advisors’ volunteer efforts are. We hope all of you benefit from reading about them, and we wish you a meaningful and enjoyable holiday season.