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2020: An Advisor-Focused Review of the Unforgettable Year

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This month’s cover story — which includes several event timelines —highlights many of the biggest headlines of the past 12 months. It’s not a “easy read” by any means, but it is a valuable and moving one.

Looking back to earlier this year, I recall being glued to Twitter 24/7, as advisors and industry executives shared the latest news and views on changes to office policies, tax rules and everything else imaginable during the first few months of the pandemic.

I became stuck to Twitter again on Nov. 3 and continue to follow any and all election and presidential transition updates.

As Melanie Waddell explains in this month’s Washington Watch: “President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris wasted little time in early November assembling the transition team,” which includes Gary Gensler, former head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets. Both Gensler and Kelleher are “staunch fiduciary advocates.”

Biden’s election win and the Republicans’ control of the Senate are “the best thing possible — an early Christmas for the stock market,” says Wharton’s Jeremy Siegel in our VIP Q&A. “It’s an excellent combination to block the tax increases. If the Democrats do get those two Senate seats in Georgia, [any tax increases] will be muted, because conservative Democrats won’t go for some of the more extreme measures.”

As for the advice business, there’s much to be optimistic about, according to Mercer Advisors CEO Dave Welling. The executive said at a recent conference that despite the challenges of 2020, “I’m as excited about the growth prospects for our industry as I have ever been in 23 years in this industry.” (For more insights shared at the event, see this month’s RIA Lessons & Leaders.)

Looking ahead to 2021 and a possible New Year’s resolution, columnist and consultant Angie Herbers offers some thoughtful advice in this month’s installment of The Fast Track: “If you do the work immediately in front of you, do it consistently and do it well, then you will be better tomorrow than you were today. And, from my perspective, being better tomorrow than you were today is really the only goal you need.”

The Investment Advisor team wishes you a happy and healthy holiday season, despite the pandemic. We hope you all have lots to be grateful for this year and much to look forward to in 2021, which is poised to be another unforgettable 12 months.

Related: Top News That Shook Up the Advisory Industry in 2020


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