What is a good coaching experience? It's a lot like a good financial planning experience; the coach takes the time up-front to identify your goals and resources, and then works with you to develop a plan and ongoing encouragement to get there. Vern Hayden describes this process nicely. Jon Guyton, meanwhile, adds a longish footnote to his retirement income sustainability research by looking at the case of somebody who retired in 2000 and experienced the worst of all recent historical sequence risk. What could be done to mitigate it? You may not agree with every element of Guyton's methodology (some of it looks like market timing), but the point is that there are ways to monitor these things and change course as circumstances require you to.
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I'm not sure what to make of this special issue by Investment Advisor magazine; you get the impression that the editors just discovered that there are women in the marketplace and in the profession, and they're kind of breathless and excited about this startling new insight. So the editor asked everybody to write about... women. Not any particular type of female client, or different types of advisor, but just kind of generically women, which comes across as more sexist than the magazine's usual habit of focusing more or less exclusively on smug-looking white male broker-dealer executives on its cover and in its articles.
But there are a few highlights, including Mark Tibergien's reminder of how few rights women had in America even as late as the 1980s, and a very personal article by Angie Herbers that stands out because instead of breathlessly telling us that there are women all around us, it speaks directly to women, to some of the things that are making their lives more difficult, some of them self-initiated.
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I actually laughed out loud when I read the opening of Roy Diliberto's column in the October issue of Financial Advisor magazine--something I normally only do when I'm reading a Dave Barry book or when a conference speaker talks about the superiority of the suitability standard and also of cash value life insurance. The rest of the column turns a bit more sober: what do you do when a client asks for advice that might conflict with your own financial well-being? Later, Don Trone looks at the same issue from a different angle; Trone is a lonely voice trying to help us understand that all the debate over a fiduciary standard should be seen as a quarrel about the lowest common denominator in the profession, and we should aim higher.
The core of the magazine is Philip Palaveev's discussion of the essential ingredients of a successful partnership. If you are taking on partners, or thinking about merging your firm, you should read it in its entirety. It will make a lot of points that you should soberly consider as you look to jointly create an entity that will become more important than your individual interests.
Oh, and don't ever buy closed-end bond funds at a premium when the next day they will probably be trading at a discount.
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This is Financial Planning magazine's annual "Influencer Award" issue, which is your opportunity to see if you A) recognize the names of those who are influencing you and your practice, and B) are actually influenced by them. The winners this year--Ron Carson, Joni Youngwirth, Sheryl Rowling, Rob Arnott, Richard Brown and Lew and Karen Altfest--are an interesting mix of people from very different cultures and tribes within the profession.
Meanwhile, Joel Bruckenstein reviews the newest version of Junxure, which is a total rewrite from the current software, and Allan Roth gives you a different way to evaluate client portfolios and the home mortgage. And Craig Israelsen looks at whether you should dump your bond allocations by examining how all asset classes fared during previous time periods when interest rates rose dramatically. The results are interesting. [Read more »]