2013: A year in review

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One of our key missions on the Helping Advisors Blog over the last three years has been to help you and your clients distinguish between “the noise” and “the real news” so you could focus on having productive conversations together. As it turns out, our blog authors certainly had a lot of fodder to work with in 2013!

Markets, economies and politicians

Early in the year, fixed income markets and emerging markets equities kept us – and you – busy fielding questions about “bond bubbles” and how bumpy the emerging markets equities might be. The impressive rally in U.S. equities – both large cap and small cap – brought with it some fear and greed over the course of the year. Political brinksmanship in the form of the fiscal cliff, sequestration and a partial government shutdown kept everyone on their toes at various points in the year.

Star-gazing

To help you focus on the important aspects of asset class returns and contextualize recent performance for clients, we developed a new series of monthly market recap posts and the Asset Class Dashboard. We also went so far as to do some in-depth star-gazing research. Seriously.

Lizard brains

Of course, one key to keeping clients invested despite what the markets (and politicians) might be serving up, is to find compelling ways to engage investors in the planning process. In our experience, this often involved asking powerful questions – and sometimes also repetitive ones. It takes skill to help clients fight against the common lizard brain syndrome of investor behavior and keep them focused on investing in where the world may be going, rather than where it has been in the past.

You’re worth more than 1%

Indeed, skill is essential in helping investors achieve their desired outcomes. If you’re feeling blue at any point, check out our most popular post of the year, “The value of an advisor: more than 1%.” Re-energized from that, we encourage you to review the value clients represent to your business and what lessons you may be able to learn from Southwest Airlines® about the virtues of streamlining a business.

The bottom line

Markets, economies and clients don’t stop – which means you don’t catch a break either. So be sure to return to the blog in 2014 for well-researched context, provocative ideas and practical advice. We’ll be here with new updates on Tuesdays and Thursdays to fuel your most important client conversations.

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