Twenty-five years has brought a number of significant changes to the financial services sector. Yesterday's equities market was quite different from today's. I can recall when the NYSE was closed on Wednesdays, just so it could get caught up on paperwork! Compare that with the ability to buy and sell around the clock now.
Similarly, the investments themselves have changed. The firms that made up the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 25 years back are different now. And portfolios can be built today with a seemingly endless variety of vehicles, from exchange-traded funds to overseas investments.
Remember what it was like not having real-time price quotes? Compare that with the plethora of financial data now available to investors and advisers alike. Not only has there been an increase in the amount of data, but the number of ways we can capture information has expanded, too. The Internet and financial programming on cable television are just two examples.
So much has changed in the industry, and yet three factors remain constant among your clients. First, investors want to grow their wealth; second, investors want to preserve their wealth; and third, investors need appropriate advice.
In trying to better serve investors during the past quarter century, many of you have adjusted your duties as investment advisers. You no longer simply trade stocks for clients. You are now familiar with your client's entire investment portfolio. You create the strategy and develop the financial plan that meets the client's objectives. You use insurance products as investment tools and study generational wealth transfer. And you work in teams with other financial services specialists.
So upon the 25th anniversary of this publication, we look back with pride for having served as a beneficial information source to many in their careers. But most importantly, we look ahead to helping you navigate the changes that are sure to come.
P.S. There's one change I wish had taken place in the past 25 years that hasn't. Specifically, broker participation in an organization that champions brokers' own causes remains less than universal. The National Association of Investment Professionals (NAIP) stands ready to accept your membership. Check out the NAIP Web site today at www.naip.com.