It may be April Fool's Day, but here's some serious advice from other advisors this week to stay a step (or more) ahead. 

1. LEARN FROM MARCH MADNESS

"With the NCAA basketball tournament in full swing, the theme for every team is ‘survive and advance.’ Financial advisors who specialize in retirement planning need to adapt the same thinking for their clients. With stock market volatility expected to remain high for the foreseeable future, clients need their portfolios set up to be able to survive the down years without taking the big hits to their portfolios like they did in the last decade. In order for a portfolio to survive during the pre-retirement and retirement years, it needs to be actively managed."  -- T. Brian Hayes, founder and CEO of Hayes Advisory Group

2. FOCUS ON JOBS REPORT

"Jobs numbers will be out on Friday, April 5. This is a big market-moving number and it’s been surprising investors to the upside. However, the consumer confidence numbers took a tumble last week and that might be an indicator that layoffs have occurred or hiring has declined. We also look at average wages and hours worked -- that is an indicator of what the jobs number might be in future months." -- Kim Caughey Forrest, vice president and senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group

3. WATCH FOR COMPANY PRE-ANNOUNCEMENTS

"It’s pre-announcement season this week! The end of the quarter happened over the Easter weekend and so companies will be tallying up orders/sales. If they didn’t make the forecast numbers, they will be sending out a pre-announcement of earnings. It’s always an exciting time." -- Kim Caughey Forrest

4. NOTE TECHNOLOGY OPPORTUNITIES

"Much is made of the fact that independent advisors do not have the same enterprise technology resources as wirehouses, and how this turns off Gen Y financial advisors and in general degrades the space. The truth is that all of the technology advantages that wirehouses scale down are readily available for independents, and in fact easier for independents to access, customize, and scale for growth.  One just needs to know where to look.  This is the year that advisory technology takes a quantum leap forward." -- John Stuart, chief information officer of Beverly Hills Wealth Management

5. OPPORTUNITY IN ESTATE PLANNING

"Sixty-one percent of families rate legacy development as their top financial concern. This issue needs to be addressed by advisors." -- Shawn Barberis, founder of Aspida Advisory

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