Like it or not, the broader world is constantly throwing new client obligations in your lap. Just within the last 10 years, the financial planning service menu has added choices like helping clients understand the uncertainty of market outcomes and Monte Carlo analysis; calculating and communicating safe retirement withdrawal rates; analyzing the most tax-efficient ways to take money out of a mélange of tax-deferred, taxable and Roth accounts; projecting the likely benefits of a partial Roth conversion in an uncertain tax environment; and broadly helping people connect their portfolios with their life goals-usually by helping them find their life goals in the first place.

Now, within the last 18 months, the markets have helpfully given you a new client obligation. Increasingly, clients are asking your opinion about the safety and soundness of the markets in light of recent events or forecasts. Your level of communication about portfolio issues has increased dramatically since September of 2008, and this higher frequency seems to be permanent. All of a sudden, clients expect you to serve as their personal macro-economist.

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