Guess what? You're a macroeconomist. You know exactly what I'm talking about, though you probably haven't phrased it this way, even in your own mind. Ever since September 2008, clients are asking for more than you can possibly deliver: To keep track of the macro-economic big picture and help them get out of the market as soon as we start moving into another meltdown period. So the question of the hour is: how can we possibly respond to these lofty expectations? Last year, I wrote that advisors are tapping into new information sources that offer data on the U.S. and global economy, and the readers of my newsletter compiled a reading list of online sources and economic data sources. Now, a year later, can you take a moment to go to the Financial Planning discussion area and share what you're reading, and why you recommend it? Of course, other advisors have changed the way they build portfolios, buying the kind of funds they would never have looked at before. The new trendy funds are managed by portfolio managers who regularly evaluate whether certain asset classes are likely to perform well in the current economic climate, which are over- and undervalued based on historical prices, and adjust their asset mixes away from the overpriced toward the underpriced. The list includes Pimco, Artio, Hussman, Marketfield. And others. If you have a chance, can you go to the discussion site and tell me which funds I missed, that belong on this list? If you have a few extra minutes, I'm also curious about whether you're comfortable with their performance and/or how you explain them to clients. These are two possibilities; are there others? If you've come up with a solution I haven't thought of, can you tell us what else you might be doing to meet the impossible demand? I hope at least some of you will think that I'm completely off-base and will be courageous enough to say so; those are the comments I tend to learn the most from. If you have suggestions about other topics that the profession ought to be exploring, or great ideas for a group discussion, please send me a message at: email@example.com. Bob Veres is one of the leading journalists in the financial services world. In addition to his monthly Financial Planning magazine column, he publishes the Inside Information service for financial planners. For 20 years, Inside Information has been a primary resource helping advisors make progress in how they manage their practices, how they market themselves, and to help them improve their value and client services by tapping into the best ideas and practices of other successful advisors. For more information, go to Bob's website.
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