Somebody very intelligent and wise once said that “All of life boils down to perspective,” and I have to agree and acknowledge that the largest and greatest purpose that we truly do get better as we get older is the broadening of our point of view. In the November issue of Financial Planning magazine, Bob Veres relied upon his vast industry perspective to write an informative piece called “The FPAs Dilemma,” in which he voices his disappointment about how the FPA has turned out since the merger between the IAFP and the ICFP in 2000. With the argument and discussion still raging in Washington about the long term future of retail and financial advice in America, it does seem like a good time to consider and think about how the “profession” of financial planning has fared in its little corner of the financial services world. (The FPA leadership wrote an exclusive rejoinder to its critics on Advisor One on Nov. 8; read it here.)
I have to admit to experience a sense of deja vu myself reading through Bob talking about how he felt while walking through the exhibit hall at the FPA Experience in September being transferred and moved back to the old tax shelter days by the annuity and REIT sales folks. While I didn’t go to San Diego, I’ve had similar feelings at recent FPA conferences. At least part of the reason and purpose for this notable shift away from a predominance of mutual funds in exhibit halls across the country is the dramatic reversal of the markets themselves.
When Bob and I started covering financial planners, a “prudently allocated” client portfolio contained real estate, gold, and oil and gas. This made a certain amount of sense because inflation was at double digits while the stock market had been flat for 17 years. Then oil prices plummeted, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker got inflation under control, President Reagan lowered the income tax rates and the markets took off on what was essentially a 27-year bull market (with a few “adjustments” along the way).
For more information please visit: http://www.advisorone.com/2011/11/09/which-side-of-the-profession-debate-is-the-fpa-on