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Ten Years after

Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell | Posted On: May 27, 2016

I feel like I’m more than a bit late in posting this entry because last month I celebrated the 10th anniversary of Soleares Research being in business. Therefore it would have been most fitting to have published something on this topic then, but, a number of tasks and distractions got in the way. Plus, truth be told, I plead guilty to some overthinking regarding this post, as I want it to be a good one (hence my delay). Anyway, let me get down to it then!

I am very grateful to have had my own business these 10 years, and my intention has been to be nimble and responsive to the needs of my subscribers and I hope I have been somewhat successful in that regard. I see many areas in which I can improve and I think this year will be a time to tackle some of them.

I will seek to be more consistent and reliable with my reports, research and analysis. I hope to dig deeper into the products and industry I cover. I will try to be more methodical and attentive in my approach to my daily and weekly tasks. And I will explore ways to enhance the service without raising prices unduly.

I actually laid the groundwork for Soleares several years before launching it. That fact makes me confident that I can set long-term goals and achieve them.

In my 18 years of reporting on the VA business I have seen a variety of cycles come and go: the bonus VA phenomenon (with all its controversies); the living benefit arms race; the ’08 financial crisis and its aftermath; the current secular de-risking period. It’s been an interesting ride.

What I draw from those experiences is that current conditions won’t last forever. We all need to plan ahead for change. Keeping the status quo isn't an option.

My thought currently is that the future of Soleares Research will evolve naturally, of its own accord. New directions will present themselves as a matter of course; I won’t have to strain so much to find them. I will just have to be ready to respond to new opportunities – and obstacles – that will arise.

This is true of the industry also. There will be challenges to face (the DOL rule comes immediately to mind), and in the end maybe they won’t be as daunting as first envisioned. Time will tell. It will be a process of discovery.

I will try to be of assistance in that process in any way that I can.

In closing I want to thank all my subscribers for their support over the years. I hope there will be many more to come.

I wish you all a very happy and festive Memorial Day weekend.