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RIABiz wishes you a relaxing holiday to rest up for an exciting New Year

It's slushy weather now but skies are expected to clear

Friday, December 24, 2010 – 3:23 AM by Brooke Southall
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My RIABiz office for the holiday season is right in this Portland, Maine district where retail sales are rebounding

During this Christmas season, I’m staying at the end of a dirt road that winds down a hill through some woods in Freeport, Maine.

It forms a perfect bobsled run when it snows, which is what happened over Wednesday night. So when my 8-year-old nephew said he heard the plow coming after breakfast, I moved fast to stop the plowman from clearing the four inches of snow cover. The driver of the big pick-up truck was disappointed. It’s been a rough year for the plow drivers in Maine. No snow.

But it’s been an even rougher year for sledders, and I didn’t want to lose our run by exposing the sand underneath. Of course I was then stymied in my rental car from getting out of the driveway to get to work. I got sledders to push me up and out.

Lobster boats

Now I’m writing from a friend’s office that overlooks Portland’s harbor. I see warehouses, lobster boats bristling with radar equipment, a huge stack of traps and an expanse of gray-blue sea.

It’s also a gentrified commercial district and — even last year — there were retail spaces open on this block from companies going out of business. This year it’s different with what seems like a back-to-normal shopping rhythm – which reminds me. I need to get shopping.

There was a bit on the news that shows that Wall Street and Wall Street are both starting to hum as the S&P 500 returns to pre-Lehman-crash levels of 2008. That’s a pretty quick rebound relative to the expectations during the financial crisis. It’s setting a tone. I think we can all relax this Christmas. The only thing that quickened the pulses of the RIAs in the office today was the New York Time article from Thursday about an Alabama town that was simply refusing to make good on pensions. What precedent will that set?

I’m already feeling happy to anticipate 2011. Advisors, custodians, TAMPs and technology providers are almost universally optimistic and doing something about it – investing in people and infrastructure. The intensity seems to be building.

Full RIABiz pipeline

At RIABiz, our pace is set by article-worthy events, advertising and directory listings. If an online publication can have a full pipeline, we think we do. It makes it easier to relax during December holidays knowing the New Year won’t be a rude awakening.

I hope that RIABiz readers are enjoying today and not worried yet about next week or next year. But if you checked in here, thank you, and Happy Holidays. We’ll be back with a posting on Monday and plan to keep writing next week — even as I make my way back to California on Thursday.

Brian Hamburger

Brian Hamburger

December 24, 2010 — 4:32 PM

A Merry Christmas to our own small community of RIAs and those that support heir efforts, including the good folks at RIABiz.

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