Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives

A list of Dan Richards’ previous articles appears at the end of this article.

Dan Richards

Over the past 18 months, the quarterly templates for client letters have ranked among the most popular features on this site.

Research with investors has identified the five elements of an effective client letter. It has to be:

1. balanced in outlook

2. candid

  1. short enough for clients to get through comfortably but long enough to be substantial
  2. supported by facts
  3. indicative of the advisors voice and personality

On this last point, if you like the basic structure of the letter below, you MUST take the time to customize it to reflect your own philosophy and outlook - I can’t emphasize this strongly enough.

April 15, 2010

“I have no idea what the stock market will do next month or six months from now. I do know that, over a period of time, the American economy will do very well and investors who own a piece of it will do well.”

Warren Buffet in an interview on CNBC on Friday, October 10, 2008

After the market roller coaster of 2008 and 2009, the first quarter of 2010 has been blessedly uneventful by comparison. The US markets gained about 5% in the first quarter, the best start to the year since 1998 – today’s stock market is up about 60% from its lows of a year ago.

That said, there is still a cloud of uncertainty that is making many investors nervous.